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rebuilding the the front heater box
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need2boat
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

I did some searching on the site but couldn't find anything that goes over replacing the foam on vents inside the heater box or on changing out the heater box from the early style, no heat on the outside vents to the later style with heat on the outside vents. Also the differences between the boxes of which I've found a few.

I'm currently doing this right now and would welcome any input and if not have been taking pictures for others in the future.

There is a wealth of info on pulling the dash and cracking the box open but after that I couldn't find many pictures, just directions on the process.

JFF
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CF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here you go
http://vw.upnorth.net/Heater-Blower-R&-R118.htm

no picts but a lot of info
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made LQ video on pulling the dash, and working on the heater box.

Pulling dash:

http://web.mac.com/tubaneil/iWeb/Site%205/DashRemQT7.html

pulling the box/working on it:

http://web.mac.com/tubaneil/iWeb/Site%205/FreshAirHousing.html

And not that you asked, but here's a video showing bench test results of a mod I came up, for recirculating cabin air past heater core. The cabin air is pulled in from side (lower) dash vents:

http://web.mac.com/tubaneil/iWeb/Site%205/CabinAirRecirculationVideo.html

The site is a bit klunky in its' layout, but there's more pics of the heater box, mods etc. that should help out.

Cheers,

Neil.
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need2boat
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: screws Reply with quote

CF wrote:
here you go
http://vw.upnorth.net/Heater-Blower-R&-R118.htm

no picts but a lot of info


I read Joel's directions but his info is basic when it comes to fixing the box and is more on just removing it.

He also is removing the box from a later year van. The later style vans use screws from the outside of the van to hold the bottom tabs of the heater box. If you've got the older style box you don't have these screws. That's something I think useful to know. So you don't as I did spend 20 minutes pulling off the front grill looking for screws, I went as far as pulling a headlight! but still couldn't find the screws.

It wasn't till I pulled a later style box that I figured out VW added the screws from the outside because the the ductwork changed and covered any access to them.

JFF
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need2boat
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: video Reply with quote

Neil

I'll check the video's out tonight looks like good info.

JFF
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

I should add that the vids I made largely cover dash and taking the box apart. Though the latter shows the parts as they come out IIRC. Regardless, I should have read your posting more closely.

There are pics on my site, but FWIW, as long as you label the parts, (which way they face is helpful) and find the right thickness(s) one side sticky foam, you're off to the races.

Beware that there's basically two kinds of residential foam. I used the stuff that has a closer cell structure (term??) Basically it feels thicker and looks sturdier.

The info I put on my site may seem more involved than the standard rebuild. And it is! ( I modded a few things on it for the engine conversion and for recycling cabin air) The actual standard rebuild is straightforward. Getting the box apart may be a challenge if someone has basically glued it together where the T&G parts of the box halves meet. As mine was. I re-used the clips of course, but resealed mine from the *outside* so next time it won't be so hard to open/clean up.

Also, I redid the wiring so the fan resistor is mounted up front where my (new!) radiator is. May not be advisable, but I figure that if it's an original part, it MIGHT fail before the new blower motor. So why not make it easy to get at and put it somewhere that it can dissapate heat? (not my idea btw and may be considered un-safe by others'. It does get hot.)

Another tip: make sure the box seats correctly at the fan area/middle portion of the box correctly when putting halves together. Make absolutely sure the parts move as they should before re-sealing. And if you want to be totally type A, hook up 12V DC and test the air flow before sealing. I found a battery charger useful for this. I also found it useful because I could see which way the control arms moved to do their job. Something that helped when I hooked up the control cables.

Oh yah. One more. If you label the control cables before removal it helps.

Neil.



need2boat wrote:

There is a wealth of info on pulling the dash and cracking the box open but after that I couldn't find many pictures, just directions on the process.

JFF

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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used 'FELT' door weatherstripping to seal my FLAPS fits VERY well is easy and CHEAP as anything else and WILL NOT DEGRADE like foam..

I popped the flap foam retainer off, marked the snap holes hit with an exacto or gasket hole punch and test fit very happily.

My parts van (early 80 westy) had a block off plate for air to the back cabin instead of the flap into the 'kneebar' on the body that routes thru the doors.. I copied that idea on my van as I don't see the need for airflow into the back seats of my ASI camper.

also MAKE SURE your cables have FULL travel.. or you won't get enough heat, or you won't be able to turn off or divert away enough..

it's a shame VW never allowed recirculation (see using side vents as intakes) or a total shut off.. you have to turn off the Def, turn off the feet to maybe stop airflow..

Best. and see you in the VW season..

Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
I used 'FELT' door weatherstripping to seal my FLAPS fits VERY well is easy and CHEAP as anything else and WILL NOT DEGRADE like foam..

I popped the flap foam retainer off, marked the snap holes hit with an exacto or gasket hole punch and test fit very happily.

My parts van (early 80 westy) had a block off plate for air to the back cabin instead of the flap into the 'kneebar' on the body that routes thru the doors.. I copied that idea on my van as I don't see the need for airflow into the back seats of my ASI camper.

also MAKE SURE your cables have FULL travel.. or you won't get enough heat, or you won't be able to turn off or divert away enough..

it's a shame VW never allowed recirculation (see using side vents as intakes) or a total shut off.. you have to turn off the Def, turn off the feet to maybe stop airflow..

Best. and see you in the VW season..

Dan


I like the felt useage. A little late for me but maybe next time! Smile

I will be curious to see how my recirulation mod works once I have my water cooled engine swap done!

Neil.
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need2boat
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
I should have read your posting more closely.
There are pics on my site, but FWIW, as long as you label the parts, (which way they face is helpful) and find the right thickness(s) one side sticky foam, you're off to the races.
Beware that there's basically two kinds of residential foam. I used the stuff that has a closer cell structure (term??) Basically it feels thicker and look
Another tip: make sure the box seats correctly at the fan area/middle portion of the box correctly when putting halves together. Make absolutely sure the parts move as they should before re-sealing. And if you want to be totally type A, hook up 12V DC and test the air flow before sealing. I found a battery charger useful for this. I also found it useful because I could see which way the control arms moved to do their job. Something that helped when I hooked up the control cables.

Oh yah. One more. If you label the control cables before removal it helps.

Neil.


Neil-

Like I said on the last post, I can't view all the vids completely while at work but I've viewed some of the stuff you've done and found it helpful.

One think I did notice is you've got the older, older style air box from what I can tell. I think pre 84ish. and it looks like it may work a bit differently and the air ports are in different locations.

I had read enough that I broke out the label maker knowing I was going making enough to make it worth wile.

in the picture you can see all the white tags! Wink
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is a picture of the later style box I'll be adding to my van. The box I pulled from my van also a 87 was the earlier style where no heat went to the outside vents due to the fact the vents plugged into the box preheatercore.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This picture show the the change in ductwork. If your going to change over to the later style box you need to change just the ductwork going to the larger outside vents not the vents to the dash. You will notice there is a terry cloth sock thing on the vent. that's from the factory I guess to prevent dripping?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


JFF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:

My parts van (early 80 westy) had a block off plate for air to the back cabin instead of the flap into the 'kneebar' on the body that routes thru the doors.. I copied that idea on my van as I don't see the need for airflow into the back seats of my ASI camper.
Dan


Dan did you just block the bottom ports off so even it the cable sides the air is blocked from coming in? it's an interesting idea but I'd like to think after I fix the flapers with new foam and they are blocked off it will do the same thing.

JFF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:

My parts van (early 80 westy) had a block off plate for air to the back cabin instead of the flap into the 'kneebar' on the body that routes thru the doors.. I copied that idea on my van as I don't see the need for airflow into the back seats of my ASI camper.
Dan


Dan did you just block the bottom ports off so even it the cable sides the air is blocked from coming in? it's an interesting idea but I'd like to think after I fix the flapers with new foam and they are blocked off it will do the same thing.

JFF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was puzzled when I pulled the dash on my '87 and found that dirty sleeve on one of the hoses. I didn't have one on my '85 when I did the heater a few years back.

That must be a factory Svetsock then.

Too funny Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Felt or foam on the flapers Reply with quote

I'm going to go with closed cell foam a little less then 1/8 thick. The felt is a good idea but I worry about moisture and felt will suck it up like a sponge and also hold any smells that might find there way in there. The biggest issue with closed cell foam is UV light and that's not an issues. If I get 20 years out if like VW did I'll be happy.

JFF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Felt or foam on the flapers Reply with quote

I'm going to go with closed cell foam a little less then 1/8 thick. The felt is a good idea but I worry about moisture and felt will suck it up like a sponge and also hold any smells that might find there way in there. The biggest issue with closed cell foam is UV light and that's not an issues. If I get 20 years out if like VW did I'll be happy.

JFF
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did mine by using silicone to make the gasket. I smear a nice smooth bead of silicone around the edge of the flappers and then let it skin for 45 minutes or so. I then lay a piece of thin cellophane over the flapper and shut it. A couple of hours later I will have a custom fit gasket that is impervious to water and should last me for years.

Unfortunately I couldn't access all the flappers this way so I had to use foam on some.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
it's a shame VW never allowed recirculation (see using side vents as intakes) or a total shut off.. you have to turn off the Def, turn off the feet to maybe stop airflow..


They didn't design recirculation in the front heater box, but if you've got the rear heater it's all recirculated air so the combination works pretty well. Not all vans have the rear heater, though.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: The box is back in the dash Reply with quote

Well I would have liked some of the warmer weather we were having earlier in the week but I spent Saturday and part of the today getting the heater box back in the dash. Like others I decided to spend the time and put in sound insulation on both the inside firewall and dash.

I decided to flip for the new heater core as mine didn't seem to leak when I tested it but also didn't look great.

Since I switched over to the later style heater box I needed to drill so I could out the outside mounted screw due to the new routing of the ductwork. The later style box allows heat to the outer most vents and in doing so covers the bottom #2 screw so VW changed the location.

After looking over a few different foams for the flaps I went with an open cell foam like many others on the last. I also glued a cap over the exposed baring on the motor and after bench testing got the dash back on.

I replaced the shear bolts with regular ones and tightened to the same 18 foot pounds as the bottom ones. The rest was just a matter of getting wires back in the right location, a little pushing and pulling but all ended well. We've got a lot of slush on the roads so I pulled it up on ramps to bleed the system but will hold on the test ride till the roads clear up a bit.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

JFF
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

Hi, I have a question about how to pull apart a certain section of the front heater box.

But first, a quick question about forum manners/ethics/Best Management Practices regarding resurrecting an old thread:

I know this thread is super old, but when I Used The Search, this thread came up, and its title is very accurate for my question. I figure it's better to consolidate all the info/questions/pictures in a thread with a good title. Does conventional wisdom agree? Or is it too annoying because all the old links are dead (8 years ago wow!) Feared if I started a new thread I'd get lots of this Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes and get told to Use The Search.
Forum mods/gurus/lurkers please advise.
I should note that through much reading, none of the heater box/heater core/blower motor/dash pulling threads touched on my specific question.

On to my question:

I am trying to take apart this part (that my hand is clawing) of the front heater box:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It seems to be held at the following points, identified by my pliers:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The old plastic is too brittle to permit my experimental wiggling/prying/yanking.. can anyone help me understand how these funky parallel-diagonal-line fasteners operate?
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

Why do you want to take it apart?

I used camper tape when I R&R'ed my dash a few weeks back. I didn't seal off the bottom vent (wishing I had now and used that lever to control the intake flow, per djkeev and tencentlife) but I sealed around it with camper tape and used it to redo all the flaps.

While you're in there…™ check out your cables for good travel before you button it all up, take a look at your ground trees, lube your fan…there is a whole thread on this.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: rebuilding the the front heater box Reply with quote

Paul,

What is that mod DJkeev and 10c suggest - linky?

I also wonder why you want that apart. I redid all the flappers in my unit and don't recall* taking that apart.


* subject to revision if I remember it later...
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