Sunday, 9 March 2008

Changing heater - day 1

Almost 4 weeks ago I discovered that my heater had developed a bad leak. After getting all the parts together to do the repairs, I took a day off from work Friday to start the on the job. I prepared myself mentally for this one, as the dashboard and most of the interior has to come out of the car to get at the heater. To make work a bit easier I started with removing the seats. They are rather high sided and bulky so would only be in the way with the work.

After taking the seats and steering wheel out (only a 15 min. job) it was time to start in earnest with the removal of the dashboard. I had some worries here because when I built it up some 12 years ago I thought it a good idea to put the master switch in a rather inaccessible place. Luckily it turned out to be no problem to dismount the switch from the dashboard. So after only a few hours of spannering the dashboard was out of the car, enabling me to have a better look at the heater. It was leaking indeed!

It was now time to switch my attention to the engine bay to drain the coolant and disconnect the coolant hoses. Actually only a few jubilee clips to undo, but they are awkward to reach, sitting in a rather tight space between cylinder head and bulkhead. After half an hour’s fiddling, swearing and bruising my knuckles they were undone, soon after which the heater was out of the car;

As mentioned earlier I thought that the heater matrix was leaking but it wasn’t. A closer inspection revealed that it was the connection between coolant pipes and matrix after all. Actually a rather usual place for TR7 heaters to leak. Only in my case the leak was on the bottom of the lower connection and between matrix and seal. As a result the coolant leaking out, dripped into the heater itself, as a result of which there were no traces visible from the outside;

Because I already had another matrix with new seals ready I used this one for the rebuilt of the heater;

Rebuilding a TR7 heater is a fairly straight forward job as long as you remember the correct place for the various flaps and order to put the linkages back together. Also a small stock of pop rivets is essential. Luckily they could be purchased locally. So at the end of the first day the heater could be mounted back in the car;

Only thing that remains to be done is to put the dashboard back in, which shouldn't be to difficult!

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