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Installing Classic Auto Air in a '70 Charger

Fabricating is the fun part... I like to build stuff that requires a little thinking, it's really not much different from building houses or commercial construction, once you develop the skills it's just an adjustment to take them to another field...

Kinda like when your not happy paying someone to work on your car I'm rarely happy paying someone to work on my house... And every time I do cause momma insists she wants a "professional" to do that I wind up initially disappointed in the job or the flakey way these "professionals" schedule stuff I wind up doing or re-doing the project... I've done lots of electrical & plumbing, I've installed door & window packages... I'm sure a true "professional" knows tricks & could do a better job but most of the so called "professionals" these days have less experience than I do...
And certainly don't care about quality like I do..
The interior segment of the installation was actually easy. The original HVAC unit was huge and the CAA unit is half the size. There was plenty of room to do everything.
The engine side is not as easy. The air conditioning components take up space everywhere. At the firewall near # 8 cylinder, there are the heater hoses, the water valve inline of one of them, two A/C hoses w/fittings, the pressure switch and the drier. Checking the transmission dipstick is going to be difficult now.
The relocated alternator requires me to make a new fuel line from the regulator to the carburetor.
The condenser needs to sit right where the external trans cooler has been for 18 years.
The condenser hard lines run right where I attached headlight wiring.
None of these are the fault of Classic Auto Air. They are just bumps in the road.
Been there. Changing up is a pain in the ***. I've done it a few times. That's why most don't have A/C. Factory A/C is even worse. Vacuum and electric lines and wires looks like spaghetti, this will be a lot cleaner. Put the condenser in and the trans cooler in front of it or run a frame rail cooler. When's the last time you checked the trans fluid, if it's not leaking it's still all there. Couple of hours and it's going to be done for another 18 years. Some of the cars you've built from junk, this is a walk in the park.
Wow...you are an upbeat guy! I've been bantering over here:

And while having a battle of wits with an unarmed man is easy, it is good to step away and talk tech !
Factory A/C....Yeah, it worked when new and surely would have worked fine if restored but I wanted a cleaner appearance, less weight and equal if not better performance.
I'm not as angry or frustrated as I may sound...I know that the payoff will make all of this stuff worth it.
I was at the car cruise in Roseville tonight and saw a lot of classic cars.
For most of my life, when I looked at show cars with their hoods opened, when I saw an A/C compressor, I thought...Ugh...What an ugly engine! Tonight I looked at it differently. The cars there without A/C almost looked incomplete under the hood. That is a strange twist for me. I saw a '69 Road Runner with the familiar Sanden Compressor and took a closer look. I didn't like how the lines were routed or where the drier was located but I wasn't about to insult the man's car. I asked him about how well it worked... He was eager to praise the system, saying it blew as cold as his newer car. THEN I asked about the installation...was it a difficult job?
J.C did the A/C.
Great....another example of a guy that bought his car and didn't know much about it. I ran into this ALL the time when I first bought my Charger and was seeking information on body shops, machine shops, transmission builders, etc.
Dan PanelBammer did the bodywork, Peter the painter sprayed it, Sal did the seats, Tony did the transmission, Steve did the Steering, etc.

Today's progress:

Next up was the condenser. I followed the instructions as to where to attach the upper brackets and once again, they were wrong. THEIR way showed to attach the brackets at the upper right and upper left corners. You can see two holes near the upper fitting...This would have prevented any possibility to tighten the fitting on the upper right corner as well as laying right over the threads of the bolts that secure the radiator. WTF ? Do the people that design this stuff ever install these kits?
I had to attach the brackets lower on the condenser to clear everything.


The trans cooler had to come out to get the condenser in, now it slips back in just fine.

The condenser lines are secured. The bends they made were pretty close, I only had to bend them a little to sit right.

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The battery is in the trunk so the bends didn't have to bend to clear anything. They are out of the way though.

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Heater hoses are in along with the water control valve.
Again: I was under the impression that I needed a 1/2" and a 5/8" fitting for my water pump. I bought the fittings for $25 with shipping...I bought heater hoses in the same size to match, then I found my fittings were both 5/8"....I didn't need to buy those extra fittings or the 1/2" hose. Stuff like this often happens with unfamiliar projects...Parts bought that were wrong.
Anyhow...Here is it with the hoses in place. I still need to form a new fuel line and plumb the trans cooler then reinstall the hood latch support.

Looks clean!! To me when I look at an engine compartment, I don' always think of how empty it is, but rather how they did, what they did, with what they had to do. It can be about getting 10 pounds of **** in a 8 pound bag and making it look right! We want it to look good, but at the end of the day, it has a mission to complete. Well done!!
I have a buddy that has lost a few hairs over time. He removes and throws away the secondary hood latch on everything he owns!

I got an email today from Bouchillon: Their shipments will be delayed due to the hurricane. I was hoping to get the compressor brackets on Thursday but it will be next week at the earliest.
The hood latch support is in, the ATF cooler hoses are attached and I am now working on the fuel line.
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Yes. There is a line that will run across the engine and back to the drier.
I have seen the condenser fittings on the passenger side in cars online and in person and was confused as to why mine ran this way. The hard lines can only go the way they are installed though.
If I were doing the install I'd toss that pre-bent hard line & make a new hard line coming up the drivers side of the condenser, across the radiator support & out on the passenger side...
If I were doing the install I'd toss that pre-bent hard line & make a new hard line coming up the drivers side of the condenser, across the radiator support & out on the passenger side...
That would look cleaner. I guess it could exit the condenser, make a U-turn and run under the hood latch support then pass through the core support or lay over it.

HVAC Z1.jpg

Looking below, there is a 5/16" hole drilled in the core support just above the condenser bracket, to the left of the bolt securing the radiator. That could be drilled oversize and then serve as a pass through for the revised line, huh ?
Most Mopar original lines actually pass over the top of the core support like shown...
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I always used to pass by the cars with air conditioning, factory or aftermarket. I never took any mental notes or pictures of them either. I only have recent pictures I have taken and online pictures to use as a reference on what others have done. This reroute idea does sound like it will look cleaner while functioning the same. I'll need to look at the car again tomorrow or Friday to see how I can make it work.
I guess I'd need a much bigger tubing bender to shape these lines in the ads from Summit.
The condenser could also be flipped around so the fittings face the RH/Passenger side.
I think I'd leave the condenser as is, I'd just rework the liquid line to come out of the condenser, turn 90 degrees straight up, then 90 degrees along the radiator support & then 90 degrees up & slightly forward and continue with 90ish degrees rearward over the radiator support & have it end short of the dryer & use a short hose to reach the dryer since you aren't set up to make a custom length hard line... Personally I'd probably email Classic & suggest they look at making a revised line..

Since I've worked on A/C since the 70's even though I didn't want it cluttering my engine bay I did pay attention & now that I'm of an age where I appreciate A/C it's been helpful..
And, yeah you could do a 180 degree turn & cross the radiator down low then come up & over the radiator support...

As far as bending the smaller line bends easy & cleanly with a basic hand bender, I use the one in the picture...
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Ok, I changed my mind...
Form the rigid line starting at your mock up dryer... Rigid line from the firewall to the dryer, then your new rigid line forward to the radiator support & over it then your choice down or across.... And make a rubber hose to connect the rigid line to the condenser.... It'll look cleaner..
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