Determining the Correct Type and Size of Condenser
This inquiry from a Mustang owner reflects the challenge of constructing an A/C unit with parts from a variety of sources, and of finding parts that need to work with both original and non-original components.
I’m trying to sort out the components for an add-on A/C unit in a 64 F-100. I have a few early Mustang units so that’s what I’m using inside. I will mount a Unicla UP170 compressor low on the passenger side of the engine. I need to determine the proper size condenser for this given that I’ll be using 134a instead of the original R12. I have a 27″ x 16″ opening in the core support, and a non-original crossflow radiator that doesn’t mount like the OEM 64 F-100 unit did. I’d appreciate any input.
The best way to size the condenser is to match it to the opening on the radiator support. You’ll want use the largest condenser you can find to match your 27′ x 16″ opening.
Because you are running the newer 134a, the type of condenser you choose is vital: it will determine your system’s cooling efficiency and dictate system temperatures. The original tube and fin condensers were ideal for the old R12 refrigerant, but 134a systems operate with significantly higher pressures that the tube and fin condensers cannot keep up with. As a result, you’ll need a more modern core pattern condenser like Classic Auto Air’s parallel flow condenser. We offer a 26″ x 16″ parallel flow condenser that would fit great and work extremely well with the rest of your system.
You will also need to install a new filter drier in the system, and make sure that any parts being re-used are flushed clean before you close the system up and get it ready for system charging. This is a step that is often missed, causing failure to newly installed components. We can also help with custom building hoses to match the components in the system.