Dashboard Diving

At some point we had to dive under the dash and deal with the HVAC system.

At some point we had to dive under the dash and deal with the HVAC system in our Shelby GT 350. The first year that Mustangs were offered with a real factory air option was 1967. Earlier Mustangs used under-dash units, but by 1967 the air conditioning was integrated into the entire car with dash vents and dash-mounted controls. While not terribly complicated, this factory air was going to make restoration a bit more challenging.

First, we assumed that either the heater core or the A/C unit would be leaking after all these years. The fact we had already replaced the floors on this car told us something had been leaking, as the rest of the car had very little rust perforation.

We pulled the A/C control box out and sure enough, there were issues where the box mounted to the cowl and water had been getting into the cockpit.

While under the dash, we also replaced the evaporator and the heater core with new units from National Parts Depot. The evaporator we chose was a more modern high-flow unit. The actual housing for the evaporator was damaged, and we used epoxy and paint to repair it to perfect appearance. We ran new vacuum hoses underneath the dash, and cleaned and lubricated all the controls. Since it’s not available for purchase anywhere, we repaired the duct that runs to the driver’s air vent.

NPD also sells a new gasket kit for A/C restoration, which we used. With everything repaired and all the rat nests out of the original A/C unit, we are hopeful we will have cold air once we charge the system.

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