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MG TD TF 1500 - Air conditioning

OK, I doubt its possible. But reading about everything from electric fans to 4 row radiator recoring to 55A alternators, it occurs to me that it actually might be possible to design an airconditioning system for a TD.

The smallest "universal" units I've seen draw about 2A for the compressor and 8A for the fans. It seems like it might be possible to

a) remove the existing mechanical fan
b) replace the radiator core with a higher efficiency one matched to a thin electric fan
c) add another fan & heat exhchanger for the air conditioner
d) use the space saved by removing the existing mechanical fan and install a small air conditioning compressor on a second pulley
e) switch to a small alternator unit to power the whole thing
f) add hose and a behind-dash cooler (possibly losing the glove compartment in the process) and
g) have my head examined.

Seriously, its an interesting question which will keep me thinking about it during the next two months of 100-115 degree weather here. I'll sneak out at night and in the early morning in Lily Christine IV as I rebuild the convertible top... and dream of air conditioning...
Now, I just need to find an extra $10k...
Geoffrey M Baker

Nooooo! I guess anything is possible, but... At what point does it cease to become a classic MG and become something else?
It would be almost imposible to seal the car well enough to keep the cool air in the car, after somebody went through all the trouble to install it.
I saw a kit for an MGB once, and it looked well done. That is an option I would consider if I drove an MGB much, especially a BGT without a sun roof.
D. Sander

I've seen an A coupe with ac somewhere. However the drain on HP when the compressor kicks in would ruin it all for me. I understand it's hot there, but my favorite convertible time is dark and warm. Something that doesn't happen in my climate, but does in yours. I'm envious of your ability to drive in shirt sleeves in the dark. What a treat!
Alex Waugh

Geoffrey - Have you given any thought to driving your TD just during the winter months only. The other thing you could do is to wear a shirt made from a relative course weave and rig up a system to drip water on the shirt - the old swamp cooler type of air conditioning. Cheers - Dave
D W DuBois

Geoffrey - on a more serious note, I know how you feel driving around in Arizona. I grew up on the edge of the Mojave Desert and I always though I knew what hot was. After getting out of the Navy, I was sent to Phoenix on a service call in Aug. When I walked off that plane the heat hit me like a physical blow. I didn't know any place could get so hot. We have long since moved to the Puget Sound area of Washington state where we feel abused anytime the temperature ventures above 75. Our MGB has a zip out back window and that is the car we drive mostly in the summer months with the top up, windows open and rear window unzipped - it is quite comfortable when driving on hot days. I was thinking that you might be able to have the top for the TD modified so the back window can be opened. Or, like us, attach the back of the top to the tacking rail with gripper snaps so you can unsnap it and roll the back up. The top keeps the sun off you and you get full ventilation. You could further take a spray bottle of water and spritz yourself from time to time. Warning: too much spritzing and your skin will chap and you'll look like a lizard :-) Cheers - Dave
D W DuBois

I'm with Dave Sander on this one. There is a thread in the archives where someone took dryer vent hose attached to the windscreen to get cool air circulating in the foot wells on hot days. Looks kinda funky looking but I understand it does work, not permanent, and would give relief on those hot days.
Frank Cronin

I'll Post 3 pictures of my summer AC

Mort 50 TD

Number 2

Mort 50 TD

It is like vent windows for a car without vents, or windows!
D. Sander

Number 3

If I remember correctly the hose is from a Sears shop vac repair kit and the cone is a modified Sears funnel.


Mort 50 TD

Don't know if you ran across this one in the archives so I will repeat it here.
My dad hated driving in 4th of July parade in the TF, however as a local business owner, always got talked into doing so.
Two problems: (both heat related)
1: Vapor Lock from carbs overheating at slow speed.
2: Hotter than the surface of the sun for occupants.
The cure? Dry Ice.
1: Burlap bags of D/I wrapped around the carb bodies.
2: Pans of D/I in the foot wells.

I cured my Vapor Lock problems, and don't do parades as a rule.
I have done the dry ice pans in foot wells and it works fairly well!
(Best to put some cardboard under pan so it doesn't stick to the carpet!)

I have also purchased bags of ice and put one on the tranny hump behind a small ceramic electric heater/fan I have in my car, and another on the folded down windscreen in front of my face.

IMHO: I'm with others that say adding AC not worth the loss of HP!

How's about going "old school" on it? Studebaker sold these in the 50's. Simply a tube full of ice with a small fan in it. Kind of "honkey looking" ...but bet one could come up with an under the bonnet set up with some vent hose that would work!
Best of all...removable and would not bastardise the car!

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

I was thinking that a waterproof box in the rear part of the car filled with ice and a fan blowing forward might do the trick... for a lot less headaches... but hey, where do you put the beer then?
But I'm still not against the idea of real A/C. After all the only thing being added that others haven't already done (between recored rads, electric fans, alternator conversions, heaters with fan blowers and hose etc,) is adding a compressor, and they make pretty tiny ones these days!
You could do the radiator "split" with two four core sections and two fans, and it would still be more efficient than the current radiator. That way the a/c core & fan would take up no additional space, it would just sit at the bottom of the existing radiator.
I have a heater already installed and hardly need that (maybe a few days a year at best, compared to months of plus 100 temps) so I could remove that and replace the heater with a below dash cooler unit of much the same size (possibly even smaller) and use the existing firewall holes for the heater to run the ac hose.
So, literally, the only visible difference between an MG with a regular recored rad & electric fan, and a heater would be two fans on the rad, and extra compressor and nothing else!

I'll keep thinking on it...
Geoffrey M Baker

Sun powered, it draws no power from the battery! Plus you can keep it on even when your out of the car! Now how great is that! Grin. PJ

Paul S Jennings

More ideas!
Think I might make a version of this one for the garage this summer. Instead of ice ...I have a mini fridge I bought from craigs-list for $20 that even turned all the way down freezes beer & pop. Maybe find out how it does with a 5 gallon bucket of water in it!

Or, search You-tube for: "ghetto air conditioner".
Some of them are quite entertaining!

Version of this with a cooler, fan, and spare fuel pump might do the trick for an M.G.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Thanks, Dave; I think you've sold me! A chest in the back with a tube pointing forward and a 12v fan... should work well...
Geoffrey M Baker

This thread was discussed between 11/06/2014 and 12/06/2014

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