Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 25, 2007

Owners of 1987-93 Mustangs know one thing. Their cars aren't getting any younger and as the mileage adds up, parts begin to fail. It's been 10 years since the last Fox body rolled off the assembly line and a lot of technology has come and gone, so why not take advantage of it when you have to replace something?

The introduction of CFC-free refrigerant, otherwise known as R-134a, created quite the stir in the automotive community. It does, however, provide consistently colder air conditioning temperatures, in addition to not polluting the atmosphere. In essence it's a high-performance cooling system for your body and we're all about high performance right? Thankfully, your HVAC system doesn't have to be left out.

Since the R-134 refrigerant wasn't used widespread until 1994, most 5-liter Mustangs are equipped with the older R-12. If your system is in good working order and you are happy with it, that's great. However, you can improve the performance and save money in the long run by switching over to R-134a and Hose Wizard makes it easy for you.

Hose Wizard, of Loganville, Georgia, specializes in air conditioning and can outfit anything from a street rod to a bulldozer with a cool climate. You may have seen R-134a retrofit kits in your local auto parts stores, but these only include a change of oil and new refrigerant. While this seems all well and good (and so does the price), your factory components were not engineered to work with R-134a and this can cause problems, least of which is poor performance. Hose Wizard has designed a kit specific to the '87-93 Mustang that will just about freeze you out of the seat, and your wallet will stay nice and cool, too.

"A good clutch fan is essential in getting the system to operate properly," noted Hose Wizard proprietor Glenn Hall. Factory clutch fans in Mustangs are prone to cracking, and most people don't check to see if the clutch is working either, so if your setup is looking dated, replace it.

Another common problem with the aging Fox is the heater core and evaporator. Under the dash and hidden away in a black box, one will find the heater core which carries coolant in and out of the car to provide heat. Over time, corrosion and rough handling of the exterior heater lines cause cracks and fissures in the core which allow it to leak inside the box. The heater core is placed directly above the evaporator, and if the coolant doesn't leak out of the box, it builds up and eventually causes the evaporator to fail. If you end up replacing one, you should replace the other while you're in there. Heater cores are generally pretty cheap. It's the evaporator that will hit you hard.

If your heating and cooling are in good working order, then you're ready to start the installation. If not, fix these items and then follow along.

The Hose Wizard kit comes complete with everything you need to change your car's cabin into a freezer. Glenn told us that he can actually get the system to blow colder than 32 degrees, but the evaporator freezes up, so he usually shoots for something in the high 30s. Parts for the freeze fest include a new condenser, a new compressor, new accumulator and some new lines, which have the appropriate fittings for the new compressor.

Installation of the system is pretty easy, but does require some special tools most of us don't have. These include gauges to read the system's state of being, a vacuum pump and the coupling disconnectors. The last of these items may be something you already have, as they work on fuel lines also, but the other items can be purchased at a local auto parts store. If you don't want to fork over the cash for the tools or don't have any experience with heating and cooling systems, any professional technician can do the install for you.

Every kit comes with free installation and Glenn Hall from Hose Wizard came to the Garden State to put ours on. The buying public will, however, have to go to Hose Wizard's shop in Georgia for the free installation.

Mmfp_0308_01_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl The_kitMmfp_0308_02_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl Compressor
The heart of the Hose Wizard kit is this new Sanden compressor. It is specifically designed to work with R-134a, and is a key part in making your cockpit cold.
Mmfp_0308_03_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl System_kickout_switch
By law, retrofit R-134a kits must be equipped with this kickout switch, which will shut down the compressor in the event that the system pressure gets too high.
Mmfp_0308_04_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl Old_compressor
Glenn started by removing the stock compressor and then the low-side line there in the back.
Mmfp_0308_05_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl New_compressor
The new compressor uses the old bottom mounting bracket but turned backwards. The upper mount requires slight trimming. Hose Wizard includes instructions on how to do all of this in the kit.
Mmfp_0308_06_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl New_linesMmfp_0308_07_z Hose_wizard_air_conditioning_installl Installing_the_new_lines
The new liquid line, which runs from the condenser to the evaporator includes a replaceable filter, unlike the stock piece that must be replaced with the line.