Friday, May 22, 2015

Heater Box Cleaning, Part 2

The parts I ordered for the heater box and blower housing arrived this week. I needed to compare them to make sure everything looked right. Here are pictures of new versus old.

Old versus new heater core:

New blower motor resister:

Old versus new blower motor:

Old versus new evaporator core:

This is a picture of the new evaporator core on top of the old evaporator core so you can see the size difference. The new one is shorter but the pipes are longer (and make up the size difference).

The new heater core did not come with caps for the pipes. My grandfather never threw anything away, and he literally had a jar full of miscellaneous caps. When he passed away my dad inherited them. I stopped over at my dad's to look through the caps and found two that fit nicely. Thanks Grandpa George, and thanks Dad!

Last night after work I stopped at Troy's garage to show him the new evaporator core and the seal, foam wedge, and screen that was on my old one. He said the rubber seal, foam, and screen need to be removed from the old one and used on the new one. When I got home I took pictures of the old evaporator core from each side so I had a reference to follow when reinstalling these pieces on the new core.

I used a putty knife and carefully scraped the rubber seal off the evaporator core. It actually came off easier than I was expecting it to.

Next I slowly worked the screen off. It was only adhered in a couple of spots.

I decided to remove the receiver drier/accumulator from the evaporator to give me better access to the foam wedge.

With the receiver drier/accumulator removed, I used a putty knife and slowly worked my way underneath the foam wedge, working my way all around the evaporator.

I managed to get the foam wedge off in one piece. It was glued on with some type of weather-strip adhesive.

The last thing I removed from the old evaporator core was the bracket that holds the receiver drier/accumulator.

My next project was covering the diverter doors. I cut new Ensolite foam pieces for each side, following the adhesive pattern that was on the diverter door.

I used some of the bent/creased Ensolite. You can see the marks in the foam piece below. These marks gradually faded.

Tonight I wiped down the few last dirty spots on the heater box. This was mainly around the area of the hot/cold diverter door.

The rubber seal around the diverter door cleaned up very nicely. The rubber is still very soft and pliable.

Next I wiped down the frame and brackets for the heater core.

The brackets needed a little more help, so I removed them and used some light grit sandpaper and gave them a quick bath in WD-40.

When I went to reassemble the brackets, I found out the heater core would not fit in the brackets!

I checked the old heater core and it fit inside the brackets perfectly. Comparing the two heater cores, there is a difference in the way the ends were manufactured. I figured I got the wrong heater core, so I checked online to confirm the part I ordered was listed to fit. It was.

Not wanting to get frustrated, I moved on to cleaning the vacuum actuators and arms. Here is a before picture:

Here is the after picture:

Here is a before picture of the second actuator:

After picture:

Sara and I went to a couple of auto parts stores to see if we could find a heater core that would fit, but both stores had the same core that I ordered. It was listed to fit. One of the stores had instructions in their heater core box that mentioned needing to remove the brackets from the heater core frame and use the provided foam. Sara and I grabbed a Detroit-style pizza for a quick dinner, and then tried fitting the new heater core with the brackets removed.

The heater core does fit flush with the brackets removed, but there is nothing to hold it against the frame. I am so glad I spent the time to clean the brackets! (Not!)

I tried to carefully fit the heater core and frame into position. This was difficult with nothing to secure the heater core, but it does fit.

I removed the frame and heater core to see if there was any way to secure it to the frame. There are small flanges along the top and bottom of the heater core. On the end closest to my hands in the picture below there are also small plastic flanges on the frame. You can see this right along my index finger. I am not sure if you are supposed to do this, but I bent the metal flanges on the heater core further out so they would put pressure against the plastic flanges on the frame. This provides enough pressure to hold the heater core firmly in the frame.

With the core secured in the frame, I wrapped the foam seal all the way around the outside edges of the heater core.

On the bottom of the heater core frame there is a small triangular lip that had a thin strip of foam on it. This fell off when cleaning. I decided to use a small piece of the leftover heater core seal to recreate this foam piece.

Another quick test fit with the foam seal installed:

Everything fit perfectly so I secured the frame with the four screws.

Heater core is installed!

I installed the three actuators and both diverter doors. I added some polyurethane lube on the shafts of the diverter doors where they pivot in the plastic case.

I reinstalled the front plate and seal:

The heater box is complete!

Sara is pushing KITT...pushing KITT real good (Salt-N-Pepa style). ;) We decided it would be easier to clean the engine bay if KITT was flipped around so the engine bay is facing out of the garage.

Sara located the mounting hardware for the blower housing, and then removed the painter's tape from the foam seals on the blower housing. Then she cleaned the housing so it is ready for installation tomorrow!

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