Condenser location

My local rod shop is really pushing me to put the condenser in front of the radiator. Says when done right it doesn't affect air flow to the radiator much and that if I don't, with this TX heat, I will really hurt the AC performance.

Any others place theirs up front like that?
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That seems the normal position for virtually all production cars. It also seems to be the normal position for most GT40s. The question is where else can you put it?<o:p></o:p>
I have seen it placed in the engine bay area next to the side air inlet. The first time I saw it was on Cliff Beer's CAV. It might be a common place for CAV, I don't know. You could shroud the path from the side air inlet to the condenser and put a fan on the back side of the condenser. I have actually thought of doing this myself. It would put more heat in the engine bay area but it would also would have air flow in that area that would help removing heat.

On a production vehicle, the compressor is in the front and the condenser is also in the front close to the compressor. If we put the condenser in the engine bay of a GT40, it too would be close to the compressor and would avoid running the high pressure hot lines from the engine to the front through the tunnel. If the condenser was in the engine bay, then we would just be passing cooler Freon to the evaporator through the tunnel.

The condenser up front would have the best air flow and heat transfer for the condenser itsel, but mounting in the engine bay might be ok as well. Street cars don't have the same opportunity of the rear engine and side air vent. <o:p></o:p>
The condenser in front of the radiator will degrade the engine cooling some; however if the radiator is large enough then that might not be a problem. If the cooling is marginal then the condenser would hinder cooling. <o:p></o:p>
Bob Woods<o:p></o:p>


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Bob, you bring up some good points. On my 03 Dodge PU the condensor is mounted to the side of radiator, and has its own fan. I would suspect that this helps the efficiency at low speeds, when air flow is marginal.
I was planning on putting the A/C condenser between the two cooling tubes up front. A 14" x 18" would just fit along with a cooling fan and all that JUST fit under the deepened nostrils. The guys at the Sachse Rod Shop (they have a pretty nice place there...several "hot rods" in the garage") seemed to be fairly knowledgeable (even though they kind of poo-pooed my car as a "kit") about A/C but I wanted to defer the final placement to the group here just to be sure.

That would have caused me to move the battery top the rear though. If I put the condenser in front of the radiator, then I'm good to go with placing the battery up front on the passenger side.

I also considered the engine bay location but they really hated that idea even though I still think it would have been fine and I could have routed outside air in.

My radiator is one of Fran's and is I believe good to 600 HP or so in a typical setup. It's about 29" wide, 12" tall, and 3" deep. I have it cooled with two fans but it is as yet not shrouded. The Rod Shop suggested I do this but the cost if they did it was astronomical.
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Bob, you bring up some good points. On my 03 Dodge PU the condensor is mounted to the side of radiator, and has its own fan. I would suspect that this helps the efficiency at low speeds, when air flow is marginal.

They had me purchase a trinary switch to run the fans when the AC needed it instead of having them always on or only when the engine temp warranted it.
I had the condenser of my GTD mounted in the engine bay, on the RHS so that it received air directly from the side scoop - and it was useless - totally ineffective. Heat from the exhausts was absorbed by the condenser, so after about 15 minutes of running the aircon just stopped working!
I then moved the condenser in front of the water radiator, behind a mesh screen (designed to protect from flying stones etc. It has several dings in it after 5 years, so it is necessary).
The result is much better. The water radiator doesn't seem to be impaired, despite having 2 sources of airflow interruption, and the condenser works just fine. I also put in a trinary switch wired into the radiator fans, when the condenser fan had run all the time before.
The hot line from the pump runs through the side pod, again with no adverse effects.
Darren mines in front of the rad it doesn't affect my cooling at all. Today I drove up to brands hatch circuit to watch some race cars it was a very hot day, the fans only come on once and I had the a/c on as well , it works well and it helped having it on but still hot in the car. It's the way they are.
I,m looking at removing the side perspex windows in the summer, frank Catt has wind deflectors that screw on. Fit it in front it works best there in my opinion !
Have a look at the a/c pics in my build log a year or two ago
Thanks Keith!

I have a 12" x 24" condenser on order now. Should be in Saturday and I'll mount it shortly after.