Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 25, 2007
Be sure to replace the locks on each line. This will help prevent leaks also.

Glen began by removing the old parts. The accumulator line was first, followed by the compressor line and then the liquid line, which runs from the firewall to the condenser. The liquid line holds the orifice tube, which filters contaminants in the system. The only problem with this setup is you have to replace the entire line in order to change the filter. The Hose Wizard line is split in the middle and has a replaceable filter inside.

The AC compressor is next. After removing the four bolts, you'll need to transfer the rear bracket onto the new Sanden compressor. The bracket is turned 180 degrees and then bolted on in the same fashion as the original.

The new Sanden compressor uses seven pistons as opposed to the five in the factory unit. It is designed to handle more volume and the higher pressure of the R-134a system. It also comes with a new belt (PN 6PK2345).

The fittings on the compressor can be rotated for proper hood clearance. The compressor wiring is spliced into the stock harness.

With the compressor mounted, remove the top radiator support brackets and lean the radiator forward. Remove the wire looms and then unbolt the condenser. The new piece is engineered for performing with R-134a, as the more efficient unit flows more than the stocker. The condenser swap is a piece of cake as everything is engineered to bolt right up. There's nothing quite like custom applications to make a job easier.

Stock compressors use a mineral oil whereas the R-134a system uses an Ester oil. The two have different viscosities and should be used with the appropriate system. Hose Wizard includes oil for the new compressor, and you can also use it to lubricate the O-rings at each line connection.

In order to be EPA-legal, all R-134a systems utilize a high-pressure kickout switch. This turns the compressor off if the pressure gets too high. The Hose Wizard kit includes one in its liquid line along with built-in and replaceable orifice tube.

With the compressor and the condenser mounted, Glenn installed the accumulator or dryer line. This has the canister that mounts at the back by the firewall. Next is the liquid line and then the high-side line, which runs from the condenser to the compressor. The high-pressure kickout switch is spliced into the pressure switch on the accumulator and then we were ready to pull down the system.

The kickout switch must be spliced with the cycling switch on the accumulator.

Glenn used a vacuum pump to evacuate all of the air inside the system. This was followed by filling the system with the R-134a refrigerant. "One of the keys to getting the system to perform correctly is filling it with the proper amount of refrigerant. Many people put too much in and this hurts the system's efficiency," said Glenn. This system uses 18-20 ounces of R-134a compared to the 2 pounds 10 ounces that the old R-12 system used.

With the air conditioning tuned to perfection, we saw 38.5 degrees coming out of the center vent. That's pretty chilly if you ask us. "For every increase in fan blower speed, you'll lose 2 degrees," noted Glenn. That's why he strives to get the system operating as cold as possible.

The Hose Wizard kit sells for $699, and that includes free installation at the Hose Wizard facility in Georgia. Even if you don't have a Mustang, they can hook you up so you can get your chill on no matter what you drive.