Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 6, 2013
The typical Old Air Products complete Mustang kit is shown here. If your Mustang is fairly stock this complete system bolts right on, but just like our project, if you have to deviate from the kit, you can order what you need in a custom kit. Just speak to one of Old Air’s sales team members and they’ll help you get the right parts for your project’s A/C system.

Call us old, or call us wimps—whatever you like—but we're fans of modern comfort and convenience goodies and we love adding them to our classic rides. Sure, something can be said for the visceral feel of a classic Ford roaring down the road with unsupportive low-back seats, heavy clutch pedal, hard-to-see gauges, and so forth. But that "time machine" is something we feel many of us are well past. We want those classic memories, but in something we can drive in for hours at a time in comfort and safety without needing a chiropractor appointment or having to take a 30-minute shower to wash away the day's road scum we're wearing.

One convenience that is a must in the south, and increasingly more prevalent everywhere else, is an efficient air conditioning system. There are numerous systems on the market, and they all pretty much accomplish the same thing. They condition the cabin's air, making long drives in the hot summer months a complete joy to experience. We've used Old Air Products electronic heat and cool systems on other projects with much success, so it was a no brainer to reach out to the A/C experts at Old Air Products for our heating and cooling system for Project Generation Gap.

Old Air Products carries a full range of complete A/C systems for classic Mustangs and Fords that use modern Sanden rotary compressors, bolt-in condensers, and manual or electrically controlled underdash units. Old Air Products even offers original air parts for those of you that still run a factory supplied system. However, if you're building a restomod or custom, or maybe something with a modern engine swap, don't worry. Old Air Products can still get your cabin cooled with a custom package of components that fits your project perfectly.

Our '68 fastback project had several hurdles for the Old Air Products crew to consider. First and foremost was our smoothed and painted firewall and modular engine swap. These two issues meant that the company's standard Mustang underdash unit wouldn't work, as it normally uses the old blower motor opening for hose passage and this opening was not only welded up, but also partially blocked by the wide modular engine. Secondly, we had the stock Ford A/C compressor mounted to the engine and we'd have to somehow get the aftermarket A/C hoses connected. Yet another concern was the heater hoses, as the modern modular engine uses "quick connect" lines. Lastly, we're working on a custom dash and console and will be eliminating the stock heater controls to the driver's left. After putting all these issues on the table, Old Air Products came back with a solution using readily available parts from its catalog.

What we thought would be the biggest issue was nothing more than a part number change for Old Air Products. Instead of shipping us its normal Hurricane underdash unit for the Mustang, Old Air swapped it for one with "side exit" fittings. The plan—run the lines through the cowl side panel and along the outside of the inner fender apron. Next up were the heater and A/C fittings on the engine. Old Air Products offers hose crimping services in-house, but what we didn't know is they can also add the proper AN service fittings to any formed steel tubing. All we had to do was remove the modular engine's A/C manifold and heater tubes, ship them out for modification, and Old Air Products shipped them back with the rest of our components. Lastly, we upgraded from the cable-driven system to the optional electronically controlled unit, and then opted for a more modern horizontal slide control assembly we'll be mounting in the dash's radio opening. Some of the dash bits will have to wait until we start on our interior and dash installation (coming soon, we promise) but we can tackle the majority of the hard-part installation right now. So read on; whether you have a stone stock Mustang or you're building something similar to Generation Gap, Old Air Products can fix you up and cool you off.

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31. When it comes to the heater hoses, things are a little easier, as you can route the heater hoses from the heater core to the electric heater valve and secure with basic hose clamps. From the heater valve to the engine is the same, unless you opt to install crimp-style fittings on your engine. For tight hose routings that require bending of the hose, we found the E-Z Coil from Goodyear helps turn a standard straight heater hose into a “molded” hose for bends or to get around brackets/fittings/and more.