I AM CURRANTLY BUILDING A AMT PETERBUILT 359 USING A BUNCH OF PARTS FROM THE REVELL SNAP 359 KIT MAKING IT A 1980 PETE 359 . DOES ANYONE KNOW IF I SHOULD PUT A ROOF AIR CONDITIONER ON IT , OR WHAT TYPE OF AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM DID PETERBUILT PUT IN THE 359'S IN 1980? THANKS, KEITH
WHAT TYPE OF AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM SHOULD I USE ?
Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:24 PM
I'm not a truck guy, but I just Googled through a hundred pics of a PETERBUILT 359 and didn't see a single one with a roof mounted AC unit.
Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:04 AM
Roof mounted condensers were the normal mounting locations on all Peterbilts from the 1960's until the mid 1970's when grille mounted condensers were developed.
Before 1971, the big square looking box (several companies made these, so the shapes are slightly different) were used by Peterbilt (and other makes). In 1971 they started using a low-profile roof unit (same part in the AMT T501 and later reissues). This low-profile unit was a Kysor. It was available until the mid 1980's. The location of the condenser depended on the hood and the engine specified. For example, a 1976-80 model 359 could have a roof mount or a grille mount but no grille mount with a certain due to air flow requirements of the engine. However, a 1976 model 348 could only have a roof mount due to the size of the grille area.
The grille mounted condenser protruded from the front of the grille by about two inches.
The above photo from the 1975 brochure Class Of The Industry shows a 359-119 (same BBC as the AMT, Revell and Revell snap kits) shows the grille mounted condenser on the 359, but the 352 cabover sports the Kysor low profile unit. The roof unit on the cabovers went away with the intruduction of the 362 in 1981.
This 359 has the low profile unit. This is the 359 that AMT based it's T501 kit on. The Revell snap kit is similar, but about 8 years newer with the rounded door corner sleeper, Dash of Class instrument panel and Alcoa wheels.
If you had a roof top unit, the hoses to it were plumbed up the back of the cab like this, with a metal cover over the vertical run.
In 1977 the front of the grille mounted condenser was being designed to be mounted in front of the radiator (out of harms way from minor damage). This option became available in the early 80s. By the mid 80's the roof-top unit was mostly gone unless a customer really wanted it. In the photo below are two 359's - one is a 1979 from the '79 brochure (bottom) - the '79 has a fiberglass hood and the roof top unit. The '82 brochure (top) has the behind the grille/in front of radiator condenser. This is the look most familiar in the 80's for the 359.
Generally, in the 60's and 70's, if you didn't see the rooftop unit, or the grille didn't stick out a bit, the Pete didn't have air conditioning. With that said, a lot of trucks were retrofitted at a rebuild with a radiator mounted unit eliminating the roof unit.
In the 'old days' the a/c unit looked like this
Most of the construction trucks had roof top units if spec'd with a/c.
There's your Peterbilt lesson for today.
Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:02 AM
Thanks Tim. From the information you gave me I will use the low profile rooftop unit that came in the kit. Keith