Air Conditioning & Heating Restoration


After removing the engine, the first place I decided to start my “front end” restoration was the air conditioning and heating system.  With the engine out of the way, it was much easier to get to the evaporator housing.  The consensus of opinion was to replace the heater core during this part of the restoration, so I did.





This is a photo of the evaporator housing looking back toward the passenger side.


As typical, the wiring was in pretty bad shape.  You can see pieces of electrical tape covering the wires in different areas.


The a/c compressor clutch would engage when the control was put in a/c.  It did not blow cold air but did seem to work.


I decided to go ahead and replace the components just in case.



This was the most surprising part.  The picture to the left is a picture taken toward the blower fan.  The opening is about 1/3 blocked by dirt, leaves and various junk that has accumulated over the years!


This junk is sucked into the system from the outside air opening and accumulates next to the evaporator.






After replacing the heater core I restored the ductwork with a seal kit from Zip Products.  It contained all the seals (plus some) to replace all of the gaskets and seals in the intricate ductwork.



The mess of wires on the left is the backside of the instrument panel (left dash).


The heater core “box  is located on the right side of the firewall in the passenger compartment (seen here on the right behind the wires).


Air enters through the opening in the fire wall.  The air moves toward the left to another box that diverts air to the defroster, dash vents, or heater vents.


I decided to replace the air conditioning electrical harness (from Lectric Limited) and the air conditioning / heater hoses.  You can see the hoses and harness at the bottom of this photo coming from behind the ductwork.


The wiring harness and some hoses pass through the firewall behind the ductwork.  NOTE:  You want to install this BEFORE you mount the heater box and other ductwork.  (Does it sound like I am speaking from experience?)



Since I had replaced all of the a/c wiring harness and hoses, I couldn’t leave the control panel alone.  I purchased the control panel reface kit from Corvette Central.


It was a simple task.  You replace the face plate and thumbwheels.  The old panel was faded and dirty.  The new panel is clear and easy to read.


I had replaced the fan switch (at the top of the control panel) soon after I bought the car.  (Note:  This switch was purchased through my local Chevrolet dealer.  You can still purchase some parts directly from GM.)