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Need some help

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Hi everyone,

My name is Chaz and I own a very rusty 1963 Riviera with a 401 Nailhead. It's a basic-basic car without A/C, power windows, etc., but I love it to death... I really mean that since I think I killed it.

It needed a new Heater Core, so after six hours of removing the center console and the front seats to get under the dash, the heater housing with a congested Heater Core came right out. I have also removed squirrel nests and the refuse of some unmentionable rodents from the ducting.

Currently I am trying to reseat the old heater housing under the dash, but can't figure out how a few pieces are supposed to be reset. They appear to be PLUGS for what look like holes where the [optional] A/C would feed into the car. I took pictures of the process, but this step was not recorded. I can't figure out how it's suppose to remain seated. It has two holes with threadings, but none of the fasteners I removed are fitting it.

I have several related inquiries:

--If you are a 1st Gen Riv owner (less the A/C), would you mind taking a pic of the exterior blower housing (under the hood) of this plug assembly and posting it?

--What type of sealant is the light gray gum that seals the inside housing to the firewall and where can I get it?

--Can I use an alternative?

--Is there a vendor that sells the insulation that sits between the heater housing and the firewall inside the car?

Thanks much,


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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I went and looked at a pair of '63s tonight and took my camera in case one was a non-AC car, but they both had factory AC. Sorry I can't help you.


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Hi Chaz,

Nice to meet you!

I have a non-A/C '63. I can take as many pics as you need. Let me know if you need more than this.

Also, I briefly looked at your other post. So I'm including a pic of the heater valve alone (2nd pic).

Yeah, those are rare and hard to find. This one is specific to the Riv, so not many spares are available. Delco Joe may have some available.

I did manage to find one on eBay last year, and that is what I have in the 1st pic. But be carefull since there are ones that look similar but are for the other Buicks and won't fit the Riv. The pic with the green background is one that doesn't fit the Riv. I bought this from someone who swore it was correct. Now I need to dump it somewhere.

An alternative is go to a plumbing store and pick up a some type of water valve to plumb in. For me, I run with it off in the summer and on in the spring/fall, so doesn't really need to be attached to the cable (mine is busted anyway).

P.S. Let us know where you are from!





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@ Brian, I appreciate you peeking under the hood of those Rivs for me, so no worries and thanks for the effort.

@ Chuck, this helps a lot (especially the warning). Could I ask you to get a picture from the side? I'd love to see how it's mounted.

My brain just clicked on seeing the problem with that piece you bought, so if you wouldn't mind humoring me...

I'm wondering if it could be sliced at the bottom of the bend in the pipe (3/8" up from the unit just before the tube bends) then a new stem fitted over it and soldered or brazened into place. Pointed int the correct direction of course...?

Another idea is to simply leave it as a stub (pointing straight up) and flare out the end --provided you have access to a flaring tool. With a flexible elbow joint and another piece tubing --flared at both ends & fitted with some stainless straps which might even look cool.

Anyway, just some ideas --though it sounds like you don't really need it and I'm not sure if the internals are compatible with the Riv anyway, but thanks for humoring me and thanks again for the pics:)


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Glad I can help.

I thought about modifying it too. It could be done, if you are good with that type of work. But, just for sake of clarity, there is also another difference that would need to be adjusted. The valve control switch lever is exactly opposite (direction and side) to the Riv unit. So, if you managed to change the inlet/outlet pipe direction, the lever wouldn't connect to the temp control cable without modification. The large Buicks mounted this valve on the passenger inner-fender (2nd pic) rather than at the firewall.



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