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HEATER/AIR VACUUM SWITCHES ON 63 RIVERA


Guest allamerican6

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Guest allamerican6

I CAN'T GET AIR TO COME OUT OF THE DASH AIR CONDITION VENTS. I TOOK THE COVER OFF OF THE VACUUM SWITCHES ON THE PASSENGER SIDE WHEEL WELL TO CHECK THE VACUUM SWITCHES OUT. THERE ARE THREE SWITCH. I HAVE GOOD VACUUM FROM THE MOTOR TO THE SWITCHES. IS THERE AN EASY WAY TO CHECK OUT THE SWITCHES?

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First you should confirm your vacuum diaphragms are good. They split from age and heat. Apply vacuum to both ports (at the same time) of the vacuum "motor" up on the firewall. This is the one that directs air out of the dash vents. It should pull in and stay in. I like to apply vacuum and seal the tube, then see if the vacuum holds or bleeds off very quickly. The outer port should move the diaphragm about 1/2 way in. The inner port will act like it is leaking (even if it is good) if you do not apply vacuum to the outer port (or plug it).

There is a double diaphragm under the blower motor. Easier to get to it from under the car. Apply vacuum to each port one at a time and confirm it holds vacuum. One moves the flapper 1/2 way and the other moves it all the way. The main thing you need to confirm is that each diaphragm holds vacuum (and that the correct vacuum line is connected to each port).

Once you have done that, trace out the vacuum tubing to make sure it is all hooked up right and look for either split ends or a tube that has come off of a fitting. People mess with these systems and don't hook them back up right.

If you think your 3 vacuum switches may not be working, hook vacuum up to one side and a gauge up to the other side of each switch one at a time. Then start moving the controls around to open or close each switch. Note that these 3 switches are not all identical. Look in the shop manual. Some or normally open and some are normally closed.

I have had good luck bringing these switches back to life by spraying a quick shot of silicon spray in the port and then working the switch with my finger repeatedly.

If you replace sections of vacuum tubing, get paint pens from a local craft store and put a colored stripe down the new tubing to match the original tubing stripe color. Don't leave them all black; it will drive you crazy trying to figure out what is hooked up to what.

Instead of running the engine for all of these tests, I use a small hand-held vacuum pump to provide vacuum to where I need it.

HTH.

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Just a quick note in addition to Jim`s reply...when working on AC vacuum systems I use an AC vacuum pump to apply constant vacuum. If you do not have a vacuum pump specifically designed for AC service obtain a compressor from an old refrigerator and make one-it is very easy only requiring soldering the appropriate ends. I used a home made vacuum pump such as this to do AC work for years before I could afford to buy a Snap On unit. It works!

Tom Mooney

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Guest Steeleco

Hello allamerician6, in my case with my 63 I had to manually move the lever of the vacuum switch (top passenger side on the firewall), which was hard as if the air box door was stuck closed in order to open it to get air flowing to the vents inside the car.

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Chances are the temperature control valve has corroded and won't let you move the lever and it's attached cables / rods. Be careful and do not try to force the levers, they're made of die-cast and are weaker than a corroded temperature control valve. Guess which one breaks first? The lever. Guess which one is made of unobtainium? The temperature control valve. Which ever one you get freed first from using force is history.

There are two articles in the Tech Tips section on the ROA's website on how to overcome these obstacles. One article - #6 under the A/C and Heat section - written by Jim Cannon, '63 Tech Advisor, explains how to retrofit a vacuum controlled temp control valve for the manual one. The other article #7 in the same section explains how to make new levers to replace the broken ones.

Keep the cables lubed and the temp control valve moving to avoid future problems.

Ed

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Guest Steeleco

This picture is not from my car but the lever that this vacuum switch is attached to opens a vent door for air from the fan to go to the vents inside. My vent doors were basically stuck shut. I was able to free it up but I think there is more to the story. So if this vacuum switch does not open hardly any air goes through.

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The picture Steele shows is what I call the vacuum motor. When vacuum is applied to the nipple, the small arm moves in and the door swings.

The picture does not show an original 1st-generation because it does not have 2 vacuum nipples (that I can see).

The vacuum switches are small on/off valves inside the A/C control unit on a '63.

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