This article orginally appeared on fordmaverick.com.
In the early 70’s air conditioning systems were not as popular as they are today. In my experince I have found that most Mavericks from the early 70’s had only a heater. This was the case on my Maverick. Driving my Maverick around in the 100 + degree Arizona heat for a few years it became a priority to install a A/C system.
Below you can see the Vintage Air Mini system that I have first installed. It’s basically a box with a heater core and condenser with a fan stuck on the side. The problem with this is there is no way to control whether you have inside or outside intake air. There were also no provision on these for floor heat. Connecting the defrosting ducts also was not that easy. The Air-tique system does not work with the stock controls. You will have to use the control systems that they have available. They range anywhere from state-of-the-art electronic controls to simple nobs. None of the control systems they provided fit well in the stock location. They work better in a center console or hanging off the bottom of the dash. I elected to go with the billet aluminum slider controls. This worked out well for me since I not only didn’t like the location of the stock heater controls, but wanted to mound some gauges there.
Clearly the Air-Tique Mini system is not designed as a direct replacement for the Maverick. They do not offer one that is. The next option is to add a stock system. Below the Air Tique system is a drawing from a Chiltons manual showing stock system and how it fits under the dash. You can clearly see the differences between the two systems. Installing the stock system would only require drilling two holes for the heater hoses since the are in a different place than the non-A/C cars. Plus you could get a stock A/C control panel that would fit right in where the stock heater controls are. I also suspect it would be possible to use the electronic control systems offered by Air-Tique or Vintage Air. The stock system also requires a hole in the dash for the louvers. It might be possible to relocate the center louvers to under the dash with some ducting if you didn’t want to cut a hole in your dash. More than likely the only place you are going to find a stock A/C system is at a salvage yard. I would suggest finding a Maverick with the same color dash and the hole already cut. I also suspect that there may need to be some other minor modifications, possibly some brackets or such that will need to be made. But for the most part I think It would be a direct bolt-in.
The third choice is from Vintage Air. They make a lot of different sized boxes similar to the one from Air-Tique. They also make “Sure-Fit” systems which fit and use stock mounting locations and bolt in to various models. Of course they do not make one for the Maverick. But they do make one for the ’64 – 65 Falcon/Ranchero and 64 1/2 – 68 Mustangs. My experience has shown that these vehicles have similar dashes and underdashes. If you look at the picture below, you can see how the unit would mount up with the blower motor fitting under the stock fresh air intake. The only thing I can’t tell is if you can switch from recirculating or fresh air. The price for the complete set is about $1000 or $500 for just the box that fits under the dash. Considerably more expensive than a stock unit from a salvage yard. The box portion form Air-Tique or Vintage Air pictured above cost about $200 – $300 depending on the size.
I’m really looking for someone who has had some more experience with this stuff.