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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few photos of my car's heater box which I restored a couple of years ago but have not yet refitted, thought they might be useful for reference.

Essentially, I was helped by the fact that the unit was in pretty good shape when I took it out of the car, no major leaks and the heater valve diaphragm was good enough to replace after an overnight soak in 501 Aerospace Protectant. The heater core was replaced by a local company and I carefully beadblasted the case, then sent it to another local company to be powdercoated in black satin (they also did the coatings on the Jaguar XJ220 and still have a contract with Aston Martin, also just up the road from where I live: Davron Finishing in Milton Keynes, Bucks, for those who are interested - it sure does help to be living in an area full of small companies sub-contracted for Formula 1, Sports Prototype etc work!). I made templates of the original factory foam padding and seals, to seat the core and the heater flap, made new ones from an equivalent foam and fixed them with regular impact adhesive. Next, I cut the water pipe and made a new union with some thin-wall brass pipe and a couple of 'olives' which were silver-soldered, and two stainless jubilee clips - this was to help get the pipe through the firewall to the inlet manifold. Finally, I found some plated mesh of the correct pattern for the heater aperture (but I have now discovered that this has rusted slightly where it has been 'glued' into position using clear silicone, so I'm going to locate something identical in stainless). The motor needed nothing else apart from a clean and a re-grease; new wiring soldered in as a precaution. Re-assembly was straightforward, following the notes made when taking it apart. Finally the black plastic casing, the pipes and the hinged door were liberally wiped with yet more "501" and then put in a box until needed.

I'm still wondering how to make it blow more air though - I've thought of having the motor re-wound with extra coils and 'sleeving' the heater outlets in the hope of speeding up the air flow, etc etc. Any bright ideas welcome - I don't think a 'squirrel cage' is going to work in this one. :confused:

Alex.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
A final photo of the inside of the heater unit (and the less than effective fan blade...). At the time of rebuilding I didn't own a digital camera and wasn't so concerned with making detailed records of everything, but I carefully pried off the four retaining clips last weekend to give some idea of the hidden parts. Sorry, but all that new foam is hidden!

Alex.
 

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Alex, nice job! As for not enough volume. My fan was hurting and I called IAP in Va. They had a 2spd motor w/ the the proper fittings to drop in the original spot. I just had to transfer the little rubber mounts. For me I always wanted the 2spd, so I added a wire and a stock 2spd switch in the dash. I did find the single spd to be ok the 2nd spd really blows hard! Maybe you could get one and just wire up for the 2nd spd if you don't want to alter the wiring and dash sw?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Joe. I think the switch must be a stock Lucas item so I should be able to find that here in the UK. I have seen that motor in the pdf files of the IAP catalogue, but I'll check here in the UK first and post back. I'll take a look at Jim's wiring diagrams if I choose to go the route you've suggested!

Alex.
 

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Alex, the sw I used is a stock alfa switch. As for wiring I just added one conductor from the sw. to the fan and taped it to the original, Joe
 

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I've sprung a leak!!

Alex, I was re-reading your thread of the heater box rebuild you completed. I've sprung a bad leak from somewhere up in there and it looks like I will have to remove it for repair. I've some questions seeing how you've "been there, done that"
- by the photos it appears to me that the box hangs from 4 studs?
- did you source original moulded hose or is that simply off a roll? It seems to me there is a formed 90 degree turn in the long one.
- The foam I can probably find but where/ or what kind of rubber seal is that for the intake?
- Any other "traps" or surprises I should know of?

-Anybody else do this? Anything to watch out for other than a crooked back??

Thanks, Joe
 

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Never seems to end, does it Joe.
Not sure if the 1750 input hose (the 90* bend) is the same as yours but if it is, it's on the shelf. I'll check the books tonight.......
 

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Well, seeing how I have just about completely refreshed, rebuilt and replaced **** near every bit of this car this should be the last of it! knock on wood!! :) I think the only other item is the headliner and when that finally comes down it won't affect drivability, unless I'm draped with it while driving! Yee Ha! Seriously though, I was able to hook up w/ the folks @ Centerline for a 2 new molded hoses, a new heater valve, and a length of heater hose for the return to the pump. A couple days priority mail will do the trick. In the meantime I bypassed the core and sopped up the mess. I wondered why my foot was slipping off the gas. I'm so blocked up from tree pollen I can't smell anything! I'm hoping for good results similar to the one above and others posted. The defroster is needed a lot here on summer nights near the ocean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
joecautela said:
Alex, I was re-reading your thread of the heater box rebuild you completed. I've sprung a bad leak from somewhere up in there and it looks like I will have to remove it for repair. I've some questions seeing how you've "been there, done that"
- by the photos it appears to me that the box hangs from 4 studs?
- did you source original moulded hose or is that simply off a roll? It seems to me there is a formed 90 degree turn in the long one.
- The foam I can probably find but where/ or what kind of rubber seal is that for the intake?
- Any other "traps" or surprises I should know of?
Well, it's been a couple of years at least since I restored my heater box, but from memory, here goes (all subject to Jim's corrections!! :rolleyes: )

- The box does hang from four studs/screws under the bulkhead. Watch out for the extra support rod which should be there to steady the heater control panel.

- I did source original moulded hose, probably from Alfaholics, although to be honest any well-equipped parts store would be able to help you - just ask to be let loose in their hose section and see what matches!

- The intake is sealed by a moulded closed-cell foam section. It's a 'special' so you would either have to reuse your original or trawl through other suppliers to see what might match. It's closed cell foam for a reason, as you don't want ordinary foam soaking up any drips or condensation and so forming an instant rust trap :)eek: evidence of Arese engineers considering rust traps :rolleyes: ). I've taken a look in the parts manual for the Sprint GT and it's listed as part # 105.00.57.229.01 , not that that is going to be of any help to you ...

- You ought to consider the possibility that the heater matrix has sprung a leak. It's a radiator the same as you'll find just in front of the engine, just a smaller version, so in theory any good rad shop will be able to pressure test it and fit a new core, which I did as a precaution anyway.

- If you can find/make a little 1.5" brass union with 'olives' at either end, try splitting the hot water inlet pipe to ease the passage through the bulkhead, as I did, and use two good stainless steel jubilee clips fastened really tight.

- I see you've bought a new heater valve, but at any other time it's worth undoing the case and checking that there are no splits in the diaphragm.

- Umm, think that's about it. Pull out one or both of the seats as it's awkward getting down there, and you don't want to catch the upholstery and possibly tear something! And if anyone has access to an original Sprint GT/GTA parts manual and a scanner, the relevant table is #184 at page 472. I'm sure others would like to see it too!

Best of luck,

Alex.
 

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Thanks for the info Alex. I was thinking that I might document mine like you did yours for a comparison. Like you said, others might be interested. Seeing how I use the car on almost a daily basis now I feel it necessary to rebuild the entire package as I don't want to "go there" again! Haha! It doesn't really bother me though as I see it as a testament to the overall quality of construction and materials that this unit has lasted 40 yrs. I do have to replace the cables also as they both are broken and have found that my lawnmower has the same type. So I will buy one and cut it to fit. Next week when the parts arrive I will start and keep progress reports current. Go figure, It's supposed to rain this wkend. I guess driving will be like when I had an old bug w/ worn out heater boxes, just wipe the screen with a clean rag!
 

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Heater Box Envy

A final photo of the inside of the heater unit (and the less than effective fan blade...). At the time of rebuilding I didn't own a digital camera and wasn't so concerned with making detailed records of everything, but I carefully pried off the four retaining clips last weekend to give some idea of the hidden parts. Sorry, but all that new foam is hidden!

Alex.
I so envy your heater box! Wow. A museum piece for sure! Just got mine back form the blasters today and it's hanging in the garage in pieces primed. Considering the original seemed to have only a pi** coat of enamel and no primer, and held up reasonably well this long, I figure a good anti-corrosion primer and a satin black epoxy will suffice. New valve and hoses, yes. Where did you get that nice and OE looking top gasket; mine is pretty crisp. Did you replace all the control flap and core side foam gaskets? Very nice, Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Yes, all the foam was replaced to the original patterns. I would suggest you find the best quality foam possible as it can get quite hot in there and you don't want that foam to crumble to dust. The top gasket is OE, I just carefully prised the old one off the heater before stripping etc., then re-glued it in place after it came back from the powdercoating company. The entire unit was in great shape when I restored it, so that helps a lot. Good luck with yours :)

Alex.
 

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Tired Heater Mine

I'd say mine was in fair to poor shape even though it's always been stored inside (link to snaps here), not driven in the rain much, and the heater not used that much (SoCal & now Houston). I did leave the car laid up for two longish spells and it is humid here, and that was probably the cause of the metal deterioration, especially inside the valve. I cannot understand the top gasket deterioration. Foam yes it was powder. Fortunately the core is sound (tested). I'll post some progress in my root thread. Very nice work on yours. I've made a Heater Rehab Checklist that I'll also post when I'm finished and have proof tested it. It's gathering all the bits that is most time consuming. Administrivia!! Someone ought to "box" a heater resto kit with all the typical bits. Bruce
 

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I would suggest you find the best quality foam possible as it can get quite hot in there and you don't want that foam to crumble to dust.
I don't know a thing about foam ratings...what did you end up using? I'm currently checking my core out to get it checked but am hoping to piece the box together again so I can have heat in my car. I don't have a foam replacement option yet and was hoping you could shed some light in this area.

But I must say, that has to be the best looking heater box I've ever seen!

Regards,
-Raym
 

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I Agree

Alex,

That heater box project is inspiring!

And has already been very helpful to me as I contemplate my first adventure into mine: I want to replace the long "shepards hook" hose and wasn't sure what that invloved.

Can that hose be replaced by removing the valve and short hose on the valve side?

Or is it a dance requiring simultaneous removal of the heater box and replacement of the hose?

Mine's not leaking and is in good (looking) condition, but it's 43 years old this month and I don't want the thing bursting. Heat isn't an issue around here (well, it is, but I generally want to REMOVE it, not ADD it :) ) so I could simply disconnect the heater hoses, but that seems like a cheap way out.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise and experience with all of us, it IS very much appreciated!

Drive safely!

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #18
- The intake is sealed by a moulded closed-cell foam section. It's a 'special' so you would either have to reuse your original or trawl through other suppliers to see what might match. It's closed cell foam for a reason, as you don't want ordinary foam soaking up any drips or condensation and so forming an instant rust trap :)eek: evidence of Arese engineers considering rust traps :rolleyes: ). I've taken a look in the parts manual for the Sprint GT and it's listed as part # 105.00.57.229.01 , not that that is going to be of any help to you ...
Thread update - I have just noticed that this section of foam is now available from Classic Alfa and (assuming this reproduction is a good fit and not made from a foam which is more dense than the original) I would recommend that anyone restoring one of these heater boxes adds this to the shopping list.
 

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That gasket apparently won't fit early boxes. Only later ones.

Confirm with the seller if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good spot - I missed the description. Yes, this will only fit later cars, 1968 onwards, more is the pity!
 
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