This is a factory AC car. There was not compressor and only one AC line and condenser when I got it. I knew that if this was going to be a daily driver, then I must have the AC working.
I studied several ways to do this. I found a bracket from ICT Billet for the LS motor using truck accessories that is made for a Sanden 508 compressor. I opted to use this setup since the Sanden 508 compressors are known to be good units for years. This is an ICT Billet #551494X-3 bracket kit.
ICT tells me that a Sanden 508 compressor for a 1987 Jeep Cherokee 2WD 4.0L had the correct 6-rib pulley. This is a model 57580. Nothing fancy, just a simple rebuilt unit from Ebay.
The 57580 compressor comes with an “CE” type head installed. This means the threaded connections to the compressor are on the top, side of the unit. While this would work in my setup since I had plenty of room, I opted to switch out the rear head to a “K” type head with the threaded connections coming out of the back of the unit. As you can see in the following photos, the “K” head is thinner, which also helps the hoses tuck nicely in.
This setup also requires a belt tensioner that is not included with the bracket kit. This is a Gates #38195 or a 1998-02 LS1 Camaro belt tensioner.
I replaced the condenser with an OEM replacement ADPI/PRO 7014013 from Rock Auto. This condenser is made for a 1979 Cutlass as the Cutlass has the condenser connections on the passenger side whereas the Malibu has the connections on the driver side. This allowed for a neater install without hoses running across the engine bay. Everything stays neatly on one side.
The dryer as well as the evaporator core were replaced with OEM replacement units also. The evaporator core was a direct replacement while the bottom tube of the dryer was modified a bit for ease of fitting the custom made hoses. Also a hose fitting was fabricated to get the hose to lay neatly at condenser end.
The system includes a low pressure shut-off switch. The electric cooling fans are wired thru this switch as well as the compressor clutch. This allows the fans to run whenever the compressor clutch is engaged.
The results are an AC that can will keep you nice ‘n’ comfy on a 100º day.