Classic Auto Air Install Notes

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One of my winter project was to install Air Conditioning. While doing research to pick a unit (I was down to two (Classic Auto Air (CAA) and Vintage Air (VA)) when a Corvette Forum Member offered a uninstalled CAA unit for sale (less then half price). I immediately made my decision and jumped on the offer.

Now that the install is complete and working GREAT and  I will share some my install notes. Overall the install was on a scale of 1 - 10 about a 5. However some steps were 1's and some were closer to 10's.  If you are interested in CAA here is a link to there web site ===>> Classic Auto Air and you can view the install instructions that I used for 1963-67 Vette here ====>> Install Instructions. A word about CAA, seeing how I did not purchase the system directly from them I did have the need to call to ask a few question and other then their hours of operations I was satisfied with them. The compressor I got from Marv was standard and I want the Polished version so I call them up and they obliged me with an upgrade ($59 + shipping) seeing how the compressor I had was new and sealed from the factory. Last week I was installing the last high pressure hose and sure enough it was to short so I call them up and they sent me the correct hose. Then I called to ask a tech question on the electric wiring and got a prompt answer. Enough about them.

The CAA system is called "Perfect Fit" and it is close but not 100%. I think if you do a search you will find many good threads on CAA installs and each will have a small "DIDN'T QUITE FIT" as I did.

Install was on a 1965 327/365 with Narrow (24 1/8 inch radiator)

I'll try to break this down into section as best I can remember.


Brackets and Alternator:

CAA uses Alan Grove Brackets and comes with the compressor bracket. To move alternator to drivers side you will need either the STOCK Alt. bracket from A/C car or you could use matching Alan Grove Brackets.

A/C compressor bracket (Right Side)
Classic Air # 6-238 (comes with CAA kit)
Alan Grove # 113R Low AC

Alt Bracket (Left side)
Classic Air # 6-265
Alan Grove # 213L Low Alt

I also upgraded to a 100 amp alternator (12SI) with an internal regulator with conversion kit wiring and move wiring that can be had from Lectric limited.

BTW:...I swapped out the exhaust manifolds (I had a 901 & 902) for after market (foreign) and ground off the mounting brackets. Saved the originals. I got them here ===>> 1A Auto

Brackets lined up perfect but takes 3 hands to hold while you start bolts.

Here are the CAA/Alan Grove Brackets I used but do your own research.

** NOTE ** they do not come CHROMED


Battery Relocate

*** NOTE *** This is optional

I elected to relocate the battery to the left (Drivers) side as once you get all the hoses installed it will take some disconnecting/moving to get to battery. A/C cars came with battery on left side. Here is a write up on my battery relocate ===>> Battery Relocate



** NOTE the kit I was installing was for WIDE (29 1/2 inch) radiator while my radiator is narrow (24 1/8 inch). You can use the wide kit on a narrow radiator but not the other way around. I believe that the wide kit has an advantage as the dryer is mounted on the firewall and somewhat un-clutters area in front of radiator. Wide kit could also help on a 1963-64 getting the hook up tubes from hitting hood. ** You be the judge **

If you follow the instructions from CAA (See Above) and take your time you won't have any major problems. However I suggest you read, read, read and read instruction to visualize each step and see where you can switch/combine steps to make things easier. Example: On page 21 they tell you about a micro switch that may need to be adjusted...At that point you can't get to the switch without taking the glove box back out and then you need to stand on your head to get to it.

I took my time and made minor adjustment to their instructions or changes as follows:

I remove the X-Brace from the Radiator support which allowed the condenser to sit flatter. Also my X-Brace was loose on one corner.


Re-routing of hoses which I had to make a custom bracket to hold (see below before I painted black) this eliminated some of the clutter.


Defroster duct:
One of the hardest thing I encountered was trying to install the Defroster Duct. Mind you I had glove box out, radio out, clock out, wiring out and original heater out. I could not get the nuts to even start the plastic was to thick. So I modified the duct (see below) by cutting off ends and riveting on a small aluminum strips and install was easy.


Drivers Vent:
Instruction call for it to be mounted center under steering wheel. I wanted it close to door and inset to match passengers side and allow for more room while entering and exiting. So brackets were made to use hole original headlight switch used. NOTE ** Headlight switch and vent cables were move to positions use in A/C cars (check AIM for location)

I hooked up like instruction called for but routed different and mounted relay on left side to avoid clutter. I solder all connection that I made to avoid future problems.

That's the main things I changed. One thing you can't change is the routing of the 2 1/2 inch flex hose under the dash, it only fits one way.

If I were doing the install now I would eliminate one of the defrost flex hoses (block off) and free up the extra space.


Last notes: Hooked up A/C test equipmnt and pumped it down (vacuum) and let it sit for 10-15 minutes NO LEAKS charged with 24 oz of 134a and the temp at the vents drop to 37 degrees.


Miscellaneous Pictures

Firewall Block Off Plate
Dryer and Hoses
Hose Routing
Drivers Vent
Under Hood


Final Note:  I did this install by myself and am happy the way it turned out. Others have done thing different and they may or may not be better. So let them tell their stories and you be the judge.

2010 Update:

While replacing dash pads and having dash out of car I remove one of the Defroster Vent Hoses (Passengers side) thus giving lots more room under dash board. I very seldom, if ever, use the defroster and could have probably removed both. I just added a thin piece of aluminum and duct tape. Make sure you do both ends where you remove the hose.



Copyright 2007-10 GB Janssen