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Username Post: Vintage A/C dash vents don't fit. Any ideas?        (Topic#288035)
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-07-12 02:39 PM - Post#2277583    

Gentlemen, I am to the point of installing my Vintage A/C side dash vents in my '56. The problem is that they don't seem to fit. The passenger side vent gets close to fitting, but has big gaps. The drivers side vent will never fit between the parking brake and the kick panel. Even if it did fit, it is too long and would hit the vent cover.

I have tried both vents on both sides. The instructions say to slide the vent tab under the kick panel retainer and them slide it up against the dash.

Take a look and see what you guys think.

I can not use the dash mounted orignal vents, as I have custom gauges installed to the left and right of the steering column that would be in the way.

If I were to add an under dash trim piece like Ecklers sells, where would I be able to buy the rectangular a/c vents to put in it?











Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 

acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11012
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
10-07-12 03:15 PM - Post#2277589    
    In response to 1956chevy

Vents are in the Vintage catalog. Link to catalog.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
Pistol 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3680
Pistol
Age: 71
Loc: Terryville, Ct.
Reg: 11-11-02
10-07-12 03:29 PM - Post#2277596    
    In response to 1956chevy

I got the same thing with my 57 and the first thing I did was to chuck those in the trash, I felt that if I used them it would cheapen the look I went with the original style.

Pete
Awl speeling misteaks r myn
57 BelAir 2DRHT My-Pics


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-07-12 03:46 PM - Post#2277600    
    In response to Pistol

Pete, I agree but can't use the original type vents. I have custom guages installed to the left of the steering column.

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-07-12 03:47 PM - Post#2277601    
    In response to acardon

Thanks for the link Don!

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27357
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-07-12 06:07 PM - Post#2277651    
    In response to 1956chevy

There are smaller versions of the stock vents on the market now. Check Eckler's and Danchuk.



 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11012
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
10-07-12 06:23 PM - Post#2277658    
    In response to Rick_L

Vintage has the smaller Proline dash vents for 55-57's. This link shows the difference in size from the stock vent. Link to vent install.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
cnbell 
Senior Member
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
10-08-12 07:34 AM - Post#2277797    
    In response to 1956chevy

Unfortunately that's about as well as those supplied vents are going to fit....

There are several companies that sell smaller underdash vents. These are what I used, I think I bought them from Old Air, but Vintage and others sell them in black plastic or chrome.

Don, thanks for the Proline link, those are nice.





Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-08-12 08:44 AM - Post#2277819    
    In response to cnbell

Craig, thanks for the photo of your install. That is a great idea. Question: What did you do with your vent cables? It looks like your a/c vents are exactly where my cowl vent cables are located.

I will certainly look into buying a different set of vouvers. The supplied vouvers don't look very nice.

Here is a photo of why I can not use the position where factory a/c vents are located. A previous owner had installed gauges that would be in the way.



I am considering the dash extension that Ecklers sells. That would allow me to install four nice looking vents under the dash.



I just need to make sure that this will clear my parking brake handle and not require modification of my steering column trim. As for the vent cable/knobs they can just be mounted below the extension I guess. (Just spoke to Eckler's. They say the parking brake hamdle will clear the extension. I just don't think I want to pay over $300 with shipping for a piece of sheet metal!)

Craig, I am REALLY liking how clean your install looks.

How does that sound fellow Chevytalk'ers?

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


Edited by 1956chevy on 10-08-12 09:03 AM. Reason for edit: Info added..

 
WagonMan 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1622
WagonMan
Age: 70
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Reg: 10-26-04
10-08-12 08:57 AM - Post#2277825    
    In response to 1956chevy

You can put spacers in the P/brake mount just like the factory did on AC cars.

Charles

57 210 4dr. Wagon(bought '82)
-350/700r4 Mild Custom
56 BA 4dr. ht.(bought '98)
-265/TH350 Mostly Stock
29 Ford Sedan(bought '75)
-4.3L/TH350(in progress)


 
awsum55 
Senior Member
Posts: 8856
awsum55
Age: 66
Loc: O.P. Kansas
Reg: 09-27-01
10-08-12 01:58 PM - Post#2277902    
    In response to WagonMan

You can make your own valance out of plywood and wrap it with the same material that you have on your dash. That is what I'm going to do, I also can't see spending $300 to have one.

Five things that you cannot recover in life:

* The Stone after it's thrown
* The Word after it's said
* An Occasion after it's missed
* The Time after it's gone
* A person after they die


 
Pistol 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3680
Pistol
Age: 71
Loc: Terryville, Ct.
Reg: 11-11-02
10-08-12 02:34 PM - Post#2277910    
    In response to 1956chevy

Keith I like that padded dash setup you have there

Pete
Awl speeling misteaks r myn
57 BelAir 2DRHT My-Pics


 
awsum55 
Senior Member
Posts: 8856
awsum55
Age: 66
Loc: O.P. Kansas
Reg: 09-27-01
10-09-12 09:29 AM - Post#2278155    
    In response to Pistol

It's interesting to see that there is more than one way to do a padded dash with a "French Seam". The guy that did mine used one seam to follow the humps.



Five things that you cannot recover in life:

* The Stone after it's thrown
* The Word after it's said
* An Occasion after it's missed
* The Time after it's gone
* A person after they die


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-09-12 11:40 AM - Post#2278192    
    In response to awsum55

Thank you to everyone for their input on this. I really like the clean look of Craig's install. I have purchased two of the vents similar to what Craig used, the drop down vents for each side. I can relocate my cowl vent cables/knobs to the furthest outside ends of the dash.

I bought my vents from Nostalgic Air Parts. They also have a 37" x 3" valance for under the dash. I also bought one of those for $30.

I am going to get my hoses mocked up and see if I have room under the dash for my MSD ignition module. If I do, then I will probably just use the two drop down vents I bought, and the vintage air center vents. If it does not fit, or I think the valance looks better I will use that. Either way I am going to sand the ABS plastic smooth and paint each housing the color of my dash. If I use the valance I may use the leather instead.

I had not thought about using plywood for a valance. My only concern would be trying to mount the vents in the thicker wood. I suppose if I used 1/4" plywood around the vents it would work. Depends on the type of vent. That is certainly an option to get exactly what I want. Thank you.

As for the nice comments on my padded dash, thank you. Wish I could take credit for it. It was done decades ago. :-) I do love it though!

I will post pics once I get the vents installed. Thanks all!

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
Pistol 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3680
Pistol
Age: 71
Loc: Terryville, Ct.
Reg: 11-11-02
10-09-12 02:28 PM - Post#2278231    
    In response to awsum55

Awsum that does look good

Pete
Awl speeling misteaks r myn
57 BelAir 2DRHT My-Pics


 
cnbell 
Senior Member
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
10-09-12 05:00 PM - Post#2278262    
    In response to 1956chevy

Keith, I removed the vent cables because I turned the air vents into speaker cabinets. If I still had the vents I would do the same, just relocate the vent cables to where you like them. The Eklers plenum looks nice but I wonder how it looks with the rest of the dash, it's hard to tell from their small catalog picture.

I wish Vintage would offer a few other options for the center vent but painting them the dash color does help to hide them a bit.

Look forward to the pics....




Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-09-12 05:44 PM - Post#2278288    
    In response to cnbell

Thanks Craig. I have ordered some material samples to try and match the material used for the padded dash, kick panels, etc. I will cover the housings in that if I get a match.

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
awsum55 
Senior Member
Posts: 8856
awsum55
Age: 66
Loc: O.P. Kansas
Reg: 09-27-01
10-09-12 06:23 PM - Post#2278308    
    In response to 1956chevy

The plywood I'm going to use is called Luan Plywood (L-Ply) which is 1/8" thick. The same stuff they use to make door panels. It's light and pretty stable wood.

I plan on gluing (w/epoxy) a metal rod to the bottom edge of a piece of L-Ply to keep it straight and to give it a nice round edge. Then wrap it with the same ultra leather as the dash and cut in a few gauges and some A/C vents.

I think that will be the best match for my dash, and I do need some room for a couple of gauges when I install my Procharger.

Five things that you cannot recover in life:

* The Stone after it's thrown
* The Word after it's said
* An Occasion after it's missed
* The Time after it's gone
* A person after they die


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
10-10-12 03:49 AM - Post#2278375    
    In response to awsum55

I must admit that I kept thinking about using wood for a valance all last night. Thank you for the info about L-ply. I will look into it. I was thinking of using a normal piece of plywood with the thin piece glued to the front of it. The thick piece would have oversized cutouts for the vents so that the vent mounting tabs would have room to expand and catch when the vent is pushed in from the front.

Using wood gives me great flexibility making it just how I want. It all depends how the plastic valance looks that I ordered.

Thanks for the great idea!

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
C57Heaven 
Senior Member
Posts: 2021
C57Heaven
Loc: Ohio USA
Reg: 08-02-00
10-10-12 06:39 PM - Post#2278618    
    In response to awsum55

  • awsum55 Said:
It's interesting to see that there is more than one way to do a padded dash with a "French Seam". The guy that did mine used one seam to follow the humps.





The seams in this picture match all of the original dash pads I have seen.

Peace,
John H.
55 BA 2dr Sed owned since 1979, sold 6/1/09;
1957 Conv (starting to restore)


 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
11-02-12 01:26 PM - Post#2285460    
    In response to 1956chevy

FINISHED!!!

Yesterday I completed the install of my Vintage Air system and got my interior all finished (for now ).

I was seriously considering an under dash valance for my a/c vents and cowl vent cables. The wood valance didn't seem like something I wanted to try considering the mounting of the a/c vents, parking brake and cowl vent cables. I ordered a generic plastic dash valance from Nostalgic Air Parts, but didnt like how it looked or fit.

The under dash valance that Eckler's has would have been a good item. I called and finally got ahold of someone with details about it. The parking brake handle is moved from under the dash to the bottom of the steel valance. If you wish to continue to use the cowl vent cables, Danchuck carries new cowl vent cables that use two nuts on a threaded shaft to hold on the mounting bracket. The mounting bracket can be removed from the cable, and it can be flush mounted in the dash valance (I called Danchuck and had someone go out and get a cable to look at and verifiy this).

However, the total cost of this would have been over $400 with shipping. This just seemed like too much $$ for a piece of steel and a couple cables.

I ended up buying a couple two vein chrome ball vents and round vent holders from Nostalgic Air Parts for use on the end positions of the dash. I kept the dual vent assembly that Vintage Air sent with the kit.

I took my painted ashtry to Lowes and had them match the color in a sample size of satin latex paint. I bought a can of Valspar plastic primer, and a can of Valspar gloss clearcoat. I sanded the housings with fine steel wool. I sprayed them with plastic primer. A few hours later I brushed two coats of the latex paint on them. Then the next day I applied the gloss clearcoat. Warning: Make sure you wait a full day before applying the clearcoat, or it may get "fish eyes" in the paint.

I ended up with a perfect match to my dash in both color and finish!




I wanted to continue to use my cowl vent cables. I was able to relocate the drivers side cable to the left side of the parking brake handle.




On the passengers side I was able to keep the cable in the stock location.



Here is what the completed install looks like.









You can see from the photos why I was not able to install the a/c vents in the stock position. My custom gauges would be in the way.




This whole project snowballed so bad. It started out as me buying the dash trim. It ended up with new dash trim, rebuilt speedo, new cluster housings, new clock, new heater bezel, vintage air system, BeCool condensor, Ididit column with key and dimmer switch added, CPP 500 series steering box, new CPP chrome master cylinder and booster, new disk brake calipers and all new lines. Of course all new pulley and belt system on the engine.

The inside is finished. Now to finish the plumbing under the hood. 11 months later, but I am still happily married!!

Thank you to everyone for your input during this project. I hope that my explanations will help someone down the road.

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
WagonCrazy 
"11th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 3064
WagonCrazy
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 06-07-05
11-02-12 02:36 PM - Post#2285467    
    In response to 1956chevy

Wow Kieth. that turned out really nice. Latex paint with a brush?

The typical snowball effect called "a tri-five build" has happened to you too, but your car is waaaaaaay better off because of it.

Super nice interior. Simple, clean, matching...great job.

57 Nomad -LS1 with C4 suspension
59 Apache Fleetside Shortbed BigWindow



 
REBORN55 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2210
REBORN55
Loc: DeSoto, Illinois. 62924
Reg: 01-21-01
11-02-12 05:44 PM - Post#2285542    
    In response to WagonCrazy

Very nice--gives me some ideas when I insatll the a/c in my 55 this winter

Ken http://www.picturetrail.com/reborn55


 
roger55 
Contributor
Posts: 606

Reg: 08-07-09
11-02-12 09:01 PM - Post#2285595    
    In response to 1956chevy

A little expensive but well worth it.





 
1956chevy 
Contributor
Posts: 304
1956chevy
Loc: Orlando, FL .
Reg: 05-11-01
11-03-12 06:10 AM - Post#2285650    
    In response to roger55

Roger, I would have gone with the stock a/c vents in the dash, but my gauges were in the way.

Keith Marang
Webmaster
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club
www.55-57chevys.com


 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8486

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
11-03-12 06:51 AM - Post#2285660    
    In response to 1956chevy

It is FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY sooooooooooooo nice to see some 55-7s with manual trannys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The installation of AC plus a manual tranny just makes the car so RIGHT!

I'm so sick and tired of people whining about being old and tired of shifting. I'll be 70 next month and I would NOT have an auto tranny in any of my cars!



 
cnbell 
Senior Member
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
11-03-12 12:35 PM - Post#2285743    
    In response to DZAUTO

Ha, have a five speed in the hardtop, putting an auto in the Nomad....

Keith, great work, it really came out nice....



Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
REBORN55 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2210
REBORN55
Loc: DeSoto, Illinois. 62924
Reg: 01-21-01
11-03-12 03:29 PM - Post#2285782    
    In response to DZAUTO

I am 65 and still enjoy the heck out of shifting through he gears.


Ken http://www.picturetrail.com/reborn55


 
6-bangertim 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 2218

Age: 60
Loc: El Cajon, Calif.
Reg: 11-30-08
11-03-12 05:09 PM - Post#2285798    
    In response to REBORN55

X2 - When I get too old to shift, my driving days will be over. Both my '7's are 3-pedal cars. More smiles per mile!

Kieth, THAT LOOKS BITCHIN' - GREAT JOB!!!
Hard to believe THAT is just latex paint with clear sprayed over. What brand of clear??? Gotta love the price AND the results!

Take Care, Tim

Too Poor to Restore...My Nifty 150!
Proud owner of MISS NOVEMBER - 2011 Tri-Five Calender


 
RJHall 
Member
Posts: 71

Loc: So Cal
Reg: 07-30-04
11-03-12 08:14 PM - Post#2285860    
    In response to 6-bangertim

X3 Owned my 55 2dr sedan since 85, did a mild restore then with a 350/munice 4-speed. I enjoyed it this way till 2011 when my Son and I did a body off and installed an LS1 and mated it too the muncie. For me the muncie is fine as I don't travel very far. We also have a 61 Impala (aka bubbletop) that's a 400 small block with a munice 4-speed.

http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725...

http://www.348-409.com/forum/index.php?threads/61-...

Randy
some times in life image is everything



RHall
1955 2dr sedan
5.3 LS1/Munice 4-speed.
1961 Impala 2dr Bubbletop
400/Munice 4-speed


 

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