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RivNut

Heater box

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I pulled the heater box on my '64 and installed a new dual diaphragm vacuum control on it. If anyone is interested to see what's involved with installing it, let me know and I'll post some pictures.

Ed

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OK Ed: Coincidentally, I purchased a pair of the vacuum actuators from Old car Products in Ft Worth, TX and put them in this week. I removed the heater boxes and they both crumbled in my hands. I did have some good ones in my stash. Good thing I did because the rite outer box where the blower motor goes to has to come off to remove those 2 stupid nuts securing it.

Oh, did I mention that the engine is out of the car? Mitch

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Here are the pictures that I said I'd post if anyone was interested.

In these pictures you can see what I found when I pulled the heater box from the firewall. 1) A broken door spring, and 2) what's left of the dual diaphragm that's on the bottom of the heater box.

Next are pictures of the new diaphragm installed. When you get the parts separated, you'll need to check the foam seal that separates the two parts of the heater box, top and bottom. I had a piece of foam seal from another project and just cut one to fit. Luckily they were the same thickness. To seal the box back to the firewall, you'll put some bead caulk into the grooves that run around the perimeter of the heater box. I'm not fond of the spring that's on there now; I'm looking for one the right length and strength with hooks rather than the eyes on the one I used to check things out.

You'll have to re-use the arm that's on the original vacuum diaphragm; make sure you match the length of the arm when you put the new one on. I got my diaphragms from someone who replaced his rebuilt original with a Vintage Air system so the arm was on the diaphragm that I got from him. One of the hardest parts of this for me was getting a new cotter pin through the blind holes.

You need to be careful when separating the motor housing from the heater box so you can preserve the gasket that seals those two pieces together.

This should give you a good idea as to why this is probably not something you can do while the heater assembly is still attached to the car. While everything is apart, it's a good time to clean and repaint.

Ed

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Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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OK ED: What was GM thinkin' in picture #5? I remember these things fatigued in the early 70's when GM vacuum actuators were still on the parts shelf at the dealer. Taking these boxes out with the engine in place is pretty difficult. The nuts are on the inside. Mitch

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You can take the fiberglass box off the firewall from the engine compartment. From there you can take the vacuum actuator out and, if you're so inclined take the motor housing off the heater box and take the motor off of its housing - you wouldn't believe the amount of dirt that's piled up inside these things.

If you had really, really long skinny arms with 5 or 6 joints in the arm that would rotate 360 degrees, you might be able to get the actuator out by removing the motor. But you'd never be able to get the actuator off the arm. I had no problems getting the box off the firewall.

Ed

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The first photo in the set you posted helps me out a lot because it is of the vacuum diaphragm that I can't see. Mine seems (by blindly feeling it) to be in good conding and not cracked. What I don't understand is it seems to only have one port right in the center although the shop manual clearly illustrates that it has two hoses going to it. Can anyone clear that up for me?

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You can take the fiberglass box off the firewall from the engine compartment. From there you can take the vacuum actuator out and, if you're so inclined take the motor housing off the heater box and take the motor off of its housing - you wouldn't believe the amount of dirt that's piled up inside these things.

If you had really, really long skinny arms with 5 or 6 joints in the arm that would rotate 360 degrees, you might be able to get the actuator out by removing the motor. But you'd never be able to get the actuator off the arm. I had no problems getting the box off the firewall.

Ed

Hi Ed

I found that if you soak the fan blower assembly a few days in paint thinner it will come out like new. All the rust and dried dirt just fell off mine. Thanks again for your wealth of Riv information.

Regards,

Glenn McMahon

#12929

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Hi Ed

I found that if you soak the fan blower assembly a few days in paint thinner it will come out like new. All the rust and dried dirt just fell off mine. Thanks again for your wealth of Riv information.

Regards,

Glenn McMahon

#12929

Glenn,

 

I have my blower motor out right now. What type did you use? Mineral spirits, lacquer thinner or something else? Thanks.

 

Bill

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Eric,

Thanks for the input. My blower was not too dirty, so that was my initial thought, to clean and then paint to give a smoother surface. I had not thought of the dremmel, good idea.

Bill

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Rivnut, thanks for the pictures.  I have a 67 Gs400 with a/c and need to replace my vacuum actuator control on the heater - a/c box but didn't know what look for inside the box. Now I know thanks to your pictures.

 

My gs manual states to take off the front passenger fender to remove the bolts from the box. I think this is nuts but thought i would check with some of you all before i undertake that task. I just see lining up my fenders as a no win for me. They are straight as an arrow now and i don't want to mess it up. Can i undo the top bolts, maybe loosen up the bottom bolts and try to insert the actuator / bolts in the opening at the top?  

 

Thoughts?  

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