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You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials Interior/Electrical Installing a Factory A/C Unit
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Installing a Factory A/C Unit

 

NOTE: THIS TUTORIAL IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
It will be updated in the near future with more detailed information and better reference pictures as I complete the A/C installation on my own truck.

With more and more of the '67-'72 trucks being taken off the roads as a utilitarian workhorse and being rebuilt as an everyday cruiser or daily driver, comfort becomes more of an issue than when the truck first rolled off the assembly line. Adding air-conditioning (A/C) to a truck not so equipped from the factory has become a fairly common upgrade. This purpose of this tutorial is to provide you with reference photos and info necessary to install a factory A/C setup in your truck. I'll be installing a factory setup in my own project truck in the near future and will be updating the installation procedures detailed below with the proper wire hook-ups.

First of all, let's differentiate between a factory setup and a dealer add-on unit to eliminate some confusion.

Factory A/C Identification

The factory unit incorporated the heater components and the A/C components in one suitcase-style unit (which completely replaced the standard heater box) and had special in-dash controls, similar to the standard heater slider controls. Because the '67 trucks had a different style of push/pull cables for controlling heater functions, there was no factory A/C option on the '67s.

Although the factory A/C units were all dimensionally identical, there was some minor changes in exterior trim. In the picture to the right, you can see the '68-'69 style, the '70-only style and the '71-'72 style. The '70 unit was a transition piece, which used the '68-'69 register vents but the front aluminum valance was upgraded with woodgrain trim. The '71-'72 units retained the woodgrain but got restyled register vents. These trim pieces are fully interchangeable between each other.

Here are the differences in the dash controls:


Fig. 4 - the standard '68-'72 heater controls

Fig. 5 - the '68-'72 factory A/C and heater controls

Fig. 1 - factory '68-'69 unit


Fig. 2 - factory '71-'72 unit


Fig. 3 - A comparison of the three trim styles

Dealer Add-on A/C Styles

The following are some of the many different styles of factory add-on units used on the '67-'72 trucks. By no means is this an all-inclusive list....it's simply a sampling of what was available for dealer-installation after the truck was assembled by the factory. What sets these units apart from the factory A/C units is how their installation retains use of the standard heater box and dash controls. It's an underdash unit with A/C features only and all functions being controlled by it's own switches.

This is a swamp-cooler style cooling system found on a '67 F100. Notice the unit has it's own water level meter.

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Fig. 22
A Factory Installation

As mentioned above, the factory suitcase-style A/C unit replaces the standard heater box, and comes with it's own set of dash controls. To begin installation, you'll need to remove the following items from your truck:

  • heater box assembly
  • dash controls and cables
  • glovebox insert - the glovebox insert will need to be replaced with a much-shallower piece, since the A/C setup extends upward into the glovebox area, taking up about half of the available space (see Fig. 23).
  • right-side fresh air vent


Fig. 23

When it comes time to mount the A/C box you'll have to trim away a portion of your firewall cover, as shown in Fig. 24. The section that needs to be removed should already be perforated as needed. The yellow arrow points to a hole in the floorboard that will need to be drilled for the evaporator drain.


Fig. 24

The evaporator drain hose (Fig. 25) extends from the nipple on the bottom of the unit (Fig. 26) down through the hole in Fig. 23 and then out through the right-front cab mount (yellow arrow in Fig. 27).


Fig. 25


Fig. 26

Fig. 27

Fig. 28 shows the piece that will replace the right-side fresh air vent. The flexible duct between this and the A/C unit is connected on both ends with a spring clamp.


Fig. 28

Figs. 29 thru 33 show a '70 Ranger with a factory-installed A/C. In Fig. 29, the yellow arrows point to the two firewall mounting points of the suitcase unit. The one on the left (as you're viewing the picture) is one of the three holes already used with the standard heater box which will also be used for the A/C unit. The one on the right will need to be drilled. The blue arrows point to the other two heater box bolt holes, which will need to be closed off with body plugs, since they're no longer needed. The purple arrow points to the plugs needed to fill the heater core holes for the standard heater box. You will need to drill two holes for the heater core hoses down lower (don't worry, the firewall is already dimpled where you need to drill).


Fig. 29

Fig. 30 shows where the A/C lines enter/exit the cab. There is a rubber grommet here with three holes in it (one for each of the lines and a smaller hole for the wire to the compressor's clutch) and a metal retaining ring, held on with two screws. The firewall will be dimpled where the two screw holes will need to be drilled.


Fig. 30

The condenser and dryer are mounted on the front of the radiator support. There is a grommet similar to the one pictured in Fig. 30 above for the lines, except that this one only has the two holes for the lines. The condenser's mounting-bracket bolt holes should already be drilled in the core support and be outfitted with J-nuts.


Fig. 31

A view of the backside of the radiator support, showing the grommet's retaining ring. The support is dimpled where the two holes for the retaining ring's screws will need to be drilled.


Fig. 32

Here's a view of the underhood area, showing the compressor and lines. The compressor has two braces...one which extends down to a stud in the top of the driver's-side exhaust manifold, and another which connects to the water pump area. Note that this setup has the York compressor laying on it's side. However, the factory also occasionally installed this on it's side and had matching support braces.


Fig. 33

NOTE: THIS TUTORIAL IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
It will be updated in the near future with more detailed information and better reference pictures as I complete the A/C installation on my own truck.

 

 
You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials Interior/Electrical Installing a Factory A/C Unit


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