hello everyone. I recently bought a 73 super beetle. I'm thinking about ordering an A/C unit from I.C.E air conditioning. 73's only have 46 horsepower, so I'm wondering how greatly an air conditioner would affect the performance of my car. If anyone could provide any information for me, I'd be very thankful.
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Seattlebug
Dead,

I don't have any experience with A/C in a Bug, but generally in cars an A/C unit pulls about 5 HP from an engine. It takes a lot of power to cool or heat things, and air is no different. Since you only have 46 HP to begin with, you will notice the difference between A/C On and A/C Off. I can feel the difference driving a 3.0 Ford engine. The difference will be greater with an engine half that size.

Just a thought, here--46 HP. You must be running a completely stock engine? Since you're considering installing an A/C unit, why not also think about an extractor-type exhaust and perhaps a slightly larger carburetor? That should give you enough of a HP boost to make up for the A/C installation.

Now, would the A/C be useful enough to make it worthwhile? Installing it would mean more "stuff" in the engine deck making it harder to work on the engine, say. Is your SB your daily driver? I can see it being justifiable then.

It would definitely make summer driving more pleasurable. Just turn off the A/C while passing on a two-lane.
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Seattlebug
Which brings to mind a friend of mine some years back who had a '63 Beetle with a bumper sticker on the back that read, "You have just been passed by 36 horsepower."

Air-cooled humor.

Speaking of air-cooled, did anyone else catch that article in Popular Mechanics a few months back in which Jay Leno described the air-cooled homebuilt that he bought? It has a wheel base of 190 inches and runs an M47 Patton tank engine (something over 1500 ft-lbs of torque) backed by an Allison transmission. The fans--both of them--are on the top of the engine, which makes driving the open-cockpit car "like drving with your face in the hair dryer," he said. The engine alone weighs as much as my Beetle.

How many head bolts does that thing have?

I think I'll stick with 1.6.
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maclu88

hey, im not sure if my comment makes any sense, but wouldnt an AC kit make the air cooled engine run a bit too hot for liking?

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Ryan

Dig difference in the compressors used in your old stand compared to modern units.  They are much more efficiant now (7 piston compressors) and use less power to cool the same amount of air.  Contact John Connolly at aircooled.net and ask him about the AC unit he carries.  --Ryan

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