Another challenge for Tim was to improve the air conditioning and ventilation systems. I had 4 major requests in that field:
to allow heating and air conditioning to operate simultaneously (this is prevented by the original Peugeot design, but most useful in very damp conditions to prevent the windows from steaming);
to improve the refrigeration capacity;
to feed more air through the existing outlets;
to operate quieter than the original system.
I also did not want the modifications to be apparent and destroy the originality of the car.
The first idea was to fit a rear A/C unit under the parcel shelf, occupying some space in the trunk. This is a common enhancement. However it did not suit me, as I need every single cubic inch of space in the trunk to use the car for my tour business.
Tim and his A/C specialist later devised a solution consisting in fitting a similar secondary A/C unit under the trunk, with air ducts feeding through the parcel shelf. That option was too expensive to my taste.
I suggested to "simply" fit an additional evaporator in the path of the air ducts feeding the side air outlets (on either side of the dashboard). Tim sourced an entire A/C box from a Mazda 323 and fitted it (squeezed it!) behind the glovebox (which has been reduced in size and can now only contain a pair of... gloves!).
The additional refrigerant hoses for the second evaporator:
The silence and air flow problems have been addressed with a huge fan located behind the left headlight. The battery had to be raised to fit that fan in place. It blows outside air through a beautiful flexible duct that finds its way across the engine bay like a huge boa (it's 15cm in diameter) to the bulkhead, where a specially made ending (it looks like factory original!) and gasket connect it to an air box fitted under the cavity that contains the wiper motor. From there, the air finds its way to the original inlet feeding the outlets in the centre of the dashboard. That system is definitely quieter than the original fan (notoriously noisy); however we still need to adjust its efficiency, as a lot of pressure is lost in the very long way that air has to travel. Here are the restoration and adaptation steps of that fan, which was originally fitted in a Mazda 323: