Firewall Cleanup : AC Install

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Doppleganger

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Just wondering if anyone has cleaned up / welded holes shut when installing AC? Vintage Air (I think) has a blank panel to cover up the original holes - then you drill new ones closer to where their system fits. I have that plus an aftermarket blank that I could use. Mine is a tad different as back in the day the dealer installed an aftermarket AC setup where the installer was a midget with the hiccups that used lefty scissors and butchered 2 holes way out of the way I'll also need to plug. There's a few pics online from the ghosts of projects past - just wondered if anyone here ever encountered this.

I have also heard of the VA boxes being a PITA to access mounting bolts with the ports in the way. One YT vid the guy said he wish he'd routed the ports through the floor vent. I'd kind of like to keep my vents if possible.

Just wondering if anyone ran into any of these kind of issues when installing the AC. I have a while before I'm at that point but like to at least have a plan / order parts while they're still available. In about 6 weeks the south will start warming up again and this stuff will disappear from inventories.

THX
 

Randy and Easton

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E and I did VA the week before Christmas. Straight up installation with everything ending up where it should. The plate is 12GA steel or better and really covers everything up. New holes do end up being close to old ones but because the plate is there you don’t see anything.
 

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Powerhouse Ranch

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i'm swapping from AC to heater and i have to close holes/make new ones. Different though but i still feel your pain.
 

Doppleganger

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One advantage I have ATM is my dash is out and the entire cab is stripped. Wont be easier to mock up or weld up holes than now. Another thing that could change is rear vs top ports on the compressor.
 

CalSgt

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LOL... I think the same dude installed my original AC set up, there were some seriously jagged hacked in holes in the firewall and at the core support they just bent a knockout section to route the hoses through. Not to mention the rubiks cube to remove or install any of the heat or AC components which were separate stand alone systems.

I welded up everything on the firewall (almost) and cut down the Vintage Air adapter plate so it would be flush. I would probably have custom made new mounting brackets that bolt on the inside of the firewall if I had to do it again, or maybe just weld some studs to the firewall to slip the unit over. It was an all day job mounting the VA box under the dash for the final time, even after test fitting it without the AC & heater lines several times. Laying upside down and backwards while holding the box in just the right position for the bolts to line up just ended up causing fights.

IIRC the welded nuts in the VA brackets had galled jacked up threads, I think we ended up drilling one of them out and using a slightly longer bolt and nut.

Also, it was a bit of a PIA to mount the new firewall pad without any of the holes for the rubber plugs to push through. You'll want to replace the pad before your final install if you plan on replacing it at all.


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Doppleganger

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E and I did VA the week before Christmas. Straight up installation with everything ending up where it should. The plate is 12GA steel or better and really covers everything up. New holes do end up being close to old ones but because the plate is there you don’t see anything.
Did you replace or install the firewall insulation before mounting the VA box? Mine was pretty ragged so I pulled it all out. Debating on the OE style pad or maybe dynomat type of stuff.
 

Randy and Easton

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Easton used Kilmat and put it up before the install. Then afterwards he filled in the missing pieces
 

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Randy and Easton

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@CalSgt love the look! Great color too! We gave E the VA kit for his 16th birthday and the catch was he had to do install so, not near as nice (not even close) as yours for sure.

I will echo your comment on the inside VA box, I just really took my time on it and it ended up a day job that I must say was a tad awkward but workable. Even for a couple of shade tree mechanics….
 

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CalSgt

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@CalSgt love the look! Great color too! We gave E the VA kit for his 16th birthday and the catch was he had to do install so, not near as nice (not even close) as yours for sure.

I will echo your comment on the inside VA box, I just really took my time on it and it ended up a day job that I must say was a tad awkward but workable. Even for a couple of shade tree mechanics….
Lol, our interior pics are almost identical

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bluex

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I kept the vents open/stock with my VA install. The Dr side one obviously still works just fine, the pass side when you open it the air comes in, hits the VA box an then comes right out into your face. It's basically unusable unless you want to wear goggles.

That said I'll be giving up my pass side vent to run the hoses through an have a smooth firewall....
 

Randy and Easton

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E wanted a clean look so he made a makeshift cover for pax side vent and closed it off. Not the greatest metal work but, he likes it
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Bennyt

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We welded up my sons smooth, however I forgot to weld a stud on the inside to hold the system so it will have an allen head showing when I actually do the install.

Thera are some really nice panels made from atomic armadillo and Vannatta that have various patterns/ logos that I wish I had done as well.

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gilby959798

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I plan to shave my firewall with a panel from Vannatta as BennyT posted above. I figure as I am doing the cab repair, I might as well clean up the firewall.
 

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