63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

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garyjburns
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 pm

63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

I am in the process of changing the old rubber air conditioning hoses to barrier hoses on my 1963 Thunderbird. Would like some detailed information about the easiest way to remove the old hoses and install the new ones. I have already removed the expansion valve from the evaporator but I am having difficulty seeing how to remove the hoses through the firewall without pulling out the heater and evaporator from under the dash. Anybody done this before?

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Jim Wulf
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Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by Jim Wulf »

garyjburns wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:29 pm
I am in the process of changing the old rubber air conditioning hoses to barrier hoses on my 1963 Thunderbird. Would like some detailed information about the easiest way to remove the old hoses and install the new ones. I have already removed the expansion valve from the evaporator but I am having difficulty seeing how to remove the hoses through the firewall without pulling out the heater and evaporator from under the dash. Anybody done this before?
Gary,

It's unlikely that you'll be able to remove the hoses without pulling the box, but I would never say never. When I restored my 63 MSR, I first installed the hoses on the box, slid it forward, and then fed the hoses through the hole in the firewall. That was fairly a fairly simple operation and easy to do since the car was completely "blown up" at the time.

Interestingly, I actually retained the original factory hoses during the restoration, even sending the fittings with hoses attached out for replating, and never had an issue in all of the 10 years I owned the car. My understanding at the time was that the newer PAG oil used with 134A, which is the refrigerant we used, actually acted to seal the porosity of original rubber AC hoses as compared to the original R12/mineral oil. I also made sure that the system, which had been open to atmosphere for years, was thoroughly evacuated. The system was kept under vacuum for at least 24 hours before charging with with requisite amount of PAG oil and 134A. The original condenser and drier were rebuilt by Classic Auto Air, but the evaporator and even the expansion valve were actually originals. When I finally sold the car, the AC was blowing as cold as the first day the system was charged.

All that being said, that was just my experience and others mileage may vary.
Attachments
63 M Code AC.jpg
Jim W, VTCI 1961-1963 Technical Editor
62 SR Red/Black
63 CV Black/Red
67 MGB Roadster
38 MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe
Past Birds:
63 MSR Red/Pearl Beige
66 CV Red/Red
63 CV Patrician Green/Pearl Beige
61 HT White/Pearl Beige
63 HT Caspian Blue/Blue

garyjburns
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Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

What was holding the two cables that go through the firewall? Can you tell me how they were attached through the grommet? The high pressure fluid line is free from the expansion valve but the low pressure gas line still needs to be disconnected inside the firewall? Any help you can provide would be helpful.

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Jim Wulf
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Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by Jim Wulf »

garyjburns wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:02 pm
What was holding the two cables that go through the firewall? Can you tell me how they were attached through the grommet? The high pressure fluid line is free from the expansion valve but the low pressure gas line still needs to be disconnected inside the firewall? Any help you can provide would be helpful.
By "cables", I'm guessing you mean hoses? That was a long time ago when I did that, and as best I can remember, the hoses were simply connected to the swivel fittings on box and hung off that with no brackets that I recall. Once the hoses through the firewall they're secured by the rubber firewall grommet and the clamp on the left cowl-to-shock tower brace. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the unit without the insulation installed.
Attachments
P1070469.JPG.jpeg
P1070347.JPG.jpeg
Jim W, VTCI 1961-1963 Technical Editor
62 SR Red/Black
63 CV Black/Red
67 MGB Roadster
38 MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe
Past Birds:
63 MSR Red/Pearl Beige
66 CV Red/Red
63 CV Patrician Green/Pearl Beige
61 HT White/Pearl Beige
63 HT Caspian Blue/Blue

garyjburns
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

Well I started the hose replacement after looking at all the options. I decided to remove the dash pad and panel to get more room at the two air conditioner cables attached to the evaporator under the dash. Good thing I decided to do this because the fluid line has a bracket holding this line in place and it is a bear to get the one 5/16 inch screw holding the bracket it in place. This bracket is located on the very rear of the evaporator and you cannot get to it with the dash pad in place. If you have ever changed the expansion valve this change is a snap compared to changing the two air conditioning hoses. You might ask why I bothered to change them? The original hoses are rubber and R134 freon will not stay in the system longer than one month even using R134 freon even with leak inhibitor. If you want air conditioning in Albuquerque you need a set of barrier hoses on your system. R134 Freon has much smaller properties and the fluid will not stay in normal rubber air conditioning hoses. I will post more as this entire process is completed.

Kiwi-Bird
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Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by Kiwi-Bird »

Please post photos
Thanks
1962 T Bird hardtop
2004 Suzuki Bandit 1200S

garyjburns
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Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

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Attachments
IMG_2202.jpg

garyjburns
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

I just posted two pictures of the air conditioning hose replacement. These pictures were taken with the dash removed so that I could get better access to the evaporator. The upper picture shows the back left side of the evaporator with the low pressure line coming out of the evaporator and going through the firewall. I have not been able to remove the low pressure line from the evaporator and will have to remove the entire heater and evaporator from the inside of the firewall to get this line removed. I have tried everything I have to get this line loose without having to remove the entire unit from under the dash. No luck. Even tried a crows foot. What a job this is turning into.

In the lower picture you see the new smaller fluid line that has been removed from the expansion valve that is tied into the evaporator. It was a bear removing the bracket you see in the picture that holds the fluid line. I used a 5/16 deep socket to get to the screw that holds this bracket in place. This bracket and the fluid line are located below the line you see in the upper picture. More information later after I get the evaporator unit out from the firewall.

garyjburns
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: 63 Thunderbird Air Conditioning Hose Replacement

Post by garyjburns »

IMG_2210.jpg
IMG_2209.jpg
I have reconditioned the evaporator and attached the two new hoses to the unit. The condenser and evaporator have both been flushed. You cannot get the upper low pressure line loose from the evaporator or get the new hose attached without having the evaporator removed from the vehicle. Removing the line is impossible because it is attached with a lot of force and the same force is need to tighten the new hose to prevent any leaks. Not enough room to do this without removing the evaporator from the car, sorry to say. Trying to attach two pictures that show the new hoses installed on the evaporator prior to me placing insulation around the lines.

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