Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Location: TX, USA
1969 Mercury Cougar XR7
|Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:00 am Post subject: Installing the Vintage Air AC system (Local Hero)
Having a “Cool” Cat
Now that I’m older, having a fast car is not as important to me as having a comfortable car. When the car is comfortable, the Mrs. doesn’t mind going places in it like car events and such in the summer. Add in two
young boys now and the need to keep the family comfortable takes an even higher priority.
Even though I don’t live in the south, the humidity here in Northeast, Ohio can often get pretty unbearable as well as the frequency of temperatures seeing the 90 degree mark and keeping on going. I decided with the latest rebuild of the Hero to make sure I incorporated an air conditioning system that far surpasses the performance of the original factory air set-up, especially since I never reconnected the stock system back up when I swapped engines ten years earlier.
While my original system worked OK, I knew that the aftermarket AC systems have come a long way since I used to travel the country as a kid in the rumble seat of my dad’s 36 Ford attending Street Rod events.
There are many companies out there today in the aftermarket industry: Vintage Air (www.vintageair.com), Classic Auto Air (www.classicautoair.com), Old Air Products (www.oldairproducts.com), Hot Rod Air (www.hotrodair.com), Southern Air (www.southernrods.com), and Air-Tique (www.fortune3.com/Air-
Tique/Products.html) are the major players in this industry.
Of these companies, I have learned that many guys favor the Classic Auto Air Products. Classic offers what they call a “Perfect-Fit” kit that is designed to bolt directly into either a 67-68 or a 69-70 Cougar. Their system uses electronic controls instead of vacuum to direct the air flow, and they designed it to work off your factory control panel. They also upgrade your original York type compressor to newer and more efficient Sanden compressor.
I have heard both good and bad things about Classic. Some say the system works great while others have had minor parts failures that Classic has had to replace. Others have said their tech line is not all that helpful and still another was not pleased with the installation that Classic did right at their facility. I believe Classic would be a good place if you just need to upgrade some of your stock components without having to replace the entire system.
I do not have any experience with Southern Air, Air-Tique, or Hot Rod Air other than I know Hot Rod Air will modify your stock control panel to control their unit as well.
I do however have a Vintage Air system in my car. So the rest of this article will be based on their system with specifics about my installation.
Click to open --> Having a cool cat article.