How factory a/c used to look... (lines from compressor & condenser not connected / connections at bulkhead cut flush)
DO NOT throw away any of the old a/c parts...they sell fairly well on sites like e-bay
...how it looks now
...and the long over due (about 20 years since 'Cuda had working a/c) project begins
Ps This took 2 long weekends and about 9 weeknights (weeknights ranged from 1.5 to 2 hours each) from tear out to full completion...guessing 50-55 hours.
Some people say the kit goes in "easy"...I'm fairly mechanically inclined and this was not "easy"...many, many little items had to be modified / have patience
The a/c kit is Vintage Air's Gen. IV kit with Bouchillon Performance brackets/pulleys. The compressor is Sanden's "shorty" (7312 SD7H)...everything purchased from Bouchillon Performance...Randy was a great help.
If possible, pull dash away (I didn't, because my glued down dash cover partially hid some screws). I was able to replace defroster vents and screws w/needle nose vice grips...and some "engineering". One more hint; lay blanket down...dirt and metal shavings were hard to vacuum out later.
I did attack the surface rust during install...
Comparison of old vs. new
I made a cardboard template for screw markings, since nothing was lining up so far
Here I attached template so I could mark the screws holding the unit to the bulkhead
Now I put the template back and mark the screw holes I need to drill
I put new heat barrier material
Mounted the evaporator...
Mounted the compressor, new water pump pulley, new crankshaft pulley, new alternator bracket and cleaned up/moved the fuel line (I wasn't able to pull alternator pulley off to convert to single groove...the a/c pulley is the only pulley that should have had an unused groove)
...tight fit (I had to nibble some of the rear bracket to clear the bypass hose. I also ground off one of the corner mounting tabs on the compressor to not rub on the hose)
"Tight fit" continues...
Installing the hard lines, condenser and drier (the bottom condenser bracket flange holes didn't line up...test fit this before tightening anything...this stage needs patience so you don't scar/scratch anything)
Reinstalling the heater lines
Mounting the new heater valve on the underside of the old mount
Pulling a vacuum for almost 3 hours...then charging
We have success! Sorry for dark picture...it was about 9 pm
After driver's side dash reassembly and clean up....shows new control switches (new lower left dash trim on the way to replace cracked piece)
Close-up after replacing cracked dash trim piece
Showing back light on new control switches
After passenger side reassembly and clean up...
Better shot of driver's side view of compressor area
100% complete / blew 40-41 degrees out the vent during outside 101 degree late afternoon drive / engine temp stayed below 1/2 / no leaks anywhere
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