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DIY - Ferrari 308 AC System; Everything you wanted to know

Discussion in '308/328' started by Sean F., Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #1 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    And then some.

    I'll try and get the photos inserted as soon as I can, but for now, here is my write up on everything I've learned, and done with my system. I'll also get the PN posted as well.

    Sean

    There as has been a ton of posts and information regarding upgrading the Ferrari 308 AC System. I’ve read through most of them top to bottom because living in Houston means you can’t live without an AC system in your car.

    As we are all away, the 308 AC system is adequate a best and has been described as a mouse farting over an ice cube. It does not take much looking to see that the system is an after-thought thrown on by Ferrari for its US customers (EU cars were frequently sold with no AC, especially the early ones).

    This is a summary of what I’ve found so for, and what I’ve done to my AC system to make it run better. This is only a summary of what I have done to my car. This is not a recommendation that you do the same to yours. Any work to undertake is done at your own risk and I accept no responsibility for the performance or lack thereof for any work you or anyone else completes on your car while referencing this thread.
    Also, to the OEM zealots out there, this is not for you. I don’t plan on showing my car, nor do I insist on 100% originality. I want to enjoy driving my car, I want the AC system to work, and I want my car to run well. I can appreciate that “Enzo Intended” whatever he intended (and since almost NO one here met him you’re full of it to suggest it anyway) but Enzo cared about racing cars and he made production cars to support his race business. I’d venture to guess, and again I never met him so it’s only a guess, that he didn’t give a damn about the 308 AC system or the customers as the design would not suck so bad. For god’s sakes the compressor is out of a Ford TRUCK! Sorry for the side rant but it’s the whole “Enzo Intended” thing is a pet peeve of mine.

    I’ve broken out the topics into a few areas and you can see how far I went in replacing/upgrading this system. The topics will range from a simple fan upgrade at the condenser to a whole replacement of every part/piece/hose in the system.

    But before I start, there are a few things you can do to verify your system is at least running optimally as it sits. The first is to verify that the system is has no leaks. Any competent AC shop or service center should be able to do a leak test on your system to verify that it works correctly. The systems in these cars are old and the hoses and seals do not age well. If you find a leak, do what you can to fix it then have a proper charge of R-12 put into your system (check the owner’s manual; mine says 2.2lbs). DO NOT PUT LEAK STOP INTO YOUR CAR. THIS IS PUTTING A BAND AID ON A GAPING FLESH WOUND! Those two things alone should give you enough cold air on those blistering hot Texas summer days to keep the sweat out of your eyes (but not your back, arms, legs and hind quarters).

    SEAL RADIATOR

    This is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do to your system. The foam around the sides and top of the radiator degrades over time and becomes brittle. Replacement foam can be found at Home Depot or Lowes where you find weather stripping/window seal. Buy the window AC Unit 1-1/2”x 1-1/2” foam seal and some 3M spray adhesive. You’ll need more than one if you’re going to do both sides and the top.

    Remove the old foam off the hood (if it’s even still there) and line up where the new foam will go on the hood. Once you’ve got the location and length right, put the foam on a piece of cardboard and spray the 3M adhesive on ONE side. Press it back on the hood and close the hood. This will compress the foam and hold it in place while the adhesive dries.
    If nothing exists on the sides you can squish/push/mash some new foam between the radiator and the sides of the car. If there is still something there leave it alone as it’s still sealing the radiator and it’s not really worth trying to pull it out and put in new unless you’re going to remove the radiator.

    The foam will help seal the sides and top of the radiator against the car and direct air flow over the condenser and radiator. Air flow will take the path of least resistance and if there are gaping holes in the sides and/or top of the cooling path, it’s going to go that way and AROUND your condenser and radiator system lowering the effectiveness of your AC and cooling system.
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  3. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #2 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    LOWER VALANCE VENTS

    This is only use full if you’ve got an early car. The “i” and QV auto’s have a vent in the hood to extract all that hot air coming off your radiator. If you’re running an older carb car, take a look at the front of your car and ask yourself “Where does all that hot air coming off the radiator go to anyway?” Don’t see a clear exit? Neither do I. Some, and I stress the word some here, goes out the vents behind the head lights, but not a whole lot. The majority of it goes right back into the fire wall at the front side of the car…and a good bunch of that goes into the cabin further increasing the heat we are so desperately trying to remove from the insides of our cars.

    If I could find the post I would link it here, but since I don’t see it I’ll have to do my best to describe what some folks have done with the undersides of their cars to improve air flow. There is an Al cover over the bottom of the car that protects the undersides of the car from road debris. Remove that cover and have it duplicated at a local sheet metal fab shop, or DIY if you’re so inclined. In addition to drilling out the holes, drill some ventilation slots into the cover to help pull hot air out of the front end of the car. Reinstall the cover and voila, now that hot air has somewhere to go besides inside the car. You could also find yourself a QV hood and use that instead but that is not what Enzo intended….;)

    FAN UPGRADE
    This is one of the easiestand cheapest things you can do to improve the cooling performance of your car. The tiny 4-bladed Lucas fans may have been the bees knees in cooling in 1965 and Ferrari must have stocked up to last a life time and had them lying round when the 308 production runs started, but it’s the 21st century now and there are tons of better options out there.

    The most commonly used upgrade is the Hayden 10” or 12” electric fans. They have a curved 8/10-bladed design and a shroud built into them. They blow about 4x the air that the old Lucas fans do and will not over tax the electrical system or short anything out. www.hayden.com has all the information you need about them. The 10” fans draw about 6A and the 12” fans about 9A. Most local auto parts stores carry them for $50 to $75 each.

    First you’ll need to remove your old Lucas fans and the only way to do this is to remove the grill on the front side of the car. There is a round clamping system that holds on the fans and it’s not too difficult to access once that grill has been removed. To remove the grill, take the bolts off the grill and slide it out the front of the car (INSERT PHOTO). This will allow you to access the bolts underneath the fans, (INSERT PHOTO)disconnect the electrical connections and slide out the fans (good heavens, look at these things, I’m not sure they could blow over a card house at full blast!) (INSERT PHOTO). I would also recommend you remove the large brackets that hold the fan to the car to allow better access up front and also remove air flow restrictions to the radiator. There are 4 bolts holding each.

    There are many means and methods out there to mount the fans, the easiest of which is to use the zip locks (for lack of a better term) to attach them directly to the condenser. Note that Hayden warns against running the zip locks through both the radiator and condenser to make this work. I did not try it, but you might be able to remove the bolts holding the condenser and swing it out just enough to insert the mounting locks behind the condenser. (INSERT PHOTO) Some folks don’t like that method and instead fabricated brackets or other methods to install the fans. Here is a long thread outlining use and installation of the fans. You’ll see later what I did as I was doing a 100% replacement and used the new condenser and plastic clips that came with my fans and new hardware to fit my system together.

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76238&highlight=hayden

    Also, search “Hayden” under the Technical Q&A Forum on Ferrarichat.com

    Double check and verify your blades and fans PUSH air prior to installation.

    SPAL also makes similar fans but they are more expensive. However, the 10” fan blows more air than the 12” Hayden per the manu. Web site (http://www.spalusa.com/store/main.aspx)

    Lots of photos on those theads.
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  4. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #3 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    RELAY
    It’s not immediate clear why Ferrari set the system up this way, but when the AC unit is running only ONE fan comes on up front. In order to rectify this, you’ll need to install a new relay inside the car. (Full marks to Blue Max for this simple solution)

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showpost.php?p=139700445&postcount=72

    Go buy a 12v DC SPST (single pole-single throw) 30 amp relay from Radio Shack. Connected the AC jumper and a ground to the two poles as a trigger, then the other switch side, I ran to the Fan Relays and ground. Works like a champ! The fans use their own relays and fuses. No additional power to the relay board. I eliminate the AC fan relay and add the SPST relay on the lower right corner of the board (see picture). The original AC fan relay (usually occupying the upper middle spot) is now on the lower left, as a spare.

    If you have not already done so, I highly recommend a set of color wire diagrams from Paul Bennett. If you plan to own your car for a while and do perform maintenance, it is a solid $20 investment.

    REQUIRES REMOVAL OF REFRIGERANT AND RECHAGE

    The following upgrades to your AC system will require the removal and recharge of the refrigerant in the system. Have a competent shop you trust remove the refrigerant from the system prior to starting any work. DO NOT VENT YOUR SYSTEM TO ATMOSPHERE IN YOUR GARAGE. NOT ONLY IS THE R12 volatile, it’s against the law!

    If you happen to be doing a 30k service on your car, now would be a good time to complete any one, or all of these options as you have to remove all the same stuff, and the gas tank on the passenger side as well to get to the parts and pieces that need replacement. This would also be a good time to buy some new crossover hoses from Dave Helms as I did (shameless plug for a great resource and f-chat sponsor!). I’m not going to cover the removal of the passenger side tire well or gas tanks because if you’re actually going to DIY this, you’d better know how to do that already and besides, there are about 50-threads on f-chat that cover those steps.

    If you haven’t done so by this point, you’ll need to make friendly with a local AC shop or parts supplier for these steps. This is because you’ll need to install new fittings for these options. If you replace the hoses, you’ll need to install the long hoses from the rear to the front PRIOR to putting on the new fittings. So you’ll have to either borrow or buy a hose crimping tool to make your new fittings, or get everything set up and drive to the shop so they can install the fittings for you (maybe a good choice since they will do the system charging as well).


    NEW COMPRESSOR

    The old compressor is a York model built under license in Italy by Aspera. York has been bought out by CCI http://www.tccimfg.com/compressors-2cylinder.php and they are building the York replacement unit. You can buy from a parts supplier and do a direct replacement of your existing Aspera model with a higher capacity unit which should increase your systems capacity and cooling ability. You’ll need to swap the clutch and pulley system off your existing unit and mount it on the new CCI unit (the clutch system and pulley are designed to work with the gates v-belts you have on your car).

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showpost.php?p=136100907&postcount=8
    This is from a 330GT. I do not know if this will direct bolt up to 308, but it looks like it will. I have not looked at this option so proceed at your own risk.

    What I’ve done is replace my Aspera with a Sanden Rotary Compressor Model SD7. Strangely enough, a very similar rotary compressor is installed on the EU model 308’s and 328’s (A Sankyo DS507 – which is no longer made and $3000 from various sources). Not only that the OEM mounting bracket is different (so it would fit the rotary) and the belt is a 11M875 which is exactly the size you’ll need for this set up. (more on replacement belts below). I did look at purchasing the mounting hardware for the rotary installation from but at over $600, I decided I could use what was available, and fab a few pieces on my own. You’ll also need an adapter mounting bracket to attach it to the existing Ferrari compressor mounting bracket. It's basically and L shaped bracket with an extra "ear" in the middle. If you have a welder and the ability to cut 3/16" steel, make your own.

    If you’re doing a 30k then the existing bracket has already been removed. I found it was easier to put that mounting bracket on the car and then attach the adapter plate when installing this unit.

    Now comes the on/off/on/off part of the procedure. The old mounting studs for the Aspera can be used to mount the adapter plate, or you can put in new hardware. I used various washers, bolts, and nuts to put it all together and get the spacing correct so the belt would line up and nothing was rubbing on the gas tank or cam cover. I started with the “back” bolts first (closest to the fire wall), sliding them thru the holes then rotated the everything up and put those last two bolts in. I also used hex bolts as the smaller head allowed for better clearance around the pulley. I used an 11m875 Gates V-Belt (Gates V-belts are the same as the OEM for about 1/4th the cost). When you buy your AC belt get two, and buy a few water pump belts as well. If you live in an average sized town you'll be able to find a local supplier. Just go to Gates web site and do a dealer search. You'll want a wholesale dealer, not a auto parts store. Most of them can't or won't get the V-belts.

    Remember to slide the belt over the new compressor before you put everything together or you'll have to take it all apart and cuss the whole time (ask me how I know!)

    NOTE: One thing I did not try that the more adventurous might consider is removing the Sanden pulley and clutch and retrofitting the Aspera/Ferrari pulley/clutch system onto the Aspera unit. I decided this was not worth the effort and left it alone.

    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32326

    1st photo is the compressor installed with standard hex head bolts. These do not fit well and I switched to an Allen head bolt b/c the head is smaller and does not run so close to the compressor pulley.

    2nd photo is looking up from under the car. See the clearance is a little better. Note also the washers between the compressor mounting flange and adapter plate. You'll have to play with that fit to get it all lined up correctly.
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  5. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #4 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    NEW HOSES
    Not the easiest of upgrades, but the old hoses in these cars get old and brittle, and frequently have cracks in them. The gas tank area is notorious as the hoses were routed over the top of the tank, right near the strap area and holes will frequently develop right where they contact and rub against each other (INSERT PHOTO).When I put in new hoses, I cut some old heater hose and zip tied/wrapped the new hose over the gas tank to prevent damage to the new hoses.

    I know what you’re thinking; or lordylordy Sean, do I really want to screw with this. We’ve all read and heard about the nightmares of removing these hoses and putting in new ones…well I’m here to tell you, it CAN be a 5-minute job. NO KIDDING! (OK, not total, I mean 5-minute to remove and install the new hoses).

    See this, (1st Photo)it is called an inline barbed fitting. You’ll need a #10 and #12 (about $5) and you’ll be thanking me from the bottom of your heart.

    Once you get the gas tank out, you’ll need to cut off the old fittings and thread the hoses down behind the frame/body work bracing so it’s sticking back into the rear tire well. Take those barbed fittings and slide them into the old hose. Slide your new hose onto the other end of the barbed fitting.

    You’ll need to remove the front tire and liner and disconnect the old hoses from the condenser and expansion valve. It might help to cut off those fitting as well. I found it helpful to remove the heater fan ducting that runs up in that same area in front of the wheel well. Snake those two hoses down into the wheel well. (INSERT PHOTO)
    Now you’ve got a straight shot from front to back. I lubed up the old and new hoses with some liquid soap to grease the skids. You’ll need a helper here to push on one end while you pull on the other end. It latterly took my brother and me 5 minutes to pull the new hoses through. I think too many folks try to use string, or duct tape, or some other method to pull the new hoses thru and those methods really just get in the way. Using the barbed fittings essentially give you one smooth hose to pull/push in out with nothing hanging out getting in the way. Well worth the $10 you’ll spend on those fittings.
    You’ll also need new fittings (see my note above).
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  6. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #5 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    NEW EVAP BLOWER MOTOR AND SCROLL FANS

    Roby Baylor/Ultimate Pedals R&R the evap and fans

    Thread http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=164367&page=2

    Post #61 http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showpost.php?p=137028672&postcount=61

    I followed Roby’s instructions and removed my evap coil and had it tested (it tested out fine). I bought a new 3-speed blower motor and scroll fans and put in some now sealing foam around the evap coil (no more foam blowing into the cabin), used the old mounting brackets on the motor (had to shim it a bit with some foam sealer), riveted it all back together and put it back in the car (have fun with those gymnastics and you’ll need a helper here as well). It blows loads more air into the cabin.

    1st photo is the old set up. This is where all the foam that blows around in your cabin comes from.

    Photo 2 is old fan motor and new motor

    Photo 3 is new fan motor installed on evap. coil housing

    Photo 4 is Evap coil with some extra sealing foam

    Photo 5 is Evap coil and new liner foam inside evap coil housing.
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  8. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    NEW CONDENSER

    This will be the final part and as soon as I can I'll get it written up.

    I'll get the photos inserted this week, and I'll put this in PDF format as well for D/L.
     
  9. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    #7 Sean F., Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This is where your car takes a piss on your floor b/c you haven't driven it for two years....and also you did not get the thermostat replaced but now you will!
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  10. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Excellent information - I've added this thread to the "DIY" sticky references here.
     
  11. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    Thanks Mike.

    Shouldn't it go under "climate control"

    Also, is it possible to change the title of my thread to "DIY - Ferrari 308 AC System; Everything you wanted to know".

    So it makes a little more sense?

    Thanks

    Sean
     
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  13. rufus

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    Sean, when I go to look up sanden compressors I find lots of different models of the SD7 (different mounts etc.). As I am away from my car I can't stroll out and look if I need ear mounts or whatever... Have an 82 308 GTSi which I presume is pretty much the same as yours; wd be grateful for help! (This is my first shot at A/C... tx for your post!)
     
  14. George Vosburgh

    George Vosburgh F1 Rookie

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    Sean, Which SPAL 10" fan were you referring to?
     
  15. Jonny Law

    Jonny Law F1 Rookie
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    +1

    Also, I like your fender protector, mine is black. :)
     
  16. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    Pete;

    Sorry for the late reply. The model is SH7D15. It has the ears mounts.

    http://www.sanden.com/index.php?tag=U5H0AMX7Q
     
  17. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    George;
    http://www.spalusa.com/store/main.aspx?p=itemdetail&item=30100435

    IIRC it's these ones. If you check the product data, and compare it to the Hayden fans you'll see the current draw and CFM ratings for the fans.

    SPAL
    http://www.spalusa.com/pdf/30100435_SPEC.PDF#view=FitH
    844CFM and 0" W.C.

    HAYDEN
    http://www.haydenauto.com/upload/HaydenAuto/Documents/Cat_Hayden/2007-hayden-electric-fans.pdf
    650CFM at 0" W.C. for 10" fans
    800CFM at 0" W.C. for 12" fans

    The 10" fans are much easier to fit to the OEM and New AC Condensor.

    Appologies to all for not updating this thread with the Condensor information. I'll try to get to it soon.
     
  18. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

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  19. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    Steve,

    Good suggestion. Does that unit mount to the front and back ears on the compressor? Can't really tell from the photo but I assume yes?
     
  20. ATSAaron

    ATSAaron Formula 3
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    I'm going to bump this up.

    Does anyone have the upgraded fan motor and fan blade model/part number? I've been searching for 45 minutes and can't find it.

    Aaron
     
  21. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

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    since someone just sent me a e-mail about the fan blower motors I'll also reply here.
    My receipts just shows
    "2-SHAFT-BLW.MTR UAC BM4320"

    Amazon has the motor
    https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Conditioner-BM-4320-Blower/dp/B003R3N4AU

    The motor is a slightly smaller than OEM so I had to put some foam around it so the mounting brackets would work (noted above)

    Blower Wheel PN is OME 28-01505
    https://www.robertsandson.com/product/28-01505/

    This is all PN listed on receipts from 2010 so you may have trouble sourcing some of this based on these PN's.

    You could also take measurements off your old wheels and try to match them here;
    https://www.uacparts.com/legacy/UACProducts_BW.html

    All parts listed here;https://www.uacparts.com/legacy/UACProducts_BM.html

    note that web site looks to be dated 2009 so....
     
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  22. BrockBenson

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    Hi Sean, how well is your air-con working after these upgrades? What would you rate the % improvement over the OEM system? Also, did you replace the condenser? There was nothing in the posts above? If you did, what condenser did you use?
    Cheers, BB
     
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  23. ATSAaron

    ATSAaron Formula 3
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    The latest and greatest ceramic window tint makes a HUGE difference in AC efficiency. They make it in very light tint that still has 80% or so of the heat reflection capabilities. Do the windshield too. I've even got it on every west facing window in my house. I have not done my 308 yet (because I usually have the roof off and AC off), but recently did my turbo 348. It went from unbearable in daylight hours to daily driver that will freeze your nips.

    My AC system has similar parts to the stuff listed above. SPAL makes a blower assembly that barely fits. We used that on Tillman's 328 and I think we achieved 100% better airflow. We also modified his evaporator box to add two additional vents that we placed under the dash near the doors, one passenger, one driver side. I took wind speed measurements before we started and if my memory is right the best we had out of any vent before was 7mph with the defrost vents closed, afterwards we had 9-11mph out of all seven vents (three dash, two center, two outer).

    Aaron
     
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