By the time this reaches your mailbox or newsstand, it will be the hottest time of the year. As little as most Fox-body owners care about A/C, summer time always makes you wish you had it-especially if you live in a hot climate like we do. Maybe you disconnected it during an engine upgrade, or ditched the compressor for an A/C delete pulley like we did on our SSP in "Lifting Weight" (June '10). Either way, you may be surprised how little money and effort you need to spend to get the snowflakes blowing out of your vents again.
Since our headquarters are in Tampa, Florida, we get hit a little harder than most readers. Still, it only takes a few really hot days to get tired of that "2/50 air" (two windows down/50 mph). If you're like me, you drive your Fox everywhere-I use mine to commute 50 miles every day, as well as on weekends and at the race track. So since we have significantly improved the performance of our beloved SSP daily driver with a Zex nitrous system ("Horsepower On Demand," pg. 94), we had a little wiggle room with weight.
Latemodel Restoration Supply (LRS) sells the only comprehensive R-12 to R-134a A/C conversion kits on the market for the Fox-body Mustang. It has kits available for '82-'93 Mustangs equipped with either 2.3L or 5.0L engines. The starting price for a kit is $749.99 (PN HW-19712A or 19712B), which is for '87-'93 5.0L cars. Mustangs with the 2.3L engine (turbo or N/A) require different kits (PN HW-19712E or HW-19712F), which retail for $774.99.
Scott Springer, vice president of marketing and sales for LRS and owner of an MM&FF feature car ("An Unfair Advantage," June '10), gave us some insight on the kits "We've had good luck with these kits. We've been selling them since 2006 and have had zero returns." The kit doesn't include every A/C component, but includes almost every underhood piece needed. "I think it's important for readers to know that with the exception of the evaporator and a couple of brackets, this kit has everything you need to install A/C on a Fox-body Mustang.
"What we've found is a lot of people who buy this kit removed the original components because they were leaking or because they wanted to save weight for racing. Now they want working A/C-and the 30- or 35-pound total weight of this kit is probably going to add about a tenth in the quarter-mile." In fact, since our condenser was still installed in our SSP, the addition of the kit only added 28 pounds to the nose. You could cure that with a pair of skinnies or removal of the front passenger seat.
Since we already have the timing cranked up on our coupe, cooling has been an issue on hot days in heavy traffic. Add to that the extra heat of an A/C condenser (the part that goes in front of the radiator), and then we would undoubtedly have a cooling issue. So we contacted Summit Racing for a Flex-a-lite pusher fan to mount to the condenser, and a fan controller. LRS also sent us a reproduction GT headlight switch, so we could activate the auxiliary fan from inside the car without turning on the A/C. Since our LX doesn't have foglights, we simply wired the foglight switch to an extra terminal on the fan controller. Now we can turn the fan on while driving for extra cooling, or while in the staging lanes.
We installed everything in a few hours ourselves, but contacted Classic Auto Air Manufacturing (Grapevine, Texas, and Tampa, Florida) to charge the system. The company manufactures, restores, and installs kits for '641/2-'73 Mustangs, as well as many other makes and models. A/C technician Walt Cunningham gave us a hand in charging the system, and taught us a little about pressures in the system and what they mean.
Follow along as we install and charge our new chill system.
The Hose Wizard kit (PN HW-19712A) comes with a Sanden compressor, compressor brackets, co
....condenser, accumulator, orifice tube, hoses, fittings, O-rings, and a new belt. It ret
The Sanden SD-7 compressor features a seven-cylinder design and is more efficient than the
Summit Racing sent us a Flex-a-lite 14-inch reversible fan (PN FLX-394). It can be set up
summit also sent us an adjustable fan controller with a built-in relay (PN DER-16749). It
Latemodel Restoration Supply hooked us up with a reproduction '87-'93 Mustang GT headlamp