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Firebirds (and Camaros) Need a lot of A/C?

This is a discussion on Firebirds (and Camaros) Need a lot of A/C? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Do Firebirds, and I guess, Camaros get hot inside quickly and easily? I had that bright idea today, when I ...

  1. #1

    Firebirds (and Camaros) Need a lot of A/C?

    Do Firebirds, and I guess, Camaros get hot inside quickly and easily? I had that bright idea today, when I had to frequently turn the A/C on in my Trans Am even though it wasn't hot outside. I'm guessing the engine, which as far as I know is fine, runs hot. When I drove an older Firebird coupe, it heated up quickly, though not as much. I can't do a comparison with other vehicles, from lack of experience.

  2. #2
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    the reason is our big back hatch....that low angled glass covering a big area...its hard to cool it down...our windshield and dash are just as bad. if you have t-tops, that just adds too it.

    weve got a lot of airspace with sun beating on it. A/C just cant keep up.

    i had mine replaced a few years ago...it came out of the vent at 31 degrees...i was still sweating

  3. #3
    Yeah, I have the t-tops. Still, I wonder if all that "airspace" fully explains it. The A/C does quickly cool the car on temperate days like today. And don't V8 engines generally run hot?

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    You can feel the heat radiating into the driver compartment from underneath the car as well. After driving for some distance, feel over top of where the exhaust runs, down in the foot well, and over the floor of the hatch and you will find certain hot spots.

    Window tint and installing the T-top shades can help reduce the heat build up inside the car. As posted above, there is a lot of absorption area from the glass. If your car is black like ours... that just adds to it.

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    glass does not have a high r-factor the heat radiates in from all the glass, the cool air falls and heat rises from under the car. not a good design, these cars were not made for comfort.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    +1 All above

    Here is something else that could help in regards to help keep heat from seeping in from underneath as well.
    Summit® Ultra Heat and Sound-Deadening Mats

  7. #7
    Nice idea. You put them underneath the car?

    Yes, my car is black, and yes, I know the design is lousy. You don't get that kind of power + low price without cutting corners somewhere. The thing is, re temperature, that the interior of the car (parked outside, little shade) wasn't warm when I began my drive, but after a few minutes, I needed to cool it down.

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    The exhaust on our Corvette runs pretty tight to the floor near the collector. I installed a stick on heat reflective material 4 years ago -- it works great and has stayed put. You buy it in sheets and cut to fit. Material is probably 1/4" thick or so.

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    the cake is a lie twozs's Avatar
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    you have to figure in that half of the motor is behind the dash practically under the windshield . the motor is very close to the cockpit. the factory t top covers help a little. and just a comment if you air temp at the vents 31 degrees wouldn't that mean that the condensate water would freeze on the coil . in the industry we try to achieve anywhere from 40 to 45 degrees temp.

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    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    yeah i didnt even think of the exhaust factor....mine floor board is smokin...under the seats and in the back around the rear diff

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    +1 on tinted windows...it helps!

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    I believe it alot of it has to do with the motor being mounted so far back into the car, and the tranny heat to that comes up threw the console. tranny cooler fixes that problem but not to much you can do about the heat from the motor lol.

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    I live in Texas and it is always hot and humid, but it has been PIZZA OVEN HOT!!!! the past few months, and my ac system cools the car down quick. I do have a hardtop maybe that has something to do with it. These cars are getting old, and as such the seals and gaskets start to leak. Get a set of gauges, hook them up and see if the system is working at peak efficiency.

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    T-top cars are basically a greenhouse on wheels. To cool it down tint helps. You could also buy some heat reflective sheets and put them on the floor and firewall.

  15. #15
    The 100 reasons why Firebirds fry their occupants, lol.

    You can tint t-tops? I might just do that. I was thinking about having tinting done even before this thread. Only a little bit of my car's glass is tinted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clovenhooves View Post
    The 100 reasons why Firebirds fry their occupants, lol.

    You can tint t-tops? I might just do that. I was thinking about having tinting done even before this thread. Only a little bit of my car's glass is tinted.

    The tops are acrylic and come tinted (at least ours is) -- but I see no reason why an adhesive tint would not work to cut it down even more. It would have to be a very light tint, or you will simply end up with opaque tops. Do you still have the sunshades that came with it? They adhere by velcro dots and are an easy on, easy off.

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    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
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    I got rid of those velcro dots long ago.
    The shades fit fine without them, just gotta line them up right.
    Talking about tinting the t-tops makes me wonder if I could use some thin heat shield between the shade & top.
    That should reflect alot of heat back out.
    Hmmmmmmmm

  18. #18
    I never heard of t-top sunshades. I am not the original owner, and I don't recall them with the older Firebird I had. That I can look into. A few minutes ago, I was looking at my car and noticed the rear also has tinting. (How did I not notice that around the time of purchase?) Maybe it's lost its effectiveness.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with AC keeping up in my wifes T-top camaro. We live in Arizona. We also leave the T-top shades on the shelf in the garage, never use them.

    Even in Phoenix with 115 degree outside temps I run the AC on the second or third fan setting to keep it comfy, even cool enough for my son in the back seat.
    Only the side and back windows are tinted to cut down on the sunshine.

    I'd hook some gauges up to the car and see if your AC is working the way it should. Sounds like a problem to me.

  20. #20
    Hey, I have an interesting observation. The older, V6 Firebird I had was without any tinting or a shade for the front window. It would get very hot when parked in the sun/heat. But, when not in need of repair, I don't think it drove as hot as my newer Trans Am. (Good A/C in both. One of the better-made parts of the car, I believe.) Maybe the leaky seals/gaskets theory is correct. The parts in the TA have more wear.

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