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1969 Camaro Restomod
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Discussion Starter #1
I know that some of you guys have used iimuch to be the bulkhead pass-thru for your VA hoses, others have used Clean Rings, some have used simple rubber grommets, others have used some variant of the billet machined pass-thru that requires a threaded & sealed connector on both sides of the firewall.



iiMuch Bulkhead Pass-Thru - Clever design locks all four hoses once you tighten it up. I've heard some issues with making the hose turn into it but nobody has explained that (yet). Probably the nicest setup.



Clean Rings Pass-Thru - Each hose is individually clamped from what I can figure out. One benefit is you can position them any way you want.



Rubber Grommets - Simple and cost-effective but is the seal good enough?



Machined/Threaded Pass-Thru - A variety of these are available, Diamond shaped, straight line, round and square. The benefit is probably the ease of connecting everything regardless of hose contours on either side of the firewall, the negative is that you have eight (8) more places for leaks to possibly develop?

I'm leaning toward the iimuch unit... and Clean Rings would be my second choice. I have a DSE plate to cover the void created by removal of the OEM BBC heater junk, and my intent is to locate the hose pass-thru in the area of where the fan motor was, and then drape over the inner fender, exiting in the area just behind the battery and core support. My serpentine setup has the compressor mount is on the passenger side, so hopefully the plumbing won't be too intrusive.

I've tried to read as much as possible before doing this, my son is taking off a week in the middle of the month and he and my grandson will come over to help with removal of the hood and fender. I have heard of some issues with the iiMuch and bending the hoses in the area above the kick panels, and I wanted to get a heads-up on what to expect. I ordered the VA kit with the EZ-Clip option. I did not buy their tool... and I'm wondering if; (a) anyone has one they'd loan me for a week or two, or (b) are there any less expensive alternatives to EZ-Clip VA tool? For those of you who haven't seen the EZ-Clips before, I'll try to post this video link showing how it works.


Any advice, suggestions, or opinions on the pass-thru, crimper, or whatever would be appreciated and of course... this could be a good resource for others thinking about a VA install down the road.
 

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I used a threaded bulkhead connector. I was originally going to try to use a pass through, but things get really tight under the dash with the evap installed. With a bulkhead connector, I was able to make a mock up of the firewall plate and test fit the hoses out of the car. I didn't want to make the holes in the firewall plate until I was sure that everything would line up.



Once that was done and the evap and hoses were installed, it gave me extra time to fabricate the engine side hoses.



For now, I connected the heater hoses and left the a/c hoses off until I finish off getting my front clip back on. I do have concerns about extra connections for potential leaks, but the bulkhead connector seemed like my best option. In hindsight, I might have gone with the EZ Clip hoses, but so far I'm happy with how my installation is going.
 

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1969 Camaro Restomod
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Discussion Starter #3
I used a threaded bulkhead connector. I was originally going to try to use a pass through, but things get really tight under the dash with the evap installed. With a bulkhead connector, I was able to make a mock up of the firewall plate and test fit the hoses out of the car. I didn't want to make the holes in the firewall plate until I was sure that everything would line up.



Once that was done and the evap and hoses were installed, it gave me extra time to fabricate the engine side hoses.



For now, I connected the heater hoses and left the a/c hoses off until I finish off getting my front clip back on. I do have concerns about extra connections for potential leaks, but the bulkhead connector seemed like my best option. In hindsight, I might have gone with the EZ Clip hoses, but so far I'm happy with how my installation is going.
I like that idea of building a temporary filler panel because I'm concerned about where exactly to locate the hose pass-thru. Maybe centering the iiMuch is not the best location for it. The DSE panel looks like this from the side that mounts against the firewall. So the hoses and the pass-thru could be anywhere in that circular area where the fan motor/blower once were. It'd be easy enough to trace the outline onto a piece of masonite, and do something similar to what you did.



Generally speaking, my intention is to drape the hoses over the inner fender sort of like this, except I don't plan on changing over to braided SS hose midway over the fender. Plus I'm leaving the fuel supply line right where it is for now. If/when I install the FiTech I'll deal with that later. Might think about running the power line from the battery to the Vintage Air alongside the hoses.



Depending on how tight it is up around that section where the blower was, if I ever needed to replace the hoses I should be able to loosen the pass-thru and snake new hoses in by simply joining the old with the new and pull/feed it thru (I think LOL). If this doesn't work out, I've seen fairly clean installs with fully exposed hoses fastened in parallel near the line where the inner/outer fender meet. That area next to the battery will also be where my dual fan controller will probably wind up and also the controller for the electric RS headlight doors is supposed to be there.
 

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I bought one of the round heater delete plates for the blower hole, and I have all my wiring running through there. I drilled a small hole right above the kick panel and my wires go through it and out the heater delete plate and run behind the inner fender to the battery. I originally had my heater hoses going behind the inner fender, but I wasn't happy with where I had to place the heater cutoff switch, so I ran the heater hoses similar to stock. I will probably run the a/c hoses behind the fender, my compressor is mounted lower passenger side of the engine so it looks like it will be a good fit for where it exits the fenderwell.
 

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Room is tight under the dash to run hoses. I always use reduced barrier hoses. They are the same size inside but smaller outside and more flexible. a #8 RB is the same diameter as a #6 standard barrier etc.
 
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Tim - The Northwest 1969 Camaro
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I used a vertical bulkhead fitting and reduced barrier hoses. I mocked it all up and built the underdash hoses knowing the engine compartment hoses would be straightforward. I think there are pictures in my build thread if you are interested. I actually customer bent some of the the fittings to get the angle just right.
 

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I tried to minimize connections - so hose from unit under the dash to the compressor through grommets. I've had no issue with cabin sealing. Done right, no one ever sees the firewall pass through.
 

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Whether you choose to route your hoses through the old heater blower motor hole, or a bulkhead fitting is totally up to you. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

I chose the bulkhead fitting method. You are correct that I have eight more fittings that could leak. Will my ac and heater hoses ever leak? Yes. Will your hoses that have eight less fittings ever leak? Yes. I think my bulkhead hose arrangement might leak more often.

The reason I chose the bulkhead method is because I did not want to cut my plastic kick panel inside the car. Read the instructions for your evaporator unit. Does Vintage Air want you to route the hoses through the kick panel vent? I was afraid the hoses would be easily visible. The passenger could kick the hoses with their feet. If you have a 1969 Camaro, Vintage Air provides a cosmetic plastic cover to hide the hoses. It is black and will need to be painted to match the interior color of your car.

Installing the evaporator unit under the dash is no fun. There is not a lot of room. The hoses need to be routed through the blower motor hole and be long enough to touch the floor of the car. The hoses are then connected to the evaporator when it is sitting on the floorboard. One person is laying on his back and bench pressing the evaporator under the dash. Another person is outside the car and tugging on the hoses to take up the slack as the first person lifts the unit.

Installing the evaporator using the bulkhead method allows the evaporator to be installed by only one person. The short pigtail hoses are connected to the evaporator and to the bulkhead fittings on a bench where it is easy. The evaporator is lifted with one hand under the dash and the mounting bolts are started with the other hand.

Think about how a rubber hose breaks. It will break at the fittings or it will burst at the point where the hose makes a sharp turn. The blower motor method forces the hoses to make a sharp 90-degree turn. The bulkhead fittings also make 90-degree turns. The difference is one is made of rubber the other is made of aluminum. I think the bulkhead aluminum turn will last longer.

When a hose bursts or leaks in the future, the reverse of the installation procedure will have to be preformed for a repair.
 

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1969 Camaro Restomod
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Discussion Starter #9
Great information guys. Any chance you have pix of your installs?

John... Can I use reduced barrier hose with the same EZ-Clips VA supplied? Source for Reduced Barrier hose?
Tim... I'll take a look at your build page.
mkelcy... Where did you place the grommets? Pix?
Jones... Its hard to argue with your comments, actually has me re-thinking the bulkhead option. Any pix?

Mike
 

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Tim - The Northwest 1969 Camaro
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Mike - here are a couple of mine. One thing to note - I used the DSE bracket which allows you to hang the evaporator rather than use their bracket.

Ready to go in with hoses installed and DSE bracket bolted up:
263932

Another with the final routing:
263933

Installed from the inside:

263934
 

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1969 Camaro Restomod
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Discussion Starter #11
Well... here we go! My son is on vacation this week so he offered to come over and help out. We got the hood and fender off, took off the inner fender well but then I decided to bolt it back up with a few bolts to keep me aware of the next steps. Made sure all the shims are where they belong, and I did drill a couple of pilot holes in the hood bracket part of the hinge. Left the DS hinge in place, and the PS is still attached to the fender, Fender and hood are wrapped in movers quilts and bungie cords are wrapped around them. All the major bolts are bagged.




Thats the DSE steel cover up on the cowl and I measured the spot where a bulkhead would pass thru if I used a billet fixture. Its less than 7" in that area so the diamond shaped one from Vintage Air is listed as 9" wide and 7+ high eliminating that one. There's a million different shapes on Amazon, some are straight, some triangular, some are just two fixtures so you'd have to use two pieces. I really don't want those four hoses showing. And I'm reluctant to cut up the kick panel area and run them thru the blower hole. I'm thinking 90° fittings on all four and swing the hoses up and over the fender well. My son thinks I should consider leaving the hoses exposed as it makes life simpler and I've lived with two hoses for years. Gonna try to think it thru. BTW... I haven't looked closely at the Vintage Air fittings, are they AN-?

The next obvious step is to pull the old heater out, and any advice on things to do or things NOT to do would be appreciated. The got about a pint of fluid out of the heater, not much more, ran an air hose and nothing seemed to come out after that pint or so. I'll cork the two pipes anyway.
 

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1969 Camaro Restomod
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Discussion Starter #12
Got the heater out fine, not a drop was spilled. I did watch the Vintage Air YouTube video where they installed in a 67 firebird IIRC, and the look of the finished hose layout over the fender well was pretty ugly. I’m rethinking the whole hose deal. I might just forget the “hidden” aspect as I have a lot going on between the battery tray and the front of the fender well.
My electric headlight motor controller box is supposed to mount right where the hoses would turn out towards the engine on the fender well. And my dual eFan controller is supposed to mount to the core support, so I have wiring to deal with in both cases, plus the relay for the VA.
I got by fine with two exposed hoses for several years, so maybe with 4 RB hosea I’ll live with it. Hope to hang the unit this weekend and will see if I need to use the II Much bulkhead or grommets. Depends on the hose bends I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Evaporator mounted, fender and hood back on, working on running the air hoses from the evaporator to the various vents. AC/Heater stuff is thru the firewall, capped until I'm ready to mess with hoses. Went a little different route with the bulkhead, opened up the DSE and then made a rigid foam 1/2" "gasket to keep dust and whatever out, but I'm probably going to make an aluminum trim ring, maybe with more grommets.



Either going to paint those bolts black or find some 1/4-20 Body Bolts either 1" or hopefully 1-1/4".
 

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Ran my hoses through the blower hole. one is 12 ft as it goes under the radiator core support to the compressor on the drivers side, The hoses are not visible for the most part and have had no issues for 10 years since the install. I have a smooth firewall so I did'nt want to clutter it up. All my wiring harnesses are also hidden as the chrome engine dept is built for show. Has taken best engine at all 21 shows!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My setup has the compressor on the passenger's side, short reverse flow water pump. So its basically a run from the firewall connection to the compressor, the other line will go to the condenser and then back up to the compressor. This compressor came with J-shaped metal tubes that will obviously be inverted, connections are all well below the center of the compressor if not closer to the bottom of it. Debating as to whether I might use a braided sheath on the hoses to dress them a little. Not SS, but braided nylon from Tech Flex.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thought I'd post a picture of the AC & Heater Hoses all finished up. Turned out pretty decent I think, and I've seen a lot of AC installs at shows over the years on these cars and sometimes it looks like Ready-Set-Spaghetti LOL. I used Tech-Flex black braid covering on all the hoses. My DIY bulkhead looks like it belongs there as my son said LOL.

My Bulkhead-00.jpg

The EZ-Clip system was pretty smooth to use. LOL... I did a sample hose end with one clip just to get the hang of it... just curious is there an easy way to "unclip" the round clamp? Wanna take it apart and save the parts.

AC-Heater Hoses-00.jpg

I did run the wiring over the top of the fender well, jacketed in a split-type braid. It looked like too much going on when I tried it up near the seam where the outer fender bolts on.

AC-Heater Hoses-01.jpg

Here's a look at the bigger picture. I'm hoping to run the radiator hose straight ahead with a 90° elbow, then over to the radiator next with another elbow. Leaning towards a remote PS reservoir/tank mounted on the core support. Haven't decided whether to keep the hoses black braid or Stainless braid as I now have both styles in the bay. Some run the hoses straight back from the steering box, others will run longer hoses and go between the pan and the motor mounts (my old setup). Its my understanding that black braided hose is simply paint that comes off. Might look at PS hoses with a black vinyl braid built in if I can find something that spec's out and looks decent.

Mike

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