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Heater Box Installation Question


mcompact
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Well, I'm on the final lap of my heater box/cooling system restoration project and I have one last question. I had to remove the top of the the heater box in order to reattach a wire that I had inadvertently loosened. I was thinking of securing the top with bolts instead of rivets but the bolt heads protrude a bit further than a rivet head. I'm going to use 3M Strip Calk[sic] to seal the box to the cowl so do you think the bolts would cause a problem? Thanks all!

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I am not keen on using expanded foam or rubber strips for this type of installation (either closed or open cell variety). The one shown in the photo looks way oversized for this application. The trapment of moisture in the sealing strip is exactly why the seams in the gas tank rusted and prematurely failed. I use 3M strip caulk (a much smaller profile)--you can simply layer two strips for a higher profile. The strips also seal much better in a warm environment when installing. A small bead of acrylic caulk would also work and still allow disassembly when necessary.

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The EPDM weatherstripping I used has worked out fine and I've driven my car in heavy rain situations - no leaks yet. The sealing surfaces are closed-cell extrusions - the cross-section just looks like foam.

Of course, a good heater box seal will not prevent water coming in thru the fan opening - especially if the box cover is cracked or your (3) cowl drains are clogged.

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countersink the holes. You don't have to tighten them very much--just enough to keep the two halves reasonably airtight. Use a little locktite on the threads. Overtighten and you'll break the plasic housing--another reason why not to use rivets.

I used 3M "dum-dum" (black strip caulk) to seal the heater to the body when I did my 69's heater box at least 15 years ago, and it's still nice and watertight. Definintly don't use open cell foam (like using a sponge) or weatherstrip that can retain water. It'll rust the opening lip for sure.

cheers

mike

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