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28-Oct-01 Mounting the A/C Evaporator Part 2

Pieces of the puzzle…



ImageAfter making a template of the firewall behind the dashboard, I cut the ½-inch plywood to the same shape. The plywood by the way is a scrap from the overhead (checkered) sliding doors in the garage. Sometimes it really pays to save everything.

¼-inch holes were drilled where needed and the elevator bolts were hammered in until they were almost flush. These bolts have a square area near the head similar to a carriage bolt. Although driving them in will keep them from turning in most cases I will use a washer and nut on the other side to hold them and then fasten things to them using a second nut.
ImageThe board looks like this with the brackets in place. See, now it's starting to make sense isn't it? The large cutout area along the bottom edge is for fan clearance. Like I said earlier - things are tight!
ImageThe 2 large aluminum brackets sit right on top of the knee bar. Even though the plywood is not yet glued, this is enough to hold it in place.
ImageThe A/C unit slides in from the bottom and bolts to the 3 brackets. There's just enough room to the right of the evaporator to run the heat/AC hoses and the duct for the vent on the right side of the dash. The ducts will actually be located below the dash in a valance that will hang about 3-inches below the lower edge of the dash. The “knee bar” is at the bottom of the dash. This valance will also be made from 1/8-inch aluminum and will make a smooth bend under the evaporator and extend downward to the top of the removable transmission tunnel panel (where it meets the firewall). The valance will be a semi-removable piece that the steering column drop will pierce. It will house 3 vents, an air intake grill, courtesy lights, A/C & heat controls, ignition switch and light switch and will be covered in black leather. Removing the dash (a quick and easy job) will allow access to the area behind the dash and above and behind the valance.
ImageThere will be a rubber pad between the knee bar and the brackets and a piece of felt or foam between the fan and the firewall upon final installation to keep things from squeaking or rattling. I can't stand rattles and squeaks!

Hooking up vents for the defrosters will be a challenge with the Outlaw body and dash. Outlaw doesn't leave any room to get a vent to the upper part of the dash but I have a plan that I hope to cover soon. Defrosters are a necessity in South Dakota!

For those of you who are expecting a complete start-to-finish A/C install – it's not going to happen! I'll be adding a piece at a time as I'm working on various areas and then one day the system will be ready to charge. Before that happens the body will be finished, the engine running and the interior will be almost in place.

Now that I know where the A/C evaporator is going to go I can continue on to the next largest piece of the puzzle. I'm also working on a plan for a throttle pedal mount that will incorporate the linkages for the cruise control, transmission TV cable and throttle position sensor in one neat little package. I've found just the guy to help design and machine it and I'll be introducing you to him and his business in the near future - as well as some of his personal projects! ;)

That's about it for this week. It was a busy week filled with appointments, scheduled activities and a major computer crash that cost me a day's work so not too much happened with the car. I guess that's life!

If the weather gets any colder it's going to be too C-C-Cold to work in the garage. I have someone lined up to install a garage heater but he's been too busy to schedule mine in. If he doesn't show up soon I'll publish his e-mail address on the site ;)