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Author Topic: 1968 Aircon car?  (Read 2936 times)
WayneinNZ
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« on: June 05, 2009, 02:26:31 AM »

Hello again everyone.
While trying to get the "ball vents" in the dash going I seem to have discovered that my  car may have originally had AC.
There are no penetrations from the cabin to the wiper cowl area up behind the dash for the ball vent ducting to connect to , similarly the ball vents do not have the little knob and lever to open and close the "flap" which turns on and off or restricts the air flow.
The heater controils are all out of whack.
There is no central vent in the radio trim panel.
It appears to have a standard heater box fitted in the engine bay and all looks as it should be for a non AC car in that respect.
All the windows have a green tint to them.
A panelbeater here has started all this when he mentioned to me that there was been a small patch or "AC Delete" plate welded into the firewall ( which I cant see ) up by the wiper cowl panel.
My problem is, I would like to get the venting system working correctly.

I have a couple of options.
1: Drill the holes in the firewall for the ball vent connections, I have not been able to get the plastic parts to mount to the firewall however.
2: Resurrect the original AC system, I can acquire a complete system from a firends car here who is making a hot rod and will be removing his AC
3: Install an aftermarket AC system, vintage air or similar.

Option 1 would be pretty much impracticle as I would have to tear the car apart.
Option 2 would be the best option as it retains all the correct parts but again means some serious surgery to undo what has been done.
Option 3 would appear to be the way to go as I understand they dont require a pump and would retro fit to my car fairly easily. Has anyone fitted one of these?

Before I do anything I want to make sure that I am not "barking up the wrong tree", so to speak.

Are there any other tell tale clues as to whether my car really did have AC fitted?
Were there any models that did not have the air vents ducted to the firewall

Thanks
Wayne
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rat pack
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 08:18:08 AM »

Wayne, is your car already restored or is it in a condition that needs restoration and where you can remove some parts to inspect this a little further?  I think some pictures would be of a big help here as some of what you describe is a car that was originally equipped a/c from the factory. The holes not being stamped into the cowl plenum for the vents, no holes in the dash for the flapper controls at the vents are the only clues present for this to be an a/c car originally.  As you are aware, the firewalls are totally different between an a/c and non-a/c car as to the stamped holes for the heater core body and the tube location. So if you have the non-a/c heater box under the hood, then you need to look and see if the firewall has been modified for it to fit. This is not an easy conversion to do as it requires a lot of welding, relocating of a couple holes, and redrilling for the heater box mounting. Most of the time the holes where the heater core tubes come out on a non-a/c V8 (non big block) cannot be duplicated exactly as the factory did it due to the shape of the lower hole. A picture of this area would be good. Also the top of the cowl panel would have to be repaired in the lower corner of the passenger side opening to fill in the cutout area for the plenum valve that is only present on a/c cars, again not an easy proper fix as the underside is not easily repaired w/o some clues showing it being repaired.

What is specifically wrong with the heater controls? Heat operates when it shouldn't, no blower fan speed control, flapper door for vent/defrost does not work...? As for the choices as to how to fix this, well that is up to you and your expertise in working on these systems. Personally if was a factory a/c car then that is the way it needs to go back no matter how much work is required. Since your friend is converting his car to a hot rod then I would get everything from him, including the firewall area and have him repair his to a smooth finish. I have used the Vintage Air systems and honestly they suck. You cannot use your glovebox, the fitment and ease of installation is fair at best. I don't know what you mean as they don't use a pump? Are you saying they don't use a compressor? Well they do, and it does not use factory style brackets to hang it on the engine. The systems do cool well, they tend to have a little more noise from the blower than the factory system, and usually they only use the front center vents for the a/c. I think they now offer a system where it will use the outer vents like the factory system, and you just use two block off plates on the cowl.  I just quit using them entirely years ago because of the issues we always had installing them. The last car I restored with a/c was an old drag car and we put the factory stuff right back on there. The owner went with a "Day 2" restoration with period correct speed partsSee attached picture of the engine compartment during the restoration............

If you can take a few pictures of the heater core outlet openings, and of the lower corner of the passenger side cowl plenum opening we might be able to tell what you had originally......................betting it was an a/c car..............RatPack.......................







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tom
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 08:31:06 AM »

I beleive the AC cars also had baffles between the radiator support and fenders. There was a long thread on this subject a while back. They could have been removed with the AC system, but if they are still there that would be another clue.
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69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speedo
WayneinNZ
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 10:13:26 PM »

under glovebox looking up to heaterbox
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WayneinNZ
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 10:14:49 PM »

closeup of firewall enginebay side
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WayneinNZ
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 10:16:34 PM »

passneger side ball vent, no hole for pull lever
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WayneinNZ
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 10:18:30 PM »

closeup of heater hoses. Very close to rocker cover
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WayneinNZ
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 10:26:57 PM »

Hi guys, thanks for your input.
The car is in restored condition.
It was restored by the guy I bought it from and he tells me that it had no air con when it arrived in the country.
In other words, he did not remove it if it was ever there at all.
I have found that there is no ducting behind the ball vents which might explain the controls not working.
However, there are still no penetrations for the ball vent ducting into the firewall to connect to.
There is no evidence of a hole for the ball vent valve lever to poke through.
I cannot see where the cutout area for the plenum has been filled in although my panelbeater syas he can see it. (x-ray vision maybe)
All the glass is definately tinted green.
Rat pack,
Thanks for your input regarding the aftermarket aircon systems.
I would prefer to fit the factory system although it would appear I am in for a lot of body work to do so.
Hopefully some of you experts wall spot some tell tale clues in the pics Ihave uploaded.

Thanks again
Wayne
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JohnZ
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 10:47:26 AM »

Something odd appears to have been done to that firewall and heater blower case - photo below is of the same area on my original '69, and the heater hoses/core pipes are further outboard, with more clearance to the rear of the valve cover.
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rat pack
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 07:35:34 PM »

That car originally had a/c by the pictures you have shown. You can clearly see where the firewall has been welded up at the original a/c heater core opening as the seam is starting to show (blue outline area). The two upper holes that normally bolt the a/c box to the firewall have been poorly filled in (yellow lines), and the cutout area for the plenum vlave has definitely been filled in (red outline area). I does not appear that the dash has been filled in for the air control knobs that are present on non-a/c cars. Though it would require removal of the front clip and doing some interior disassembly, converting the car back may not be that hard as it appears someone did a "hap-hazard" job of removing the a/c without changing the firewall area from a non-a/c car. I would get the stuff from your friend's car and fix yours.........RatPack.............
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WayneinNZ
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 01:08:59 AM »

Thankyou very much for your close observations rat pack, JohnZ.
I have been for a very close look (now that I knnow what I am looking at) and can now see where the panel work has been done.
I will grab that system from my mates car and store till I pull the engine out.
Thanks a lot for your help.
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tom
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 05:23:47 PM »

When you get that system, you might also want to get a healthy supply of the r-12 refrigerant. I don't know the NZ rules, but it's expensive in the US, where it is no longer available retail.
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69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speedo
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