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1966 C code
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Hi VMF,
So I inherited a 66 C Code from my dad that I want to restore. It has an aftermarket Montgomery Ward Riverside AC unit installed in 1968 (the original paperwork and sales receipt still in the glove box!). It still blows, but not cold, and the compressor, dryer, and condenser look like they have seen better days and are uglying up the engine bay. I think the compressor has already been replaced once as well. Should I replace the parts and keep it, replace with a more factory look, or clear it out completely as this was not a factory ac car anyway? I live in coastal Southern California so I almost never use ac and it will be a simple weekend cruiser, but in wierd way I feel like this unit is vintage in its own right. Thanks for your thoughts, I'm new to the forum, glad I found it.
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It's up to you but i would replace it with a current R134 setup from either Classic Auto Air or Vintage Auto Air. Both are good kits and mine blows ice cold any time I want it to. You could probably rebuild yours but like you said it is aftermarket anyhow.
 

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I have a factory air car I converted to Vintage Air when it died, I don't really care about originality on the lower value cars like my 65 coupe. The factory tinted glass looks cool though (I believe all air cars had the tinted glass?)
 

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That evaporator is bugly! If you decide to keep the A/C system at least replace the evaporator with an actual Ford unit.
If you decide you don't really need A/C then rip the entire system out.
 

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64 1/2 D Code Coupe,
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That evaporator is bugly! If you decide to keep the A/C system at least replace the evaporator with an actual Ford unit.
If you decide you don't really need A/C then rip the entire system out.
In Southern California you need AC
 

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^ 100% agree with this. I'm down in south OC and definitely putting AC in my car. It too will be a weekend cruiser.
 

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@Nickarino I'm in the middle of a similar project. I have a '66 with a bone stock Ford AC system. Here's my suggestion:

If you keep what you have, upgrade, or pull it all out, either way, you're going to need to remove/replace the drier. This means you'll have the system depressurized. Pull out your evaporator. If you're going to keep it, then tidy it up, flush and pressure test. If you're going to replace with a Ford evaporator, just pull the Monkey Ward unit and look for a Ford. After you deal with the evaporator, then move on to the compressor, lines, condenser, drier, etc.

(My opinion? I love the Montgomery Ward unit! It is very period. Evaporators are pretty dumb items, If your MW unit proves to be good, keep it and revel in its ugliness. "Heck yeah that's my Montgomery Ward AC. Isn't it fugly? It's period correct!" Great conversation starter. If it leaks, then yank it and get a Ford unit. Fleabay for about $200, maybe cheaper on the VMF ads.)

I'm installing an Old Air Products underhood kit. (I believe this is also sold as the Scott Drake kit.) I'll be making a build thread today or tomorrow for others to follow along.
 

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I think the period correct Monkey Wards AC unit is the coolest part of an otherwise plane Jane car like mine. Given the fact you have the history of it makes it even cooler! The in dash aftermarket kits kill your cowl vents. I say fix it up!
 

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While your Wards evaporator is definitely period-correct, I'd go with one of the Ford AC evaporator units that dealers were installing in 1965/66.
I had gotten a 65 unit and replaced the fan motor (although it was not needed) as well as the expansion valve (just because the original was so old).
You can keep the old York compressor (rebuild it), while many people are replacing the Yorks with small more efficient Sanden units -- although this would require further mounting bracket changes. Also, of course, change your lines to R134a barrier hoses, just for the convenience and ubiquity of R134a refrigerant -- R-12 is hard to find and very expensive, although the users claim greatly increased cooling with R12 compared with 134a. (I never could tell the difference, although I never compared 12 with 134 in a very hot climate.)

Figure you can get away with a period rebuilt evaporator, hoses and rebuilt York for around $500 (or maybe even less, depending how you shop and what bargains you wrangle).
Aftermarket complete new period-looking underdash units with Sanden compressors cost around $1200 (IIRC), and a complete invisible inside-the-dash system is about $1700.

I'd say it all depends on your wallet, how hot your climate gets, and how period-correct you want to keep your car.
You will end up being an expert in classic Mustang AC units.
 

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Depends what you want to do with the car, overall.
Will it be restored underhood and all ?
Do you wanna restomod it and put on some cool wheels, lower and level, give it exhaust with an attitude?
Do you wanna keep it just like your Dad had it?
Either way, AC is nice to have when you need it, but a NEED TO HAVE when it isn't nice... I would keep the underwood components since you have a York compressor and basically a Ford system there, and swap the MW unit for a Ford unit inside, sell the MW unit to someone that wants one for a rat rod or a vehicle that didn't have AC as an option. Enjoy!
 

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Most of it's life my 68' V8 coupe had an old 1976 Sears (butt ugly) underdash A/C in my 68'. All it's under engine parts were done. Have the install papers and all just like you do from Sears. But I went with a totally new system. Reason being is that those York compressors not only suck down an estimated 25-30 HP while operating (vs sanden's 3-5)....but they are expensive to rebuild and R-12 or sythetic replacements are insanely expensive if you can even get them. I heard you can use the 134a system (condenser, compressor, lines etc) with the vintage evaporator but that it won't be very optimal. So I got a complete Vintage Auto Air system but the head under the dash is a much nicer much more vintage looking evaporator unit for 134a. I've done all the install but now need to charge it. System parts cost was $1,100. But if I didn't go with the lux evap unit would have been more like $900. That unit was made by "Restomod Air" but they were phasing the units I liked out and I supposedly I got one of the last few. They say they are a 'sister company' to Vintage Auto Air.
 

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Did you guys read the OP's complete post? He says he almost never uses A/C.
My comment was in the spirit of spending the time/money to fix it or put something else in. it gets hot here in southern california and it's easy to say 'I don't need it, I'll hardly use it'.

This was my mentality when I built a Factory Five Cobra some years ago and said the same thing... Turns out I was miserably hot driving that car and found that I drove it less because of that fact.

I'd hate to see the OP go through the same experience.
 

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Welcome ands wow, that is a very cool piece of history there. That belt tensioner is unique. Personally, if you are going to spend the time, energy, and money, I would purchase an OEM unit on Ebay and recondition with a kit from Original Air Group. Another option would be to tear out the under dash evaporator, stock heater box, and go with an entirely new modern system from Classic Auto Air or Vintage Air implementing under dash vents for both heat and AC. It will cost a little more, but its definitely more functional. It all depends on how much you want to spend and what condition your current system is in. If it needs parts, where do you go? You may dig it, but more than likely the current evaporator won't do anything to help with curb appeal if you are concerned about selling your vehicle in the future.
 

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I like it. It's ugly, but it's period correct 1968 ugly.

I'd gut it and put in modern AC components in the box and under the hood. That way you've still got it if you ever need it. Plus since it's been in there so long the car will look weird to you if you took it out.

So keep the ugly look, just with modern components. Think of it as AC restomod.
 
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