Lumped 1956 XK140 - AC install & radiator/condenser choices?

Still working on putting this XK140 back together again.

As summary, this was a rolling, but dismantled coupe that we bought without engine/trans, but which last had a Ford 302 (5.0 L), carburated, with Ford automatic trannny.

For this reason, in the interests of expediency in order to get this car back on the street (and not be a museum piece or garage queen), we decided to put a 5.0 engine and AT back in, since mounts and shifter were still in position (and clutch pedal removed, as well as all engine accessories, stock wiring, and engine-related components, AS WELL AS the radiator, were absent).

An important point, besides getting it back on the road as quickly as possible, was to install AC. This will be an aftermarket add-on heater/AC evaporator, hung somewhere in the cabin.

So, 3 questions:

  1. Any suggestions for radiator and condenser combination? Remember, no radiator (and obviously no AC came with the car).

  2. Has anyone tried a non-standard radiator in one of the earlier XK’s? …such as a longer and horizontal radiator, like from a VW Scirocco. This VW rad is around 28" x 13-14", compared to the original rad which was about 18" x 18". This LOOKS LIKE it could be made to fit in the nose with little to no modification to the sheet metal.
    One nice thing is that a complete VW radiator-condenser unit with its factory electric fans with fitted shroud unit can be purchased. (see attached pic).

  3. Has anyone installed an AC unit in an XK – and if so, what unit did you use, and how did you route the ductwork?

Thanks for any input, ideas, comments.

Baloo, I have no idea where you are located - but are there any custom shops in your area? This is the sort of problem that street rod type shops deal with on a regular basis.

Good point. Plenty of hotrod shops around. I guess I should at least check…

Guess I’m in the mode that I can do anything AS GOOD AS, and sometimes with better care than most shops around.
So my first reflex is to look for something already available, that I could modify or make fit.

I’m getting tired of having it proven to me over and over, just when I want to trust the mechanic or painter or fabricator’s typical claims that “we are the best, most careful, most expert, mostest this and mostest that” … only to find out that they are slugs, liars, and duds.
Funny, when you go to a shop the first time, and relate to them the prior horror stories about the last shop, they allllll scoff at the last shop’s ineptitude, and claim how THEY would never do such and such.
AND THEN, sure enough, within a short amount of time, they prove to be the exact same sluggos that they scoffed about.

I have found this to be pretty universal, and maybe as high as 90% (or more) of the shops/mechanics.
When you find a GOOD mech/painter/fabricator, DON’T TELL ANYONE ELSE!
It’s like good maids – as soon as you tell others about them, they get too much business and can’t maintain their standards.

What amazes me even more than inept tech and shops is how often people will not bother to look at the quality of the work coming out of that shop. I’ve been to more than a few high quality shops that are more than happy for you to inspect the work in progress on their current projects. Low quality shops never seem to have any current work to show you, or even any photo pictorials of cars previously under their knife. The best shops do nothing to promote themselves - the quality of their work is known by all the customers they will ever need.

Not trying to be Captain Obvious, but a lot of customer dissatisfaction over custom work occurs when the car owner tries to use a production shop for custom work.

I cannot think of any modern car using a short and wide radiator and condenser that would fit into an application designed for a tall and narrow radiator - but one could be custom fabricated.

I realize this is 18 months old post…but for general knowledge
I have a Griffin alum radiator in my XK120se…built up 350 SBC…cools very well No AC…i

Electric shrouded from Summit Racing… Listed as a dragster radiator…
Pretty much bolt in…and cools well…never above 190* and I am in Southeastern Arizona

I ended up getting an aluminum radiator built for a 32 Ford, Chinese manufacturer. Surprisingly very good quality, however I had to reposition (angularly) and TIG weld inlet and outlet to angle them sufficiently to clear obstacles. However, the radiator fit in perfectly in the narrow dimensions of the nose the xk140.
The radiator was shrouded and fitted with a maximum size electric fan, puller type. Also fitted a maximally sized condenser. Used a Sanden SB10 compressor, and fab’d new mounting brackets.
Plenty of overhead clearance under the hood.