Modern Cool
Factory-Like Modern Interior Climate Control for 1967-1972 Chevy/GMC C10 Pickups
By Rob Fortier Photography by the Author
Working on the 1967-1972 Chevy/GMC C10 Pickup

Way back when I was a youngster, air conditioning meant nothing to me—even at the ripe-old age of 21 living in the land of the sun (Arizona), I lived without A/C in my means of transportation as well as my humble abode. Looking back on that, I now realize two things: I was cheap, and a fool (the latter of which may still apply … on occasion!).

Now that I’ve come to my senses 30-odd years later, I not only rack up a hefty utility bill come summertime, I put air conditioning on the priority list of all my vehicles—old and new. While choosing the appropriately optioned new(er) car or truck is simple enough, similarly equipping anything of substantial vintage may not always fit the simplicity factor in many people’s minds—but in reality, when it comes to most popular classic trucks, it couldn’t be simpler, thanks to Vintage Air.

Whether it’s a 1967 Camaro or a 1967 C10 pickup, cooling the inner confines in these modern times is a breeze—no pun intended. Vintage Air has worked out all the fitment bugs and system compatibilities so that the end user—you and I—can equip most any roadworthy relic with advanced-technology air conditioning with their series of SureFit A/C systems. I’m not a certified automotive A/C service technician by any means—but I’ve installed a number of Vintage Air units over the past 15-20 years to confidently say, if I can do it, anyone can! Just to illustrate that fact, here’s the lowdown on how to properly cool down your average 1967-1972 C10 pickup.

What comes in a Vintage Air’s Gen IV 1967-72 C10 SureFit
Vintage Air’s Gen IV 1967-72 C10 SureFit comes with everything shown: microprocessor-controlled underdash heat/air conditioning/defrost unit, unique fly-by-wire servo motor control panel retrofit system that allows use of factory control panel (eliminating cables), modern evaporator/condenser, compressor and brackets, plumbing, vents, and more.
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Removing the factory heater components
Prior to repainting the firewall, all the factory heater components were removed. This particular model did not originally come with A/C—the only issue that will pose is having to provide blow-though access for the air, which you’ll see covered separately in the accompanying sidebar. (See below.)
Working with vintage Air supplies
Heavy-duty flexible caulk was used
Vintage Air supplies the necessary steel firewall plate to accommodate the Gen IV’s cold air and heater fluid lines safe passage (with provided rubber grommets) and completely seal off the passenger cab from the engine compartment. Heavy-duty flexible caulk was used to ensure no unwanted heat entered or cold air escaped—and vice versa!
… when it comes to most popular classic trucks, it couldn’t be simpler, thanks to Vintage Air.
The Gen IV was mounted up under the dash using the pre-installed bracket
Looking at the pre-drilled holes
With the firewall sealed up, the Gen IV was mounted up under the dash using the pre-installed bracket that attaches the top of the unit to the interior surface of the cowl as well as the pre-drilled holes in the firewall plate.
The necessary wiring harness components come over-length
Vintage Air supplies all the necessary wiring harness components over-length, so the installer can determine exactly where to mount the relays and make the various connections—with a fully detailed set of instructions to help guide you along the way!
The refrigerant lines are supplied pre-cut with R134a high-pressure fittings
Looking at the A/C mechanics
The refrigerant lines are supplied pre-cut with R134a high-pressure fittings pre-crimped and clocked accordingly. When installing the A/C lines, always remember to lubricate the (green) O-rings beforehand.
Removing the grille
Installing the condenser
Having the grille removed is necessary when it comes to installing the condenser, as the top bracket is designed to sandwich between the grille and radiator core support. With the provided aluminum brackets, the dryer mounts off the condenser on the left, as shown.
Cutting into the dash for the retrofit
Looking at the retrofit cut into the dash
Moving back inside the C10’s cab, we can begin the “non-A/C” retrofit chores—that being the facilitation of the vents, for which there are no factory provisions. If you prefer not to cut into the dash, Vintage Air has options to mount vents below the dash. (See the accompanying side bar for additional info on venting.)
Attaching the vent
A look a the newly installed vent
In order to attach the factory reproduction center vent to the distribution plenum behind the dash, install the 1/4-20 studs, as shown, and secure with the provided hardware.
A close-up of the dash
If using the OE cable-actuated control panel, refer to Vintage Air’s detailed instructions for the microswitch installation and setup.
Connecting the ducting
Ensure all ducting connections are properly sealed tight and secured—with provided screws and zip ties, as shown.
The supplied “abbreviated” glovebox
Once all the ducting, wiring, and plumbing behind the dash is installed, secured, and sealed tight, the supplied “abbreviated” glovebox can be installed. (Word of caution: Make sure all behind-dash work is complete, as the molded plastic glovebox likes to stay put once it’s put in!)
Non-Factory Factory Vent Install
The dash with the cut vent
Dash cutting tools laid out
Figuring out the placement of the vent
Cutting holes in a pristine C10 dash can be a frightening thought—and an even more frightening procedure if you’re not careful, let alone not sure what you’re doing in the first place! For those reasons alone, CPP has developed a 3-D printed template kit for locating, marking, and facilitating (cutting) those air-access holes for both the side and center vents.
Marking the vent placement with a marker
Using blue painter’s tape, mask the areas where the vents will locate. Attach the templates via the vent mounting holes along the lower edge and, using a pencil (laid flat against the inner circumference of the template), mark your holes.
Drilling a pilot hole first
First, drill a pilot hole within the perimeter in order to start your cut. If you look close, you’ll notice that the reciprocating blade being used has been trimmed down to jigsaw sizewhich makes the cutting process much, much easier, from the start to the tight corners, as opposed to using a full-width blade.
Deburring the cut edges
Making sure the OE vent fits
Carefully deburr the cut edges (without going oversize, as it’s a close fit) and ensure your OE vent (repop or original) fits snug.