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.
The A/C condenser is from Vintage Air, but the universal brackets that were provided weren’t going to work with the radiator support that I made. I decided to make up some tabs welded to the top and bottom radiator support channels. A few configurations were tried, and the best fit was to have the tabs mounted flush with the channel leg and the condenser bolted to the front of the tab. This gave the correct gap between the condenser and the radiator.
The tabs were welded to the support channel, ground down, and finished off with a radiused edge. There are still a few weld craters to fill in, but okay just for mock-up. The tabs were drilled and tapped for 8-32 screws installed from the back of the tab. Last photo shows the completed tabs with the condenser mounted.
First photo shows the water pump boss being milled down. All four bosses were machined in order to true-up the surfaces and make them all the same. There is one long bolt and three short bolts that mount the water pump. The three short bolts need a spacer between the idler bracket and the water pump bosses. The last two photos show the finished idler bracket bolted in place. With the new blower pulleys, the v-belts, idler pulley and blower belt now all fit correctly.
I found a different style of idler bracket which mounts the pulley lower than the original blower case mounted bracket. This one from Hot Heads mounts to the front of the engine block and uses the same through-bolts for the BBC water pump. The first photo shows the new bracket in place and the compressor v-belt installed to check for fit-up. The second photo shows that the idler bracket extends out past the inner “vee” of the water pump pulley. Although the inner belt for the alternator is below the bracket and does not directly interfere, I decided to machine the water pump boss down a little in order to move the idler bracket inward towards the block.
The new bracket not only drops the idler pulley down, but moves it out further that the original location. This necessitated getting smaller diameter top and bottom blower belt pulleys (in the same ratio) in order to make the belt fit correctly. One change always leads to at least three others….