1st gen AC options...


PetesPonies

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Anyone with an early 1st Gen ever do, or have you seen, an after market AC installed? My '83 . . I bought a NOS dealer install kit for the engine. It's the compressor bracket, idler pulley, water pump pulley ,etc . all in one kit. It's what the dealerships would have used in '83 if someone wanted AC installed, if it didn't come with it. It was a lucky score. However, now what? I can't find an underdash evaporator that is small enough. It's the depth that is the issue. There isn't much depth under the dash. So I need a mini evaporator, if one exists, or ????????
 


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Bird76Mojo

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You need to visit a salvage yard to find a 1st or 2nd gen Ranger or Bronco II that had A/C. It doesn't matter if it's dealer installed or factory installed. Get the A/C/heater plenum from under the hood. It's mounted to the firewall on the passenger side. You'll then need to order up a new condenser, evaporator, accumulator, orifice tube, and all of the Ranger A/C hoses to accompany it. If they're no longer available, then there are TONS of A/C businesses online that have the crimp on hose ends to make your own hoses to fit your factory Ranger A/C parts.

The only difference I've seen between a factory installed A/C and a dealer installed A/C system in the first gen trucks is the dash push-button to turn on the A/C is round and either red or blue translucent plastic, and the dealer installed systems used an expansion valve.

I've been retrofitting A/C to my 87 V8 swap truck, and it's been quite the learning experience. Frustrating, but a good challenge. Comb through my thread and you might pick up a thing or two that you need to know later on.
 

Denisefwd93

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Would it be under dash? didn't the first generation rangers have an AC evaporator and blower housing in the engine compartment in front of the heater compartment????????

I can't find a picture. For that year truck, Could you provide some???????

Under-dash of evaporators are made by aftermarket vintage air type companies.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Would it be under dash? didn't the first generation rangers have an AC evaporator and blower housing in the engine compartment in front of the heater compartment????????

I can't find a picture. For that year truck, Could you provide some???????

Under-dash of evaporators are made by aftermarket vintage air type companies.
Yup, in big black housing to left of engine in pic:



That is factory A/C, dunno about dealer installed.
 

PetesPonies

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The reason I first wanted underdash is for the simplicity. I've been looking at all the systems out there, as mentioned, no evaporators are small enough. Was trying OT not go the "in the dash" way. I know '94 down is the same firewall.
 

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Denisefwd93

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Doesn't have to be under the dash, first rule of AC is get to cool air where you want it, second rule location, it's a short cab so I doubt you could hang it from the ceiling 🤣
BTW, very little about air conditioning is simple, are any rangers is old as yours out there in yards that you could find the blower unit.???? Maybe a second generation unit would work
 

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Bird76Mojo

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He can definitely pull a heater and A/C plenum from a 1983-1992 Ranger or Bronco II for sure, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Even dealer installed A/C systems still used the factory Ford A/C plenum and evaporator.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Doesn't have to be under the dash, first rule of AC is get to cool air where you want it, second rule location, it's a short cab so I doubt you could hang it from the ceiling 🤣
BTW, very little about air conditioning is simple, are any rangers is old as yours out there in yards that you could find the blower unit.???? Maybe a second generation unit would work
83-94 is the same housing. He wants a clean engine bay without the big plastic thing hogging up the passenger side of the engine.

I don't know of anything that has all that on the inside of the firewall for a first gen.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Keep in mind, the smaller the evaporator, the less cooling effect you'll have in the cab. Especially with higher blower fan speeds. The factory components are all matched in size to attain a certain btu of output. If he was to go with a factory condenser and a much smaller evaporator, the system will be out of "balance" and may be hard to get the refrigerant charge right. He's far better off using all of the factory components that he can.
 

PetesPonies

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And extra vent outlets in the stock dash for AC ?
 

PetesPonies

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83-94 is the same housing. He wants a clean engine bay without the big plastic thing hogging up the passenger side of the engine.

I don't know of anything that has all that on the inside of the firewall for a first gen.
Yes it's just an easy system when everything is in one place.I even did my house that way. I built a 125 foot long house. I have two 3 1/2 ton units, one at each end. The center off the house has a very large great room. Each unit helps with the center room, then cools it's own end of the house. The units are all in one, everything for the system is enclosed in that unit. There's no separate air handler in the house etc. I like the simplicity. The under dash units are exactly the same way, except for the compressor being on the engine and the condenser being in front of the radiator. The rest though, if housed in one unit. They have many sizes of these. having one work with my small cab is not an issue. It's all about the depth of the units. I have several F100s, they have plenty of room for an under dash unit. I restore Mustangs for a living now and again, plenty of room for units. It's just these Rangers have no room. So I guess if I want AC, I'll have to look for a '94, being teh best choice and take everything.
 

PetesPonies

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The way the lower metal dash sweeps back . .the position of the shifter, no room. Engine compartment . well the box stock air box would fit obviously . . .but . .
28835
 

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I seen a home window A/C unit stuck through the sliding rear window of a Chevy Pick up... gas powered generator in the bed. Dude driving looked like he was pretty happy... just saying.
 

Denisefwd93

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125ft house x ?

2, 3.5s are a huge amount of AC,
even n a dessert that much tonnage would do 5-8k of living space!

Package AC units can get complicated to, but old schoolers still think how they think

50+ years in HVAC here, wanna build an unda dash unit?😇😱🤔
 


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