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Discussion Starter · #241 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 2

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Many hours later. It's really tedious butt stitch welding 18 gauge without it warping.

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Now all the welds, at least on the engine bay side need to be dressed off.

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More countless hours.

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I only had to dress off the lower right side of the welding as the interior air con plenum went up against the weld. The rest of it can stay as once it's assembled no one will see it. Plus in just this one piece I have 12 hours in it, I'm kind of over it and need to move on.

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In case anyone is wondering what tools I used to pull this off, here they are. The flat shiny wheel on the angle grinder is a shrinking disk. Even though I tried my best to fixture this section in tightly before welded there was a small section above the smaller second hole from the left that oil canned. The shrinking wheel took that right out and the entire sheet is flat and true. The rest are self explanatory. I will say this, that miniature belt sander is worth its weight in gold.

Next will be to install the left front piece then I can go into both side cowl openings and start rustproofing before I put the side cowls back on.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #243 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 3

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The next piece of the factory air con firewall is the side front panel. The hole is substantially larger for the heater core (factory A/C) than a heat only car. This is the dry fit up to make sure all the panels play nicely together and adjust any metal as necessary.

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I want to weld that front panel in with the side cowl piece fitted as it will ensure it will fit later on when its turn comes.

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It's especially important to get the front panel mated to the lower front panel properly otherwise the side cowl will not fit later on and that'll be a pretty poor show.

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Both the existing firewall and the new piece are cleaned and primed with weld through primer on both sides.

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Welded and smoothed out.

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I grabbed one of the heater core plenums to double check the holes line up between the two sheets of metal forming the face of the firewall since this plenum extends over both of them.

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The holes line up just fine with the plenum on both newly grafted in firewall pieces. Now I can start to treat the seams inside the cowl area for rust prevention.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #244 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 1

Due to bad weather we are taking a break from the body and working on the seats inside. My better half has been stripping and painting the parts for one of the bucket seats and it's a good time to start putting it back together with new stuff.

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On the left is the old drivers side bucket for comparison. Now the original interior is blue, but it's getting changed to Palomino. On the right is the passenger side seat bottom frame cleaned, painted and ready to go.

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The seats are just fried. This was a southern car all it's life and interior is just baked. Really baked. The bottom seat foam was brick hard and just crumbled to the touch.

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This is the bottom part of the lower seat bottom support pieces. There's just enough left to make a pattern. But first the two smaller rods on the left originally had a protective cover over them and one is still kind of there. This is enough to make a pattern.

Wood Beige Flooring Floor Couch


I have fresh burlap and Dacron for this.

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I just used some Dacron for the metal rod cozy's.

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It works for me :)

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The next part is remaking the burlap bottom area with the metal rods inserted.

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What we done is sew seams the correct length so the metal rods have something to clip into.

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Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #245 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 2

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The next problem encountered was unfolding one end of the metal rods so we can insert them into the burlap. The rods are hardened steel and further work hardened when originally folded. Just unbending them and they will break. This means each of the 18 rods has to be annealed first.

Turned out to be pretty easy, just monotonous.

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My better half measured, folded and ironed the pleats into the burlap to make stitching the rods in the burlap easier.

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Rectangle Beige Wood Road surface Flooring


Wood Road surface Flooring Floor Rectangle


Yuppers more tedious work for one small piece of the seat.

Rectangle Wood Road surface Flooring Floor


Done. This took quite some time to remake this.

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First we attached the part number tags back on.

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This is the layout for the reinforced burlap sheet and the 4 metal additional support rods that get installed next.

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All hog ringed in.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #246 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 3

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These are new foams, they have sat for so long they started to discolour.

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The bottom seat is solid foam. The top back foam is hollowed out.

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That's how the old seat originally looked.

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You do need to reuse the wire from the old seat bottom in the new.

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It took some stretching but it's on there.

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We still need to poke the holes for the fulcrum pins but after the new covers had a bit of time to stretch and settle down.

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It almost looks to nice to use.

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Here's some of the seat trim that's been already painted from blue to a metallic palomino and some of the trim has a more brown non-metallic colour as two tone.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #248 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 4

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We put the seat bottom in the sun room to help relax the covering.

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Next up is the seat back.

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Making the burlap reinforced back.

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Outerwear Sleeve Rectangle Grey Cap


This piece covers the back springs.

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This piece covers the top of the seat.

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The part number tags are attached.

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The back burlap is attached along with the long vertical rods.

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The top burlap sections gets attached.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #249 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 5

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Next is to remove the decorative emblem backing plate from the old seat.

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New emblem.

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Installed.

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The original retainers are bigger than the reproductions, so I used the originals.

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New foam back.

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Now the top side of the seat back foam has grooves but these are for 1965 seats. So we'll need to add channels for the '66 width.

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You can see the original wider channels in the old seat foam. A brand new sharp box cutter knife worked well.

Boat Bag Wood Gas Tints and shades


These old rods in the old seat cover need to be installed in the new seat covers. Now these rods were hog ringed to the vertical rods through the old foam. The old foam is very thin and reinforced to allow the hog ring to penetrate, however the new foam isn't so forgiving and not reinforced so we didn't take it to thin. This however doesn't let us hog ring it. So my better half came up with an ingenious alternative to a hog ring.

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She used heavy gauge safety wire to make effectively a long hog ring.

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She pushed the heavy stiff safety wire through around the rod in the seat cover, through the foam and around the vertical rods affixed to the seat back springs.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #250 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 6

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The wire was twisted then cut and bent over. Both rows were done on the seat back, then the seat cover was pulled over the rest of the frame and hog ringed.

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It really takes two people to pull this on tight and hog ring it.

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The wire used is 0.051" stainless steel safety wire.

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Next is to assemble the seat back panel.

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This is the backside and the old colour still sprayed with some samples of paint we were experimenting with.

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The outer bright work trim slides down and lips on the edge of the seat back panel. It's screwed in first then clipped.

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Clip retains the inner portion of bright work to the steel window.

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Completed seat back panel.

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The next portion is to bend down the little spikes on the back of the seat frame holding the edge of the cover on.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #251 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 7

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The seat back is ready for the back panel.

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Next is to locate the screw holes for the retainer brackets.

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Installed.

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The top slides down the retainer clips and then lips over the bottom and is screwed in.

Footwear Hood Beige Grey Comfort


Finally coming together. That back panel is pretty taught against the seat material and frame for just hooks holding the top in.

White Grey Bag Beige Fashion accessory


The lower trim pieces go on next.

Couch Comfort Wood Flooring Hardwood


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The colour temperature of the soft white bulbs in the house play havoc with the true colour so I intermix flash shots for a more realistic colour rendering index.

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The back seat rest pegs are installed. The seat back is done for the moment.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 8

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Focusing on the seat bottoms we cut the reliefs for the fulcrum rods protruding from the sides.

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The piece of metal lower trim can go on next.

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Next piece is the rear centre back trim.

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The other lower side trim panel gets the bright work attached to it. There is only bright work on one side because the side facing the centre floor console doesn't get any.

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For some reason the bright work here didn't have any clips, just screws.

Plant Wood Flooring Floor Glass bottle


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The bottom is ready to have the back attached.

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This takes two people. You have to pull the back lower arms apart to get it over the fulcrum rods. I'm surprised they did not use shoulder bolts for this.

Continued in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #253 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 9

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I did use some clear silicone grease with PTFE in it for the fulcrum.

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The rolls pins to keep the seat arms from coming off, although from the amount of pressure it took to spread the arms I would find that unlikely.

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The decorative trim snaps on next.

Comfort Chair Tints and shades Composite material Auto part


Comfort Tableware Floor Rectangle Flooring


Gas Electrical wiring Font Circuit component Electronic component


The seat tracks can go on next.

Aircraft Toy Aviation Airplane Event


The seat tracks were greased with the same clear silicone with PTFE so it doesn't stain anything should it touch the seat cover or paint work.

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The lower plastic trim goes on next.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #254 ·
Front Seats Restoration Part 10

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The other side trim.

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The last bits are the seat back peg rest pads to go on.

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Now the seat back can rest on the seat bottom.

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This is the seat adjustment knob and these seem to be a snap together forever variety as you pretty much have to mangle it to get it off. I see Scott Drake remakes these, but I rather have a shiny metallic piece with a set screw. I shall have to see what I can find for this.

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Aside from the knob this front seat bucket is done.

I've never seen a small bucket seat with so much trim and other pieces. This one bucket seat took many solid man hours of labour to refurbish. One more to go.

More to come.

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Discussion Starter · #255 ·
General Body Repair and Modification

I know this thread jumps around a bit however whilst some projects are in process, others are tackled to save time.

In this portion I am tackling some general body problems.

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This is the transmission tunnel hump and there's the hole for the plug to adjust the band on the Borg Warner automatic transmission equipped cars. Also since this was a dealer installed under dash air conditioning car, others have drilled holes for the condensate drain and rear mounting brace. All this needs to be filled in.

This car body will now be mated to a chassis that utilizes a fully rollerized C6 so this isn't needed as the C6 band adjustment is on the other side and down lower.

I could have just used a rubber plug for these holes but since the large factory centre console is going over this I didn't want to take a chance on a plug falling apart or falling out of the hole and having water ingress under the carpet.

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It's just a quick patch, since it's all hidden I'm not too concerned with how it looks under sound deadener and a centre console. It's water tight and that's all that counts.

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This was another problem and unfortunately i didn't take a before picture. But there was a stamping tear in the roof. It was covered originally by seam sealer. So it was welded shut.

Wood Automotive tire Line Composite material Building material


This the passenger side front lower rocker and it has two noticeable dents where the lower rivets go to hold the rocker retainers. These need to be pulled back out. They do not have to be 100% perfect because it's getting rocker trim, but the metal must be moved so the plastic clip doesn't break whilst installing it nor distort it to prevent it holding the rocker trim on properly.

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Close up of one dent.

Water Wood Fluid Gas Composite material


And the other. They both are pushed in a fair amount.

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The Elenco dent puller is perfect for this type of work. For those unfamiliar with this, it has the temporary welded in tip that fuses the wand to the metal with a built in slide hammer. Once you move the metal, you simply give the wand a twist and it separates from the metal you were attached to pretty cleanly. Makes pulling metal very very easy and fast. Plus this machine has attachments where for large areas you can spot weld cheap unplated washers and use them to pull in multiple places. It also has an attachment to weld on the trim pegs around windscreens and rear windows. I've already used this feature.

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Took longer to set up the machine and plug it in that it did to repair this area.

As for the rest of the body shell really the only places left are the rear quarters once the firewall and cowl are finished.

Next is more work to the firewall and general interior body rust proofing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #256 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 4

Back to the firewall and cowl.

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I removed the door nut plates and scoured the rest of the metal areas inside the drain area to prep for sealing paint.

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These are the door nut plates for this side.

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Next was the first round of POR 15. This was all brush painted on. The goal here is to get the POR 15 into all the seams to seal them. If paint is in there and covering the steel, then oxygen can't get in.

Wood Paint Gas Font Art


Next up was using the Eastwood's frame coat with a stray. I find this does a slightly better job of covering steel than POR 15. So any gaps left behind I think this does a pretty good job of sealing. Also I used this in the cabin area to seal all the bare steel left from assembly to stop any further corrosion.

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It's a terribly messy thankless job. But it must be done if you want to daily drive these cars and reduce the worry about future rusting.

When I was prepping the interior roof structures for this by blowing them out. The old field smell came right back out again. There didn't seem to be any flotsam in the upper rails but that smell brought back some old memories of this turd. This car body has been in this reduced state for quite some time and that smell was still lingering in the cracks and crevices. This should be the end of this smell in this body shell. There's simply no where else for it to hide anymore.

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Steering part Steering wheel


Just to rehash, this is what this car looked and smelled like (if you had smell-a-vision). It was sitting in a field in an Indian Reservation for decades with a broken drivers side window.

You can plainly see the massive under dash evaporator still in the car.

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Between the hot desert sun, occasional rain the rodent motel this was you can imagine the smell of this........not good.

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This is such a messy job and I really don't see many people, even shops tackling the seam rust. I always seem to see just a spray of paint over all this with no attention to the fine details. Yuppers it's a mess and it's more work to sand all the drips back out for the final top coat in here but I feel it's worth it to have the hidden layer of protection. You have to keep in mind, only the rocker tunnels and some of the rear panels are galvanized, most of the body is not.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #257 ·
Firewall Replacement (Conversion to Factory Air Con) and Rust Prevention Part 5

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As you can see everywhere I can I give it a good douching of sealer.

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I then gave it another coat of POR 15 in the cowl area favouring heavily the seams.

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I'd almost say it's darn near water tight without the seam sealer.

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Speaking of which, it will go on next.

Since all this needs time to cure, I decided to start on the HVAC plenums in the interim.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #258 ·
HVAC Plenums Part 1.

I want to preface all these dealings with the 3rd gen (1965-1968) factory HVAC system with it's not all that and a bag of chips when compared to the 4th gen (1969-1974) systems. These 3rd gen systems are overly complicated, more difficult to diagnose and you cannot get dehumidified warm-hot air to the windscreen or out the main dash vents.

I'll go into this more later once I really get into the thick of it with this system. I will say this, when properly working the heater works well (as long as your using the 195 stat) and the air conditioner really works well on hot desert days.

There are three separate plenums to these factory HVAC systems. As a side note for heater only cars there are only two plenums.

I'm going to start with the heater core plenum, since it's the smallest and easiest to manage.

Purple Wood Rectangle Electric blue Font


I have three to chose from and yes I did stock up on these now rare and expensive parts. As these cars age the plastics just become increasingly embrittled. All three of these are from Southwest cars. I'll go through these and pick the best parts to make one good one for this gal 500 XL.

Grille Wood Grey Rectangle Gas


Even being a Southwest car doesn't preclude corrosion problems.

Purple Wood Bedrock Grass Landscape


And this plastic housing is just falling apart as you touch it. So this one can go instantly back as I'm not going to bother with it. I tackle the remaining two and see what's what when disassembled.

Motor vehicle Purple Wood Gas Rectangle


This is the original one off this gal 500 XL.

Paper towel Purple Wood Material property Bumper


And this one I pulled from a car in the junkyard. Actually we took the entire HVAC system off it.

Purple Tablecloth Luggage and bags Textile Bag


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When you strip the foam off, you'll find more hidden corrosion and it goes downhill from there.

Purple Rectangle Cosmetics Violet Wood


That date indicates July 13, 1964. Tis original.

This is a good time to discuss heater cores for these 3rd gen HVAC systems.

Rectangle Shipping box Packing materials Wood Package delivery


There are two different one for factory HVAC (air conditioned) cars. The cores are physically the same, only one has the same 5/8" tubing for inlet and outlet and the other has 5/8" and 3/4" tubing. I chose to use the core with the same 5/8" tubing because I just bought a big roll of 5/8" black silicon heater hose and it does the entire car.

I have seen aluminum ones offered but they look smaller and probably a nightmare to get to seal. Not less forgetting brass/copper cores will simply last longer from a corrosion perspective.

Fortunately I bought all the HVAC stuff for all three old Fords we have ('66 LTD, '66 gal 500 XL and the '68 XL) a long while back. I'm glad I did, because now what you can find available it 2-4 times the original price. It's all insane if you ask me.

Bedrock Grey Gas Concrete Geology


Back to the plastic housings. The plastics are dying. I walnut blasted these and in some areas the plastic was just sloughing off. This can still be saved, but this means sealing and strengthening what's left.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #259 ·
HVAC Plenums Part 2

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It may be hard to see, but the plastic is heavily pitted and in one area went right through.

Hood Automotive tire Asphalt Motor vehicle Grey


The other plenum was in much better shape but still had areas where the plastic just came off in droves.

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Table Dishware Tableware Wood Drinkware


The best solution I've found to date is simply build them back up and seal them with fiberglass resin. It's a messy, stinky job, but does seem to work and will prolong the life of these plastics.

Tableware Office equipment Table Gas Plate


Here you can see just how pitted that one plenum was. That will need several brushed on layers.

Motor vehicle White Automotive tire Bumper Wood


The heater core retainer plates didn't fare much better when stripped. One has a small hole and the other, well, you can see for yourself.

Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive tire Automotive exterior Wood


After some cutting, welding in patch steel and giving it a quick grind (not going for looks just structural integrity), these are ready for paint.

Combat vehicle Hood Automotive tire Self-propelled artillery Vehicle


Here's the better of the two plenums after a couple rounds of fiberglass resin inside and out and test fitting for a sanity check.

Circuit component Asphalt Electrical wiring Cable Gas


A couple of years ago I would normally just toss the old parts, even if they were still OK. Now with the parts shortage and poor quality of replacement parts I will keep the old cores as spares. However I will clean them out first. I gave each a good flush with the hose, then boiled some hot vinegar on the stove and filled each one and let them set for 20 minutes. Then flushed again. Oh my the crap the came out.

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This was after several flushes after mild acetic acid treatment. One was still spewing rust from what I can only imagine is the engine block.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #260 ·
HVAC Plenums Part 3.

Wood Bumper Gas Engineering Metal


Time to assemble the heater core plenum.

Table Wood Bumper Desk Gas


Bolted the tube strain stop back on.

Hood Grille Bumper Wood Gas


Reused the old foam on the new core. It still was in serviceable condition.

Wood Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Flooring


I used some generic foam to keep pressure on the core and keep it from moving. Just have to get creative with some of this.

Electronic instrument Office equipment Audio equipment Tableware Space bar


Everything is sealed and snug.

Grille Motor vehicle Wood Bumper Automotive lighting


Now this isn't pretty, but it is functional and you're not going to see it when it's installed. This is EPDM foam seal and it's 3/4" tall. There is a place that sells new foam for these. That place is Detroit Muscle technologies. However,,,,, they list the foam they use in this plenum as 1/2" tall. I have experimented with 1/2" foam and it will not seal all around. You have to use 3/4" tall and here's why; the plenum goes over layered sheet metal on the firewall, the firewall isn't not perfectly flat and nor is this plenum. The stack up of tolerance in some areas will lead to gaps with a thin foam.

This generic foam works really well as I've tested several.

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Grille


Fitment.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire


There's no gaps in this.

Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Auto part


Here's the other heater core plenum, it could use a few more coats of resin and sanding, but it's strong and going to last. This is just going on the parts car to get it out of my hair and is just a spare.

Wheel Tire Motor vehicle Wood Automotive tire


There's the rest of the HVAC plenums to chose from and refurbish, plus other odds and ends I dug out. I have loads more if need be.

More to come.

Cheers
 
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