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I’ve been lurking on the forums for a few months and am finally ready to join and dive in. Couldn’t be more excited! I’m pretty loose on which VW van I go with, but one thing is certain — I need to add AC! There are plenty of kits to do as much available, but they all connect to existing motors. If I change to an electric motor, I’ll need somehow to know I can add air conditioning as well.

Does anybody have a recommendation on what to look for that will allow me to add Air Conditioning as well as convert to electric? Or should I nix the idea and try to find a vintage van that already had AC (not as appealing, but if it’s the smartest move then I’ll need to adjust).
 

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Even more important: where you going to put the evaporator? Factory bussies with A/C are rare as hens teeth because with the A/C on, you couldn't get above 35 mph. So nobody added it on the aircooled, I don't know about the 2+liter wasserboxers but imho those aren't bussies.
 

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Even more important: where you going to put the evaporator? Factory bussies with A/C are rare as hens teeth because with the A/C on, you couldn't get above 35 mph. So nobody added it on the aircooled, I don't know about the 2+liter wasserboxers but imho those aren't bussies.
There were T2c buses built: these Transporters had the classic T2 body but a water-cooled engine (inline, not the wasserboxer). They used a radiator for engine cooling mounted on the front, and a similar approach could be used for an air conditioning condenser... if you don't mind the look. In these vans, the evaporator could go on the ceiling or under the rear seat, I suppose, if it doesn't fit under the dash. Aftermarket suppliers do offer air conditioning kits for the early air-cooled buses.
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Yes, Type 2 T3's (the Transporter generation with air-cooled engines initially but the wasserboxer starting in 1983) were available with air conditioning... apparently even with the air-cooled engine. It is up to Beretta to decide if this generation is a desirable van to convert, whether or not it is considered a "bus" by VW fans.
 

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I think the problem with an air conditioning system intended for the van, whether original equipment or aftermarket, is that the compressor will be driven by the engine. If you're starting from a van which doesn't have air conditioning already, it would make sense to me to use an electrically driven compressor... presumably salvaged from a production EV. The rest of the system (evaporator, condenser, air handling) can be anything designed for the van.
 
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