Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Heat Is Still On

I finally finished renovating the heating system.

The heating "system" is only technically a "system" because there's hardly anything to it:

  1. A blower;
  2. A heater core;
  3. A damper.
The inlet to the core comes off the cylinder head (with a spigot; how quaint).  You have to go under the bonnet to turn on the heater.  There is a cockpit control that activates the blower and controls the damper, but the heat is either on or off, and when it's on it leaks past the damper, so you actually do get out and turn the heat off in the summer.  Unless it's 110 and you need the extra cooling the heater core provides. Yep, I've been there.

By the way, they don't make the control cable any more.  It took me years to find one that was any good, and it's for a Bugeye (which has the control way down on the end by the inlet behind the grille).  So I'm gonna have to chop it.  That's a bit scary.

Anyhow, here's what I started out with:


The blower is a Bakelite housing that I had painted long ago.  I really wanted to make it look original.  So once I got it apart (and I cracked it in a couple of places doing so, but it's not terminal and it will be fine) I used my old friend Master Blaster at low pressure to remove most of the paint.  I scrubbed the rest off by hand.  It came out pretty well:

Putting the blower back together was not fun.  Those bolts you see sticking up out of the housing are replacements, because I had to cut off the originals to get them out without destroying the housing.  I ended up going to Ace Hardware and buying some M5 nuts and bolts (gaaaah!  metric!), and some little tiny circlips to hold them in place.  You need to hold them in place because you can't get to the inside of the housing once you assemble one side.  The circlips worked great, though.

Here's all the pieces and parts of the blower:

And here it is being assembled:


That's the blower.  Now for the heater box.  The core is in good shape as far as I can tell, and I don't recall it leaking (or see any signs of leaks).  The box... not so good.  I had to tap out a number of dents, and then actually fill a couple of the worst spots to get a reasonably good finish.  After sanding and paint, it looks good to me.

Not much to it, huh?

Here's the assembly:


And the finished product:

Note the strategic use of candy boxes to prop up the blower.

All I need is to re-stamp the plate numbers into the new plate, and rivet it to the box.  Here's the plate.

The letters are 3/32" high; anyone got a stamper set they'd be willing to lend me?

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