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How to Identify Dealer Air vs Factory Air?

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:17 PM
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How to Identify Dealer Air vs Factory Air?

I have a 1987 Bronco 351W. How do I determine if my truck has dealer or factory in it. It was an XLT from the factory.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bruno2 View Post
I have a 1987 Bronco 351W. How do I determine if my truck has dealer or factory in it. It was an XLT from the factory.
As I understand it, if you have air conditioning from the dealer, the heater box will still be under the hood like on non-AC models. It's just an add on, more or less.

AC from the factory though has the heater core under the dash in the cab, and is really easy to access.

I don't know about 87 to 91, but I think that's how it is 80 to 86. We'll know for sure in a bit.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:50 PM
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The 87 Bronco 351W is a throwback. Even though it is considered a "bricknose" it still has the carb and DSII ignition. It has the genII alt and the same steering column. It isnt much different if at all from the 80-86. The 87 has a steel battery tray with a clamp where the 80-86 had the recessed part of the fender for the battery to sit on. It also has a steel mounting plate that bolts to the inside of the fender for the degas bottle and wiper reservoir to clip onto instead of being directly clipped to the fender.

My heater core is inside the dash. All you see from under the hood is 2 -5/8" nipples protruding through the firewall.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 1983F1503004x4 View Post
As I understand it, if you have air conditioning from the dealer, the heater box will still be under the hood like on non-AC models. It's just an add on, more or less.

AC from the factory though has the heater core under the dash in the cab, and is really easy to access.

I don't know about 87 to 91, but I think that's how it is 80 to 86. We'll know for sure in a bit.
Almost....

At least with 80-86....

If factory AC, the lines from the compressor will run to the evaporator/dryer/whatever-crap which is all located on the engine side of the firewall and in the same box that contains the heater core.

If dealer-added AC, the lines from the compressor will run through the firewall to dealer-added AC stuff under the dash, keeping the factory-supplied heater box on the engine side of the firewall.

There will be some changes to the HVAC controls, too, although I have no idea what they are for 1987.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:10 PM
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Another clue: Factory air has dash-mounted vents. Dealer air sometimes doesn't.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:26 PM
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my 82 had dealer installed AC. Was a complete stand-alone package mounted up under and behind the glove box. Had it's own blower, evaporator, ducting, wiring and resistors.

On the controls there is a switch that is activated when you slide it to AC. This switch not only operated the clutch on the compressor but operated a relay that put power over to that blower motor from the heater blower.

Again...this was on an 82 f100...not sure on your Bronco
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:32 PM
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I have dash vents and the AC lines run on the outside/engine side of the firewall. The accumulator dryer is outside and there is a big black plastic box outside as well . The blower motor is outside and it has the resistors out there too. Once you pull the blower motor you can see where the evap coil is within the black plastic box that is outside.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:34 PM
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I have dash vents and the AC lines run on the outside/engine side of the firewall. The accumulator dryer is outside and there is a big black plastic box outside as well . The blower motor is outside and it has the resistors out there too. Once you pull the blower motor you can see where the evap coil is within the black plastic box that is outside.
Sounds factory
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:52 PM
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Another clue: Factory air has dash-mounted vents. Dealer air doesn't.
Oh, sure it does, so long as it looks like any installation I've seen.

For 80-86, what they do is cut smaller holes on the pass side of the front of the dash bezel thing. With factory AC there's a vent on each end, the embossed/raised area fits between them.

Without AC, that raised/embossed area extends the full width of the passenger side.

Dealer-added AC they cut holes in that embossed area and install smaller vents.

Also....

The driver's side - factory AC has vents on both sides of the gauge cluster... dealer-added AC cuts holes and installs identical-looking vents, but they're connected with dryer-vent-hose-type of ducting, not the solid plastic ducting the factory AC comes with.

One of these days maybe I'll come up with pictures. I have pix somewhere of one of the factory installations and what it does to the HVAC controls but I couldn't find 'em, I may have deleted 'em....
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Oh, sure it does, so long as it looks like any installation I've seen.

For 80-86, what they do is cut smaller holes on the pass side of the front of the dash bezel thing. With factory AC there's a vent on each end, the embossed/raised area fits between them.

Without AC, that raised/embossed area extends the full width of the passenger side.

Dealer-added AC they cut holes in that embossed area and install smaller vents.

Also....

The driver's side - factory AC has vents on both sides of the gauge cluster... dealer-added AC cuts holes and installs identical-looking vents, but they're connected with dryer-vent-hose-type of ducting, not the solid plastic ducting the factory AC comes with.

One of these days maybe I'll come up with pictures. I have pix somewhere of one of the factory installations and what it does to the HVAC controls but I couldn't find 'em, I may have deleted 'em....
Chris....the way you explain it is exactly how my dealer air was. Had the dash vents that look stock and are connected by the flex hoses behind the dash....which of course after 30 years were torn apart and had fallen off the the vents due to the silly tape they used to try to keep them there.

Guess I shoud have taken pictures of it all as I disassembled it all. None of it was functioning so I just tore it all out and threw it all away.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:12 PM
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Had my instrument cluster out the other day so went ahead and took some pictures of how the dealer installed vents look
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:30 PM
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And here is what FACTORY a/c looks like


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Old 04-10-2012, 05:32 PM
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Just an FYI, but the dealer A/C vent hoses *can* be attached to a factory A/C cluster bezel. Tight fit, but they will go.
I did it in my 80 with dealer A/C, when I upgraded to 81+ cluster and bezel.

Oh, and my PS vents are *slightly* different than the ones pictured above.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:46 PM
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One other thing to help ID between the 2. I think on the factory air, all of your dampers to control where where the air is going are all vacuum servo controled aren't they?

On my dealer air...everything is cables. Cable going to the temperature control damper in the engine compartment as well as the damper controlling defrost/floor.

My control also only has 3 positions AC/Defrost/Heater. When you take to to "AC" it activates a switch that switches power to the dealer AC blower away from the Heater Blower.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:55 PM
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Dealer control panel
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