Before I can begin wiring the dash area prior to installing the dashboard, I had to measure, fabricate and install all of the hoses for the air conditioner and heater/defroster. In addition to the refrigerant and water lines I also needed to install the A/C duct hoses and the ones for the defroster as well.
The challenge here is that the right side of the dashboard are is already home to the ECU, relays and fuse panels. It took a bit of finessing to get all of the stuff to fit. The project was complicated by the fact that C&K Hose which I was planning on buying the hose and fitting from along with crimping the fittings to the hoses went out of business. The auto parts stores up here would order the fittings and lines but I would have to buy 25′ rolls of each of the three hose sizes. Which would have been very expensive.
Summit Racing to the rescue. Vintage Air makes an installation kit for both the a/c and the heater lines. I was able to buy an extended hose kit for the a/c lines that included a set of very nice bulkhead fittings which solved my space problem on the outside of the firewall. All I had to order to make the kit fit my application was a set of 45° service ports. All of the rest of the fittings were exactly what was needed and I ended up with 2 to 3 feet of hose left.
The location where the bulkhead fittings had to reside was right above the ECU and next to the main wiring cable. It took quite awhile to tighten the fittings because of the limited space. The other space nightmare is the duct work. It looks like it will all fit, but I cant be sure until I put the dash back in. I borrowed Paul Nolte’s crimping tool and it made short work of installing the fittings on the hoses. Due to the inflexibility of the lines you really do need to be careful in getting both the length and orientation correct before crimping. I checked everything several times before finally crimping the fittings on. Happy to say everything fit well.
Installing the A/C and Heater Lines
Once everything was tightened down, I borrowed Rick Fernau’s gauges and vacuum pump to pull the system down to check for leaks. All looks good so far, if everything is still looking good tomorrow, I will release the vacuum and remove the evaporator so that I can get started on the wiring.
Good progress this week so far!