Category: Air Conditioning/ Heat

’32 Update: air conditioning (article 19, archived)


We will be using a Vintage Air Gen II Compac system. It’s 9″ tall, 7-3/4″ deep, and 20-1/2″ long. It’s got servo motors to give us a TRUE bi-level function, too. Vintage Air has these neat mock-up units which are exact shells of the functioning unit, with all mounting points in the same spots, and all the ducts and stuff in the exact locations. They make it much easier to install because you don’t have to keep hoisting the actual unit into position each time you check fitment. Also, there is no risk of dropping it!

This is a picture looking up from the floor at the inside of the firewall. I have put masking tape about where my mounting holes are, then I made a mark on the tape while holding the unit in place. I will be using the car builder’s secret weapon: not duct tape (although that’s a good weapon too)… knife inserts. I think that’s what they’re called.

The Bear body has a neat lip on the top of the inside firewall panel that I can rest the evaporator on. It also shoves it way up under the dash so you can barely see it.

Knife Inserts. I think that’s what they’re called. You can get them at your local hardware store. I got these at Home Depot. If someone knows the actual name of them, please email me using the little button on the left side of the screen. Even if you just like the fact that I call them knife inserts, please email me using the little button on the left side of the screen. I’m also married.

There’s the little guy, screwed into the firewall. No bolts showing on the outside! That’s the Specialty Power Windows wiper motor, mounted to the steering column support plate.

Who has air conditioning???
ok, ok… I do.

If you ever decide to put the ducts right in front of the evaporator like I did, this is going to be necessary. There isn’t enough room to come straight down from the top of the evaporator and then go 90 degrees into the duct, so I trimmed it so the hose had an easier route. I’m nice. You’ll want to leave two tabs at the bottom for connecting the hose.

Because I cut off one of the hose tabs, I had to make another one. I got out the propane torch, threw a bit of heat to the back side of the duct, and with a screwdriver pried it up so it formed a tab worthy of holding the hose in place.

That’s all you need.

’32 Update: More Air Conditioning (article 27, archived)

More Air Conditioning
A/C hoses rank right up there with brake lines on my “things I don’t like looking at” list. What else is on the list, you might ask? Cigarette butts flying out of car windows, mold, and melting snow are all making their way to the top. Anyways, I tried pretty hard to come up with a way of dressing down the hoses. The first way was using Vintage Air’s reduced barrier hose and fittings. The second was to try to make the zinc plated fittings look a little less shiny. Follow along!

Here’s what the fittings look like out of the box. Photos from horton.on.ca

You need a special set of pliers to snap the rings in place. A really nice feature is that you can get an amazing crimp without taking the hoses out of your garage. Get them clocked in the right direction and snap the rings on. That’s all it takes.

This is #10 hose!
On the ’32, I’ve used shrink wrap to cover the hose as well as the fittings. This makes it consistently matte, and looks somewhat like a snake which just swallowed an air conditioning fitting.


I installed the drier in the trunk to save space under the dash. It was a little extra #6 hose, but not enough to notice a performance drop especially since the cabin is so small. The trinary safety switch is mounted right to the drier. To mount the drier, I just used a tube machined to the correct length and welded two 1/4-20 threaded bungs to that tube. After drilling and countersinking holes to match, that’s all it took. The bolt heads will be hidden by the access panel.

’32 Update: Miscellaneous Stuff (article 33)

Some Miscellaneous Stuff

Here are a few random shots of what I’ve been up to lately. They don’t each require a separate posting, so I’ll just throw them all in here.

Wiper stand posts

specialty power windows wiper kit

I made up these little spacers for the wiper posts, then painted them black.

heater hard lines

Here you can see my heater lines. I decided not to run #10 heater hose just because of the size of the car. A #10 hose has a 1/2″ i.d., so by running 3/8″ hard line, I’m not losing all that much flow. I’m using the head as one connection, and the water pump for the other. The hose clamp on the hose going to the water pump will be replaced and eventually will look like the one just below it. Remember to flare the end of the hard line so it’s tight in the hose. I’m also trying to figure out where to run the spark plug wires.

emergency brake cables

I made up two 3/8″ double clamps to hold the e-brake cables.

specialty power windows wiper motor

Here you can see the Specialty Power Windows wiper motor that’s mounted to the steering column mounting plate.

air conditioner drain

air conditioner drain

I couldn’t exactly hide the A/C drain behind the upholstery (because what you see is the “upholstery”), so I had to come up with another way. I decided to use the leftover trunk weatherstrip I had. It’s hollow, flexible, and has an adhesive back. It’s not stuck to the firewall yet, but when I’m ready I can just peel off a few small sections of backing and hold it in place.

current stance

And here’s where we are, pretty much up to date.