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Old 09-20-2022, 12:12 PM
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Default Driver side kick panel

On a factory AC equipped Firebird can a non-AC kick panel be fitted and function properly? I converted to Vintage air on my 72 but it would be nice to pull in some fresh air with the windows up. Just want to see if it is feasible before attempting it.

Thanks,

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  #2  
Old 09-21-2022, 12:15 PM
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I did some reading on the Camaro side and it looks like it can be done with just a swap of the kick panels. I do not intend for the upper knob to do anything functionally. What I am unsure of is if the lower cowl duct area that the non-ac kick panel goes into is the same as the AC cars. I think it is because there is a hole there that is the same shape as AC or non-AC. And if there any special ducts or baffles between the two.

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Old 09-22-2022, 12:57 PM
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I'm interested in any info that you find on this. Thought about adding a manual vent to my 70 w/ac

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  #4  
Old 09-22-2022, 02:25 PM
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I ordered a reproduction part and will fit it when I get it. Not looking forward to messing with the parking brake, but I will report back on the fit and more importantly how well it functions.

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Old 09-22-2022, 08:17 PM
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Formulabruce Formulabruce is offline
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I have done this on a 70 and a 72.
1. The Non Ac Kick panels will have 2 VENT cables. The top one you will NOT use as it connects to a hole in the wiper area of the cowl that you do Not have.
2. So you only will use the bottom cable pull.
3. Get 2 boxed of 3M strip caulk as youll need a GOB of it around the recessed area where the cable goes into the panel.
In fact youll need a LOT to get it to seal to the air horn if you do NOT want a leak on your floor.
The Ebrake assembly makes it a bit of a head ache.
Cant say enough about about getting a LOT of caulk on that hole vent area.
good luck !

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Old 09-22-2022, 08:31 PM
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Thanks Bruce. I have about 25 feet of 3/8" BUTYL tape on the shelf. I think it will be enough, or do you think the 3m strip caulk will work better?

When I R&R my passenger side kick panel for the Vintage air install I used automotive seam sealer to seal it up. It does not leak, but I do not think it will come off without a fight that will destroy the kick panel.

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Old 09-22-2022, 09:11 PM
Trevor78 Trevor78 is offline
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Or do as other have and make an extension of the inner lip to try and minimise the water that may splash back or trickle around the top edges and run down.

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Old 09-23-2022, 12:17 PM
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This is what you want, do not use a window butyl The butyl is too hard and getting the panel in all the way would be tough The factory used this stuff, but they had this in 3/8 size. Much softer than butyl.
Often seen holding up the weather paper or plastic seal behind your door panels too.

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Last edited by Formulabruce; 09-23-2022 at 12:25 PM.
  #9  
Old 09-23-2022, 07:53 PM
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Job done. I used an oer kick panel. It was ok but I'd bet an original would have fit better. At least the seal on the door is new though.

I forgot about the 4th bolt on top of the park brake assembly and was perplexed why it would not even wiggle with the other three nuts off.

After getting the brake and original kick panel out I vacuumed about a cup of rust dirt gravel out of the cowl area. I recently flushed it with garden hose and blew out the rocker drains with compressed air so I was surprised there was any dirt left.

Like Bruce wrote you want a really soft sealant. I think it is more important in the non ac kick panel because of the extra duct that sticks in the cowl vs the ac panel. 3m caulk seal.

I think the oer panel made this hard to install because I really had to put a lot of force to slide it towards the firewall while trying to get the first screw started. It was also difficult to get the edge over the pinch weld on the rocker area. Even after all that the screw holes didn't line up exactly. But I got them all in.

It works excellent though. Took it for a quick spin and at 25mph I opened the vent and got a good supply of air. It was more than I thought would flow through.

Oh and if you forget to attach the release cable before bolting the parking brake back on. You can still reattach it with it in place.

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Old 09-24-2022, 03:06 AM
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be sure to put a hose in the cowl on that side and test it. water should drip off that inside "ring" and not be able to get around the hole to the inside, will end up on the floor at the ebrake cable if its leaking... Good luck!

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