March 2004 - Working and Driving

Part 1: Wheel Refinishing and Heater Box Rehab
Part 2: The Spring Arkansas Drive

The 15" ATS wheels I've had were finally refinished and painted in March. These are painted, not powder coated because if powder coat chips on wheels, it's next to impossible to touch up. There are 5 15" wheels (1 spare) and 1 13" version for the spare tire in the trunk. All of the wheels were bead blasted, then metal prepped, primered, painted and clear coated.
They look better than new, and it was relatively cheap compared to other methods. Needless to say I am happy! This photo below shows one of the wheel cap versions I am considering.
Here they are on the front. The car is about to be placed on the ground for the first time.
The wheels are on the back. Note the license plate holder - we removed the side lights and powder coated it. The euro bumper lights will be used instead.
Here is another view looking up with the car still on the wood brace.
The original gas cap was polished up nicely by simple rouge and buffing wheel. I like reusing the original stuff. This shows you they used good original materials. This gas cap sat inside with crud on it for a decade.
Heater Box. There are lots of how to's on heater boxes. I decided to show you what I did on the inside. The key is finding a good box to start with, mine was an 8 on a scale of 1-10 coming from a parts car.
The brass valve is hard to get off and the plastic part that it connects to on the heater box is broken off as seen in this picture. We have to get a new good used top.
Using a Dremel, you drill out the rivets.
Once you get the rivets out, you need these clips off.
Using a flat blade screwdriver, just pop them off.
The motor looks bad because they are exposed to the weather and everything else nasty. The wiring is simple to hookup however.
Once the lead is off, you expose the heater core. Inside, leaves and other things falling from the sky have entered the box and are responsible for deteriorating the foam on the baffles.
Set the lid with the fan aside, and remove the two rubber gaskets which fit around the heater box pipes. They are shot!
The heater core should come right out. Take it to a radiator shop and have it boiled out. Note the foam gasket around the outside is shot.
A view of the back of the heater core.
After you have a good heater core top, remove all the old gasket material with a putty knife.
This is the top with blower motor removed. I have installed the new rubber gaskets for the heater pipe inlet and outlets.
I chose to cover the top with rubberized undercoating. This will protect the plastic down from other contaminants.
The heater core is back from cleaning. I have used modern rubber gasket materials used for home weatherstripping instead of foam. This is firm and holds the unit nice and snug inside the box.
Another view showing the damper cables.
The dreaded, expensive Behr fan. It has a Bosch motor, and it has a new fan blade. Cost $180.00
Once installed, I used a 12v power supply to check to see if any fan blades hit. They did. Adjust accordingly until you have no rattles... it's an awful sound. This beats doing it when it's in the car again!
Ok, instead of foam, I used thick cork gasket material which should hold up better over time.
Once dry, use a razor blade to cut to size.
Soon I'll put it all together and finish the install.
NEXT: -> Spring 2004 Arkansas Drive



eXTReMe Tracker