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Heater Box Rebuild For Sure?

Benjamin A.R.

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   I was checking fitment and measuring for more parts of my wood center console project when I noticed some wetness on my console pieces. :angry: I looked under the dash and saw fluid that had collected along the bottom of the heater box, a quick taste and yup it's coolant. It's not leaking fast enough to drain the radiator or ruin the carpet. I know there's that one valve, under the hood, passenger's side, I forget if it's even a valve actually...in any case is there a way to cut off the coolant flow for a while while I pull out the box and rebuild it? Anyone had any luck with Barsall or a similar product to kill the leaks in a core? I know it wouldn't fix it all the way, the butterfly valve is probably messed up too, but it's better than ruined cherry wood. Also on the core, cheaper to have refurbed than new I'm guessing? I haven't even seen a source yet. I'll ask bryce tomorrow.


   If not I might just hold off on my console project until I get around to fixing the leak, I'm having way too much fun being back on the road with 5 gears to stop for another week. The snow will come soon, so it CAN wait until a cozy couple days in the garage come around, but snow means cold weather even when the roads are dry soooo...



In other news: -I found out that gutter flex elbows 2"x3" fit over the vents in the box...I'm thinking maybe                              custom vents that are redneck but well executed. 


                       -Oil leaks that don't fix themselves piss me off.


                       -This little gem is definitely going to have a place in the console layout:  



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This is a great article. Need to find the time & motivation to pull out the heater box so I can replace the dead fan.

I noticed while reading through that there's a link to a pdf with the pictures in the comments. So much better with photos. Thanks pklym!

For the OP- read the comment right below the pdf link. It could just be your heater control valve leaking. Probably worth a look before you tear out the heater core.

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Normally when you have a leaky heater valve it won't leak into the passenger compartment unless there's a rust hole in the heater plenum chamber or a bad seal between the heater box and the body.  There will also be evidence of moisture around the valve in the plenum chamber.  


I wouldn't advise using some type of sealer to try and stop the heater core leak...those passages are really small and are easily plugged up, which means you won't have any heat at all.  Time to bite the bullet and pull the heater for some refurbishment.  So long as you don't have A/C, it isn't that difficult a job, and you can temporarily connect the inlet and outlet heater hose nipples on the engine wIth a length of heater hose so you can drive the car with the heater out.  Don't forget to make a temporary cover for the hole where the heater goes so you won't get a blast of cold air and/or rain while you're driving...




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