I don’t know why, but I’ve always looked at the heater as something I didn’t want to mess with -probably because it’s under the dash, full of coolant and as such slightly difficult to deal with. The car I’m working on was stripped most of the way -one of the few non-essentials to being rolled around still on the car? Yep, the heater, which says I’m not the only one who felt this way about it. Well, you can’t have a shabby heater in a nicely fixed up car, so I pulled it out and faced my fear like some kid with arachnophobia being forced to hold a spider.
The official version. Item 26 is a single item here, while on my bench it’s a metal tube that acts as a bridge between the rubber elbow and paper hoses and the rubber elbow -2 separate parts. I think an updated version should be made of this with sub parts for all the missing parts like the two halves of the heater, the flapper door, the 6 round (or is it binding??) head screws etc.
The heater box is only held to the car by 4 screws, the friction fit of the air intake going through the firewall, the air control cable and the two water pipes. Once these have all been undone the box becomes quite manage-able. The heat cycling of the core over the last 50 odd years will have the paint peeling -and that’s the main restorative need of the box. Other needs will include removal of a lot of dust and other stuff from the core.
Dis-assembly was straight forward except the cotter pin holding the air control butterfly to the rod it lives on.
I failed to get a picture of it apart, so here it is going back together.
Note the diamond shape of the cable end -I tried to straighten it but it broke off. The rusty looking action is mostly dust here.
So I decided to confront another fear and left about 60 Giulietta pieces at my local highly recommended powdercoat shop. The heater box face and air door were done in wrinkle finish and the back done in semi-gloss black. I plated the 6 binding head sheetmetal screws -1/4″ long #8′s I think, the air butterfly rod, and the little clip that looks like a caduceus.
Here’s the same area after the restorative efforts. I separated the bit that holds the cable end from the shaft and couldn’t figure out how to get them together so I tapped it for an M6 nut. I used a black oxide nut so it wouldn’t be obvious.
The somewhat pre-assembly shot. Powdercoat wrinkle finish is pretty sweet!
The inside is wrinkle finished too. I used a little Sil-Glide on the pivots. The clip on the right is original the one on the left looks home-made.
From the other side. Knob is just polished dense plastic of some sort. The heater box in my red Sprint had an aluminum knob. I say had because it dropped out, joined the weird nuts in my ashtray and when removed from the ashtray was misplaced. Yes, the screws are aligned for a(e?)ffect.
Pleasant gentleman Tony Stevens was the only one who had these elbows in stock. A quick phone call (well, 20 minutes at about $1 a minute) had these and some other available-only-from-Alfastop bits in a box headed for my doorstep. The elbows are a decent fit, but lack the grooves that lock them to the heater box sheetmetal.
Fresh out of the plating bucket. The item on the left that looks like ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’s’ symbol before his record contract ended and he became Prince again, is a spring clip that fits in a hole in the top of the box and guides the air control butterfly cable. The other is the bit that clamps the end of the cable to the butterfly shaft.
The core. Nicely made and almost never an item that fails in Sprints -what with the roof and heat and all.
Some nice textures here. Rufus is going through a stage where he scratches everything with his fingernails to see how it feels and how it sounds. He even tried his fingernails out on a few days stubble on my chin. Correct screw -incorrect washer. I’d have preferred a black washer.
The complete-ish assembly. Note my feeble attempt to polish the brass elbows.
Item number 1 sitting on the elbow of the core. I have a few of these clamps but not enough to have a full set. Anyone have one or two to spare?
And one mystery awaiting Greig’s erudition…
What is this threaded insert for? It’s on the underside of the heater box towards the back. I asked on the 750/101 board and Bill thought it was for a cable adjuster, but the adjuster for the cable on the bottom of the box is on the water valve (more in part 2), and the other cable is on the top of the box. My guess was it is for a clip to hold the heater hose up from drooping towards the carpet.
Up next is the fitting of he heater box and the controls. Stay tuned!