Heater box removal

Tech tips and how to's

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funkaholik
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Heater box removal

Post by funkaholik » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:15 pm

Tried searching the forums for some step by step instructions, or even any guidance for removing the heater box from under the dash, but can't find anything. Does anyone have a good write up on this? It would be much appreciated! If possible, maybe we could add it to the tech wiki. So far all I have to show for my work is scraped knuckles and a sore neck.

There is a good write up in part 2 of Scott Sheeler's book on dash removal, but nothing on heater box without removing dash. Of course the factory service manual is no help.

Thanks!
Erik Miller
Concord, CA
1970 Datsun SPL311-29945, owned since '94
1970 Datsun SPL311-29524, rusty parts car
1967 Mustang, 428, 5 speed
1969 Camaro convertible, 327, auto
1981 VW Rabbit Truck, 1.6 turbo diesel
...Oh, and a daily driver.

C.Costine
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by C.Costine » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:19 pm

There isn't much to it really, it took me just a couple minutes, but on the other hand that was after my dash and seats were out. My car is a '67 so I can't help with any specifics, but from my experience, since the heater box is one of the innermost parts of the car, I suggest that you consider renewing your carpet, and your heater hoses and your heater control valve at the same time, since you are so close to all three with the heater box out. If you decide to go for the carpet and you get one that has the half inch thick backer on it you will want to remove the backer from the part of it that is on top of the hump, otherwise clearance to the underside of the dash is very tight. Have fun!
located in Chester NH
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jonny8
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by jonny8 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:21 pm

I've taken mine out a couple of times. Disconnect the hoses and then there are a series of bolts to undo. You need to take out the center console first and disconnect the control wires for the vents.
1965 Roadster 1600

RustBucket
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by RustBucket » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:42 pm

I've taken mine out (67.5) without removing any of the dash components. It's not too hard.
Remove the two hoses in engine compartment. Remove two bolts to the firewall (heater box front top) and two to the trans tunnel (heater box lower back). These are 7/16" as I recall. Undo the door opener from the control slider and the two cables clamped to the top of the box. Unsnap the duct hose from the passenger side. Work the whole box out the driverside foot well.
This is for a 67.5 anyway. Other years may be different. This last time I did it was due to a heater core leak a few miles from home. The whole cooling system boiled out into the passenger footwell. Solex68 came and bailed me out with some much needed tools. I now carry a small tool box and a short hose to shunt out the heater. ...just in case.
Rustbucket
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
67.5 1600
Orange County, CA

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funkaholik
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by funkaholik » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:20 am

Thanks for the replies and tips. Hopefully these will translate to my '70. Maybe I'm overthinking it, or maybe I was just a bit burnt out, after hours of stripping all the ancillary parts out. Out of town this weekend (and driving at Laguna Seca on Monday!!), so I'll get a chance to attack it with fresh eyes next week.

I didn't pull the seats, but the console, heater hoses & valve, cables, and defrost tube are all off.

Thanks again.
Erik Miller
Concord, CA
1970 Datsun SPL311-29945, owned since '94
1970 Datsun SPL311-29524, rusty parts car
1967 Mustang, 428, 5 speed
1969 Camaro convertible, 327, auto
1981 VW Rabbit Truck, 1.6 turbo diesel
...Oh, and a daily driver.

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68DSU
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by 68DSU » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:44 am

It helps if you are less that 18 inches tall. I too took out the center console. I believe I also used a position where I put my butt on the seat back with my legs in the air and my head on the floor. It was unsightly, and uncomfortable but allowed me the best cramp free working position.
Rick
Constantly working on the Datsun whenever I get around to it.

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2mAn
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by 2mAn » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:18 pm

definitely need to flip yourself upside and throw yourself in the footwells...

I still want to take the cables off the heater box adjusters but with the dash in, I have no idea how Im going to do it?.. I dont think this is a total derail as it seems like relevant info
Simon
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mraitch
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by mraitch » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:04 pm

It's fiddly but essentially doable - just undo all stuff and it WILL come out. Check for the 'bullhorn' wear, if stiff - good idea to put it in a trash bag, add some vinyl 'protectant' and let it 'marinate'. Good idea to also have the 'radiator' checked while out - mine had pinhole leaks, fortunately covered by the hoses, but - you never know.
Biggest pain is aligning the bullhorns when replacing it all. Especially when stiff, whence the suggestion.
Peter Harrison
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FergO2k
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by FergO2k » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:56 am

Good call, clever trick Peter on keeping the bullhorn usable.
I cannot work under the dash without pulling seats, so do that all the time, makes working there much easier.
It does come out pretty easy, as most have explained, starting with engine and defroster cable attachments, then just work your way in. The cable actuated heater valve is probable frozen in one position, so it will need a "marinade" as well.
Fergus O
69 2L, SUs (driver, not susceptible to polish)
02 Tacoma 4 door
Los Alamitos, CA

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funkaholik
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by funkaholik » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:56 pm

Thanks again for the tips on how to get this bugger out. Once I removed the 2 bolts from the engine side of the firewall, it came right out. Duh. Guess I was tired that day.

Wow, this thing is dirty and disgusting. The bullhorn was in pieces already, luckily I have a brand new one in a bag, somewhere...

Image
Erik Miller
Concord, CA
1970 Datsun SPL311-29945, owned since '94
1970 Datsun SPL311-29524, rusty parts car
1967 Mustang, 428, 5 speed
1969 Camaro convertible, 327, auto
1981 VW Rabbit Truck, 1.6 turbo diesel
...Oh, and a daily driver.

greydog
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Re: Heater box removal

Post by greydog » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:00 pm

Nice job Erik!
Dan
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