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Classic Auto Air Review Start To Finish

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Well since I went with a Classic Auto Air Kit and its not the 1st time I have used and installed their units I figured I would write a review since there seem to always be the question of "Is it worth it, How good is it, etc."

I have not gotten the kit installed as of yet so this will be a review that I do all the way through the install from start to finish.

I will use the abbreviation CAA instead of Classic Auto Air from here on out.

So here we go.


As I stated earlier I have installed a CAA Kit before in a 69 and it worked wonderfully and has been problem free for about 5 years now, so it was a no brainer for me when I decided to stay with CAA.

I did have a question about their AC compressor however since I had recently decided to install a Serpentine belt system from a 1993 Ford F150 on the new 351W Now residing under my hood.... And YES the 1993 System is a Direct bolt on for a 351 and fits under the hood nicely of the 69.

My question regarding the CAA Compressor was "Will I be able to use their compressor on my Factory Ford Serpintine bracket".

I selected the 93' Model system because it had the compressor up top on the driver side which is where the CAA 69 Mustang kit mounts it so I figured that would be a good thing.

The 93' System is also comprised of only 2 brackets, both of which mount to the head ONLY so this allows the kit to be used on 302's & 351's even tho the deck height is different. Next was the fact that this kit can house the New 4G 130 Amp Alternator and newer PS pump as well, and both can be had at any of the local parts store.


Here's the Skinny on the Compressors

The 93' Factory Ford Serp Kit uses a Denso Compressor but the CAA Kit employs a Sanden unit which is what all of the aftermarket kits use now it seems... Both compressors have positives and negatives but the Sanden Unit has become the standard in aftermarket kits for what ever reason.


Ordering & Questions


Upon calling CAA to inquire about my Compressor question I ended up getting the dreaded Answering machine, so I left a message..It was the end of the day so I didn't expect a response that evening.

The following morning I was in a meeting and got a call from CAA and had to let it roll to MY voice mail...They left a message with a direct line contact number for me to call back.

I called the next day and asked what I would need to do in order to use my 93' Serp kit and their compressor "I had already located adapter fittings on the internet and knew as a worst case scenario I could build a bracket and use adapters in order to use a Ford compressor but I was concerned about the efficiency of their kit and a Ford Compressor"

Once I had explained my Dilemma to their sales guy and told him I knew How I could make it work his simple and short response was "We will just send you our adapter bracket for that Serp' kit instead of a standard bracket that normally comes with our kit, and then you can use OUR compressor with our kit"

I just sat there for a minute speechless and finally said Okay lets order a direct fit kit for a 1969 Fastback.


The salesman took my order, along with Credit Card and Shipping information. I asked how long it would take to get my kit because I was ready to put it in.

I was informed it COULD be up to 10 days before I got the kit, &

Total Price to my door was $1567.50 for Everything.

Salesman asked if there was anything else I needed, I said No and the call was concluded.

I got a notification VIA email about 15 min later thanking me for my business and confirming the purchase of the kit.

The following day I received another notification with Tracking numbers VIA UPS stating my kit was packaged and ready for shipment and all I had to do was click on the tracking numbers and I could see where my packages were.

I placed the order on a Wednesday.... It was sitting on my door step the Following Tuesday.... So it ONLY took a TOTAL of 6 days to get my kit which is really only 4 Business days....AWESOME.


Overall Evaluation of Ordering and Questions 10 Of 10 ... Great Job CAA



Shipping & Packaging


On Tuesday I got home from work full of anticipation because I knew VIA the UPS tracking numbers provided by CAA upon order that MY CAA kit should be sitting on my door step "The UPS guy knows me now after all my Car parts orders so if it has MY name on it, you can bet your butt it will ALWAYS find its way to my door step haha" and this time was no exception, there is front of the door were 2 nice boxes with CAA all over them.

I scooped them up and took them in the house to change clothes and relocate the boxes to my shop.

1st observations of the boxes were excellent....Very thick boxes that were Stapled with nice heavy brass looking huge staples, then taped with heavy packing tape on every opening that was stapled...

I could see that there were a few dents in some places and knew it was from the shipping, but no big deal because the boxes were so thick.


The kit comes packaged in 2 boxes.... the 1st and largest box contained the main Cabin AC Plenum, All the Hoses, Tubes, Vents, etc...

The second Smaller box contained the Ac Compressor, Mounting Bracket, Belt and Hardware.

When you open Box #1. the first thing you will see are some large thick foam packaging pieces, upon removal you will find a Thick Plastic bag containing all the directions and the first page you see says STOP followed by an explanation of why you need to STOP... Let me just say that you NEED to read this as well as ALL of the other directions before your attempt to install the kit, because even if you have done one in the past like I have you will screw up if you do it the same way this time.

Why you might ask? They have upgraded their kits and its WAY DIFFERENT than the one I Installed a few years back.

I will tell you more about it as the install continues.

The next item you will find is your condenser which is packaged very well, followed by a box labeled "Hoses", then you will come to the Main Interior AC Plenum followed by large thick plastic bags with all your other goodies in them....Each bag is labeled to facilitate finding the parts you need when the time is right.

Box #2 contains your Compressor, Mounting bracket, belt and Hardware all of which are packaged in heavy foam.

In the bags with your parts you will also find a check list with each part listed and the quantity followed by a set of initials of the guy that packed it and some other information I don't recall at the moment.


All in all I give the Shipping & Packing a 10 of 10.

it arrived faster than I thought and was packaged as best as one could pack it short of building a crate.... Great Job CAA.



Evaluation Of Kit Components Right Out Of The Box


This is short and sweet guys.

I didn't look at EVERY piece yet but did evaluate the items I knew I would use 1st and the critical pieces.

All I can Say is WOW their kits were awesome a few years ago but apparently they don't stop at good and are always searching for better stuff.... At this point I don't see anything that I would consider a "Low quality piece"

The Main AC Plenum is made of a nice thick ABS plastic I think it is, all of the wiring is of the quality found in a high end new car or better, the plugs are made of nice thick plastic, blower fan is a real SPAL blower, and the condenser is finished with nice welds and perfectly painted.

The Compressor is a NEW unit, not a reaman.

The Compressor adapter mounting bracket is very thick metal with holes and cuts precisely made and very nice welds to boot.

All top shelf stuff.


So as of NOW at this point in the install I am going to hold off on giving a score of 1-10 on the parts until I handle and install ALL of them.


Okay So Now What ?????


Well remember that bag of instructions and the page that said STOP....Find it and read it all., then read all of the rest of the directions.

There are a bunch of differences in this kit and the older ones from what I recall of doing an earlier one.

Here are a few.

1. The Plenum Box is Now fully electronic controlled, that's right there is a small computer controller that controls the whole thing.


2. The Heater Control valve is now electronically controlled instead of cable controlled.


3. You MUST "BENCH" calibrate the Unit to YOUR controller you are going to use in your car....It is calibrated from CAA but not ALL of your dash slider controls are going to be made exactly the same and the calibration you do will tailor the unit to work as it should with your cars controls. BUT if you want to be a hard head just slap it in with factory calibration and it will probably work, but why take the chance of having to re-do it after its installed if it doesn't work right?


4. The Charging process is different than most other cars I have messed with... So follow the directions.


That's all I'm going to go into about the differences at this point.


So Whats the first thing I did?


I followed the directions and Modified my factory dash slider controls with CAA's provided parts and electronics, then set up my unit on the bench to calibrate it.


Well I'm out of time for now ... More to come this evening with Pics

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Ok As Promised here are some pics

Pic #1 Would be me starting the Install of the American Auto Wire Harness... HAHA


#2... This is the First thing you should do when you get started,if you skip this step you cant bench calibrate your box... HOWEVER i think you CAN calibrate it once its mounted in the car but why go through the hastle just calibrate it on the bench with a good 12v Battery...Mine calibrated perfectly


#3. Just a pic of the Box on the bench all hooked up ready for calibration

#4 & 5 Compressor shots

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Mike as always, Nice write up!


I to am contemplating this task. I like the fact that you use a serpentine system, I never thought of taking it from a OEM newer unit. I have a Cleveland, do you think I can also find an OEM serpentine set up. I'm not a big fan of the expensive chrome aftermarket ones.


If possible, can you get us a few pictures of the engine bay showing the products installed.


I'm sure all of us appreciate your efforts and help.

Thank you!

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