Classic Auto Air

mbrew2

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Has anyone here had any experience with installing a Classic Auto Air system in their car? If so, what is the review and post pics if possible. 

https://www.classicautoair.com/shop/1972-ford-mustang-air-conditioning-system/
I Installed a classic auto air system in my 73 vert over the winter. My car was originally factory air but nothing was working and the compressor was locked up. I replaced all factory stuff with their system which was noted to be for a factory air 351C.  I wanted to get rid of all the vacuum control stuff. I knew nothing about A/C systems and found their directions to be a little incomplete for a total novice but managed to get it done. I have to say it works perfectly. The compressor bracket mounts to the driver side head and includes some spacers that I thought were designed to align the compressor pulley with my original A/C pulley on the crank. It does not! According to them, the compressor is supposed to run off of the alternator pulleys. I am not happy with having to use the alternator as a belt tensioner.  They also don't give you a recommended belt length/width which and left it up to me to experiment. As a result of this arraignment, I occasionally have some belt squeal when starting off from red lights.

I had watched install videos of their systems on other year mustangs and those kits included extra pulleys just for the A/C. I also talked to their division that supplies OE replacement parts/systems and they told me that they offered a bracket to attach the upgraded compressor to the factory A/C bracket which would have used the original tensioner and crank pulley.

Overall, I am satisfied with the system and the compressor mounting to the front of the head instead of the factory location really cleans up the engine bay.  I have considered modifying the bracket to align with my A/C crank pulley, but until it ruins the alternator I'll leave it as is. I'll try to post some pics later.

 
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I have it too on my 73 and am satisfied. I don't remember having to specifically ask about the bracket to use the factory tensioner though, it was just included in mine from what I remember. I too had a factory air system I replaced, however mine had been converted to a sanden type compressor before I started with Factory Air. I thought they had different order codes for cars with or without factory air.

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OzCoupe72

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When I was looking for a replacement for my factory air system I ended up going with Old Auto Air

Their kit has the Sanden type compressor which fits fine

They also supplied the bits necessary to utilize my original A/C control

Only down sides are you lose the fresh air vents but can live with this and some of the dash vent adapters were slightly wrong size

Pretty compact evaporator housing and with mine being RHD had to modify the mounting plus it sits a little low to the floor but luckily the wife has short legs and little feet

 

CobraJet351

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Interesting. Mine is in Australia also but LHD. It’s a shell at the moment and not factory AC. Did you guys use the D.E.R with the classic auto air or the factory controls? Can you post up some pics?

 
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I used factory controls, and they supply an electronic adapter to connect to the factory cables. I'm not near my car right now sorry no pics:(

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Mister 4x4

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Mine was a non-A/C car and my heater system was junk, so I went with Classic Auto Air. Installation was straight-forward and very simple... of course, I had the entire car torn apart, so no dashboard, hood, or windshield to contend with for me (at the time).

My only complaint is that they didn't offer any kind of idler arm pulley with their set-up - instructions and a picture on their website said to get a longer belt for the power steering circuit.  Yeah... no way.

I've been racking my brain for a few years now trying to figure out how to overcome this with my air compressor in-place but not belted up yet.  I was looking through some old inspirational pics and found this one, with a very simply approach to adapting the idler arm requirements to the Sanden compressor set-up they offer.  A simple piece of bar stock to mate up the Sanden compressor to the factory-style A/C - idler pulley mount.  I'm working on getting that installed in the next few weeks, after scoring a factory A/C bracket (with idler pulley) to add to my 3-groove crank pulley (stock for A/C cars with power steering).

These pics came from Mustang Monthly - sometime in spring 2010.

1971_ford_mustang_mach_1+cleveland_4v_engine_upgraded.jpg

1971_ford_mustang_mach_1+cleveland_4v_engine_upgraded_2.jpg

Hopefully, I'll have some similar pics of my own to add soon.

 

rackerm

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When I spoke to a Classic Air guy in Texas (the OEM team), he stated that they have all the necessary brackets to adapt the Sanden Compressor to the original Ford compressor brackets, allowing you to use the A/C pulley grove and tensioners instead of using the P/S pump grove and belt to spin the A/C compressor. This setup included the bracket to connect the Sanden to the original top A/C bracket as Eric described. The one bracket not available from Classic Air was the adapter bracket for mounting the P/S fluid cooler that wrapped around the OEM compressor. That you would have to make yourself.

My disclaimer here is I have not bought and installed the setup yet. My suggestion would be to talk directly with the guys in Texas and not the Classic Air guys in Florida or a reseller before you buy.

 

Mister 4x4

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Yeah, I looked through all of their brackets, and they didn't have anything at the time... maybe they have something now.

Which... I just now checked, and here it is (I must've been looking in the wrong place - this was found in the Original Air Parts section).  Got one on the way.

https://originalair.com/sanden-idler-adapter-kit

0019266_fordmercury-sanden-idler-adapter-kit.jpeg


Mine being a non-A/C car, I ordered a Perfect Fit system, which had everything but the idler pulley. I suppose if I had looked through the rest of the site (as in, the Original Air part - with the pieces/parts to adapt their new stuff to old stuff) my story might've been different, although I would've still needed to score a factory set of A/C brackets to make it work. I think this piece, along with a new belt, is pretty much the last of what I need to have the A/C up and running.

 

AOCUSNRET

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Yeah, I looked through all of their brackets, and they didn't have anything at the time... maybe they have something now.

Which... I just now checked, and here it is (I must've been looking in the wrong place - this was found in the Original Air Parts section).  Got one on the way.

https://originalair.com/sanden-idler-adapter-kit

0019266_fordmercury-sanden-idler-adapter-kit.jpeg


Mine being a non-A/C car, I ordered a Perfect Fit system, which had everything but the idler pulley.  I suppose if I had looked through the rest of the site (as in, the Original Air part  - with the pieces/parts to adapt their new stuff to old stuff) my story might've been different, although I would've still needed to score a factory set of A/C brackets to make it work.  I think this piece, along with a new belt, is pretty much the last of what I need to have the A/C up and running.
Looking at doing the Classic Auto Air install myself and was wondering if you gotten yours up and running yet?  Do you have any pics of how you got the pulley and brackets together?  I have a non-factory A/C car as well.  Thanks.

 

f williams

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just got through reading the good articles and comments about the a/c upgrades. my 71 mach 1 had at one time all the a/c heat but was removed before i purchased the car and after reading the good info youve posted i will definetly call the factory first.

 
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Yeah, I looked through all of their brackets, and they didn't have anything at the time... maybe they have something now.

Which... I just now checked, and here it is (I must've been looking in the wrong place - this was found in the Original Air Parts section).  Got one on the way.

https://originalair.com/sanden-idler-adapter-kit

0019266_fordmercury-sanden-idler-adapter-kit.jpeg


Mine being a non-A/C car, I ordered a Perfect Fit system, which had everything but the idler pulley.  I suppose if I had looked through the rest of the site (as in, the Original Air part  - with the pieces/parts to adapt their new stuff to old stuff) my story might've been different, although I would've still needed to score a factory set of A/C brackets to make it work.  I think this piece, along with a new belt, is pretty much the last of what I need to have the A/C up and running.
Looking at doing the Classic Auto Air install myself and was wondering if you gotten yours up and running yet?  Do you have any pics of how you got the pulley and brackets together?  I have a non-factory A/C car as well.  Thanks.

Here's one on mine using that bracket.

c6b85b766b9c5f54d209aaf694703095.jpg


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AOCUSNRET

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Yeah, I looked through all of their brackets, and they didn't have anything at the time... maybe they have something now.

Which... I just now checked, and here it is (I must've been looking in the wrong place - this was found in the Original Air Parts section).  Got one on the way.

https://originalair.com/sanden-idler-adapter-kit

0019266_fordmercury-sanden-idler-adapter-kit.jpeg


Mine being a non-A/C car, I ordered a Perfect Fit system, which had everything but the idler pulley.  I suppose if I had looked through the rest of the site (as in, the Original Air part  - with the pieces/parts to adapt their new stuff to old stuff) my story might've been different, although I would've still needed to score a factory set of A/C brackets to make it work.  I think this piece, along with a new belt, is pretty much the last of what I need to have the A/C up and running.
Looking at doing the Classic Auto Air install myself and was wondering if you gotten yours up and running yet?  Do you have any pics of how you got the pulley and brackets together?  I have a non-factory A/C car as well.  Thanks.

Here's one on mine using that bracket.

c6b85b766b9c5f54d209aaf694703095.jpg


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Thanks.  I appreciate it.  How does the pulley bracket attach to the block or is just attached to the bracket on the compressor?

 

Mister 4x4

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The idler pulley bracket is the factory A/C bracketry, and it mounts to the engine itself, via the water pump mounting bolts and other key locations on the driver side head.  The upper portion would've mounted directly to the original "York" style compressor, hence the need for that "bar stock style" adapter kit for the "Sanden" style air compressor.

I haven't been able to work on mine yet.  My friend came in from Phoenix, messed his back up somehow (probably aggravated by the drive), and we wound up just hanging out and chillin' the rest of the time he was here (gettin' older sucks).  Then I had a couple of weekend home projects, a few car shows in early Nov., family in for Turkey Day, and now I'm recovering from a bout of sciatica - so, my wrenchin' time is postponed for the time being.

It's definitely one of my priority projects, though.  I need to get it done sooner than later, partly because it'll be hot in West Texas again before I know it, and I tend to lose track of various things if I let them sit too long.

-----

Thanks for the pic, G.  It confirms my suspicions about the Mustang Monthly pics I posted and shows nicely how the CAA integrates well with the factory bracketry and pulleys.  I can't wait to get a chance to get mine done [finally].  You have a very nice engine, BTW. ::thumb::

 

CobraJet351

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I just got my kit in, it took a while to order. Unfortunately Classic Auto Air no longer make the EZ Cable Integrators so I'm stuck with the ugly control switch they offer.

 

rackerm

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On my 1970 Mach 1 351 Cleveland project, I went with Vintage Air, they have a control conversion kit that uses a slider that hook ups to their ECU that you then calibrate by sliding the control levers.

Also, they make a York mounting bracket to Sanden compressor adapter. I bet you can use it with any Sanden conversion kit.  I then made a top bracket to bolt the tensioner bracket and the P/S cooler to the top of the Sanden compressor. Looks similar to the stock setup. 

I also installed an aftermarket steering box with a GM style Saginaw P/S pump. mine is from CPP but it is very similar to a Borgeson conversion kit. No one makes a moutning bracket for a Cleveland with A/C and either a CPP or Borgeson P/S kit. So again I had to coble something together. I spent a lot of time lining up the stock crank, water pump pulleys with the Sanden and Saginaw pulleys. 

If anybody is interested in trying it, I'll be happy to share the details....

ork mounting bracket to Sanden compressor adapter. You can buy it on Summit Racing.

15815-VUB.jpg

I believe this is a 351W P/S steering bracket

Power Steeering Pump Bracket.jpg

Made the top bracket to be adjustable forward and back.

20201207_192343.jpg

An aftermarket Saginaw bracket. I used two of them on the front and back of the pump

Driver Side Power Steering Bracket SBC Small Block Chevy with Short Water Pump - Copy.jpg

Made my own spacers.

20210428_150439 - Copy.jpg

Putting all together...

20210428_150014 - Copy.jpg 20210428_150122.jpg

20210201_140003.jpg

20210510_080308.jpg

 
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I just got my kit in, it took a while to order. Unfortunately Classic Auto Air no longer make the EZ Cable Integrators so I'm stuck with the ugly control switch they offer.
Yeah, I ended up using their switch as well. It is not the best, but I am getting used to it. Plus it is down there in the center console where it is kind of dark so at least not too visible.

 

71coop

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I just got my kit in, it took a while to order. Unfortunately Classic Auto Air no longer make the EZ Cable Integrators so I'm stuck with the ugly control switch they offer.
I have the CAA kit and really like it. However, I had to deal with their 80s style ugly-ass controller too. I can't find the file i used, but I ended up designing a laminated decal that looks like something a little more period-correct. The shade of black is off, but so far, it's a better look.  

IMG_3391.JPG

 
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On my 1970 Mach 1 351 Cleveland project, I went with Vintage Air, they have a control conversion kit that uses a slider that hook ups to their ECU that you then calibrate by sliding the control levers.

Also, they make a York mounting bracket to Sanden compressor adapter. I bet you can use it with any Sanden conversion kit.  I then made a top bracket to bolt the tensioner bracket and the P/S cooler to the top of the Sanden compressor. Looks similar to the stock setup. 

I also installed an aftermarket steering box with a GM style Saginaw P/S pump. mine is from CPP but it is very similar to a Borgeson conversion kit. No one makes a moutning bracket for a Cleveland with A/C and either a CPP or Borgeson P/S kit. So again I had to coble something together. I spent a lot of time lining up the stock crank, water pump pulleys with the Sanden and Saginaw pulleys. 

If anybody is interested in trying it, I'll be happy to share the details....
Interesting. We both had similar ideas. I adapted the Sanden compressor using an adapter plate from Ebay and then frankestained it to the stock pulley bracket. The same with the Saginaw pump. In my case I used two bolts of the stock bracket and added a third fix point at the rear by bending a flat bar between the stock bracket and the pump.

Sorry not to hijack the thread, but I have a question about your Saginaw pump. Are you using ATF of steering fluid? Mine wines at below 1,200 rpms and it is very hard so when steering in a parking lot I have to keep revving it.

This is my Sanden adapter before the CAA air. The difference now is that the refrigerant hoses run on the driver's side instead of around the front and passenger side:

20190801_222015.jpg 20190804_230725.jpg

My Saginaw pump frankestaining:

20180929_163608.jpg 20181009_181818.jpg

 
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