Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 9, 2010

Tech | Refrigerant Charge
Today you'd be hard pressed to find a new vehicle on a dealer's lot without factory air conditioning. Even 20 years ago in the early '90s the Mustang's A/C system was an option, though the majority of Mustangs sold had the Preferred Equipment Package (PEP) checked off on the order form. This included A/C, power windows and locks, and more. Dealer installed A/C kits were something many dealers, mostly in the northern states and Canada, still stocked for the customer who finally caved in and wanted A/C in their car. Going back even further to the '50s and '60s and you'd note just a few percent of new vehicles came with factory ordered A/C and dealer-installed kits were big ticket items that few could afford.

Of course as we get older and the '60s get farther away, we find it hard to believe so few went without the comfort of "conditioned air." This is why today many companies offer aftermarket performance A/C systems for classic Mustangs and Fords. Just flip through the catalogs from companies like Vintage Air, Hotrod Air, Classic Auto Air, and Old Air Products and you'll see everything from basic under dash kits to electronically controlled heat/air/defrost kits with fuel efficient Sanden rotary compressors. Of course, once you have the A/C installed it does require some seasonal maintenance for it to perform at its best, just like your home A/C system.

Often, due to the limited seasonal driving time of our classic Fords, our A/C systems develop small leaks that prevent the system from optimal cooling. If you've installed an R-134a-based system you can easily "top off" your system with a multitude of over-the-counter kits. Owners still using R-12-based systems, however, aren't as lucky since R-12 has been legislated out of use and requires a license to purchase. We found a non-ozone depleting climate safe product called Green Freeze that can be used in both R-12 and R-134a systems on top of the original refrigerant (to top off) or as a complete replacement. So now when your classic Ford needs that "one-can charge" to make your ride comfortable again for the summer you have a DIY option that will work and will even make your A/C system run more efficiently. Check it out.

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