Air Conditioning

Since my Maverick didn't come with air conditioning I started collecting the parts needed to make the swap. A trip to the junkyard found me a factory air unit from an early 70 Maverick that was in very good condition. I also got a 7 blade fan from a 75 Maverick that came with factory AC and PS. The fan shroud I got a few years ago from a '76.

I bought a slightly use Sanden compressor that included the adapter plate to bolt to the factory bracket. A new condenser, expansion valve, accumulator and blower motor was bought online. New ventilation ducts and a handful of small parts were purchased from Melvin's Classic Ford Parts. A late model G.M. plastic vacuum reservoir was mounted behind the splash panel away for the heat to replaced the factory soup can style reservoir.

The AC box was taken apart, cleaned and the metal doors were bead blaster and painted. I had the local radiator shop clean and test the heater core and evaporator. A good friend of mine came over to help rebuild the AC box and I helped him installing the unit. The AC defrost duct was the first thing to go in. New holes for the heater hose drilled in the firewall along with a hole in the floor pan for the drain hose. The different mounting holes on the firewall to accept the AC box were there from the factory.

My controller bezel has a back light for the word FAN, earlier models were not illumined. Instead of using the AC controller I modified my heater controller to receive the vacuum switch by cutting the lever where my old cable attached. I swapped out the four wire heater fan switch with the 5-wire AC switch. A NOS rear defogger switch was installed. Then the temp control cable were mounted and vacuum lines and wiring routed.

I decided I wanted to omit the center vent in the dash and go with only the vents on the package tray. To do this a block-off plate was made from tin and pop-rivet to the plenum and sealed with RTV.

The Sanden compressor came too close to the exhaust header when everything was mounted so I drilled new holes in the adapter plate and bracket to move the compressor over another inch. The heater hoses were also laying on the compressor and on the other end of the hoses were too close to the header tubes. I cut a short section from a molded hose to go between the firewall and water valve to get the angle I needed on one hose and used a Unicoil on the other hose to get a 90 degree bend. Another Unicoil was used to get the hose off the compressor. This band aide will get me back on the road until I come up with a better solution.

I used a late model GM plastic vacuum canister and mounted it behind the rear inner fender apron. The GM plastic ball cost less than $10 vs the Ford reproduction fruit juice tin can costing $80

The new exact reproduction condenser I bought off eBay came with a bad fitting that cost $50 to have the shop replace. Not only was the fitting bad, it came with female thread and the factory condenser had male threads. Three new holes had to be drilled in the radiator support to mount the condenser. This required removing the valance panel. I guess that "exact reproduction" does not mean it will fit like the factory part.

The local AC shop made and installed the lines then charged the system. This is when I realized that I forgot to swap the heater fan 14 amp fuse to a bigger 30 amp fuse that is needed to pull the compressor.

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