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Part 1 - Heater Box Disassembly
March 25, 2008
Last Saturday (March 22nd) I drove the wagon to a club meeting. It was
dark when I returned home and when I turned my lights on, the left turn
indicator was glowing and the left side of the dash was dark. Having been
through this with Kermit, I knew the problem was a bad ground. Sunday,
before heading over to my parent's house for our Easter get together, I
decided that it would be a good idea to clean up that ground.
As you can see in the above picture, the dash ground (as well as the one
for the blower motor) attaches to a stud above the blower motor. Taking it
apart wasn't a problem (in fact, it all cleaned up pretty easily) but when I
tightened the stud, it snapped off. As it turns out, the stud is attached to
the heater box and the only way to replace it is to take the heater box out
and take it apart.
The actual removal process is easy: drain a half gallon of coolant,
disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core, disconnect the wiring,
remove the blower motor, remove the nut from the ground wire stud, remove the glove box, the air door cables, and the screws holding the heater
box to the car (there are 5). It will then drop down and come right out. I think it took
me about 45 minutes to get it out.
The next picture shows the heater box oriented like it is in the car.
There are three metal plates on the firewall side and the left and center
plates need to be removed to replace the broken stud.
Start by center punching and drilling out the two rivets attaching the left
and center sections. The left section slides out of the way.
Next, center punch and drill the four rivets holding the center section to
the heater box. You can remove the center section by wiggling it out from
under the right section. You can now see the main air control door through
the hole in the blower motor cavity.
I'm going to replace all of the foam seals so I'm going to remove the right
section as well. This is done by gently bending the retaining tabs out of
the way. This exposes the heat/defrost blend door. There is supposed to be a
foam seal where the door touches the heater box in defrost mode (shown
below) and on the leading edge of the door so it doesn't clank. The door can
be removed at this point.
Here is the broken stud (the screwdriver is pointing to it). This is sort of
like a screw (it has a head but no way to drive it) but it is spot welded in
place. The next trick is removing it without damaging the housing.
That's it for now. The next steps will be to replace the broken stud and
clean everything up.
Up next: Blower Motor Disassembly.
03/27/08 09:19:21 PM