72 Mach1 - Convert from stock heater box to after market AC

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bdennis

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Apr 3, 2021
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Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hey guys,
I have a 72 Mach 1 (351C) that was not optioned with AC from the factory. I live in Australia and love to drive my ride all year round. As you know, our summers get warm so am keen to add AC to the car. I would prefer a kit that makes the install look as factory as I can. I have done some research and see there are a few kits around.

Has anyone done a non AC to AC conversion and if so what kit do you recommend?

I see there is:
Classic AutoAir kit - https://www.classicautoair.com/shop/complete-ac-systems/1971-ford-mustang-air-conditioning-system/
Restomod air kit - https://restomodair.com/shopproducts/1971-73-mustang-trumod-complete-a-c-system/
Old Air Products Hurricane via CJ pony - https://www.cjponyparts.com/old-air...system-electronic-351c-1971-1973/p/CAP1172MC/

The old Air Products kit does not look like it uses the factory air vents.
I think I would lean towards the Classic AutoAir kit. I would like to keep the under bonnet looking factory with a factory looking compressor. As the Australian Falcons used the same compressor, I should be able to pick one up.
Any experience with these kits?
 
I have a Classic Auto Air HVAC in my car and couldn't be happier. Mine is an earlier kit, so it has the slider adapters for the controls, but other than that, it's pretty much the same.

My only complaint is the lack of an idler pulley on the A/C compressor belt. CAA said to just run a longer belt off the power steering circuit, but I'm not keen on 4 pulleys on a single V-belt. So, I did some digging around, acquired a factory-style idler pulley and 3-groove crank pully, along with an adapter kit for mounting the Sanden compressor to the factory idler pulley bracket. All of those extra parts can be found on CAA's Original Air division, including the Sanden Adapter bracket.

BTW - almost all of the aftermarket HVAC systems are pretty much the same. I just got a Nostalgic Air system for my '80 Jeep CJ-7, and it's almost identical to the CAA system in my Mach 1. The instructions on the CAA system are vastly superior, though.

Here's an install of the CAA system (not my engine), along with the bracket I was talking about that bridges the gap to the factory idler pulley (far right on the 1st pic, U-shaped piece of bar stock)
1971_ford_mustang_mach_1+cleveland_4v_engine_upgraded.jpg
1971_ford_mustang_mach_1+cleveland_4v_engine_upgraded_2.jpg

Hope that helps!
 
bdennis,
I would be very interested in your project with your AC.
My project led me in a different direction - in my rebuild, I had a roof that looked OK but ended
up being dished and full of bog (8mm).
Once taken back to bare metal it was the best oil can roof you could find - rather than buy a roof from
the States, I installed a sunroof which solved the problem but cost $AUD2000 to do.
I will sort the heating and cooling out once on the road and driving.
Give me a call, I would like to have a chat with you, not many guys in Melbourne.
Mel (0419 044 550) 1971 MACH 1 RESTOMOD.
 

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Hey Mel,
Yeh happy to chat. Im out in Sunbury.

Nice work on the Mach1. What type of Sunroof did you install? One like the Falcon ones?
 
in the course of this part of the restoration im going with the Classic Auto Air system. I really like the fan upgrade.
 
Hey guys,
I have a 72 Mach 1 (351C) that was not optioned with AC from the factory. I live in Australia and love to drive my ride all year round. As you know, our summers get warm so am keen to add AC to the car. I would prefer a kit that makes the install look as factory as I can. I have done some research and see there are a few kits around.

Has anyone done a non AC to AC conversion and if so what kit do you recommend?

I see there is:
Classic AutoAir kit - https://www.classicautoair.com/shop/complete-ac-systems/1971-ford-mustang-air-conditioning-system/
Restomod air kit - https://restomodair.com/shopproducts/1971-73-mustang-trumod-complete-a-c-system/
Old Air Products Hurricane via CJ pony - https://www.cjponyparts.com/old-air...system-electronic-351c-1971-1973/p/CAP1172MC/

The old Air Products kit does not look like it uses the factory air vents.
I think I would lean towards the Classic AutoAir kit. I would like to keep the under bonnet looking factory with a factory looking compressor. As the Australian Falcons used the same compressor, I should be able to pick one up.
Any experience with these kits?
Old air makes two kits. The one for ac cars is the same, but has the stock vent kit that works well. Mine was not an ac car, but had the vents. Looks stock.
 
OK watch the Video on a guy doing his 71 using "Classic Auto Air" I've installed all the different brands and even used parts from several to get the desired fit and look. OK This particular unit from Classic Auto Air is a Not Brainier! Excellent fit look and performance. Watch the video, call the guys and i believe you'll agree.
 
OK watch the Video on a guy doing his 71 using "Classic Auto Air" I've installed all the different brands and even used parts from several to get the desired fit and look. OK This particular unit from Classic Auto Air is a Not Brainier! Excellent fit look and performance. Watch the video, call the guys and i believe you'll agree.
Just thought I would chime in here for a moment. I asked a local shop who they would recommend between Vintage and Classic to get an aftermarket A/C system for our 1973 Mach 1. It was built with no A/C, so this required me to get a full kit.

After the unit was installed I found it was an excellent performing system. About a year later I fell into a 1973 Mustang Convertible, also with no factory A/C. Despite being a convertible, I decided to get another Classic Air A/C kit. It also turned out to work perfectly. Vintage Air likely makes a fine system, but I am stuck on Classic Air just based on my firsthand experience with two of their systems.
 
I'm not sure vintage air makes a kit for a 71-73 Mustang. I'm using vintage air in my 72 Mach I build but I am piecing it together. I didn't need a compressor because that came with the drive kit for the coyote engine.
 
I have a Classic Auto Air HVAC in my car and couldn't be happier. Mine is an earlier kit, so it has the slider adapters for the controls, but other than that, it's pretty much the same.

My only complaint is the lack of an idler pulley on the A/C compressor belt. CAA said to just run a longer belt off the power steering circuit, but I'm not keen on 4 pulleys on a single V-belt. So, I did some digging around, acquired a factory-style idler pulley and 3-groove crank pully, along with an adapter kit for mounting the Sanden compressor to the factory idler pulley bracket. All of those extra parts can be found on CAA's Original Air division, including the Sanden Adapter bracket.

BTW - almost all of the aftermarket HVAC systems are pretty much the same. I just got a Nostalgic Air system for my '80 Jeep CJ-7, and it's almost identical to the CAA system in my Mach 1. The instructions on the CAA system are vastly superior, though.

Here's an install of the CAA system (not my engine), along with the bracket I was talking about that bridges the gap to the factory idler pulley (far right on the 1st pic, U-shaped piece of bar stock)
View attachment 70971
View attachment 70972

Hope that helps!
My CAA a setup is identical to yours!! Great system!!
OP, with a heater only car you will need a hole in the firewall, and additional brackets and pulleys, and possible power wiring.
CAA can get you a complete kit for your specific car as it sits….get some good engine bay and dash pictures and give them a call!!
 

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