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handymike54 Avatar
handymike54 Michael Brooks
Bodfish, CA, USA   USA
I have a 1978 MGB with factory air conditioning. There is a unit mounted under the glove box and a couple of lines that have been cut and plugged, under the hood. There is no compressor or condenser and only a single pulley and fan belt to the alternator. I would love to repair/restore it to working a/c. However, there is no mention of a/c in the Haynes manual and I have yet to find any info online. I am sure that factory parts are going to be hard, of not impossible to find. But. I am not concerned with being all factory. So, my question is what would prevent me from using parts from any other 4 cylinder cat? Has anyone done this? Does someone have, or know where parts and info are available?

Thanks, Mike Brooks, Bodfish CA

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RAY 67 TOURER Avatar
RAY 67 TOURER Ray Marloff
Fort Bragg, CA, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB "My Girl"
The factory never offered AC as an option. It was installed aftermarket at the dealerships. However, you should be able to match up a condenser and compressor. Nippon units are commonly used. RAY

mowog1 Avatar
mowog1 Gold Member Rick Ingram
Saint Joseph, IL, USA   USA
1969 MG MGC "Vicky"
1972 MG MGB "Mallard"
1974 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "The V8"
1978 MG MGB "Maggie"    & more
Since you already have the evaporator (under the dash) you may be able to source all other items individually from Nostalgic Air.

The a/c for my B/GT V8 was done this way.

You need: compressor, condenser, drier, brackets, associated hoses, etc.

1969 MGC - 1972 MGB - 1974&1/2 MGB/GT V8 conversion - 1978 MGB

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Pieces of Eight! has provided gas-charged bonnet & bootlid strut kits for the MGB/MGC and hatch kits for the MGB/GT-MGC/GT since 1996. We have recently added MG Midget bonnet and bootlid kits to inventory. Contact Rick at:
sws615 Avatar
sws615 Stephen Struck
Grand Haven, MI, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT
1975 MG MGB "Commission # G23N124120"
2015 Acura MDX
2015 BMW 535xi

Welcome to the forum. Great place for info and answers.

I suspect your best bet is to consult with the companies that offer modern A/C kits for MGBs. You can probably use the engine compartments bits from a new kit (compressor, brackets, hoses, etc. in conjunction with the heat exchanger that you still have in the car. Moss sells a kit (which I believe comes from Nostalgic AC), or buy direct from them (probably less expensive?). Another source is Retroair.

You might consider just buying a whole new kit. They're generally smaller and more efficient.



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MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
Welcome. To correct my mate Stephen unless things have changed Moss is out of the A/C business but the parts they did offer came from Nostalgic. Rick's outlined what else you need but he missed one; deep pockets. I'm in the middle of fitting all my pieces (I've used Vintage Air) but it hasn't been a cheap exercise. Fitting A/C to a B comes up regularly so if you go to Google and ask "fitting A/C to MGB" and add "MGE" you'll get lots of hits leading you back here. As you're new Google search is IMO a better option than the "Search" option at the top of the page.

Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell (with extensive bodywork to come). Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. And a whole lot more to yet to come. Stealth is the word.

handymike54 Avatar
handymike54 Michael Brooks
Bodfish, CA, USA   USA
Thanks to you and all those who chimed in. As it topped 100 degrees today it got me thinking about the a/c. I bought this car for $500 and am now into it for over 6k, Not bad for what I've done but it still needs paint and has to pass smog in CA. The a/c will have to wait as I visited a couple of websites and realize the expense will be high. Maybe someday.

sws615 Avatar
sws615 Stephen Struck
Grand Haven, MI, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT
1975 MG MGB "Commission # G23N124120"
2015 Acura MDX
2015 BMW 535xi
Mike, if you're only up to $6K, you're doing well. It could (and likely will be) much worse. I'm so far upside down on our GT that I don't want to do any math. But no matter what, enjoy.


DrewM Avatar
DrewM Silver Member Drew Maddock
74 MGB roadster, Southern California, USA   USA
I put the (no longer sold) Moss a/c kit into my car a few years ago, and it makes the car driveable now on hot days -- which I couldn't stand doing before a/c. The Moss kit is the one now sold by Nostalgic Air in Florida as others have noted. They can fit you up with whatever parts you want. See their website.

I would, personally, install the entire kit so you know every part is brand new. If expense prevents that, add a new compressor, and so on, as you need. Modern a/c compressors are very efficient and a lot smaller than they once were. The standard one is by Sanden (used to be Japanese-built but like everything else now it's built in China).

Drew Maddock, So. Calif. USofA

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handymike54 Avatar
handymike54 Michael Brooks
Bodfish, CA, USA   USA
Drew, et all, thanks again to you and the loyal followers/fools of the MG Experience. It was only 101 here yesterday. I live near Lake Isabella which is smack in between Willow Springs and Buttonwillow race tracks. I hope to get some track days in at some point. Where is SoCal are you and what local events, if any do you know about?

Brando-WMGC-OR Avatar
Brando-WMGC-OR Brandon Fox
Tualatin, OR, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB MkIII "Concord"
1974 MG MGB GT "Sweetie P"

I would echo what Barrie mentioned previously: this is not a cheap exercise. I too am in the middle of my A/C installation; I purchased a complete kit from Nostalgic Air in Florida. Although it is most likely possible to cob together the various components needed from wrecking yard visits, even if you get everything from one source vehicle, you have no way of knowing how it will work installing it into the MGB. For example, the kit from Nostalgic comes with a bracket that you bolt onto your engine block, using existing bolts and mounting points, to attach your A/C compressor to and re-position the alternator. They also supply the correct length fan belt that the alternator will need in this new position. Are you a good enough machinist to manufacturer your own mounting plate? Will it sit correctly so all the pulleys are lined up and the belts run true? How many trips to the auto parts store do you want to make in the search for the correct length fan belt needed? And this is just ONE example...there will be more, believe me! Even though the Nostalgic kit is designed for MG's, the components and directions are set up to cover a broad range of model years, so as the saying goes, "some fitting is required".

Also, the evaporator unit that came in your '78 originally ran on R-22 Freon; modern units no longer use this, having changed over to the newer R-134a formulation. You will have to have your evaporator serviced to make sure it is compatible with the new stuff, and who knows if that's even possible?

Whichever way you go, good luck to you.


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tomkatb Avatar
tomkatb Larry Baygents
Dayton, Ohio, USA   USA
1963 MG MGB
I owned one of the Dealer installed units.

Consider it a violation of all AC rules.

With no tinted glass, insulation, designed for no longer available Freon, too small radiator and alternator. etc. The unit was 50% too small for my GT. 15 degrees was about the best it would do on cooling(relative to ambient air)

In addition, to keep it running, I had to have the compressor worked on every year.

I would buy the Nostalgic air unit to get the maximum possible cooling.

In addition, insulate the devil out of everything. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.

A Miata might be a better choice.

77 Spit

ozieagle Avatar
ozieagle Gold Member Herb Adler
Geelong Victoria, Australia   AUS
1958 Wolseley 1500 "Wooly"
1966 MG MGB "Bl**dy B"
Tongue in cheek, this link goes to factory fitted A/C.,3532383


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