Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1973 -> Kerry's Restoration -> Part 17
Heat and Air at last!
Yea me! Forgive me for gloating but I have successfully "de-installed" the Autotemp II and have working AC, heat, and defrost. It even looks decent.
Remember that the original owner had jury rigged two switches to control the fan and AC clutch. He had no control over the vacuum motors or heat. There was a water faucet in the heater hose that controlled the hot water flow. The Autotemp unit was disconnected, vacuum lines and electrical lines butchered. It gets hot and cold in Alabama and I wanted something better.
Since I was not going to use the Autotemp and have a spare setup in the 72 I decided to pull out all the "Stuff". Really cleaned up the area under the dash and allowed me to see what was up there.
Decided to pull the Autotemp control thing. Its up above the radio. The radio has only two Phillips screws holding it in and came right out (Heavy SOB). Two small nuts held the control unit in place and when I disconnected two electrical connectors and the vacuum plug it came right out.
Here is the unit.
After studying it for a while, I decided to figure out how it worked. With a voltmeter, I determined that one of the electrical switches made contact when the HI AC and HI Defrost was on. This would be perfect to control the AC compressor. I also ran new wires to put the low pressure switch in series with the compressor switch. The other switch was enabled anytime anything other than off was enabled. Only one button can be pushed at a time so I haven't thought of a use for it yet
Now to the vacuum. The shop manual is pretty helpful but I ended up by trial and error. I hooked up the engine vacuum to the lower central port (per the manual) and then put a 1 foot piece of vacuum on each of the other 6 ports. Each time I pushed a button I listened to the hoses and determined which one (ones) had vacuum. When I had it written down I began to think I could hook up the vacuum motors. About an hour later I had defrost air, AC air, and floor air when I pushed the right buttons.
Now for the fan. The original jury rig was off and high. I wanted at least a off, low, high. I could only find a two pole switch. When I find a multi-pole switch I can hook up others but I really don't need more than 3. The Autotemp has 5 speeds! To my surprise when I replaced the original high wire with better quality wire, the air output increased. I expect his wire was not carrying enough current??
Now for the hot water control. Believe it or not, the 73 Chrysler had a manual wire control (like a manual choke). My "Old" parts store had one in stock for 35 bucks. The mounting holes are even in the inner fender. The first thing was to hook it up to a choke cable. Worked great but I hated the way it looked.
By this time I had put the dash back together half a dozen times. It's not really that hard. Wonder what I could do with the temperature wheel on the Autotemp control???? Humm. Pull it out again. 3.6 minutes! A new WORLD RECORD. Excuse me, the Olympics are getting in my head.
Well, no guts no glory. (Remember I have a spare control (actually two if I want to drive back to Delano Tennessee to the other parts car). The first problem is that my control cable is too short. I need about 6' to reach to the middle of the dash. My first thought was to use the wheel itself as the lever but the way it is constructed makes would make that approach difficult. Had to go into town anyway so I stopped by Advance auto to look around. Found a 7 dollar manual choke conversion kit that had a 6 foot wire control cable. Also found a lawnmower throttle switch that looked promising for 4 bucks. By the time I got home I had it built in my head. Actual fabrication took about an hour. When I put it in place it looks just like a normal heat cold control lever. I love it!
The above shot shows my new temp control made from a lawnmower control. When you compare this to the first shot you will notice this one shows the top. The wheel and control rheostat were removed and replaced with the cable arm. I just love it when a plan comes together.
I will get the Autotemp to work someday but I'm trying to get it roadworthy for the Anniston gathering next weekend. Looks like I'll make it. Should test drive Thursday. Cross them fingers folks!
Kerry's '73 Restoration Saga Main...
This page was last updated on 08/22/2001. Please email me any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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