Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2003
The Hose Wizard kit comes with everything needed to convert your stock A/C system, including a new condenser, a Sanden compressor, compressor mounting brackets, a serpentine belt, a high-pressure cutout switch, and all hoses and fittings. The only parts you won't be replacing are the evaporator and the cycling pressure switch, although Hose Wizard offers them as well.

Horse Sense:
The typical '86-'93 Mustang R-12 A/C system sees dash-vent temperatures in the 40- to 42-degree range on fan speed one. However, when a basic R134a conversion is done (a simple change of refrigerant and oil), the dash outlet temps climb to 49-50 degrees. If you turn the fan speed higher, you lose 2-3 degrees per speed, only making it worse. With the Hose Wizard R134a conversion, outlet temps hover in the 35-degree range on fan speed three!

Day in day out, and from front to back, this magazine deals with the subjects of horsepower, handling, and hot looks. When you have a stylin' street Mustang with 400-plus horses under the hood and canyon-carving springs and dampers on it, the ride to work or to the corner store can be just as much fun as the autocross or dragstrip. The funny thing is, most people don't want to give up their creature comforts-and who can blame them? After all, in the 21st century, there's no reason you can't have a great-handling, high-powered cruise missile for a Mustang that also has a killer stereo, power windows, and ice-cold air

Here in Florida, and in many other Southern locales, air conditioning is more of a necessity than a nice option. Sure, the LaRoccas and the DaSilvas of the world can rip out their A/Cs to save some weight. After all, how hot does it get in the North-mid- to high-80s in the summer? But in places such as Arizona, Texas, and Florida, it isn't uncommon to have temps in the high 90s from March all the way through October. Driving without A/C is practically a "sentence" in these places.

Problems with A/C systems can come from various sources-leaks, parts failure, electrical gremlins, and thermal issues. Any one of these-and quite often a combination of them-can cause the A/C system to blow warm air. Typically, the fix is to replace the offending part or reseal the leak and then recharge the system. Unfortunately, with R-12 refrigerant prices being what they are, even a simple $20 O-ring repair will require several hours labor and more than $200 in R-12.

The Hose Wizard R134a retrofit kit looks similar to a Ford dealer-installed A/C system. The A/C compressor uses an eight-rib clutch pulley (the stock clutch is only six ribs, and the six-rib belt runs in the center of the new pulley). Notice also how Hose Wizard adds a bit of length to the accumulator hose for clearance around aftermarket intakes. Nice touch.

Many people sought to convert their R-12 systems to R134a simply because the latter is cheaper, readily available, and can be bought without a license. Unfortunately, when R134a is introduced into a stock R-12 system with nothing more than a few new seals and some oil (the popular R134a conversion kits you see at the parts store), the A/C system isn't as efficient and vent-outlet temperatures rise. The best way to repair your A/C system and properly convert to R134a is to replace the components that hinder the R134a conversion, namely the condenser and the compressor.

Hose Wizard's R134a conversion kit for 5.0 Mustangs is the perfect choice for this repair. The easy-to-install kit includes a high-flow R134a condenser, a Sanden rotary compressor, hoses, mounting brackets, and R134a pressure switches.

We decided to be nice guys and use the Hose Wizard kit to fix the A/C in Associate Editor Johnson's Mustang. Glenn Hall of Hose Wizard even came to our office in his mobile installation-and-hose-fabrication rig, so all we had to do was snap the photos. The price for Hose Wizard's R134a kit is just $699. The company offers additional R-12 and R134a A/C cooling-system parts for Mustangs as well.

Just Too Cool
Glenn Hall drove from Georgia to 5.0&SF's Central Florida offices to install the new R134a conversion kit. But much of Hose Wizard's business is creating replacement and custom A/C, power steering, and hydraulic hoses for everything from street rods to heavy machinery. Yours truly's '90 LX had nonfunctioning A/C as well, so we asked Glenn if he could take a look at it. He found several leaking hoses and offered to make new ones on the spot. We thought you might be interested to see how the hoses in the R134a kit are manufactured.