Jump to content

Heater controls and dashboards


Recommended Posts

I am just now installing a NOS one piece replacement dash and a '76 heater assembly in an early '68 1600. Prompted by a recent query about installing newer dashboards, here is some info.


The dashboard P/N is unknown,but it's a US version since it has the seatbelt warning cutout.  It has no sign of a tii clock location and no 4 speed shift pattern diagram.


Observations so far:

The late one piece dashboard fits in the early '68 car, although forget about installing those two screws up near the windshield without removing the windshield or maybe with a really good flex-shaft screwdriver. (old story, nothing new here)  Screw holes under the lower edge of the dash match locations in the sheet metal of my car. The plastic shell of the later heater box has identical outside dimensions as the early version so it fits right in.  The later version has plastic baffles that snap into the heater outlets to spread the heat more evenly on you cold toes.  It also uses a heater core with larger diameter inlets and outlets as is previously well documented.  Inside, one of the sheet metal parts is different, but the old and new parts are interchangeable.  The newer plastic defroster flex pipes work fine in place of the older aluminum flex pipes.


Early cars had slots in the sheet metal behind the dashboard for the heater controls which are much too narrow for the square tail controls.  The vertical distance between the sliding controls on the '76 versions to about 50% too large for those sheet metal openings.  Without at least widening the slots, it's not happening.  More details below.


If you look at a plan view of the two versions of mounting frames for the heater controls, they're almost the same. The bends on the control levers themselves which provide more vertical offset on the square tail versions.  Those also have the facility to mount the back light bulb and the sliding switch for fan speed on the right frame.  The square tail version frames have mounting holes with
narrower spacing than the older version.  The square tail control levers have a black hard plastic wrap which the earlier controls do not have.  The square tail heater controls are plated yellow, the earlier version controls have clear plating.


I only have two versions of the mounting frames, so I'm guessing that 3 piece and 2 piece dashboards use the same earlier version.  The earlier frames mount to the sheet metal behind the dashboard with sheet metal screws- #8 x 3/4" non metric work fine.   The little holes at the sides of each opening in my one piece dash do not match up with those points, you have to remove the dashboard to get at them (or ruin it in trying).  The later frames (narrower spacing, remember), might have mounting holes that match up with the tiny holes in the dashboard, I don't have a late car body to confirm this theory.


There are at least three versions of the bezels for the heater controls-


1.  The earliest bezels clip somehow into the dashboard openings (I assume these are from my original '68 3 piece dash but haven't inspected it to confirm).  My originals are rusted badly, but it looks like they had words to describe the controls.  As they are kinda heavy and rusty, I assume they're made from plared steel.  I think that I read these had legends ins Deutsch for euro cars, but I haven't seen those.


2.  Next, there are bezels that have threaded aluminum studs at the back.  Multiple examples that I possess oddly all have the threads cut off- as being done by diagonal cutters (don't know their source or who did the cutting).  These have vertical slot spacing same as the earliest type with one slot on the right side bezel.  Nomenclature is via colored dots and arrow symbols, no words.  The threaded pin locations seem to match the tiny holes in my replacement 1 piece dashboard.  They are made from aluminum, lighter than the earliest versions above.


3.  Finally, the latest version bezels for square tail cars have back lighting (# 2721, tiny bayonet bulb) for illuminated words to describe the functions.  These will clip into the slot in the dashboard. The rear of these is plastic, the front panel is aluminum.  These also had the legends in German per online info.


So, to use the newer controls in my 68 car, I would have had to widen the two slots and drill new holes to mount the controls.  All quite precisely in order to match the dashboard.  Since the bezels all have the same outside dimensions, I am guessing that new bezels will fit old dashboard opening but you'd have to glue them in place. Instead, I'll continue to use the earlier version frames and the #2 bezels.

I've done the heater fan conversion to use the SPAL motorcycle fan discussed previously, and will use either a 4 position rotary switch for fan speed or get a DC motor speed controller which will provide infinite adjustment of fan speed.  The Bezels will have to be glued in place because the pins are too short to go all the way thru the dashboard. I have not seen the earliest 3 piece dash with chrome strips to check about it's heater controls.



left frame 1220.JPG

right frame 1220.JPG

all 3 types 1220.JPG

type 1 1 1220.JPG

type 1 2 1220.JPG

type 2 1 1220.JPG

type 2 2 1220.JPG

type 3 1 1220.JPG

type 3 2 1220.JPG

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coupla things...

The bezels on my '69 didn't have wording at all; the left side one (floor and defroster volume controls) merely had triangles filled in with white paint; one pointing up (defroster) and the other pointing down (floor).  The right side bezel for the single lever water valve control on your '68 has a dot (painted flat blue) to denote a cold setting, and an elongated triangle (filled with flat red paint) to denote gradually increasing temperature.  If you look at those two bezels carefully you can see the indents where the paint goes.  Use Testors model paint to touch 'em up. 


And yes, all those early bezels--with the studs on the back--have the studs cut off with diagonal cutters--apparently done at the factory during assembly.  Makes it a bitch to rethread the nuts when you take 'em apart.


As for the two lever right side control--the second lever as used on later cars is the blower switch.  Your '68 already has a heater blower switch on the binnacle (lower left), so why not use the original single lever control on the right side. That one has two bowden cables--one controls the hot water valve and the other the mixer door in the heater box.  As you increase the coolant temperature, it closes the mixer door until all the airflow passes through heater core and none through the bypass opening.  




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some details of my "collection" have been lost to the mists of time due to age and poor documentation, but I think my feb. '68 1600-2 car had the rusty bezels with words shown above, so I assumed that those are the oldest that I have. 


The right side  aluminum bezels in my stash from a craigslist parts lot did have a blue dot and red triangle - there were some very slight remnants of those colors. 


I didn't know that the left side had white arrows, but looking very closely, I can see what must have been tiny bits of white paint remaining, thanks Mike.


I'll be using the color coded bezels since all the others that I have are either beyond restoring or with the wrong slider spacing.


The heater box that I've rebuilt is from a '76 (the best of a group of pretty poor examples, lots of patching was needed), so it has the three speed setup with two wire wound resistors.  The dashboard I'm using is from a '76, so there's no official fan switch position on the binnacle.  But, as I have no rear window defrost wires, don't smoke and have a different switch plan for the driving lights, there are plenty of open binnacle switch positions...  I can do just two speeds with an older fan switch, or use a non-bmw switch to get three speeds- it's just a single pole 3 position switch and the fan draws less than 5A even at startup. 


No, this car won't win originality awards!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dashboard in my 74 tii looked like the Grand Canyon from all the cracks in it. I replaced the original trashed dashboard with a crack free Euro spec one piece dash (no fasten seat belt billboard) that I scored at an automotive flea market in Ludwigshafen GE for 120 Euros.  Heater/vent controls are in German. The hole for the tii clock was carefully cut out. Recently I pulled the heater box out to figure out why my fan wasn't working and I noticed some cut wires. I asked the forum what the cut wires were for and the consensus reply was the wires were for fasten seat billboard on my former dash. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sort of on subject. 

For my squaretail: How do you remove the heater bezels without destroying them? I had to order a set and really had to wedge them in to get them set. After several installs and removals of my heater box at the shop, the back lights don't work. 

I am afraid of bending/breaking them when I pull them out. 


#1: Any tips on removal without bending/breaking them  


#2: I am having a hell of a time finding anything beneath the tangle of my wires underneath. Any tips on where I should look for the wires leading to the bezel lights? 


#3 Replacement bulbs for the bezels. What are they? are there LED equivalents? 


Merry Christmas everyone! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1#  I was able to remove the '76 bezels without any problem, but I wasn't worried about the totally trashed dashboard, so the experience is not applicable. 


2#  I'm doing my own wiring harness, so this is all from memories-  My '76 heater sub-harness had the bulbs hard wired together and coming out to a 2 position connector which also had the hot lead for the blower motor power, somewhat close to the heater housing on the driver's side.  I seem to recall grey/blue as the wire color for the lights.  It somehow connects to the rheostat control in the headlight switch, I assume.  Ground for both lights and motor (brown wires) was on a lug that I guess must attach somewhere on the firewall


3#  The bulbs just plug into the holders bayonet style, you have to remove the bezels to get at them.  I recall they are #2721, at all of the auto parts stores, nothing exotic.  Before I realized my dilemma regarding which parts to use, I had purchased some LED bulbs.  The wrong ones....  if LED's be sure that the light comes out sideways.  Not out of the end of the housing as I bought.  those did little to light up the little words.  LED bulbs also might need fiddling to make sure that each wire is on one side of the housing only, and polarity will matter- it won't light if installed in the wrong direction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Upcoming Events

  • Create New...