AIR Condition your VW Beetle

By Michael Hoffman & Robert Poggi

I.C.E., Inc. in San Diego, has been manufacturing and servicing automotive air conditioning systems for 20 years. The company provides complete air conditioner units parts and service. I.C.E. also supplies kits and information to retrofit existing Freon R-12 systems to the environmental friendly R-134a refrigerant

I.C.E. has A/C kits for all VW Bugs and Karmann Ghia’s. Next summer the company plans to have Super Beetle and VW Bus A/C kit, currently these units can be installed at I.C.E. San Diego, CA. location.

We will install a complete air conditioner unit into a new 1996 Mexican Bug the vehicle has a 1600 cc engine, 48 Horse power with 6.6 compression. The vehicle has stock, dual port, Digifant electronic fuel injection, hydraulic lifters and a catalytic converter. This vehicle will be exported to Japan which has become a popular selling vehicle in Japan. The VW Bug A/C unit uses the new R-134a refrigerant. This systems has been reengineered for increased cooling capacity required for R-134a. I.C.E. new Bug A/C unit has a larger front secondary condenser with integrated fan and air scoop.

Step 1 Installation of Evaporator Assembly (Picture 1-1a BlocK Valve)

Installation of A/C under dash blower assembly. working from the front brackets to the rear.

Routing of drain hoses to let water condensation drain out of evaporator . (Picture 2)


Step 2 Preparation of the Front Hood Compartment

Open front hood and retain and remove the cover and trim. Wiring connection and fuse for A/C system indicated.


Step 3 Engine and other Outside Preparations (Picture 3)

In this picture the rear engine cover and license plate light harness. Also remove the ignition coil, distributor, retain the ground harness and high tension wire for re-location. The Ignition coil new high tension wire ignition is relocated with supplied bracket.


Step 4 Mount and Drive Installation (Picture 4 VW Trens show 8/18/96)

Remove bottom splash pan and cut out pan as shown to clear compressor mount. Remove crankshaft bolt. Attach add-on crankshaft pulley along with new crankshaft bolt. Attach compressor mount with One inch and a quarter bolts supplied. Attach compressor to mount using. Attach front condenser brace.

Attach compressor mount brace (Picture 5) Attach rear compressor brace to compressor and engine. Replace splash pan. Install idler assembly to mount. Install the belt and tighten and adjust the belt.

Step 5 Primary Condenser

Attach brackets to engine mounted secondary condenser (as shown) Trim the right firewall (as shown show prep for condenser installation). Install secondary condenser (show all steps carefully). (Picture 6)


Step 6 Secondary Condenser Preparation & Installation

Remove and discard the tunnel cover plate make sure to retain the two (2) mounting screws. Bend the Inner Fender Lip (as shown) to make it flush. Attach the condenser support brackets with the tunnel original two (2) mounting screws. (Picture 7 Left Picture 8 Side Picture 9 Right View) Install Condenser Shroud support Bracket. Install the fan motor bracket to the fan Condenser Shroud support and install the fan. Install fan blade and then connect the electrical connections. Carefully slip-in and install secondary

Step 7 Receiver Drier Installation

Install the Receiver Drier bracket (as shown). Attach the #6 liquid copper hard-line to the condenser attach the line to the Receiver Drier. Clamp-in the Receiver Drier to the bracket (Picture 10) Connect the Receiver Drier electrical connections (as shown ). We will install the left side of the Receiver Drier later on during the installation.

Step 8 Outside Wiring

Attach 30 Amp A/C fuse to vehicle’s firewall and connect the harness ground wire the fuse bracket screw.

Now we will wire the compressor clutch and complete the electrical connections

Step 9 Refrigeration Hoses

(Show picture routing on completed car and explain how it was installed during filming) Important make sure all connections are tight and secure. (Pictures 11-14)

Step 10 Evacuate & Charging of the System

Specification Chart


Discharge Pressure (High Side) 200-225

Suction Pressure (Low Side) 30-35

Refrigerant Capacity 38.0 oz

Oil Capacity (with Seltec or /Sanden) 14.0 oz

(High and Low side readings taken on an 80 F (27 C) and 70% humidity)

Once the system is evacuated for thirty minutes and the system is fully charged with R-134a. We see in the figure below what we have been waiting for a vent temperature of 37 F (1 C) now that’s I.C.E. CO

ICE Inc., a company that has been manufacturing and servicing automotive air-conditioning systems for 36 years. Located in San Diego. ICE Inc., provides both informative data pertinent to the environmentally safe retrofitting of A/Cs as well as upgrade kits to all makes and models of automobiles.

NEW A/C RETROFIT KITS Convert your R-12 to R134a Environmental Upgrades Now Available.


  • 3275 Market St.
  • San Diego. CA. 92123
  • 800-845-0424


  • Retrofit Info Hotline
  • Environmental Upgrade
  • 619-338-0995

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