86 MCSS stock a/c with ls swap ?

johnnunez29

Greasemonkey
May 9, 2022
232
48
28
Ok im getting ready to have my firewall prepared, i asked the body shop guy and he told me i need to get rid of the stock ac because it will not allow space for the ls (lq9). i know ive seen many ls swaps using stock a/c so im pretty sure thats bs. But is there any reason why i should go with a unit like vintage air over stock? its like 2k + of money that will never be back, but i dont want to drop in the engine and find out that the stock ac system is all trash. Also, do need to run any special vove covers in this swap? He mentioned that there will be no space to remove the rear plugs. TIA
 

ostrich

Master Mechanic
Aug 27, 2012
308
303
63
Ontario, Canada
I have the stock AC in my LS swapped MCSS. Issue comes around the motor mounts and where it puts the motor. I did have to trim the bracket for the coil packs just slightly so it didn't hit the AC box. I used a relocate bracket for the R4 AC compressor (moved it up from the frame rails). The LS Sanden comp is low (assuming truck accessories), and usually hits the frame rail. Lots of info here on that. I have no issues with changing any plugs. Went with a 3rd get Camaro AC line set & condenser. Vintage air systems clean up the firewall, but for $2k I was good with stock AC.
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
5,530
1
11,705
113
Upstate NY
The engine will clear the firewall mounted HVAC unit easily. Clearance issues develop from turbo downpipe with a passenger side turbo
 

MissBreezy

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jun 1, 2018
14
22
3
Ok im getting ready to have my firewall prepared, i asked the body shop guy and he told me i need to get rid of the stock ac because it will not allow space for the ls (lq9). i know ive seen many ls swaps using stock a/c so im pretty sure thats bs. But is there any reason why i should go with a unit like vintage air over stock? its like 2k + of money that will never be back, but i dont want to drop in the engine and find out that the stock ac system is all trash. Also, do need to run any special vove covers in this swap? He mentioned that there will be no space to remove the rear plugs. TIA
Hope it works out for you. I put an LY6 with ProCharger in my Malibu and the stock heater box and A/C had to be deleted (per the shop tech), I regret not searching for better solutions...
 

DPF 84 Hurst

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Oct 2, 2020
47
13
8
I have the ac box in my hurst with an LS1 swap. Holly engine and transmission mounts Holly exhaust and imitation Holly oil pan…. It’s tight but it fits
1E1E7903-E79D-4A49-AB07-2480ADD0863E.jpeg
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
5,530
1
11,705
113
Upstate NY
Ok im getting ready to have my firewall prepared, i asked the body shop guy and he told me i need to get rid of the stock ac because it will not allow space for the ls (lq9). i know ive seen many ls swaps using stock a/c so im pretty sure thats bs. But is there any reason why i should go with a unit like vintage air over stock? its like 2k + of money that will never be back, but i dont want to drop in the engine and find out that the stock ac system is all trash. Also, do need to run any special vove covers in this swap? He mentioned that there will be no space to remove the rear plugs. TIA
I answered this once, but a more in depth answer : your guy is correct that the rear plug on the passenger side will suck to change if you run headers and it will still be a pita with stock manifolds. But not even remotely close to impossible.

The chance of something in your stock system being trash is not poor. But the parts are obtainable. AFAIC, working on a stock heater box is more awful than changing #6 and #8 plug. He can also vacuum test your evaporator to be sure it’s good. Hoses can be made, and the condenser is not hard to find (I’ve thrown out/scrapped 3 good ones - oops.)

The picture posted by DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter?) 84 Hurst above shows off an AC compressor mount that makes the swap a bunch easier.

With this being said, I’ve put a delete panel into every swap I’ve done and I have no heat, AC, defrost of any type other than Mother Nature. It is interesting when driving on foggy mornings haha. But also, none of my stuff is show car type builds. But, the amount of room is silly once the heater is gone. And after doing a manual brake conversion there is even more room.
 
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