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MG MGB Technical - airconditioning mgb

Does anyone have info on airconditioning kits, possible other makes adapted etc, summers get hotter here in australia as i get older, thanks, Patrick
ph healey

Top up, both windows down and the window in the top unzipped. Makes it bearable even in Southern California in the summer. Dave
David DuBois

Received an email from Nepean Classic Cars in Penrith Sydney Aust. They showed an A/C unit they had put in an early MGB. Crude installation but I'm sure it is effective. Was of interest to me as we have BMC Dealer A/C in our LE
Hope this helps.
Kim R.
K Rutherford

I am currently preparing an article with photographs, on this subject for my website. This is about an installation into an MGBGT, which I have since sold. I am also waiting on a contribution from a friend who fitted one into an MGB GT using mostly second hand parts from the car wreckers. Mine was professionally fitted and worked beautifully. I believe his is still working very well, after some 8 years. If you care to email your addresses I will send the info once completed.
maurie prior


This one is currently listed on E-bay. Say's it is from a B. SO would make it much easier to install.

Does not have the compressor, but the new smaller units are probably better for the B anyway.
Bruce Cunha


Could you please add me to your mailing list for the a/c details.

Thanks Graham


Moss Europe has released a comprehensive a/c kit for the MGB.

All hardware & brackets are supplied along with Intercooler, pulleys, belts and distribution unit.

Part # is GAC2500 but I couldn't comment if it is fair value for money at 1175 uk pounds.



I dont need air condioning only gays have that in the uk if i am too hot i take my pants off before they catch fire.

I would think that you need A/C in England more than we do in OZ ! My GT fogs up in the rain quicker than any other car I've owned & takes longer to demist than any other car I've owned. So when you consider how often it rains in England. I rest my case. Barrie E
Barrie E

Barrie, you need to find the leaks and dry the car out! Alternatively, apply a thin film of washing up liquid to the inside of the windows. This will cause you to get a thin, uniformish film of water rather than the mist making it easy to see through. An old motorcycle helmet trick.

One of the perils of driving a roadster with the hood down on a winter evening is that when you come out of the pub you have ice on the inside of the windsceen as well as the outside. If you scrape the ice off the inside you have to reapply the film of washing up liquid.
David Witham


Adding A/C to your B is not rocket science. But I find the price of 1175 for the Moss kit to be pretty steep. My system cost in the neighborhood of $1000 US. I was lucky to find one of the last compressor bracket kits available here in the US. I did trace all the brackets on paper for future duplication and promised copies to a couple of other enthusiasts - only to discover I couldn't find the tracings. One of these days I'll run across them. I hope...

There are a number of high-efficiency compact compressors available. I used a Sanden 507 - which I got, along with a 12" X 20"condenser,a drier and pressure switch from Antique Air in Tampa Florida, USA. I got an original style aftermarket evaporator unit on Ebay. Mine works fine, but I could have gotten it totally rebuilt by Antique Air if necessary. On the other hand, they make an underdash unit that looks to me like it to would fit very nicely on the passenger side of a B. It's not horribly expensive (' think it was in the neighborhood of $300-400 US). I thought it was neat that the aftermarket kit I bought allowed A/C to come from the built-in face vents, but I think that ends up being a liability. The face vents can no longer be used for fresh air, and unless you plug the plenum outlets to which the fresh air lines attach, you'll have fresh air coming in all the time - which you don't want if you're trying to heat or use A/C. I solved that with one of the magnetic covers available for the scuttle air intake grill.

Beyond that, it's just a matter of getting a hose shop to make up the hoses with the appropriate connectors crimped on. Wiring is simple, but relays and fuses must be used to protect the circuits and switches.

The more difficult issue in successful air conditioning is insulation. My experience was with a GT, although I've seen a number of roadsters with A/C and owners who claimed they worked very well. I put the Moss "Space Age" insulation between the GT roof and the headliner panel (it does fit!). Basically, every panel of the interior needs insulation. The windows should be tinted. And don't neglect the scuttle and bulkhead area behind the dashboard. I used header wrap (the stuff hotrodders use) on the exhaust pipe - from the connection to the manifold back to the muffler. This made a notable difference in insulation, along with an unexpected improvement in performance. I'm not done with insulating yet. Insulated under-dash liners should be used (you know - like the original ones that have long-since disappeared on most of our cars). The problem I have is that these liners will have to be modified to fit around the evaporator, ducts, and outlets. I'm also designing a heat shield to fit between the engine and the bulkhead. I was fortunate to find a set of GT rear window louvres but have yet to refinish and install them. They should make quite a difference.

Now that I have the A/C; I have two conflicting observations. The comfort is great! It means that "The Navigator" will gladly join me on the many 3000-4000+ mile MG trips I like to make each summer. My second observation is partly psychological, but the car feels a little less sporting, should I say a bit encumbered, and a bit harder to work on, with all the A/C stuff on board. I'm rather glad that I have another B (a '65 roadster in progress). That one was scheduled to get A/C also, but I've decided against it. It will rather be nice to have two Bs: one comfortable and useful, the other more like a bare-bones, nothing-included-except-for-what's-absolutely-necessary proper MGB, with absolutely no extra bulk to throw around. It will be more of a solo driving car.

' Hope my random thoughts are helpful...
Allen Bachelder

Seasons Greeting to everyone,
To Allen Bachelder, Couldn't agree more on all points, even though my A/C was very good, and essentially uninsulated, I could have used insulation to far greater, effect. As it eventuated I also felt slightly claustrophobic on long trips, and longed for the joy of wind in the hair motoring, and so much so, I sold the GT through lack of use. Now, in winter, we just rug up and use the Roadster with the heater turned up, and in summer I unzip the rear window, and leave the top up if it becomes too hot. The beauty of all this is I only need one car, and get to hear that glorious exhaust, more often. We don't get really bad weather in Australia, particularly, where we live. We don't get a lot of rain, it never snows, and in the summer if it gets unbearably hot, we don't go anywhere. I would still like to have the GT but as I said, it was really one car too many, besides it freed up enough money for me to buy an MGA roadster, which was a bit self indulgent, but just adds to the MG enjoyment!
maurie prior

I did forget two more important points. If you're adding A/C to a pre '68 model, I think you'll find it essential to replace the dynamo with an alternator. And if your B is already alternator-equipped, consider upgrading to a higher-output unit. There are a number of Bosch or Delco units out there that are practically interchangeable with the Lucas. I chose the 105 amp Delco alternator designed for the '94 Saturn. There is a website on this conversion out there somewhere. I apologize to the author for being unable to remember his name or the site address. But the conversion to this unit is VERY easy. And there are Bosch alternators available in the 60-65 amp range that even use the same connector plug. Maybe the 43 amp Lucas 16 ACR could handle the load just fine, but I also added two radiator fans and halogen headlamps - lots of current demand. ' Thought it better to err on the safe side.

And those two 10" Hayden electric cooling fans - mounted in front of the condenser - were a very good idea. Mine are wired so that they can be turned on in three ways: (1) automatically with the compressor, or (2) by a thermostatic switch in the radiator core, or (3) by a manual fan switch on the console. I tried running without the orginal fan mounted to the water pump, but found that the engine still cools better with it. But the two electric fans really help the condenser to dump heat.

I think I am done now...
Allen Bachelder

There is an 80 B LE at Ecology Auto Parts in Chula Vista that has A/C. The evaporator has gone missing, but the compressor, brackets, condenser, and receiver/drier are all still there.

Some very good sheet metal still there as well. Doors, front wings, and boot lis are in excellent condition. Cylinder head is gone too, but if I look in the back of my truck I think I can find it ;-).

Paul K

Hey Paul,

Thanks for the info... The compressor and brackets are now in MY truck!! :-)

Cheers - Simon
Simon Lacey

If you ever find the bracket tracings please post. I have yet to find brackets or templates for brackets anywhere. I would like to install the Sanden SD7 series as it's a compact unit. I already have an all-in-one evap unit installed under the pass. side. Bought from SCS Frigette out of Texas. (From a reseller).
Sam Sullivan


If Allen doesn't come through I can make some drawings from the parts I took off the 80 LE Rdstr yesterday. I have spent today cleaning and painting them.

If you e-mail me with your email address I can send some pictures. (or add it to the thread)

The compressor that I removed was a Sankyo SD-508 but looks VERY similar to the "Sanden" SD-700 on my 92 Range Rover. Looking at the labels on the two, seems like they are the same company and the Rover unit seems to have the same fixing points and "piggy back" mounting for the MG alternator, so I think all these units are basically interchangeable!

Only issue I have with the brackets is that you could tie up an ocean liner to them!! I think some holes could be added to reduce weight without sacrificing stiffness... or use thinner plate stock...

Let me know.

Simon Lacey

Simon; Please include me for a tracing of the brackets.Thank you.
Sandy Sanders
Sandy Sanders


I would like a tracing of your brackets also. The way things are going here, I may never find mine. Aaarrrrgh!

Allen Bachelder


Glad to help. The brackets you have looked to be cleaner and lighter than the ones I have on my GT. Very solid. If you need any help installing the system on your car, give me a ring. My number's in the newsletter.

Paul K

I'll also really like to get a copy of the bracket template,
thnaks for this offer, and thanks to you and everyone for the great info,
ph healey

I have completed the bracket drawings.

Due to the numerous requests for them, I will have them scanned and then post on my web page.

Should have all that done in a week or so.

Watch this space for the link.

Simon Lacey

There's a almost complete factory A/C system for a MGB on ebay ("mgfish" Item number: 4602181474). Current bid is around $200. The item is said to be NOS (never installed). Check it out. Not sure about a compressor that has been sitting around for twenty plus years. The inside components might make it worth a bid, though.
Steve Buchina

This looks like the unit I installed on my '73 GT. If so, it will not fit the later styled dashboards from '77 to '80. I do not recognize the parts on the far left in the picture (to the left of the compromised glove box and blower motor cover). I don't see a compressor but that's no loss because we have much better, smaller, more efficient, cheaper compressors available today. Regarding other needed components, see my post of 12/27 above. I repeat my caution about systems such as this which use the B's built-in face vents.

I don't get a kickback from Antique Air, but take a look at their catalog before you buy anything. You'll get a lot of good ideas. When I first pursued this, I was advised to check with the street rodders and that led me to several manufacturers of after-market A/C systems. Antique Air was one of them. I chose them as they were the most responsive to my requests for info, and their catalog was very informative.

Allen Bachelder

Ok, I have got the web page updated... check it out at:

If you like, you can also see my '73 B-GT rebuild in progress here, but I haven't finished updating that section yet. More to come!

Hope you all find the info useful... Remember, buyer beware! :-)

Any (polite) feedback on factual / usability issues is welcome.

I will update the site as I get photos of a real-live A/C install to be performed soon by San Diego MG club members.

Cheers - Simon
Simon Lacey

Hey guys - check out Simon's website. His drawings are far superior to anything I could have provided - had I ever found mine. Many thanks to Simon. I'm going to print these up soon. Sure beats taking my brackets off to reproduce them!

Thanks Simon!

This thread was discussed between 17/12/2005 and 08/01/2006

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