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1978 LTD Landau
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Discussion Starter #1
I had a backflush done on my radiator/heater core, but even after the flush my defrost ports don't actually get hot on my Landau. However, my AC never has been operational as I hadn't refilled it since I bought the car almost a year ago. I'm curious about the HVAC in general on these older cars. When did Ford start making use of the AC to dry the air for defogging? That being said, is there a caveat to the older systems to make them clear the windows better?

Right now it instantly fogs up the windshield and it's almost better to hold my breath and just leave the vents off. :p

Otherwise, my only other option is to routinely start applying that anti-fog spray to the inside of my windows.
 

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When did Ford start making use of the AC to dry the air for defogging?
That being said, is there a caveat to the older systems to make them clear the windows better?
Right now it instantly fogs up the windshield and it's almost better to hold my breath and just leave the vents off. :p
First question is mid-1960s
Second is yes and ...... your heater core may be leaking and the fog is actually coolant mist or vapor from a pin hole leak in the core. Pressure test the cooling system and see if the pressure drops in a few minutes. If yes there is a leak.

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I would follow Actions advice
another thing if leaking don't use stop leak
It just gums things up
 

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1978 LTD Landau
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Discussion Starter #5
Say Action. If I were needing to replace the heater core, where do I access it? I keep reading conflicting info out on the net. Some say I gotta take apart the dash, others tell me it's accessible via the engine bay. Still keeping that project in mind as it only ever seems to get luke-warm and this thing had 30 yr old coolant in it when I originally bought it.
 

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MMMMM 30 year old coolant. That's a bad stew ya got there!

Heater core comes out a couple of different ways depending if you have AC or no AC.
Shop manual has best description of the proceedure.
I have heard some you have to remove part of the right inner fender
Hopefully that is not your situation

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Post a pic of the engine compartment with the area of focus towards the rear of the engine and mostly on the right or passenger side.

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Just going on memory
Some had a plate made by Ford
that was cover the right fender apron when cutting it out for replacing the heater cure
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Say Action. If I were needing to replace the heater core, where do I access it? I keep reading conflicting info out on the net. Some say I gotta take apart the dash, others tell me it's accessible via the engine bay. Still keeping that project in mind as it only ever seems to get luke-warm and this thing had 30 yr old coolant in it when I originally bought it.
Hello Davy,

It's been a while since I've seen one of these cars, but I do believe the HVAC system is similar to the 4th generation full size Ford ('69-'74). If you follow the heater hoses they should lead you right to the heater core which is practically in the middle of the engine bay along the firewall next to the evaporator housing. There should be a plate over the heater core, remove the screws and lift the heater core up and out.

A small word on when full size Fords started to use the refrigerated air to dehumidify the defrost, it wasn't until the 4th gens, 1969. The 3rd gens ('65-'68) factory air con does not dehumidify the heated defrost air. So on your car on the normal A/C or defrost setting pulls outside air first through the evaporator then that chilled air can be sent through the heater core for reheat depending on your HOT/COLD setting (aka blend door).

3rd generation full size Fords with factory air con don't even have a blend door and outside air comes first through the heater core not the evaporator. It is a sub-par system. Yours is much better.

Ewe 30 year old coolant. That '66 LTD I'm currently working also had 30 year old coolant in it. Not good. The sludge sitting in the bottom of the block was really bad. It had to be scooped out. As a word of advice you may wish to check the condition of the core plugs in the bottom of the block as that sludge piled up against them corrodes them from the inside out.

Good luck!

Cheers
 

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Does the system produce heat? Do you get hot air at the floor when in "heat" mode? Do you get lots of air on the windshield when set to "defrost"? If you get lots of air coming out of the vents, wherever it is supposed to, based on the mode selected, but no heat, then you likely have a heater core problem. If you get heat, but not where you want it, then the problem could be with ducts, dampers and blend doors in the HVAC box. A leaky heater core can result in coolant mist blowing out the vents, which will leave a sticky mess on the inside of the windshield. You'll see that stuff regardless of using defrost, or not. A real leaky heater core will often reveal itself by wetting the carpet below the glove box.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So to recap, it doesn't seem to be losing coolant (the new stuff after the flush btw) and I don't smell or notice any kind of leak inside. I do routinely get bits of foam seals from the vents blowing out, so I'll probably check that too when I'm in there. Something I hadn't thought about till last night was I also might just need to have the core cleaned up. This is before air filters and that thing might not be getting all that much air flow. Right now it just gets warm but doesn't get hot enough to really cut through ice build up or fog.

Nabbed a pic opposite of the drinker's side before I drove it to work...

46382


Probably should clean the engine bay up at some point. Likely when I pull the motor to rebuild but I'm terrified of getting water in the electrical system and causing a short. Hoping I wont be on a deadline to figure this out because I really REALLY, don't want to be forced to put this thing through the Minnesota salts for another Winter. Was already reaching out to a body shop to get a quote for re-shooting the original color but safety and drive-ability always come first.
 

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The heater core comes out from under the hood.
The red lines are the heater hoses
The green circle is around the cover.
Just above that area is the fresh air intake. The leaves are not helping
The heater core is in one of the highest locations of the cooling system. If there is air in the system or air gets in the system due to a pin hole in the heater core, the lack of heat may be a symptom. Hot air in the heater core does not transmit to the air blowing through the core. The core needs to be completely filled with hot coolant to shed it's heat into the passenger compartment.
As to water on the wires or wire harness, forgetaboutit! You could flood those wires with a garden hose for a short time and they will be OK. Just keep water away from the distributor cap, the alternator, that open air cleaner and that open crank case vent at the rear of the right valve cover. Even if water got onto the distributor cap at least you could remove and wipe dry the inside. Water in the alternator is difficult to dry and water in the engine is an issue.
If you want to give the wires, the harness and connectors some love, apply some conditioner to them. Heat and age will be far harder on them than any water from a garden hose.

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Inkednon-drinkers-side_LI.jpg
 

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As a post script and in honor of job creep, you might replace the heater hoses and some of the original tower clamps.
Restorers pay some coin for tower camps since they have the original design. In your case those are likely original. Which may mean the clamps and the hose is 40+ years old.
If that is the case, Dirty Harry had a question that might fit that situation. Do ya feel lucky?

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Discussion Starter #15
Honestly a lot more happy it's this vs a dash tear down. At least I've got my work cutout for me.
 

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It will be messy.
And your head may find a connection to the underside of the hood
In the end you may fix the blowing foam situation as well.

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