71 Skylark - did my car had an AC?

Discussion in 'Interior City' started by Fabinho, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Fabinho

    Fabinho Member

    Hi all

    I have a buick skylark 1971, imported from california to Europe. Now the pre-owner "modified" a few things in the car, for example the climate control was missing when the car arrived and instead of a radio he put something like a "heater" in there.

    This means that I can king of heating the car, because when I use the "heater" it will blow some hot air. But it won't blow to the windscreen and I also can't use any climate control.

    So my target will be to recconstruct my heating system as I want to heat the windscreen and also cool them down.

    First question; any idea what I have to buy to do this?
    Second; how can I find out if my car had originally an A/C or not?

    What I bought know is the climate control panel, this one I put in the place where it was empty in the dash. But the "heater" the pre-owner used I want to remove, I also want to insert some heater duct hose, as he removed them also completly.


  2. Ryans-GSX

    Ryans-GSX Have fun, life is short.

    Looks like it was a A/C car because only A/C cars had the vent over the radio
  3. Fabinho

    Fabinho Member

    would mean that this climate control is the wrong one?


    would it then be the best I buy a complete new A/c set? from classic autoair or old air products or vintage air?
  4. Dr. Roger

    Dr. Roger Stock enthusiast

    That is some crazy-ass engineering for a heater, but I've seen worse. :eek:

    Climate control for that system would have an additional switch on the right side, similar to the hi-low switch on the left, which would have AC/Vent/Heater/Recirculate.

    I'm assuming that is the heater core in your radio spot (or maybe it is an electric heater installed, hard to tell). Apparently, someone didn't want to pull the inner fenders and replace the old heater core (too much work), so they re-routed the heater hoses to a new core and stuck it in the dash. Which means, either the blower motor quit working or the old heater core started leaking (pretty common). If you can turn on the blower motor in some way, the motor is still working. Unless you need AC/ you could replace the heater core (or put it back where it belongs) and blower motor, both of which you can remove fairly easily after you remove the inner fender (which is a pain to get out). Then you can put in the climate controls to control it. I'm assuming the car is wired for the Heater/AC switch, so you might need to get a heat/AC climate control, but you might be able to make the control you have work. Whenever I get into the heater core, I replace the blower motor, because the motors are fairly cheap and the work involved in getting them out costs a lot more than the part. Replacing the AC to get that working would be another mess of parts and labor. Depends on if the AC box (and evaporator) are still in the car.
  5. Fabinho

    Fabinho Member

    Hi Dr. Roger, many thanks so far!

    Means for me:
    1. take out the „heater/electric heater“ which the pre owner installed
    2. check if the blower motor still works
    3. check if the old heater core is working
    4. buy a heat/AC climate controll as I bought the wrong one
    5. replace the blower motor

    Stupid question; when I open my hood, do I already see where the heater core is and the blower motor? or do I have first to take out the inner fender?

    But you said the mess is to take out the inner fender...thats not easy to do? never did it as I am not a car mechanic pro...
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  6. Dr. Roger

    Dr. Roger Stock enthusiast

    This is a relatively big job, which is probably why the last owner didn't do it right.

    The heater core and blower motor are not visible. Blower motor between the inner fender and the fire wall on the passenger-side. You will see 2 heater hoses going into the fire wall. That is where the heater core is (it is in the interior of the car).
    Heater box removal.jpg
    You have to jack up the front of the car, remove the passenger-side front tire to remove the inner fender (this is done by pulling it out from below). In order to get the inner fender out, you have to first remove the battery, batter tray, overflow tank, etc. Once you get the inner fender off, you can see the blower motor from underneath and it is easily removed. The heater core is located inside the vehicle in the heater box (the big black thing on the passenger side interior of the car, just above where you put your feet in the front seats. The heater box that contains your heater core has bolts that have to be removed from both the inside (front of the heater box) and on the fire wall under the hood. If the Evaporator box (for AC) is still in the vehicle (under the hood) the only way to get to the nuts that hold on the heater box is to remove the inner fender, since the nuts are on the bottom of the evaporator box. Once you get those screws/nuts loose, you can pull out the heater box (carefully and unplug all the hoses and wires). Pull out the heater box and the core is bolted to the backside of it (looks like a small radiator). If the evaporator box is gone (often folks take them out), then you can reach the nuts without removing the inner fender. If you pull out the heater box, you should always check the vacuum diaphragms attached to it to make sure they still hold vacuum. These open and close different doors to change the air flow from heat to vent to defrost. If they don't work, then all you get is the floor heater.

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