For the heater hoses, I picked an Aeroquip hose and push-on hose ends. The hose is outwardly similar to, and matches the A/C hose in appearance. The hose ends are from XRP and will also use an optional hose clamp that looks similar to the A/C hose clips. The second photo shows one of the assembled heater hoses. This one is to/from the radiator expansion tank mounted on the firewall. It connects to a bulkhead tee at the firewall. Inside the firewall, the bulkhead tee is attached to the outlet from the heater core. Both the heater outlet and the expansion tank return through one hose back to the water pump inlet.
The heater inlet hose originates from the left cylinder head, and goes through the firewall using a 90 degree bulkhead fitting. Inside the firewall, the heater hose goes through the water inlet valve and then to the heater core connection. There was not a lot of room left under/behind the dash to route the hoses, but I got them tucked up as best as possible.
The last photo shows the completed layout of the heater, A/C, and radiator vent hose routing near the front of the engine.
Due to space limitations, I wasn’t able to use the typical 4-hose bulkhead connection for both the AC and heater hoses. The bulkhead connector for the two A/C hoses mounts through the right firewall “horn” on the Willys. Inside the firewall, a couple of 45 degree fittings were used to route the hoses up to the evaporator connections. Two more 45 degree fittings were used at the evaporator to complete the hose routing. The smaller #6 line is the liquid refrigerant line to the evaporator, and the larger #10 line is the (gas) return to the compressor. Last photo shows the finished #8 compressor discharge line back to the condenser.
After looking at a few different A/C hose types, I decided on using the Aeroquip E-Z Clip system. It’s do-it-yourself with no need to have the hoses crimped. By making up all of the hose ends myself, I was able to make sure that each hose end was oriented correctly and at the exact length I wanted. Also, I didn’t need to make up all of the hoses and take them to a shop to have all the ends crimped with the chance that one of the ends would be incorrectly installed orientation-wise. Besides, I think these ends look a lot better than those crimp collars and definitely better than the stainless braided stuff.
The first photo shows all of the individual pieces needed to make up the hose end: The A/C barrier hose, the hose end, a cage, two clips and the installing pliers. First the hose end nipple is lubricated with A/C-compatible lubricant, and the hose is slipped on. If the other end of the hose is still bare, you can wait to slip the clips onto the hose. Otherwise you need to make sure that they are slipped on the hose before inserting the hose onto the hose end. Next, the cage is installed by snapping it into a groove on the hose end. Two clips are then slipped on the hose and positioned over the grooves in the cage. Using the pliers, the clips are compressed and snap closed. The two clips are positioned directly over the two O-rings on the hose end to provide the seal. The hose end assembly is now complete.
With the condenser inlet line finished, it was time to route and bend up the outlet line to an area next to the radiator support. From there, the line will change to flexible A/C hose. The hardline from the compressor will also be bent up the same way. The lines needed to be routed in such a way that they did not interfere with the operation of the tilt-front actuators. The actuator was temporarily clamped into place along the side of the radiator frame at its highest point of vertical travel. As long as the hardlines did not interfere with the actuator in this position, everything would fit okay.
The condenser outlet line ended just about where I wanted it to, but the inlet line was too long, and I wanted both hose connections to line up. I had the inlet line cut and re-welded so that both connections lined up. Not shown in the photos, but tubing clamps were added to both lines, which anchored them to the radiator frame. Now that the hardlines were finished, it was time to move on to the A/C hose fabrication.
I decided to use aluminum hardline for the condenser and drier connections. Vintage Air makes some hardlines with the correct fittings on the ends that just need to be bent to the desired shape. The upper connection on the condenser is a #8 size and is the compressor discharge to the condenser. The lower connection is a #6 and is the condenser outlet to the drier.
There wasn’t any place to mount a vertical-style drier along the frame rail or at the firewall, so I decided to use a horizontal-mount unit. The only place to put it was in front of the condenser mounted as low as possible, without blocking off too much air going to the condenser and radiator. First, the #6 line from the condenser to the drier was bent up, which located the drier centerline at the same height as the condenser outlet. Once the drier location was finalized, I made up some aluminum barstock brackets that are bolted to the bottom condenser channel. Also seen in the photo on the drier outlet is a fitting for the binary switch. It turns out that there was no room to put the switch here, so it was relocated further downstream of the drier at the firewall bulkhead connection.