Classic Auto Air Installation 74 Dart Sport

Heating / Cooling / AC

  1. chgr1

    chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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    Well I finally ordered the CAA kit which fits up to 72 and started the installation in my 74 heat only car. Thought I would post here what I have done in case someone else wants to do it.

    They start by having you install the fan switch. On my plastic dash control assembly I mounted the new switch. I had to use a dremel tool to shave some areas of the plastic assy to get it to fit. See pictures.

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    • TrailBeast

      TrailBeast AKA Mopars4us on Youtube

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      Cool, Ill be watching since the Wife has been bugging me to put AC in my 73 and I was wondering about the switch setup.
      The 72 is a horizontal thumb roller, and my 73 is a vertical lever like yours.
      Thanks.
       
    • chgr1

      chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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      I inserted the switch as far as it would go then drilled two holes in the plastic assy to secure it. I also had to shave a little off the plastic assy where the plug connects to the switch just so I wouldn't have to bend the switch connections. Worked out pretty well.
      I also used the original control cable clamps when I installed the cables. I installed them as the instructions suggest as to how far to set the cable sheath in the clamp. We'll see how that works out.

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      Edit, update, You have to flip the switch around from the way I have it in the pictures, otherwise the fan will be on high and the lever will be next to the OFF position.
       
      Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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      • chgr1

        chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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        Well now on to mounting the box. The green car in the pic is a 72 Plymouth Duster non AC car, the red car is my 74 Dart Sport non AC car. The motor mounting holes are a different but the motors are the same size and the firewall hole is the same diameter.
        The CAA box comes with a bracket mounted at the back to secure it to the fire wall using two 1/4 20 bolts matched up to the original motor mounting holes. I found the bolt hole in the 2 oclock position matched up with my 74. The hole at 11 o'clock did not. I simply drilled another hole in the fire wall through the CAA box bracket and secured it with a self tapping bolt. Then installed the interior support brackets up to the interior air box. The black cover plate over the AC & heater core lines comes with the kit. The box installation is done.

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        Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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        • MoparMike1974

          MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I installed one in my 73 Dart, originally an AC car. Let me know if you run into any problems and I can tell you what I did. I did almost the same thing with the switch mounting. I used an AC control bezel and installed the lever from a non-AC bezel. This way the face reads correctly for the most part.
          I still need to figure out what to do about the glove box. That hunk of crap they give you does not fit at all.
           
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          • chgr1

            chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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            Now I am hooking up all the interior wires and installing the vent hoses. Dang it gets kind of crowded up under the dash. Ran into a problem with the defrost vents. The adapters they give you in the kit to attach the air hoses to the vents are to small in diameter, they wont fit the vents. I didn't use the adapters, I simply inserted the air hose all the way into the defrost vent, drilled two tiny holes through the vent neck and into the hose and secured with tiny sheet metal screws.
             
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            • chgr1

              chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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              Hey Mike, yup I spoke with you earlier about your installation, gave me the incentive to give it a go.
               
            • MoparMike1974

              MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I had the same problem with the defrost vents. I determined the problem was with the reproduction vents. The adapters did fit on some originals. I cant recall what I did to resolve the problem, will have to take a look.
               
            • aaadave

              aaadave Well-Known Member

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              when i put the classic air in my 72 dart, i cut out of the back of the glove box what i needed to make it work, then worked the back piece back in and stapled it back together. worked great. and ya, like you say, their so called plastic box sucks. lol. dave.
               
            • MoparMike1974

              MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Here is a pic showing how I mounted the box in the firewall and also shows the various plates I made to close off all the holes.

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              • chgr1

                chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                Yeah I do have new aftermarket defrost vents. I had an old vent and verified what you said, the adapters from the CAA kit were not the problem.
                 
              • chgr1

                chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                While I was resting my back, I stuck their new glove box in to size it up, yup pretty bad. I like your idea, the original box only needs to be shortened in depth by an inch or two. My original glove box is all plastic, probably replaced years ago aftermarket. I'll try your solution, cut the back off, cut a section out of the rear depth a couple inches and glue the back on.
                 
              • chgr1

                chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                Well crap wouldn't you know, had a 50/50 shot and missed.. Put the power to the unit and with the fan on high the switch lever is next to OFF on the plastic control unit. I'll have to take it back out and flip the switch around and remount it.

                Also the air diverters in the unit based on the position of the dash control lever are not matched up correctly. the control lever is on floor heat and the air is coming out the defrost vents. I've got that little adapter plate they have you mount to the control lever in the wrong place I think. Of course none of their instructions and pictures match up the 74 and later plastic assembly. Also the micro switch on the unit for the diverter doors for face vents is not adjusted correctly, the arm misses the micro switch.

                since I have to take the dash control back out and reorient the fan switch to match the display, I'm thinking of removing the whole unit and set it on my bench to get everything adjusted correctly with the control levers. It's going to be a little trial and error to get the dash control lever and cable set up correctly.

                Gotta get back out to the shop, I'll keep updating with my progress.
                 
                Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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                • chgr1

                  chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                  Ok got everything out and on the test bench. Flipped the fan switch around and now the switch lever fan speed matches the display.
                  Next adjusted the small triangle plate they give you to get the control lever matched up, at least as much as it can, with the air diverter doors. On the slide control lever OFF=Floor, Heat=Vents, DEF=Defrost. You can see how I finally set the adapter plate and used their pop rivets to secure. It so happens there is already a hole in the plastic assembly, you can see it just to the right of the cable, I used this hole for the cable clamp. Got everything adjusted and now back in she goes.

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                  Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
                • MoparMike1974

                  MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  The original glove box changed to the plastic ones in 73 I think. Much better design overall. I always swap the cardboard to the plastic one since its backward compatible with the cardboard ones.
                  My CCA prewired harness came wires wrong out of the box. I had to figure it out myself, their tech support was not much help. It was causing a dead short and popping the fuse. They have the harness made by a third party (China).
                  You control face will not line up correctly. I was able to get mine close to reading correct, at least the heat and AC. I think defrost was in the middle but the panel has it on the end or vice versa.
                   
                • chgr1

                  chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                  Thought I would finish off this thread and my installation. After getting all the adjustments right I reinstalled the dash control and underdash box. Everything worked correctly. Oh, as suggested by someone I cut the back off the original plastic glove box, shortened the depth, then glued the back back on, worked great! Put their remake glove box in the trash.
                  Next installed the condenser, compressor, fridge and heater lines/hoses. Since I have a 26 inch radiator and core support the flat plate brackets for mounting the condenser were too short, I used two of theirs and made 2 new ones.
                  I didn't like how the compressor mounted using their supplied engine brackets. IMO it made the compressor set too far forward and too low. It also did not fit my alternator mounting so I ended up not using their crank pulley or mounting brackets. Their support brackets for the main compressor bracket and idler did not match anything on my 360 engine with Edelbrock intake.
                  I already had a double crank pulley and brackets for the old style R4 compressor from another 360 engine and with a little modification I think it works better. Its also easy to get to the intake heater hose fitting behind the compressor. The only real issue is the low pressure line connection to the compressor, the port is facing the wrong direction, it faces the air breather, it should face away toward the front of the engine/car. Their instructions & picture shows it that way but the actual hose they give you is wrong.
                  My reorienting of the compressor mount meant that the high pressure line was too short to fit the factory hole in the right side core support, I had to drill a new hole about 3 inches to the right, and lost the use of the stock radiator overflow container. I have a new 3 inch x 10 inch chrome tube overflow coming from Classic Industries that should work perfect.

                  After all the connections were made, I pulled a vacuum on the system for about an hour, let it set and showed no signs of vacuum leakage. Charged the system and it works perfect.

                  All in all it worked out OK with some modifications (dash control) to fit the 73 and up cars. You can get their new fan switch mounted in the dash control assy so it operates the system and looks normal on the face plate. I don't know why they wont include in their instructions how to install this system in 73 and up cars, its not that different or difficult, though as I suspect they don't want to deal with the plastic dash control assemblies. I was pleasantly surprised the fan motor noise inside the car isn't that bad at all when its on high.

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                  Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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                  • chgr1

                    chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                    This is the hole in the core support I was talking about that I had to re-drill. Actually its about 4 inches or so.

                    Still have to paint my ash tray but here is what the dash looks like. Yeah someone had already hacked my dash so I tried to clean it up when installing a better radio with the two 4 inch speakers in the dash and two in the back just behind the fold down rear seat.

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                    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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                    • MoparMike1974

                      MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Is your compressor bracket stamped steel? Mine is plate steel and looks different. Also, yours has aluminum pulley on compressor and mine is black steel.
                      I will get some pics of my setup for others to see in the future for reference. The hole in my core support worked fine but I did machine a bushing out of delrin to take up the slack since the hole was larger than needed. Why was your hose too short? Mine came with loose fittings and hose and I made the hoses myself. Luckily a friend had the tools to crimp them.
                      The brace that goes to the intake would not line up at all to my edelbrock air gap. I ended up making a HD bracket that goes to the front of the head. Pulleys were a nightmare because I have a fluidamper. It was the old style that required a special depth pulley and nobody makes one with more than two grooves. So I ended up buying a new Flui$$amper and new pulley. The new fluidamper has a recess so it accepts stock pulley.
                      The last thing I have to install is the glove box. Its a shame they cant spend a few hours making a mold and vacuum-forming a correct fitting glove box. It would cost them pennys to make them.
                       
                      Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
                    • chgr1

                      chgr1 74 Dart Sport

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                      The compressor bracket is stamped steel and was originally used on a mid to late 70's vintage 360 engine that had the old R4 compressor. Came from a Cordoba I think. All of my refrigerant hoses were pre-made with the ends already crimped. Since I used a different compressor bracket which sets the compressor closer to the engine and higher the high pressure hose was to short to reach so I just had to drill another hole in the core support.

                      For the right rear of the compressor I made a new support bracket and bolted it to the intake, you can see it in the picture. I did end up using an idler pulley on the right side between the crank and the compressor just to help support the belt. And of course the V-belt they gave me in the kit didn't work because I mounted the compressor differently, so I had to get a longer belt. For the idler, I used an existing hole in the power steering pump bracket to mount the pulley.

                      Yes they could spend a little more time fitting their system to 73 and up and yes a correct fitting glove box insert would be penny's for them to make. I guess they just don't want to. But their kit does work with a little effort, looks nice under the dash, easy controls, no vacuum hoses to mess with and uses micro switches and a servo motor.
                       
                    • MoparMike1974

                      MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Both of my ports are on compressor lines. Picture showing the stepped spacer I made to run the line through the radiator support. The original hole was way too big.

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                      • 4404spd

                        4404spd Well-Known Member

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                        I have the same A/C system. I just got the car done late last fall. The problem im having is the compressor is mounted to low and forward. The give spacers to move the fan toward the radiator the problem im having is the car runs cool till im in traffic. The fan blade is all the way in the shroud it should be half way in half way out. The compressor clutch is in the way. I need to figure something out soon as I plan on taking it to Chryslers @ Carlisle.

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