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1963 Riv. Underhood Heater Control Valve Plastic Cover. Top & Bottom.


Jolly_John
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Some of you know that I've been going through my stash of extra 1963-65 Riv. parts, and trying to get them out to guys who can put them to use. This item just surfaced here at my end. It's an original, two-piece (top and bottom) 1963 Riv. heater control valve assembly cover. It mounts underhood in front of the firewall, and hides the bellcrank the heater and water valve cables connect to. Its purpose is to keep dirt off the lubricated, rotating bellcrank, so it moves freely. It also covers the cluttered look of the cables and  little water valve activation rod. This original piece is in very decent, useable condition, considering it's made of 57-year-old plastic.

 

Since this cover is reasonably fragile, many of them are missing on Riv's today. So, don't be concerned, if you haven't encountered one, or have just seen the bottom in place (top discarded). Back in the day, I saw guys wrap plastic bags around their Riv. control valve assembly to keep dirt out (after their factory cover degenerated). I even saw one creative(?) Riv. owner fashion a replacement cover from a McDonalds Big Mac box (like a clam shell). He even went to the trouble of spray painting the Big Mac box black! A commendable attention to detail!

 

Now, after all of this, on to my question. This is the exact same  heater control valve cover I had on my 1963 Riv, without A/C. This cover I have pictured also has the wording molded in the back outer edge, "Trim flange for Part # 1347048". I am curious if this part # referenced the cover that was correct for 1963, with A/C. In other words, does anyone know if this plastic cover is correct for 1963 Rivieras without A/C and with A/C (after trimming the flange)?

 

Something in the back of my mind (think old guy's "memory") is telling me this specific heater control valve cover was only used in 1963...and not in '64 or '65. However, I'd appreciate comments about this, as well. Thanks for the help, Gang. John

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John,

It's for a non-A/C car.  If it were for an A/C car, the top side would have the vacuum hose rountings embossed on it.

 

Here's a picture of a '63 A/C cover.  The white on it is adhesive residue from where someone had used duct tape to hold it on.  I think that I've only  seen one which still had the front and back pieces "hinged" together.  They're hard to see, but the embossed vacuum line diagram is there.

 

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Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Very interesting info, Ed. Thanks for taking the time to post the photo of your '63 Riv with air, heater control cover.

 

I'm still a bit perplexed about the embossed wording on my plastic cover, "Trim flange for Part # 1347048".  Since the trimming wouldn't make the cover suitable for use on a '63 Riv. A/C car, I wonder if part # 1347048 could refer to use on a '63 Electra or Widcat, without A/C? I've never owned either, so that's only a question/guess. Unfortunately, I don't have a BUICK parts book that covers this vintage.

 

As you noted, these factory covers aren't typically seen on '63 Riviera's these days. I believe I removed the one in my photos off a parts Riv. over 30 years ago. Imagine that Riv. was only 27-years-old at the time. That would be like visiting a salvage yard these days, and taking some parts off a 1993 BUICK.

 

The top and bottom pieces of my  non-A/C control plastic cover are designed to be held together with two sheet metal screws in the back, and a removable clip in the front. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, Ed. John

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All,

  It seems there is a disconnect in this thread regarding which plastic covers John is asking questions about. There are plastic covers around the heater control valve which is mounted just in front of the firewall (this seems to be the cover John is asking about) and there are plastic covers for the vacuum/electrical switch panel assembly which is mounted on the passsenger`s fenderwell.

  John, I`m sorry I dont have an answer to your first question. But the answer to your second question is "yes", the heater control valves are unique to each year 63-65.

  Also, the pic above of the original `63 vacuum/electrical switch panel cover shows an incomplete cover. Originally on the front piece, there was an extension of what is pictured which covered the top bracket and was secured under 2 of the bolt heads pictured. The cover was hinged where you see the small square bosses and is the area Ed referred to above.

  Hope this helps,

Tom Mooney

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John,

 

   The pic of this particular cover appears to be from a '61 Full Size car.  I know I've seen that cover before & IT IS installed on my '61 LeSabre A/C delete car & a '61 LeSabre bare bones car I parted some years ago with NO A/C.  I don't know if it includes A/C or not.

 

Tom T.

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Thanks to all who have replied thus far. As Tom M. stated, we may be fostering a bit of confusion here. The box cover in the photo that JohnRex posted is not the same box cover that I have inquired about. As Tom M. pointed out, these are two different items, serving two different purposes, and located in different areas of the engine compartment. My heater control valve cover is much smaller. It mounts in close proximity to the firewall heater water valve, and is parallel to the ground.

 

Tom T: I don't know about my cover being similar to one from a 1961 full-size BUICK. However, I can state without doubt that I personally removed the heater control cover in my multiple photos from a very original, but wrecked 1963 Riviera, with under 20,000 miles. That was in the late 1970's. It fit perfectly in place, and looked like it had never been messed with. The cover I've pictured is also identical to the one that was on a super low-mileage, all-original, survivor 1963 Riviera, without A/C, I owned in the early 1980's.

 

Again, I appreciate all the replies, since they show a willingness to help out another old car guy! I simply wanted to keep focused on what I do know for certain. I believe I'm hearing that this 1963 Riviera heater valve control cover in my photos is 1963 Riviera-only (not also 1964 and/or 1965). And, it is for only non-A/C 1963 Riviera's.

 

I'm still hoping to get to the bottom of the wording molded in the back outer edge, "Trim flange for Part # 1347048". That would seem to indicate instructions from BUICK about how to modify this 1963 Riv. cover to fit another application. Not really important, I guess, since the best use for this part will be on a '63 non-A/C Riv.

 

Finally, I don't currently have a 1963 non-air Riviera. But, it would be great for someone who does own one, to shoot and post a photo of where this "junction box" of the heater control cable, bellcrank, and metal rod going to the water valve is located in the engine compartment. Maybe you've got a cover on yours, but more likely you'll just see the metal base plate and these other parts. Please see my picture from the 1963 Riviera shop manual for details.

 

My thanks again to all for taking a shot at helping. John

 

 

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Ah, hah.....the ol' "one picture is worth a thousand words" adage does hold true. Here's an internet photo I just found of a 60,000 mile, 1963 Riv non--A/C engine compartment. You'll be able to see "my" heater control valve assembly cover in all its glory. It's right above the rear of the passenger side valve cover, level with the side of the air cleaner. My very original, low-mileage non-A/C '63 Riviera that I owned in the 1980's also had this cover in place.

 

I'm willing to bet these covers are seldom in place these days,. As I mentioned, they are made of relatively fragile plastic. The mortality rate of these covers was likely pretty high. Their general absence could explain the communications difficulty that has come up in my posting! Thanks again to all who have shared their thoughts.. John

 

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Edited by Jolly_John (see edit history)
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New one for me but as I stated, I've never owned a non-a/c car.  Definitely something to keep an eye out at the next ROA meet.  Thanks for posting.  PS - the owner of the car in the picture has taken some liberties with the body color. 😀 

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Yes, Ed....I wonder if there are point deductions in ROA or BCA judging, if a non-A/C 1963 Riviera is missing this heater control valve assembly cover??!!

 

Aside from judging.....The cover does visually clean-up that "rat's nest" area of the engine compartment quite nicely. Plus the cover keeps dirt from getting into the pivoting, greased bellcrank that controls the heater water valve on the firewall.....making things much easier on the already-fragile, diecast temperature control level operating mechanism hidden behind the car's interior dash.

 

Also, yes, the 60,000 mile Riv. in the engine compartment photo I posted is an interesting contrast between good originality, and some not-so-original modifications, as Ed pointed out. Great to see the original fuel filter clamp in place, and the original decal on the upper radiator mounting sheet metal. But, the braided metal outer wrap on some of the wiring harness is puzzling. Well, each to his own, I guess. John

Edited by Jolly_John (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Jolly_John said:

Yes, Ed....I wonder if there are point deductions in ROA or BCA judging, if a non-A/C 1963 Riviera is missing this heater control valve assembly cover??!!

 

Aside from judging.....The cover does visually clean-up that "rat's nest" area of the engine compartment quite nicely. Plus the cover keeps dirt from getting into the pivoting, greased bellcrank that controls the heater water valve on the firewall.....making things much easier on the already-fragile, diecast temperature control level operating mechanism hidden behind the car's interior dash.

 

Also, yes, the 60,000 mile Riv. in the engine compartment photo I posted is an interesting contrast between good originality, and some not-so-original modifications, as Ed pointed out. Great to see the original fuel filter clamp in place, and the original decal on the upper radiator mounting sheet metal. But, the braided metal outer wrap on some of the wiring harness is puzzling. Well, each to his own, I guess. John

Depending on when the car was built, the firewall could be body color. But everything else that is now body color that is under the hood would have been black except for the engine and it's related parts.

 

ROA judging is "peer" judging.  Not a lot to be worried about there.  No point deductions for wrong wheels, etc. And EVERY registered member and guest gets a ballot.  If your wife likes a car because of the color and it has an LS6 engine and Recaro seats in it, she can vote for it and that vote will be counted.

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