SelectAire AC System Rebuild - Worth the $? Options?

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Hello All,

I have a 72 Mach 1 Q code with the factory installed SelectAire air conditioning system.  As part of the restoration I want to get the air conditioning working again.  I'm not sure what issues it has if any, but it was not being used (belt not installed & wrong regulator on car) when I purchased the car.  So I'm assuming it stopped working for some reason or another.  

I found a company today Original Air that will rebuild the original parts.  They can also sell replacement systems and replacement original (rebuilt) parts.  They are located in Tampa, Florida so very close to my location.  Here are the costs I was given for rebuilding the components:



What do you guys think?  Is it worth rebuilding these old systems?  Are there other companies that do these rebuilds and have any of you had this done, if so cost?

 
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I purchased a 73 vert with air that had sat for 25 years. Of course the air did not work. I took the system off, replaced the heater core, ran rifle cleaning brushes through the hose and fittings to clean all the corrosion out. I drained all the old oil from the compressor. Got a new dryer filter and cleaned all the fittings and seats with fine steel wool. I got the new O-ring for the new refrigerants. I actually used a refrigerant from Canada called Dura Cool. It takes much less. When I put the system back on I went and purchased the vacuum pump and gauges from Harbor Freight. I pulled a vacuum on the system and let it sit for hours without a leak. I charged the system and it worked fine.

Why toss all the old system? Just be vigilant on cleaning and replacing bad components. Not much has changed in air conditioning but the refrigerants over the years. It is physics again at play.

 
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I purchased a 73 vert with air that had sat for 25 years. Of course the air did not work. I took the system off, replaced the heater core, ran rifle cleaning brushes through the hose and fittings to clean all the corrosion out. I drained all the old oil from the compressor. Got a new dryer filter and cleaned all the fittings and seats with fine steel wool. I got the new O-ring for the new refrigerants. I actually used a refrigerant from Canada called Dura Cool. It takes much less. When I put the system back on I went and purchased the vacuum pump and gauges from Harbor Freight. I pulled a vacuum on the system and let it sit for hours without a leak. I charged the system and it worked fine.

Why toss all the old system? Just be vigilant on cleaning and replacing bad components. Not much has changed in air conditioning but the refrigerants over the years. It is physics again at play.
So looking at that quote to basically rebuild my original equipment would you say it's worth it or better to just follow your lead (clean everything up, drain oil, replace dryer filter, O-ring, new refrigerant, vacuum test and GO) and save that money for something else like the engine or paint :)

 

7173Vert

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I purchased a 73 vert with air that had sat for 25 years. Of course the air did not work. I took the system off, replaced the heater core, ran rifle cleaning brushes through the hose and fittings to clean all the corrosion out. I drained all the old oil from the compressor. Got a new dryer filter and cleaned all the fittings and seats with fine steel wool. I got the new O-ring for the new refrigerants. I actually used a refrigerant from Canada called Dura Cool. It takes much less. When I put the system back on I went and purchased the vacuum pump and gauges from Harbor Freight. I pulled a vacuum on the system and let it sit for hours without a leak. I charged the system and it worked fine.

Why toss all the old system? Just be vigilant on cleaning and replacing bad components. Not much has changed in air conditioning but the refrigerants over the years. It is physics again at play.
So looking at that quote to basically rebuild my original equipment would you say it's worth it or better to just follow your lead (clean everything up, drain oil, replace dryer filter, O-ring, new refrigerant, vacuum test and GO) and save that money for something else like the engine or paint :)

The underdash assembly can be done by you if you have the time and patience. I rebuilt my unit, was not difficult, just have to stay on top of all the pieces...  

 
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That is a classic picture of a well occupied heater box. If you get the mesh wire and put a piece between the heater box and cowl that stops them there. To keep them out of the cowl put the mesh wire under the cowl vent plastic pieces. Then go get stainless steel scrubber pads and reach in and push into the drain from cowl on each side. That should stop all the critters.













 
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I would go this route...

Buy a remanufactured OEM compressor with clutch from here. They have a $50 off coupon now so cost would be $200 shipped with no tax. Make sure you pull off your original part tag so you can put on new unit.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/driveworks-reman-york-209-210-compressor-w-clutch-dw57022/5890381-P?searchTerm=a%2Fc+compressor+w%2FclutchBuy

Then as David said rebuild your under dash unit yourself, not really hard you just need a $20 gasket kit. The hardest part is getting it out and then back in. Buy the new hoses and you have a rebuilt unit for pretty reasonable.

 

7173Vert

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That is a classic picture of a well occupied heater box. If you get the mesh wire and put a piece between the heater box and cowl that stops them there. To keep them out of the cowl put the mesh wire under the cowl vent plastic pieces. Then go get stainless steel scrubber pads and reach in and push into the drain from cowl on each side. That should stop all the critters.













David, yes your solution would work for sure. This was the heater box when I got the car after it had sat in a barn for many, many years in the Spokane,WA area. Thankfully, this was the only area they attacked. I did a complete refurbishment of the box... 

 
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If I decide that I'm not going for a "concours" restoration, should I just keep the old compressor in storage somewhere and go with a newer style replacement unit? Is there any benefit to doing so, especially on the performance side for the car as a whole and also for efficiency of the AC system? I live in Florida so definitely want something that works good and doesn't take away from performance. If there are better solutions out there I would consider them.

 

Mister 4x4

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I've never seen an 'under-dash' system on 71-73s before - A/C cars were fully integrated into the dash with the heater vents and controls.  Unless I'm missing something and there was some kind of a rare option for an under dash unit offered somewhere... IF you were going for concourse, of course.

For that kind of money (and a little bit more), I'd just buy a complete new Classic Auto Air system.  That way, you'll be starting with a whole new system, rather than having to trust the old repaired components.  Just make sure to keep the original idler pulley and bracket assembly, and pick up an adapter bracket from CAA's Old Air side of the house.

 
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Eric, in the early 70's Ford had a dealer installed accessory AC called the "Slimline".  Was fine in the larger cars but made an already tight cockpit even tighter in cars like the Mustang. I can say it would be easier to go on line and order parts for the space shuttle than to find parts for these Slimline hang on AC  units now!     :D  

In the late 70's the hang on AC units started using the duct work that was already in place with the heater only cars. They looked more like the factory integral systems and even used the same control panel the factory AC used.

The under dash unit they were referring to was probably the evaporator/heater core housing rebuild. At least we now know that the units that David and Ken (7173vert) restored are worth at least $700.00!!



 

Mister 4x4

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I just knew if someone knew anything about such a thing, it would be you.  Thanks for sharing. ::thumb::

I'm SO happy mine didn't come with that... and happier still that the Classic Auto Air kit is fully integrated.

 
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Eric, since we are both old enough to remember the Disco era..... :whistling:  I guess you remember the lower dash mounted 8 track tape players!? I had a Super Deluxe,ultra sonic, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Kraco unit from K Mart that cost me a whopping $19.95! When it wasn't eating tapes or making a squalling sound like two cats in heat, it was busy taking two layers of knee meat from anyone willing to sit on the passenger side. That probably had a lot to do with the short time these Slimline units were offered by Ford and replaced with the more sensible units that used the existing dash duct work!     :D

 

Mister 4x4

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I remember those.  How about this: in my '82 Mustang, I removed the ashtray (bottom of the center area immediately under the radio) and installed a Majestik 9-band graphic equalizer/booster.  I remember a lot of people putting CB radios in such places as well. ;)

My first AM/FM/Cassette stereo for the '82 Mustang was a Sparcomatic from Auto Shack, which had FF only (no reverse) and was not auto-reverse, so I had to flip the cassette when I hit the end of a side. I later swapped that crappy radio for a JVC AM/FM/Cassette with auto reverse - MUCH better!

Good times!

 

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I've never seen an 'under-dash' system on 71-73s before - A/C cars were fully integrated into the dash with the heater vents and controls.  Unless I'm missing something and there was some kind of a rare option for an under dash unit offered somewhere... IF you were going for concourse, of course.

For that kind of money (and a little bit more), I'd just buy a complete new Classic Auto Air system.  That way, you'll be starting with a whole new system, rather than having to trust the old repaired components.  Just make sure to keep the original idler pulley and bracket assembly, and pick up an adapter bracket from CAA's Old Air side of the house.



 
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