Some progress over the weekend, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. Some of the parts got held up due to the polar vortex. But more than anything, the HVAC/climate held me up and took longer than anticipated.
But the auto climate is in and working. @kevinspann
was right, the solar sensor in the dash was just a cover/plug and not the sensor itself. While it is possible to swap the necessary parts to the existing HVAC unit, it would probably be a huge time saver if you just swap it out as a unit. You really need to remove the top half of the air intake/blower funnel but it is also the worst nightmare to reinstall too. If I did it again I wouldn't hesitate to just swap the HVAC units. Hands down, no questions asked, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Other problems I ran into...I also realized that the climate control head unit itself has some damage to the connector/pins that connect to the center console panel. Long story short its causing some problems and I may need to replace it. Other problem I ran into...I didn't have the center console from the auto climate car as it was destroyed at the pull a part by the previous customer and the circuit board is required. So, I used the metra kit I bought, but it was assembled INCORRECTLY from Metra. The buttons for recirc, hazards, defrost and A/C were swapped from side to side so I had to disassemble it and fix that problem.
Prior to the climate install, I removed the front end to replace the drier element in the condenser. Then I found out that when the previous owner had the radiator replaced they (the repair shop) did not reinstall any of the bolts to attach the condenser to the radiator....so that means the a/c lines were the only thing holding up the condenser and it was floating/wedged between the core support and radiator. So I was figuring out what to do to get that bolted up properly.
Next issue is when I went to evacuate the A/C there is a leak somewhere in the system. It pulls about 26~28 HG of vacuum and then bleeds off within a minute or so. So I need to track that down before I recharge it. I changed the o-rings and expansion valve so its either I messed up an o-ring installing, one of the 2 rubber hoses is bad, condenser is leaking or the compressor is leaking. The condenser and compressor didn't appear to have any UV ooze on them so I'm thinking they may not be the issue (hoping).
Today, I was goofing around with the St coilovers and I'm going to return them. I don't like how the height adjustment is made on them. Instead of adjusting the shock body independently of the spring pre-load, you end up adjusting the preload of the spring. There are helper springs installed from ST that would help mitigate the pre-load issue, but its also pretty tough to adjust by hand (harder and harder as you adjust up the height) and the kit didn't come with the spanners, I guess its an extra option. Anyway I think I'll probably get Fortune Auto as I've had 1st hand experience with those--although the BC pricing is closer to the STs. I was initially drawn to the STs as they are KWs and they made a wagon specific coilover. The place I bought them from advertised it was for the wagon, but really just sent me Ford Fusion ones. Which to be fair is what ST is now suggesting (They used to sell 3 seperate versions....sedan(90612), wagon(90613) and Fusion(90321)...now its Sedan and Fusion and the wagon is lumped with the Fusion).
Anyway I'll post some photos within the next couple days.