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Look what I found! (rear heater content)
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What's up with your rear heater?
The heater's there and is functioning just like the day it left the lot.
61%
 61%  [ 91 ]
The heater's there, but it leaks like a sieve.
10%
 10%  [ 15 ]
The heater's long gone I've hooked the two hoses together.
12%
 12%  [ 18 ]
The heater's long gone, I've plugged up the hoses, and I love the extra storage space!
16%
 16%  [ 25 ]
Total Votes : 149

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Jamos
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Look what I found! (rear heater content) Reply with quote

Removed a bunch of interior stuff on my '86 weekender today, and for the first time looked closely at my rear heater.

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


f*cking A! spark plugs and hose clamps? It's been like that for a long time I think...and seems to be running along fine...not leaking at all.

Any good reason I shouldn't just leave it like that and yank out the heater core for some extra storage space? I mean, I've heard of folks doing this type of thing, but I wasn't sure if the hoses needed to be hooked together or if it is ok to leave them separately plugged like that.

I have no need for the rear heater, but if it's a bad idea to leave it like this indefinitely, then I'll do something about it...

what do y'all think?
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Last edited by Jamos on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dimwittedmoose51
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just be glad you didn't find a puddle/lake of antifreeze under there!!!!!

Current wisdom on the heater removal is that a restrictor needs to be placed in the line if you choose to put a horseshoe type U pipe in there. Look down inside the on/off valve and you'll get an idea of how small the hole needs to be. I've been told that if you let the hose run full flow, it disturbs the coolant flow for the rest of the system and can caus cooling or overheating issues. I'm thinking that if you replaced the plastic T conections under the car with straight barb fittings and re-used the spring clamps thereby eliminating the hoses that ran up to the rear heater, that might be okay. You'd have to plug/block off the holes in the chassis if you went that route.

A couple of small 7 or 8 mm bolt heads are what you need to undo to look at the flow restrictor in the valve. The square sided O ring will need to be replaced if you take it apart(assuming someone wants to use the unit sometime in the future.) Good luck finding that at the local hardware store. Once those surfaces are separated, good luck getting that old O-ringto seal again.


Good luck

DM&FS
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Tiiconaut
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dimwittedmoose51 wrote:

Current wisdom on the heater removal is that a restrictor needs to be placed in the line if you choose to put a horseshoe type U pipe in there. Look down inside the on/off valve and you'll get an idea of how small the hole needs to be. I've been told that if you let the hose run full flow, it disturbs the coolant flow for the rest of the system and can caus cooling or overheating issues.
DM&FS



Shocked Thanks for the new wisdom . i removed rear heater and installed an "L"Pipe a year ago......i had no idea this would disturb the flow. My temp gauge has not changed any, but who knows whats going on in there really....Now i have another thing to ad to the to-do list.
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kshbaja
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do people usually bypass the rear heater because the failure is so difficult to clean up? On first glance (I checked mine out for the first time last week) it looks straightforward to access/replace. Do most people find the front heater sufficient?
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of people bypass it, especially if they live in a climate that doesn't require a lot of heater capacity. I replaced my core, even though I'm not sure I really NEED it, I just liked the idea of having a working system there. Wasn't too bad to replace, but apprently it is hell if you wait too long, and it springs a leak!!
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There should be a sticky for some of these PO fixes, this one would top the list.

I removed my rear heater for the space, and just connected the 2 hoses with a barbed fitting from Pep Boys. When I have more time I'll probably get under the van and fix up the hoses down below. I'm concerned a sharp edge could cut one of those lines with all the stuff I have stored under the seat.

That is just classic.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

floggingmolly wrote:
I'm concerned a sharp edge could cut one of those lines with all the stuff I have stored under the seat.


If you're concerned about stuff under your seat cutting lines, you're missing some parts! My entire heater assembly is contained inside a box made from the same material as the cabinets. I gots all kind of junk under my seat as well, but it can't get near the heater hoses.
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Hiram, maybe I wasn't clear. My heater was intact, cover and all. I removed the heater and just connected the two lines together (a la waht Jamos was alking about doing), in the space under the bench. My concern now is that I have those two hoses just sitting there, and I stuff my camping stuff there too. My concern is that a sharp object could puncture one of those lines. I just have to get off my duff and get it squared away before I loose all my coolant due to laziness.
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Raynor Shine
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF indeed. That is one of the strangest mods. I've seen
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Jamos
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah it is odd, but at the same time, it's seemed to work just fine. No leaks, and the van runs at proper operating temp...
so I don't see any issues unless the coolant absolutely needs circulation through there.

I guess when the heater is hooked up, and the lever is in the shut-off position, a little coolant still flows through there?

If just plugging the hoses up is an OK thing to do, then I think the spark plug method works very well.

I've thought about those hoses just hanging out there if I do remove the heating unit...and I think I'd have to contain them somehow so that they don't accidentally get snagged on something.

hmmmm.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOT UNUSUAL

My van came like that. My van also smelled to high heaven with a nasty funk mainly consisting the smell of a few million stale French fries marinated in old sticky coolant. Hence my signature line.

My solution was to remove the rear heater and the whole interior of my van to clean all the crap out. My van has a nice Frabreezy scent to it there days. I would urge you to clean as much of the sticky mess as you can lest you too be smitten by an awful funk smell.
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, free sparkplugs!

Mine had the rear heater bypassed under the seat when I bought it (I assume it was leaky)...I went the rest of the way and just put in straight barbed fittings under the van, and yanked out the heater for more space.
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woggs1
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When my first van started leaking coolant at the rear heater when I was motoring down I-80 I had to pull over and plug the hoses. As I was a long way from any auto parts store I just removed the hoses from the heater and stuck in some AA batteries into the hose-ends and tightened up the hose clamps. No leaks for a few weeks until I removed the heater and the T fittings. Maybe those sparks plugs were the result of an emergency roadside repair that the PO never bothered to correct when he got home. As long as it works, just chalk it up to deferred maintenance I suppose. I wonder what other deferred maintenance issues the van might have?
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Jamos
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woggs1 wrote:
When my first van started leaking coolant at the rear heater when I was motoring down I-80 I had to pull over and plug the hoses. As I was a long way from any auto parts store I just removed the hoses from the heater and stuck in some AA batteries into the hose-ends and tightened up the hose clamps. No leaks for a few weeks until I removed the heater and the T fittings. Maybe those sparks plugs were the result of an emergency roadside repair that the PO never bothered to correct when he got home. As long as it works, just chalk it up to deferred maintenance I suppose. I wonder what other deferred maintenance issues the van might have?


I think I've gotten through most of the other little quirks that my van has...well there's probably something else (isn't there always), but any of the big ones I've addressed...
including the power steering rack that was dumping a good amount of fluid every time I moved the van. PO just kept filling up the reservoir...
Got a new German power steering rack installed, and the thing is great now.

So I assume that it is fine to leave those lines plugged since everyone seems to do something similar.
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ZimmerVan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pulled the evil rear heater a couple of weeks ago, plugged the hoses with a few machine bolts and hose clamps. I just pushed them back from whence they came as far as I could to reduce the amount of hose exposed to the ever-expanding tool and spare part collection I keep under the bench seat.

With all the extra space, said collection can now resume growth unhindered for at least a few months.

No problems since then!
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Tiiconaut
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raynor Shine wrote:
WTF indeed. That is one of the strangest mods. I've seen


Uh...seems quite normal to me, maybe even creative. You prolly live way up north, down he'ah its hot most of the time. My rear heater looked brand new when i removed it...never used it once in the 10 years ive owned it.

Now i have enough space for jacks and such. Really frees up space, especially if you have a full westy.(non-weekender)
.............and my vans a few pounds lighter to boot.
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klucz
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a wetspark stimulator, it improves cooling and increases hp by 10-15%.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

floggingmolly wrote:
There should be a sticky for some of these PO fixes, this one would top the list.

I removed my rear heater for the space, and just connected the 2 hoses with a barbed fitting from Pep Boys. When I have more time I'll probably get under the van and fix up the hoses down below. I'm concerned a sharp edge could cut one of those lines with all the stuff I have stored under the seat.

That is just classic.


Just connecting the two hoses together will short the flow so that it doesn't reach the front heater, at least not in the normal volume. It might also reduce the flow through your radiator somewhat lessening your maximum cooling capacity. Best in the long run to just remove the T fittings underneath and use straight fittings in their stead.

I pulled my rear heater last rear because I wanted a clean floor space. I intend to reinstall the OEM heater or something else in the spare battery area behind and under the drivers seat.
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe I saw those Ts under the van. If that is the case and the rear heater is a T off of the main line, why would this impede any flow to the front heater or the radiator? My understanding is that the rear heater is a separate loop, and not connected to the front heater. Am I wrong? If there is no flow to the rear heater, or I have a simple loop of considerably small volume, I don't see how that would negatively affect the cooling performance.

My heater in the front works just fine, both for heating and effectively dumping heat when I am driving in stop and go in hot weather. I do have excessive heat issues, but I think that is related to my cracked H-pipe and the fact I can't put my new expansion tank cap on until I get the H-pipe fixed. Also don't know the age of the radiator.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

floggingmolly wrote:
I believe I saw those Ts under the van. If that is the case and the rear heater is a T off of the main line, why would this impede any flow to the front heater or the radiator? My understanding is that the rear heater is a separate loop, and not connected to the front heater. Am I wrong? If there is no flow to the rear heater, or I have a simple loop of considerably small volume, I don't see how that would negatively affect the cooling performance.

My heater in the front works just fine, both for heating and effectively dumping heat when I am driving in stop and go in hot weather. I do have excessive heat issues, but I think that is related to my cracked H-pipe and the fact I can't put my new expansion tank cap on until I get the H-pipe fixed. Also don't know the age of the radiator.


The rear heater is T'd off the lines to the front heater. Any water that flows through the rear heater (or just its hoses) can not flow through to the front heater. This is why there was an orifice in the rear heater circuit, so that it did not steal too much flow from the front heater. Also any coolant that is short circuited through the rear heater loop is that much less that is available to flow through the radiator.
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