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So, I've got the heater box out and am restoring it (just starting). The foam insulation and gaskets are all crisp and the rubber gasket that presses up against the air plenum is pretty crisp also. What have folks used for this that holds up better? Also, do any of the parts suppliers carry the opening gaskets. I've checked IAP, Centerline and Re-Originals websites.

Any other learnings on restoring these boxes? I know Biba restores these. I've got a new valve and all new hoses. I plan to service the core (clean & pressure test). And strip, clean and paint the rest. Photos attached (I've got more). Thanks for your advice and help. Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Osso, what kind of foam for the flapper insulation and core seal gaskets ? Since it sees moist air, it seems that some kind of closed cell foam is appropriate, neoprene? Same for the upper box-to-plenum underside gasket? That is rubber/neoprene now. Do the two flappers really need an insulation cover? Perhpas in Iceland!! Bruce
 

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Your biggest problem will be the one-piece closed-cell foam seal which closes against the air intake from the scuttle. I've never found an exact substitute in Europe but you might have some luck in the USA - try browsing the Metro Rubber catalogue etc for a match or something you can adapt. You might be able to use a length of closed-cell foam bent to fit (maybe warmed at the four corners with a hair dryer to help bend the 90* angles?) and glued with a flexible adhesive where the ends meet - any strong contact adhesive should do. See this thread for details of what I did with my own heater box.

Alex.
 

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I just used stuff sourced from my local TruValue hardware store. In with the window weatherstripping, they sell something called "Automotive weatherstripping", which is closed cell foam, in varying widths/thicknesses, with adhesive & peel-off backing on one side.

For the rectangular gasket on the top of the heater, I just used 4 strips - two long, two short (see photo below). Sure, the corners may leak a bit, but this isn't exactly a high-pressure joint. I used the same stuff on the flapper doors.

Not as elegant as the factory gaskets, but who's gonna see them, and how effective do you expect your heater to be anyhow?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks guys. Looks nice Alfajay. A bit of work ahead. Did you guys have the core serviced in any way? Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To continue my last thought, I soaked my core in a 5 gal bucket of Prestone radiator cleaner mix and flushed it both ways with a drill pump. The liquid turned very dark and I got quite a bit of sediment and even some large crystals out. I scrubbed some green deposits off the outside where the hoses had formerly leaked. This after I took it to a radiator shop for pressure testing and a water flush wherein they declared it OK. I let it dry and put a "pi**" coat of black lacquer on it to keep any corrosion down. It looks new. Ready to reassemble later this week. Photo to follow.
 

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Bruce, fun job eh? I believe that is only the second upper rubber foam gasket I've even seen - and I've restored a good handful of them. Guard it with your life! Okay maybe not that valuable. Do yourself a favor and make sure the gasket was centered on the opening when installed. I installed the client's heater last week (fun, fun job) and while under the dash, looking at where the studs were in relation to the U-shaped mounts, it appeared as if the heater had to move about 3/8" more towards the right. However it was right up against the water hose to inlet manifold (Note: Jay Mackro, your heater hose is about a foot too short to reach the fitting on the inlet manifold). Obviously I couldn't move it any more but with 5 mm fender washers it would hold the U-shaped metal pieces on the heater. Now to me this is weird: Since I have the front air inlet cowling off (and standing outside) I stuck my hand in and felt the edge of the foam on either side of the exterior air inlet. It indicated the heater was way too far to the right.

Not sure if you are following this but on the right side about half of the 5 mm fender washers are holding the heater on. On the left it is just the opposite and they are nearer to the round part of the U.

If you're with me, Bruce, but hopefully you've not painted or removed the paint from the side panels on the heater. If not, look very carefully at where the old washers were centered on the U-shaped mounting brackets, make a mental note, and put it back exactly where it came off. I'm sure if you're off some, not a big deal, but always best to reinstall it as close as possible as to where it was before.

I know you've visited my heater page on my website: Biba Restorations Round-Tail Spider Heater Rebuild but here is another photo of the .25" dense white foam I use in place of the yellow stuff.

Biba
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Heater Box Bingo

I'm actually not going to keep the gasket. I'm sending it to the Alfa Museum at Arese to thank them for all the support those opportunistic b*s#*r&s have provided us over the past 15 years. They can take the 8C and its hype and stuff it high and hard. Like I said in an 8C post, I'll believe they are serious when they put a load of spare parts in the trunks and shipping containers of the 8C's coming over.

I found some great gasket material for the heater-to-cowling joint at Re-Originals today. Nice when you can browse. Matt is a really good dude. He has so much we do not know about and can find much of the rest. I've got him working on our defunct '69 4-way flasher relays now. I'll post the details of the gasket workaround after I form it up and start reassembling tomorrow. Thanks for the heads-up on the heater positioning; I'll remove the cowling cover and feel my way around to make sure it is centered. Note that when I look up at the underside of the baffle which is over the heater (under the cowling grating) - which is a master Zen Yogi position - I noted the underside has only a pi** coat of paint and had a nice fine rust bloom. I'll be figuring a way to mitigate that tomorrow. Since the baffle is welded in, it should be fun. Yea, this job is fun and so rewarding - for a heater in Texas . . . . Thanks for the moral support. Many others are inquiring about heater rehab. Perhaps you can start a rehab clinic for wayward heaters. I've developed a checklist for this project and will post when I'm done and it is proofed. Regards, Bruce
 

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Bruce, don't thow the upper rubber gasket away. I assume you'll use it for a pattern, but after that I might actually pay you a tiny bit for it + shipping cost.

You're sure all of the wires are connected up correctly on the two relays and switch for the 4-way flasher?

Not sure which direction you removed the heater, but [after removing the right cowling (interior) drain hose] found it went in easiest from the passenger side. The seats haven't been installed so I could just lay down on my back then shoe-horn it in.

Biba
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Gasket Replacement Done

Upper gasket completed. Will post details later. Used gasket material from Re-Originals (Y-4 profile, ~12mm H x 30 mm W). It has a smooth surface and is closed cell and designed for weather stripping (Ferrari trunk seal in this case). Cut 45's at corners - leaving 1/3rd of the material outside for continuity and strength - and glued to shape with contact cement. Took about 2 hours. Unit going in tomorrow. Job done. :eek: :D :eek: :D

5 March - Added photo of under cowl area refurbished where heater goes. Had lots of superficial surface rust on baffle and gasket seating area. You can clearly see the masking line on the left. The attachment bolts were deformed at birth. I just know if I try to straighten them they would break off so that's the way it stays.
 

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Bruce, great job on the upper gasket. Trust me I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I hope it isn't too thick so that the heater door (at the bottom) can't be opened once everything is installed. Of course a lot depends on how much padding you have under the transmission tunnel carpet.

Also, not sure what it is supposed to accomplish, but teh upper portion of the inlet flap originally had foam in the center portion.

Your two small clips, at least the two on the right side are missing.

One last comment: I can't see the end of the upper hose to the inlet manifold. Is it the molded one with a curve at the end? Also is you lower hose long enough to go all the way to the water pump?

Trying to help out, not to criticize.

Biba

One last comment, you did make sure that both levers are both opening and closing - completely - as they should? I spent a ton of time on this on my recent heater install.
 

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Thanks for the Assist!

The more eyes the better. Not rocket science but if you've been there it sure helps. Nice to have your back covered. Thanks. On replies:

The gasket material is about as thick new as the OE material. I have some side profile photos. The OE material has been compressed for 39 years and shaped a bit and compressed and dried. Also, part "extruded" down into the heater opening to form a bit of a lip (seal) actually. I contact Cemented the gasket on to the heater with 1/8" overlap inside and it will likewise extrude down just a bit. I don think it will affect the fit but fitting it in will be a bear as the box never goes back together straight (flimsy) and it's hard enough to get the lower box to fit on dry land and not hanging upside down from a tree under the dash.

I have 2 x 1/8" layers of foam on the main air flapper. The outer one is thick foil covered to give it a bit more durability. It's designed for high heat on water and steam pipes. I sealed the edges with high temp gasket RTV. There is also foam on the internal cool air bypass flapper: 3/16" closed cell neoprene full face on the "inside" (heater core) and 1/2 face on the "outside" (case) per my OE.

Yes, the 4x4" "C" clips". I will not put those on until after I have mounted the upper heater box to the studs, then wrestle in the lower fan box and clip it up. See my "Bluing" thread.

Yes, I got the correct "P" shaped hose and oriented the "P" properly (check) and got 4' of 1/2 inch (12mm) return hose. About 1' longer than I had. Also two new firewall grommets for said hoses. Also new cowl drain hose (gray corrugated) and grommets, and new demister hose. See also "Crinkle paint" thread for the control unit.

On he levers, yes, I checked, adjusted, and rechecked. The aire flapper is pretty easy. Checked the heater valve in relation to the bypass flapper position. I'll recheck tomorrow with a fresh head. Don't want to fiddle with that when it's installed.

I have a simple Word project checklist in a table at a mere 127 kb that this #%#p* BB will not accept. Contact me and I'll e-mail it to you. I'll be working up some project guidance notes (instructions) also to post later.

Thanks for the extra eyes. I hope I have it covered but probably not. Will see by Friday. Tomorrow is some urban renewal under the dash before reinstalling it. Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Heater In !!

Put it in over the past two days (part time). What a beyoch :mad::eek:. Easier with the seats out for sure (being recovered). Installing it, I put the upper box in loosely in back (nut at the end of the threads) and more tightly in front. This canters the box out so you can get the fan box up in back and over the (flimsy) frame that tends to press up against the OE insulation material. Still a wrestling match. Once I figured this out, it only took 1 hours of wrestling to get the lower fan box on and clipped.

I did take the cowl cover off and felt for centering (as well as doing some urban renewal while open). It was smack up against the hose on the right and could have been a bit more to the tight but it was centered. I might leave that outlet hose off until I get it the box in next time but it sure keeps you from getting too far right. I did get larger washers. All the hardware was SS and I put CopperKote on the studs. After that, I cinched up the front bolts to level the box and tightened them all. The rest is easy by comparison. Installed 3 of 4 new demister hoses and still to do cowl drains. Hope I won't have to do this for another 40 years (i.e., "N.O."). Some pics attached. Now on to new insulation, installing seats and new tunnel carpet/EB boot, door panels and rear drape and top.

Thanks for our great guidance. Bruce
 

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Hello everybody! I am restoring a 68 spider in Brazil and I would like to submit my restored heater box pictures, including a close up shot on the water valve and that useless spring. I hope it helps people like me in need for information.
 

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