How To

Shake N' Cool

  •  - 0
  • The simple hardware from Carman Custom includes a mounting bracket for the air conditioning compressor and a support brace. The kit costs $150 and fits 383/400/440 big block engines. - 1
  • Carman Custom’s brackets simply enable an aftermarket AC compressor – they use the Sanden 508 (also known as # 4508), which is a readily available, compact part. It weighs just over 15 pounds, which is considerably less than, say, the old Mopar RV2 compressor, which tips the scale at about 45 pounds! - 2
  • The project starts with the removal of the Shaker scoop and base plate. It all has to come off to provide access to the compressor’s mounting location. - 3
  • The Carman Custom bracket looks like an O.E. piece and mounts using existing bolt holes on the engine and water pump. - 4
  • With the compressor and bracket installed loosely, the support brace is finger-tightened, too. - 5
  • Before cinching down all the bolts for the compressor and brackets, the new V-belt is slipped into place. - 6
  • Just like the adjustment of any other accessory on an engine equipped with V-belts, the compressor’s pulley is adjusted to provide the correct slack to the belt and then the whole assembly is tightened. - 7
  • Here’s what the compressor looks like installed. It is quite compact, especially when compared to a 1970-vintage Chrysler air conditioning system. With the compressor in place, the remainder of the air conditioning system installation can be finished. - 8
  • The aftermarket AC system is capped off inside the car with the installation of the vents. - 9
  • The AC vents have an appearance that looks appropriate in this 1970 ’Cuda. It’s an unobtrusive look that is much appreciated on warm days. - 10
  • Apart from the billet compressor pulley (an appearance item car owner Ed Belfour wanted for his restified car), the A/C system is hardly noticeable. If you’re looking for a stock appearance, you certainly don’t need to invest in the billet pulley cover. Regardless, this Shaker-equipped ’Cuda is now a cooler ride. - 11
  • Here are what Carman Custom supplies: a GM alternator and a plug-in harness. The kit runs $120 with a core exchange – you’ll have to scrounge a GM alternator or pay a core charge. You’ll have to supply a length of heavy-gauge wire, and a different-length V-belt also may be needed. - 12
  • The GM-style alternator (built by Delphi) bolts up using the stock alternator bracket on 383, 400, 440 and 426 Hemi engines. It also will work on small-block Mopar engines with a March pulley system. - 13
  • Although the stock Mopar alternator bracket and spacer work, a few shims (washers) are required to line up the alternator pulley with the correct belt position. - 14
  • The supplied harness connects to the alternator and splices in to the factory blue and brown wires of the car’s electrical system. Another heavy-gauge wire must be run to the battery or solenoid to siphon off a little juice and ensure an accurate reading on the dashboard amps gauge. That’s it – project completed! - 15
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by Barry Kluczyk  More from Author

How To Install Air Conditioning On Shaker Equipped Mopars

Most enthusiasts probably aren’t aware of this Mopar musclecar fact: Shaker-scoop cars didn’t come with air conditioning. Why? The air conditioning unit was too big to fit beneath the overhang of the large Shaker scoop’s base plate. And while most enthusiasts of the time didn’t mind the lack of A/C, as it was seen as drain on horsepower, these days comfort and performance are equally important.

Nearly four decades after the Shaker was introduced, there is a solution. It comes from Carman Customs, a Saginaw, Mich.-area restoration and street rod shop owned by NHL goalie Ed Belfour, and consists of a couple of brackets that enables an aftermarket air conditioning system to be bolted to the engine. It’s a simple solution that came about when Belfour and shop manager Jeff Friesen were brainstorming a way of shoehorning A/C into one of Belfour’s many Mopars.

“We designed the setup a few years ago on one of Ed’s cars and have used it on a few customer cars, too,” says Freisen. “It finally hit us that other Mopar enthusiasts might be interested in this.”

The brackets are designed to work with the common aftermarket Sanden 508 air conditioning compressor. Carman Customs has installed the brackets on numerous big-block cars (383, 400, or 440 engines) and uses the Sanden compressor because of its compact size yet strong performance.

“With the bracket, the Sanden unit bolts right up with no clearance problems,” says Freisen. “We haven’t tried it on a Hemi car yet, so we’re not sure if it clears the valve covers.”

The primary bracket is secured to block in an O.E. manner, cinching down into an unused bolt hole in the Mopar Performance water pump. (That’s another part you’ll need to complete the project.)

We followed the installation procedure on Belfour’s ’70 Six Pack ’Cuda. The accompanying photos illustrate the installation of Carman Custom’s A/C bracket, but not the entire aftermarket /AC system – the point here is the bracket system that enables the A/C system.

So, if you always wanted A/C for your Mopar, but thought the Shaker made it impossible, you now have the cold facts to get it done.



Carman Custom

9810 Sarle Road

Freeland, Mich. 48623

(989) 695-4562





This simple but effective method to pump up the power output of your Mopar’s charging system will ruffle a few feathers. It involves venturing into the “General’s” camp for one of his alternators.

Keep an open mind, however, and you’ll discover a great way to chase away the dim dashboard and flickering headlamps that come with the low-amp alternators common on vintage Mopar muscle cars. Rated at just 60 total amps, these weak chargers generally put out just 25-30 amps at idle; an aftermarket electric fan or stereo system is enough to almost kill the engine at idle.

Carman Custom has a simple solution – a kit that adapts a 120-amp GM alternator to the stock Chrysler electrical system via a plug-on/splice-in harness. Best of all, it bolts to the stock alternator bracket and takes up no more underhood space than the stock unit.

“The GM alternator is more powerful, plain and simple,” says Carman’s Jeff Friesen. “It produces something like 60 amps at idle, so you can run just about any power accessory without a worry.”

Carman Custom supplies the alternator and harness, along with instructions for running a separate wire to the battery to ensure an accurate voltage readout on the dash. (The more powerful GM alternator otherwise buries the needle on the stock instrument.)

A different-length V belt may be necessary, as well as a few washers to shim the stock alternator spacer, but the overall installation takes less than an hour. For that, you double the charging power of your Mopar.

We can keep the secret if you can.


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