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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I created a thread last year ( 2010 ) asking if anyone had retro fitted aircon to a phase 1 and failed to get any yes answers!

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-and-916-spider/223260-retro-fit-aircon-to-phase-1-anyone-done-it.html?highlight=retro

So, I looked into it, got together a parts list and started investigating the electrical side. I also had a vague notion of later upgrading the basic airconditioning to Phase 2 climate control.

With a fair amount of the research done, other things took preference and it got put on the back burner until a post in my thread by Rich Wookey asking about upgrading to climate control made me look into the phase 2 climate control in more detail. Which was just as well as there is no upgrade path from phase 1 aircon to phase 2 climate control. They are completely different not only in operation but every component ( except two ) are different. To upgrade aircon to CC means stripping everything out and starting again. That even includes the ‘L’ shaped gasket on the bulkhead through which pokes the heater and aircon pipes.

After thinking about it some more, I decided to go with climate control. This thread is about the upgrade.

In my original thread, a number of objections were made to airconditioning with people stripping it out of their cars – mainly for weight saving. I’ve seen a figure of 60Kg mentioned as the weight of the aircon system in a GTV/Spider. That figure, as far as climate control is concerned, is pure fantasy.

The components weigh as follows :

1. Compressor bracket ( cast aluminium ) : 1.6Kg
2. Compressor : 7Kg
3. Condenser : 2.85Kg
4. Evaporator : 2.7Kg
5. Pipework : 2.07Kg
6. Receiver/Drier & Bracket : 0.82Kg
7. Additional pulley : 0.38Kg
8. Longer auxiliary belt : 0.12Kg
9. Wiring/fasteners/gas ( estimated – most likely over ) : 5Kg
10. Pressurevalve : 0.085g

Total = 22.6Kg. So nowhere near 60Kg. I can live with the additional weight of 22.6Kg ( max ).

Someone also criticised aircon as sapping power but again this does not add up as the engine ecu disengages the compressor when it detects high power demand.

I’ve also lived with a GTV without aircon. It’s stupidly hot in summer and prone to misting up in winter. To me, adding aircon/climate control is a no-brainer.

Finally, I set myself a standard. No bodging and all electrical work had to look as if it came out of the factory. That meant using proper factory type connectors and new terminals in those connectors.

Some thanks are in order :

Alfaowner member Romek for many of the parts I used sourced from his accident damaged car.
The support staff at Tyco electronics for their help ( see text )
Chris Hellewell at FCI for help with a difficult to find terminal ( see text )
Staff at Raffenday for help with some terminals ( see text )
Alfaowner member fantom alfa for some photographs of a 916 with the dashboard removed
Alfaowner member .:ian:. For looking at his G133a connector and photographing them
Alfaowner member Mitch166 for help with the speedometer.
I really hope I’ve not forgotten anyone. Please come forward if I’ve missed you off the list.

I shall be posting a parts list for the project later once I’ve got my master list in order.

A final point before going into detail. This process only applies to late Phase 1 Twinspark cars. That is Twinsparks built from May 1997 ( from VIN ZAR91600006023907 ). Phase 1 Twinsparks built before then have a different engine ECU and the cooling fan(s) are not controlled by the ECU but by a timer and temperature sensor on the radiator. This would require a lot more investigation as to whether climate control can work with radiator fans controlled by this method. I’ve not looked at the V6 in any great detail, but I believe the same situation applies there. UPDATE : see more info on this with a possible solution for early Twinsparks and all V6s at the end of post 16 - http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/4488488-post16.html

The following is a bit verbose. If you don’t want to read it, just look at the photo galleries where you’ll find a more concise description of the process.

On to the fitting ……
 

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Discussion Starter #2
An easy start.

I decided to start with an easy task – fitting the door mirror with the external temperature sensor. In order to do this, I had to first of all identify the temperature sensor used as ePer does not list the sensor as a separate item for the GTV/Spider. I could have used any sensor meeting the electrical standard ( 10KΩ at 25°C ) and fitted to most Alfa, Lancia and Fiat of the era but I wanted to keep it right. After some investigation, I discovered that the GTV/Spider external temperature was also fitted to the Fiat Brava/Bravo of around 1998-2001. And a local scrappy had one, so I liberated the sensor, some connector housings and a relay and base for the whopping sum of £3.

The other issue here was identifying the terminals used in the mirror root connector. Close examination revealed ‘P.E.D’ moulded into the plastic. A bit of investigation revealed this to be the product of ‘Packard Electrical’ part of Delphi and GM. From the Delphi site, I identified the terminals as Metripak 1.5 series with part numbers of 12047581 and 12047767. I then had a nightmare finding someone to sell them. That is until I discovered that Raffenday of Wellingborough are the official distributors. I spoke to a very nice person there and a couple of days later I was in possession of a sufficient quantity of terminals for my project.

The story and photos of the door mirror modification is on photobucket :
1 Modifying the door mirrors pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And another easy one.

After the door mirror was sorted, I decided on another easy task, modifying the door loom for the wiring to the passenger door mirror. I did think of buying a used door loom from a phase 2. But the wiring of the connector between the door and ‘A’ pillar differs markedly and I wasn’t keen on extracting the terminals and repositioning them to conform to the phase 1 socket on the A pillar. In addition, some of the wiring colours would be wrong for the Phase 1.

I had to identify the terminals used in the door/A pillar connectors for this. Close inspection showed that they were made by AMP. AMP sold this division to Tyco Electronics years ago so I searched their site for the connectors. And failed miserably. I emailed Tyco not too hopeful of a response as they will tend to talk to distributors and the like rather than end users, but after a couple of days I got a reply with the part numbers for the terminals. They’re
827039-1 and 926981-2. Luckily, Farnell sell them so that bit was easy.

My door loom was in a bit of a sorry state with much of the taping having come undone. I stripped off all the loom tape, added the wires ( early phase 2 colours of Purple and Pink ), crimped on the terminals at the mirror end and door connector end and then retaped the whole loom with proper fabric loom tape.

After mostly refitting the loom to the car, I then stuck a multimeter on the door connector to test the connections to the temperature sensor. All looked good.

Pictures of the door loom modification on photobucket here :

2 Modifying the passenger door loom pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now for the hard part.

As part of my research, I’d planned all the electrical requirements for climate control. For example, the climate control ECU requires the input from the speedometer which is used, according to the manual, to determine if the car is stationery or not. I suspect it may go further than this and uses the speed input to determine when the engine cooling fans need to go on and off. Luckily the Phase 1 does output a signal from the speedometer but according to the workshop manual it doesn’t go anywhere. Except the manual, at least for a late phase 1, isn’t telling the truth because the speedometer output is wired to connector G99 and then goes no further ( actually the whole of the workshop manual wiring diagram of G99 appears to be a work of fiction for my car! ). That, for me was a good thing as I was able to pick up the signal there instead of at the speedometer. One issue with the speedometer signal is determining what the pulse frequency is for a phase 2. The phase one is easy. The manual states the pulse generator generates 16 pulses per turn of the output shaft. I have not been able to find this data for the ABS generated signal of the phase 2. I know it’s the average of all four wheels. It could be the raw pulses from the hub sensors I suppose which means there would be a bit of a disparity in the frequency. If there’s a problem ( and there won’t be if all the ecu is doing is using the speed input to determine if the car is stationary or not ), I can make a simple divider/multiplier circuit to get the signal correct.

Another consideration was the power supply for the heater unit fan. The supply currently used on a late phase 1 is an ignition switched supply from fuse F13. Phase 2 uses the same fuse to power the climate control motors and the ECU but not the heater unit fan which has its own supply. So I can continue to use F13 for the actual climate control unit but I needed an additional, permanently live supply for the heater fan and to provide the climate ecu with a permanent feed.

A bit of investigation revealed that early phase 1 cars ( built before May 1997 ) with aircon used a permanently live 30 Amp supply to power the fan. Amazingly, the connector ( G313 ) and fuse ( G255 ) – both totally unused – were in my car. That’ll do nicely as the supply to my heater fan. As a bonus, G313 also has the correct switched feed for the compressor relay coil so that connector solves two problems in one.

Overall the wiring required is not that complex. If the phase 2 climate control harness is retained ( there really is no point in not keeping it! ) there are a total of 11 + 2 ( fan power ) connections needed for the GTV and an additional one for a Spider ( hood down switch ).

The 11 connections are :

2 to the external temperature sensor
3 to the N82 Integrated Services Unit to control the heated rear window
Switched ( ignition ) power ( from fuse F13 and available on the existing heater connector G43 )
Permanent live ( from connector G313 & shared with the fan )
Diagnostics
Speedometer ( from connector G99 )
Illumination ( from connector G43 )
Compressor engagement ( new wiring )

The only one that presents any difficulty is one of the heated rear window controls. The third connection ( the other two are the HRW warning light and switch ) is used when the control is set to the ‘Max’ setting and is supposed to turn the HRW on automatically. I don’t know why the normal switch output isn’t used but this input isn’t there on the phase 1 N82. In due course I will see if it’s possible to use a phase 2 N82 ( possibly with wiring modifications? ) to enable this function, or, now I have the system working I can put an oscilloscope on the line and find out what exactly it does that can’t be done with the normal switch line and maybe simulate it to the normal switch line.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
the hard part, continued

In addition to the wiring for the climate control unit, I had to also wire in the airconditioner part. The aircon part is actually simpler for climate control than the phase 1 aircon as one less relay is required ( the work of the additional relay is done by the climate ECU instead ). The exact same 4 level pressure switch is used between late phase 1 and phase 2 cars so the wiring there is also easy. That pressure valve is the only component, except perhaps the additional auxiliary belt idler, that is common in the air conditioning system of phase 1 and phase 2.

In addition to the wires noted above ( relay coil supply from G313 and compressor engagement signal from the climate ECU ) I needed to wire 4 signals from the Engine ECU. Of the latter, 3 wires go from the engine ECU to the pressure switch located near the receiver/drier behind the front bumper, and 1 goes to the compressor relay coil.

These wires are available on connector G133a located underneath the heater unit. On a non aircon equipped car, 9 wires go in and only 5 come out the other side. The other four I have to take through the bulkhead to the engine bay.

The bulkhead is the same part number ( between phase 1 and 2 ) and the big steel crossmember running behind the dashboard also has the same part number for the two phases. From my investigations ( photographs, ePer and the workshop manual ) I determined that the mounting of the climate control unit was the same as the phase 1 heater unit. However, all the ducting behind the dashboard is different. There is also an ‘L’ shaped gasket bolted onto the engine side of the bulkhead ( under the heatshield ) that has to be changed. This item would also have to be changed if upgrading from phase 1 aircon to phase 2 climate control as the pipe stubs that poke through it are a different shape.

That was the theory anyway. In reality, the crossmember is different even though the part numbers are the same.

The differences are :

1. The extreme left mounting of the climate control unit ( by the fan ) whilst being in the same plane, is 30mm further towards the front of the car than the same mounting on a phase 1 heater unit. I had to make an adaptor bracket to go between the crossmember and this mounting point.

2. The climate control wiring harness terminates in three connectors ( G43A ( multi port socket with 11 wires ), G43B ( Fan power and general earth ) and G43C ( Spider hood ) ). These are mounted on a metal bracket attached at the base to the climate unit but at the top is attached to the crossmember. That mounting point does not exist on the phase 1 crossmember. Again, I made a bracket which attached to the phase 1 N82 ( Integrated Services Unit ) mounting bracket on the crossmember for this additional climate control mounting strap.

3. Using the original N82 ( Integrated Services Unit ) mounting bracket, N82 fouls the ducting to the side window demisters to such an extent, it cannot be mounted. I made additional brackets that dropped the N82 device downwards about 30mm closer to the glovebox.

4. Above the climate control windscreen air outlet there is a duct junction that distributes air to the windscreen and to the side window demisting outlets. This junction has different mounting points to the phase 1 version. One of them is not a problem as it shares a mounting bolt with a metal strap tying the crossmember to the steering column support arm. The other mounting point exists but only as a hole – there is no captive nut there ( on a left hand drive car, it would be present for the same tie strap on RHD cars ). I solved that by inserting a captive nut originally intended for 19” computer rack in the vacant hole. It fitted perfectly and the thread is the same.

As far as the crossmember goes, if anyone else wants to do this conversion, get the phase 2 crossmember from the donor car. It will save you a lot of grief! It begs the question as to why they have the same part number.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The hard part continued again

The other pitfall I encountered was entirely my own fault. The steering column support bar runs from the ‘A’ pillar, under the steering column and turns sharply down to the central tunnel adjacent to the heater unit. I knew this part was different on the phase 2 cars but for some reason I cannot remember, I thought the reason for it being different was unconnected to the climate control unit. I was wrong. The phase one steering column support bar fouls the climate control unit. I only discovered this with the car in a thousand pieces on a Saturday afternoon whilst trying to refit the bar. I sent off a private message to the person who’d supplied most of my other parts and I arranged to visit the following morning to get the phase 2 support bar. Huge hanks to Romek!

The wiring at this stage is mostly straightforward. Almost all the connectors use Tyco Superseal 1.5 terminals ( part numbers : Female 282110-1 and Male 183024-1 ). They’re readily available from RS and Farnell. They’re used in G133a ( engine ecu to engine bay ), N82A and N82B ( heated rear window ), G99 ( speedometer output ) and G43A ( main climate control connector ). They will also be used at a later date with the connector for the Q20 4 level pressure switch and the plug/socket at the compressor. I also used the same terminals in two new connectors I introduced to the car.

What did cause a major headache at this stage and delayed the project over two months was the result of my decision to use the G43 and G313 connectors. To reiterate, G313 provides the permanent live for the heater fan and the switched supply for the compressor relay coil, and G43 provides switched power from fuse F13 for the climate control unit motors and ECU, dashboard illumination and a suitable earth for the climate unit. For a couple of reasons I wanted to keep these connectors standard. The problem was both identifying the crimp terminals used and sourcing them.

One side of the terminal is a 5mm width blade of a very specific design. The housing is marked Burndy whereas the housing for the other side is marked ‘AMP’. Weird. Following the Burndy clue, I discovered after some searching that Burndy Europe was sold to FCI a number of years ago. Searching the FCI site I found the terminal; part number FM5MC01PTT. But I could not find anyone to sell some. In due course, I contacted FCI UK and was advised to contact a particular person. I did and it all went quiet for weeks. Ultimately, I gave up hope and tried to make my own copy terminals ( not very successfully ) and was at the point of changing the connector and terminals when I got an email from FCI saying they’d managed to get a small sample from the USA and would be posting them to me! Big thanks to Chris at FCI.

For the other side of the housing, I contacted Tyco with photographs and measurements of the housing and terminals. A few days later I had the part number and RS had them in stock.

There was still one more problem. The terminals I managed to get were intended for wires up to 1.5mm² and two of the wires ( Fan supply and earth ) need to be 2.5mm². I had to separate out an estimated 1.5mm² and crimp them to the terminal. I then soldered the remaining 1mm² to the crimp. Not ideal, but it works. Looking at the manufacturers drawings of the female terminal, there is a note there about the high capacity versions of the terminal ( for 2 wires of 1mm² ) which appear to be a special part number for FIAT. Typical!

The housings I needed for my side of the wiring of connectors G313 and G43 I got from a Fiat Cinquecento in a local scrappy.

The service I had from Tyco, FCI & Raffenday was fantastic. They really had no need to talk to me as an end user but they all helped me and went well beyond mere help with terminal identification. Superb. I wish I could say the same for Sanden ( compressor manufacturer ) and Molex UK ( more terminals ) At least Sanden did respond but without answering my question. I got nothing at all from Molex UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
and yet more of the hard part

Anyway, the most awkward part of the conversion was changing the ‘L’ shaped gasket on the bulkhead. To do this, all the induction stuff had to come out ( although they had to come off anyway to remove the heater hoses ) the throttle cable detached from the joining quadrant on the bulkhead, relay/fuse box removed from bulkhead and also the brake/clutch fluid reservoir was removed. Brake and clutch pipes were eased from their clips. Oh, and I removed the dipstick as it dug into my stomach as I leant over the engine!

At this point I removed the heater hoses from the heater unit stubs. The clips were the permanent sort. Fixed in the factory and never intended to be removed. A bit of work and they were off. I had Clic-E clips from the donor car to refix the hoses later. I then removed the aluminium & foam heatshield fasteners and, as much as practical, the heatshield moved away from the bulkhead. I was then able to access the 4 nuts holding the gasket in place. That makes it sound easy. It wasn’t and some damage was done to the heatshield in the process.

Once the gasket was off, I compared it to the phase 2 gasket to check it was of the same size and the fastening holes in the same place. I had a high level of confidence that it would be fully compatible and I wasn’t wrong. A good start.

Next step was to remove the interior ( seats, steering wheel, centre console, airbags, dashboard and crossmember and the old heater ) and trial fit the new climate control unit. A couple of tips in respect of the crossmember. First the cable ties are reusable. You don’t need to cut them. Secondly, there is a hidden fastening connecting the crossmember to the steering column support with a steel strap which isn’t referenced in the workshop manual.

Pictures of the disassembly :
3-1 Pulling it apart pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket

Also, pictures of the brackets I made to adapt the crossmember :

3-2 Crossmember modifications pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket

Once the climate control unit was in, I refitted the crossmember and then tried to refit the steering column support bar to discover it also needed changing. After sourcing a phase 2 bar ( see above ), it was fitted and then came the next big test. Had the dashboard changed in a significant way for phase 2? Obviously there was a minor change for the centre console mountings but had it been modified at all for the climate control unit? A trial fit of the dashboard revealed it was OK. Huge relief.


All the stuff was removed again and the ‘L’ shaped gasket fitted to the bulkhead. With the climate control unit out, I routed the wiring for the engine bay. Inside the car I used a new connector taking the 6 wires to the engine bay. Four wires go to G133a for the engine ECU, one switched supply for the relay coil ( to G313 ) and one to the climate ECU. A hole was drilled for a suitable grommet and the metal edges painted. I once again fitted climate control unit.

I now did the rest of the wiring. The main loom behind the dashboard runs from the passenger ‘A’ pillar all the way across to the instrument cluster and on to the driver’s ‘A’ pillar. Along the way it splits off to N82, instruments, switches, steering column etc. I undid all the loom tape from this and the branches I needed. This is not a pleasant task owing to the adhesive. In fact it was absolutely disgusting. Horrible, horrible job. New wires were run from the area of the climate control unit to the ‘A’ pillar ( external temperature sensor ), N82 ( heated rear window ), instrument panel area ( G99 speedometer output ) and the compressor engagement wire was run to near the G43 connector. The loom was then taped up again using fabric loom tape.

Connections to G313 & G43 ( the pre-existing connectors in the car supplying illumination, fan power, earth and switched power ) were done by way of a separate adaptor loom. The main earth and fan power were taken directly to the fan connector ( G43B ) and the wires for illumination and switched power and the unswitched power split off from the fan supply, were terminated in a multi connector located by the other climate control connectors. The other side of this connector then joined the main climate control connector.

The wiring was done this way in order to be reversible. If I ever decided to go back to a basic heater unit I can do so simply by removing the adaptor cable and tucking the rest of the climate control cabling out of the way.

The adaptor loom also has another cable for the compressor relay coil power going from G313 to G43. This is actually standard for late phase 1 aircon equipped cars. Why, I don’t know as on factory equipped cars, the wire terminates at G43 and goes nowhere else. On my car now, the other side of G43 continues this switched live wire to my additional connector going to the engine bay.

The climate control unit has mounting points for three connectors. I have removed G43C ( Spider hood connector ) and hidden it away with a cable-tie and used that mount for my additional climate control connector.

Photographs of the wiring :
3-3 Electrical work pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket

All wire colours are standard phase 1 airconditioning colours ( which are almost identical to early phase 2 colours ) unless the cable didn’t exist on the phase 1 whereupon I use the phase 2 colours. I got the wires from Autosparks, World leading supplier of classic car wiring looms who do pretty much all the colour combinations I needed ( they don’t seem to do a light blue with black – just normal blue with black ).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
and again...

With the wiring in a usable state, I lifted the rear seat and disconnected the airbag ECU and then reconnected the battery. Turning the key to ‘MAR’ I then tested all available electrical functions of the climate control unit. Even using a hairdryer on the external temperature sensor to provoke the air mix flap to move.

Being satisfied with the electrical test, I did a few unrelated bits and pieces on hidden wiring. The ultrasonic sensors and the hands free microphone wires were routed through the proper grommets at the base of the ‘A’ pillar and the foul PVC insulating tape removed from the alarm wiring and replaced with proper fabric loom tape. Why don’t auto electricians use the proper stuff?

Once that was done, in went the crossmember again and the ducting. Under the top of the dashboard is a complicated plastic duct system feeding the vents at the base of the screen held in place with 7 self tapping screws. Before I swapped the phase 1 item for the phase 2 , I drilled out the 6 split rivets that hold in place the bit of plastic that the 3 round face level vents fit into. I made a suitable adaptor from MDF for the rectangular phase 1 face vents and glued it into the ducting. I then fitted the duct to the dashboard.

Between the ducting screwed to the dash and the climate control unit is a junction box. I mentioned this earlier in respect of one of the crossmember modifications I made. With this in place, I fitted the tubes that feed the side window demister vents.

Ducting :
3-4 Ducting pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket

One thing of note. I’ve always been disappointed with the demisting capability of my phase 1. It always struck me as poor. It was therefore with interest that I noticed that the air outlet from the climate control unit and this junction box are markedly larger than the equivalent phase 1 heater unit. I assume that this was an improvement as a result of feedback from owners also concerned about demisting capability.

Fitting the climate control unit :
3-5 Fitting the climate control unit pictures by pkr1 - Photobucket
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The final instalment of the hard bit

With the steering column support back in place and wiring roughly placed, I was now able to refit the dashboard. And that was remarkably straightforward. I had expected it to be much more of a battle. With the airbag ECU still disconnected and with the battery once again connected, I tested all vents for airflow.

After that, it was very much the Haynes ‘refitting is the reverse of removal’ for everything else except the carpeted console side trims. With a razor saw, I cut a small section out of each because the Phase 2 climate control foot level outlets are in a slightly different place. The cuts are there to allow the air to flow better. Phase 2 trims also have this cut. I used a razor saw to keep the cut line to a minimum so I can glue the pieces back on if I ever decide to reverse this modification.

I did fit the compressor relay before tidying up the engine bay bulkhead but I’ll deal with that in a later update.

Once complete, I blutacked an inside/outside thermometer to the dashboard with the ‘outside’ sensor stuck right in front of the cabin air temperature sensor and went for a test drive.

First thing I noticed ( I hope I’m not deluding myself ) but heat seemed to come out of the vents far quicker than with the phase 1 heater unit. The temperature displayed on the thermometer climbed steadily to the selected temperature ( 21°C ) and stabilised. Racking it up to 24°C and the cabin temperature again increased steadily and stabilised. Next, I dialled in 18°C and the temperature fell ( albeit slowly as I don’t have the refrigeration stuff fitted yet ) and stabilised. Then back up to 21°C. A successful test.

Issues : Steering wheel is back on one spline out. That has to come off again and be moved. I forgot to reconnect the speedometer output to my alarm, so the main instruments will have to come out again ( I’ll do it at the same time as the steering wheel ).

I’ll be updating this as more parts are added until complete. Having said that, the under bonnet stuff is relatively straightforward. Or at least should be :lol: .

Next instalment : modifying the centre console for the new controls.
 

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I'm sure I won't be alone when I think that you've done a more thorough job with the retro-fit than the Italians would have done in the first place. I also wondered whether it would be easier to buy a phase-2 car, especially at current UK prices (£500?)

It was about the time of "a simple pulse multiplier to convert the speed signal" that I would have given up the idea. Think I'd have just rigged up a manual a/c 'on' switch to use in conjunction with the manual temp knob. Actually, I guess that's what my phase-one has. The refrigeration circuits of both my ph1 and ph2 are weak.

I once fitted climate aircon from a Thema into another so I have had a similar experience, except with connectors of my own choice. I admire the way you actually got the correct terminals. I raided old wiring looms for wires of the right colours, since I didn't have access to new wires in the right colours. I still remember the thrill of finding the pins on car stereo ISO plugs are the same as on the multiway connector for the Thema (or 164) climate control panel.

I hope you enjoy your result. The other overwhelming wonder that I have is whether these skills are utilised in your day job... Your writing/documenting skills alone must surely be worth hundreds.

-Alex
 
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I have to fix mine :(

I didn't read all the thread, but the system is linked to the engine ECU in some way too. Sensors and blah blah and you can activate the compressor clutch with FES when connected to the engine ECU.

I am interested as I want to know what is wrong with mine. Might just be needing regassed !!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the comments all.

-----------------

I've now tested the engine bay wiring I installed. I simulated there being a system with gas in it and pressed the aircon button ( with the engine running ). The compressor relay energised and a buzzer I'd connected to the compressor feed started buzzing. YAY!

I now simulated increasing pressure levels within the system and at the first level the radiator fan started up on slow speed. At the second level, the radiator fan switched to high speed.

A successful test.

How I did it in detail -

The output from the climate control unit ( pin 7 ) to enable the aircon system ( when the button is pressed ) goes high ( 12v ). If there is sufficient gas pressure in the system ( over 3.5 bar ) that 12v gets switched through to the engine ECU ( M2.10.4 ) on pin 40. If all other conditions are met, the ECU sees this 12v signal and switches pin 32 ( copressor relay coil ) to earth. This earths the compressor relay coil and the relay provides 12v to the compressor clutch.

To simulate there being sufficient gas pressure, I connected the climate ECU aircon on wire ( Black/Purple ) with the wire going to the engine ECU pin 40 ( Green/White ). These wires would normally be connected to pins 1 and 2 of the pressure switch.

If the gas pressure increases in the system, the radiator fan(s) need to be enabled in order to cool the gas in the condenser ( the additional 'radiator' in front of the coolant radiator ).

At 15 bar, pin 3 of the pressure switch gets connected to earth via pin 6 of the pressure switch which the engine ecu detects and in turn enables the radiator fan(s) at slow speed.

I did this by connecting the Purple wire from engine ECU pin 44 ( M2.10.4 ) to earth and the radiator fan started up on its 1st speed.

Similarly, at 20 bar, pin 4 of the pressure switch gets connected to earth, again via pin 6 of the pressure switch, and the engine ECU enables the fan at 2nd speed.

I simulated this by connecting the Grey/Black wire from engine ECU pin 43 ( M2.10.4 ) to earth in addition to the purple wire, and the radiator fan increased to 2nd speed.

( All wire colours referenced are relative to late phase 1 and early phase 2 ).

It is this radiator fan switching that would make retro fitting climate control to early phase 1 twinsparks and all phase 1 V6s more problematical than late phase 1 TSs. Their engine ecus do not have this radiator fan switching capability. Having looked at the wiring diagrams though, it may be possible to fit climate control to early phase 1 TSs and phase 1 V6s by copying the wiring for an early phase 2 12v V6.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm sure I won't be alone when I think that you've done a more thorough job with the retro-fit than the Italians would have done in the first place. I also wondered whether it would be easier to buy a phase-2 car, especially at current UK prices (£500?)
Thanks.

Someone also made the comment about just buying a phase 2 in my original thread. My rationale is that it is a challenge and I like challenges like this. I may even be unique in having done this.

Also, I bought this car new so there's quite a bit of emotional baggage there as well.

It was about the time of "a simple pulse multiplier to convert the speed signal" that I would have given up the idea. Think I'd have just rigged up a manual a/c 'on' switch to use in conjunction with the manual temp knob. Actually, I guess that's what my phase-one has. The refrigeration circuits of both my ph1 and ph2 are weak.
It's not as complex as it sounds. I could halve the incoming frequency with a very simple flip-flop circuit. Or I could buy a suitable divider integrated circuit to do it with a bit more control.

The only reason I think it may be important is that Alfa may not be telling the whole truth when they say that the ecu needs to determine if the car is stationary or not. I think it has more to do with switching the radiator fans off when it's pointless having them going ( I'm guessing about 20MPH ). If the phase 2 speedometer signal is, for example, at double the frequency of the phase 1, then the fans wouldn't switch off until my car is travelling at 40MPH. I need to establish what the signal frequency is for the phase 2 in order to determine how much of a problem it is.

I once fitted climate aircon from a Thema into another so I have had a similar experience, except with connectors of my own choice. I admire the way you actually got the correct terminals. I raided old wiring looms for wires of the right colours, since I didn't have access to new wires in the right colours. I still remember the thrill of finding the pins on car stereo ISO plugs are the same as on the multiway connector for the Thema (or 164) climate control panel.
Same here. It was great finding the connector housings I needed in a Cinquecento.

I hope you enjoy your result. The other overwhelming wonder that I have is whether these skills are utilised in your day job... Your writing/documenting skills alone must surely be worth hundreds.

-Alex
Regrettably not to both :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The only reason I think it may be important is that Alfa may not be telling the whole truth when they say that the ecu needs to determine if the car is stationary or not. I think it has more to do with switching the radiator fans off when it's pointless having them going ( I'm guessing about 20MPH ). If the phase 2 speedometer signal is, for example, at double the frequency of the phase 1, then the fans wouldn't switch off until my car is travelling at 40MPH.
I've just though this through properly and have realised that all that is nonsense. It's the engine ECU that controls the radiator fans and it has it's own speedometer feed.

So the climate ecu really is only concerned with stationary/moving. There must be a threshold at which they determine that the car is moving but I don't think that any difference in frequency is of any significant consequence.
 

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You bought the car new! :eek: That definitely changes everything.
I now have even more respect that you have the skills of an engineer AND had the £20000+ to buy the car, as an electronics-engineering graduate in my first job at that time, that would have been nearly four years' salary (never mind costs of living etc.) Perhaps engineers are paid more than minimum wage in the UK or perhaps you do something else to earn your money - as you said ;) I could only afford an Uno Turbo, which I still have. I earn more now as an IT trainer but buying a 946 Spider would still take me two and a half years, assuming I didn't spend money on anything else. Very hard to imagine achieving that! :)

The mention of a flip-flop made me smile. For my first choice of car (i.e. not the 128 Coupe I inherited from my father, but the Austin Princess...) I had installed a cheap car alarm that didn't have a central locking interface. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to use a J-K flip-flop to produce a toggling output when the alarm signal was received. As you can imagine, it somehow got out of sync often, and unlocked the doors/wound the windows down when arming the alarm, etc. It was precisely those sorts of 74LS-experiences that put me off the idea of ever knocking together an asynchronous logic circuit again!

Meanwhile (fast-forward ten years) it seemed like my 164 would slow down the fan when stationary - the blower fan, not the radiator fan - perhaps just to lower the noise levels or reduce electrical system drain. I was never completely certain but it seemed to speed up when driving away. Of course, it's always possible this was simply the result of the alternator going offline and voltage dropping from 14.4 to 12V.

Also the 164 doesn't allow you to use the boot release or fuel flap release unless stationary (the climate control panel operates the boot release) and I think that is the purpose of the speed input. Is there any similar relationship with the a/c controller on the GTV, or is the release button wired straight to the relay? As I recall, it doesn't work with the key on (the 164 allows the key to be on.) Of course, just because the feature wasn't used doesn't mean to say it wasn't planned to be used...

Or I wonder if the speed signal is perhaps used to compensate for the ram-airflow in the determining of the blower fan speed? In other words, maybe it factors the blower fan speed down as the car speed increases?

I have my own silly problem on the Spider - the A/C turns itself on (can hear the clack of the compressor engaging, followed by the hissing inside the dash) even when I start up and the roof is down... I know from reading that it's not supposed to allow that wasting of my petrol! The tiny green light of the snowflake button is SO hard to see in bright sunlight/roof down... I think this might be one of the very rare occasions that calls for a super-bright blue LED (the type I take out of just about every modern toy/appliance).

-Alex
 
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