71 S2 AC Evaporator, Louvers, etc

My AC works great but has some cosmetic and installation issues. I’ll have more questions as I proceed but for now this is where I am.

I do not want to or need to disconnect the system so I will work with the hoses still in place. I have dropped the unit like this:

That should allow removal of the fascia and replacement of the louvers. The archives have good instructions & photos on that and @rcliggitt has sent me a set of louvers.

The motor appears to be non-original - actually looks more like the heater fan motor though differs in the wires observed. The green wire is power of course but the red and yellow are simply spliced together - perhaps in a prior life this motor was reversible?

Also missing is the little duct that let some cold air hit the motor, perhaps not needed now. The hole for the duct was closed by someone using a glue gun and a piece cut from a Prestone antifreeze bottle. A prior ‘mechanic’ seemed to favor the glue gun in other areas too - so much easier than trying to locate the correct fastener.

The JCNA AC Judging Guide says this:

Looks like mine has had those brackets removed (appear to have been riveted on). Is this an advisable way to mount the stereo? Or is the weight of a modern unit possibly too much for that evap case?

Finally (for now) the whole thing was hanging by the little bracket on the far right end and by the hoses on the left - the 3 clips were not engaged with the lower lip of the dash and the unit was pushed back about half inch.

I will engage those clips upon reinstalling (hopefully enough slack in the hoses to bring everything forward that half inch) but what prevents it from being pushed back again later and becoming disengaged? Are hoses enough to prevent that?

Any advice or gotchas appreciated. I will cover that gaping hole around the shifter before I start undoing the many little screws that hold the fascia in place.

the metal radio facia forces the evap up and into place. It cant really go back with the radio facia installed as it has to drop slightly and cant.

the radio is so tightly packed in there on mine that I dont think any brackets would be needed !! that said, mine is attached to the brackets under the evap, combined with the nuts on the shafts. its not going anywhere !! I would guess that if you go with a smaller retro radio just the shaft nuts will be plenty.

I will upload some pictures next

the orginal motor ( on mine ) is round inside a square enclosure that has the duct to allow forced cool air to it. looking for pictures…

cant seem to find one right away of the ductwork

heres a reference of where the radio brackets are mounted, they are just riveted to the bottom

you dont have to remove the whole facia to replace the louvers. start on the right side and remove the round disc. then if you just remove the screws holding the aluminum brackets in you can take all the louvers out that hole, then starting in reverse, you install the far left one, put in the bracket and so on to the right. taking the front off is a pain as its “glued” on there with the black 3-M “dum dum” stuff

Also. you may want to work the little clips a little, or glue some felt in there to help give some resistance to the shaft on the louvres so they stay where you point them

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I am on a roll here…

the only un-intentional pic of the motor duct is this one, its over to the right next to the red Milwaukee screwdriver and sitting on a blue paper towell. you can only see the end of it. plus its sitting on a couple of the hanger brackets to make it even more confusing. but maybe you get the idea. it was a simple metal “tube” that angles up at one end as well as gets a little wider. just flat metal open on the bottom. I think there may have been a lip that goes down into the hole on the top of the evap to secure that end. plus a screw?? working from memory

Thanks. That right there was worth the price of admission.

I am undecided on the duct for the motor as mine is not original and doesn’t have that square shroud around it. I may wait and see how hot it gets in operation (next summer).

Also undecided on the radio. I like the idea of mounting it independent of the console and just having it appear in the opening but wary of adding any stress to that fragile evap case. Possibly there is a way to mount it to the tunnel and also provide some support there for the case.

What is the purpose of those silver clips along the back edge? Holding one end of the millboard &/or hardura?

the red power wire lays in them and they just fold over it to keep it in place.

I don’t know how important the square motor enclosure and duct to feed it a bit of cold air really is. I have it on the FHC, but it was missing from my 2+2 and the AC motor didn’t seem to mind it being missing. This while using the AC in the summer in Texas, Houston and the Houston-San Antonio- Austin corridor.

I’ve removed the radio brackets and have the radio fully supported by the radio console. Neither the radio nor the console seems to suffering any ill effects.

That motor is something that was sold by British Auto USA as a heater motor replacement a lonnnnnng time ago. It’s a double wound motor that can operate at two speeds without a control resistor, depending on how it’s wired. I don’t think I have the wiring diagram any longer, but I’ll lock. Tying the two leads together locks in high speed, so I guess they retained the resistor on yours.

I’m sure you realize this already, but the fascia is delicate and irreplaceable, so work carefully.

delicate is an understatement. I had to lay up fiberglass in mine from the back to restore more than one rib.

Thanks for all the advice & information.

Mike - Interesting that you recognize that motor. Yes, I still have the fan resistor for 3 speeds & that seems to work just fine.

Bob - Your technique of removing the end disc and sliding out the louvers one by one along with the little metal brackets worked perfectly. I was somewhat dreading opening the whole thing up but also didn’t care for the various ideas of bending, heating and drilling that I found in the archives. I’m sure reassembly will be fiddly but I can fiddle like a Nero if I have to.

John - I’ve decided the evap housing is too delicate to hang a stereo from. I may still set it up where it is in place prior to the console being installed and appear in the opening - but the weight would be borne by the tunnel cover. I have the console but it seems a bit flimsy - perhaps because it has been hacked to fit a DIN mount - but I will try to salvage it.

Indeed. The fascia in mine was in three large pieces when I got the car. Fortunately there were no little pieces missing. Fiberglas, JB Weld, some 030" sheet metal and a few pop rivets all figured in the reconstruction. Black wrinkle paint covers a lot of sins. :rofl:

I found a replacement motor on the internet that draws a reasonable amount of amps and put out more air than the original motor. Nothing like the tornado that can come out of the vents in a new car, but better than OEM.

On my 70’ there are no brackets on evap unit. Radio is mounted in its housing and that helps support evap unit. Magically the evap unit stays in place with clips at front and bracket at fan housing.

Remembered, and almost got it right. But not quite. The combination of wires makes the motor clockwise or CCW. This may help you someday:

Thanks! That is one versatile motor.

Hi John,
I’m looking at restoring my old evaporator assembly and was wondering if the sheet metal etc. provided significant improvement to the rigidity of your installation.

IMHO the original evaporators are such an eyesore on these cars, because they’re not straight and the louvres are usually broken.

So, I was curious if adding some sort of stiffener (like sheet metal) improved them. Also, if stiffeners are added, does it affect the installation (i.e. Is the flexible nature of the fiberglass necessary in order to reinstall it?)

- Tom -

Yes, but keep in mind the fascia on mine was in 6 pieces plus the loose louvers, when I bought the car.

Here you can get the idea of where I put in a piece of sheet metal. I pop riveted it in and all but 2 of the pop rivets are hidden by the dash above the evaporator case when the unit is installed. The other two are practically under the flip down panel and covered with crinkle paint so virtually invisible.

I also pop riveted a steel channel on the bottom inside of the case, right behind where the screws go that hold the fascia to the case.

JB Weld and two part epoxy to the rescue.

Most of the units I’ve seen are pushed up by the radio console so the evaporator fascia looks kind of hunchbacked. The only way I could eliminate that is to ensure the transmission tunnel cover is pushed down as low as possible (there is a bit of play on the bolt holes. and since I made my radio console (mine was missing) I made it a tad shorted to allow for the fascia to remain straight. Here’s mine; not perfect, but I’ve resigned myself to it being acceptable.

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