Still chipping away at this. Whenever you deviate from stock you’ve got to get creative with plumbing and problem solving. For instance, a few years ago my AC was converted from R12 to R134a and there is a 90° adapter fitting screwed onto the original low-pressure suction pipe that goes from the evaporator under the dash to another hose that goes to the AC compressor. That fitting interferes with my air filter and has to be moved as keeping the AC intact and functioning was a project prerequisite. And until the air filter is positioned properly, I am reluctant to finalize the routing of the fuel hoses, coolant reroute return hose and electrical wiring.
Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with expert brazing skills who could modify my existing hard pipe. And oh, by the way, it’s no longer available new and finding a used replacement pipe is a bit of a crap shoot. I think at Planet Miata they just have these giant 55 gallon barrels filled with all years of AC hard pipes they’ve taken off so you’ve got to know exactly what you’re looking for. A decision was made to make a custom AC hose to replace that low-pressure suction pipe.
To figure out what was needed, the system was evacuated and then taken apart and measured.
I was originally hoping to make my own AC hoses using the Eaton Aeroquip EZ-Clip system fittings as they have some trick stuff like 90° fittings with integrated charge ports. Unfortunately, they don’t supply the required metric fittings.
There are no AC professionals locally where the car is being worked on who can make custom hoses. On top of that, the car is inoperable at the moment so I can’t take the car to a specialist if I wanted to. Because the AC pipes create an interference condition that prevents me from finishing my ITB install, I don’t want the AC system to remain open to the atmosphere while I dicker around getting the car running. Fortunately, a guy on the V8 Miata website recommended another outfit in FL who make custom AC hoses. After much researching and phone calls and emails back and forth with my dad and several drawings we came up with this:
The stock washer bottle is now gone freeing up much needed room in the engine bay. So the idea is that the new hose will come out of the firewall and then point downwards and be clocked at 8 o’clock (away from the engine) and then loop back towards the engine in a gentle S-curve as it heads towards the front of the car and then down towards the front sway bar where it connects to the rest of the system. Fingers crossed that we got it right the first time. It’s never easy building this stuff off-site.