I am on call this weekend, so I try to stay close to home in case I get any calls. Luckily the work has been slow so I've had plenty of time to work on the Jeep.
After the shackle rebuild, I had time to burn on more Jeep stuff. I decided to pull the heater box.
Removing the box was the hard part. I removed 4 nuts from the firewall, including the one behind the valve cover. That one nut took 15 minutes to get off.
After all that the box would not come loose. It appeared to be hanging by one more bolt. I ended up pulling the battery plus 3 or 4 more screws in hopes of finally getting the thing out, but no luck.
It seemed like it was hanging by something in the middle. When I pulled on the box I could hear a groaning metal sound. I didn't want to break anything so I kept backing off. After going around and around with this and having no luck, I finally tried pulling on it with one arm while peeking under the hood with my head. At this point I realized that it was hanging where the heater core pipes come through the firewall. Knowing this, I then pulled harder and lifted up and the thing finally came down after probably an hour of work.
It was full of dust. Here it is right after I pulled it.
This is the top of the unit:
Here's the back (the part that goes up against the firewall):
Here's the front (faces the passenger seat):
You can see the buildup of dust on the top:
Here we see more pine needles. My jeep is full of them and I find them during almost every project. We also see an emory board or a popsicle stick:
This is the rear. You see the blower motor. The small pipe is a drain pipe that goes through the firewall:
The heater core, which had been disconnected, was corroded:
Another interior shot:
The bottom of the heater core was green. This explains why the PO disconnected the heater; it was probably leaky:
This is the area where the heater core sits. The whole housing is plastic except the back which is metal. Here you see the inside plastic which looks pretty clean except for the debris:
After disassembly, I had a lot of screws and parts:
Here's the area under the dash where the heater box was located. You can see the metal housing of the computer:
I washed the main parts in soap and water. The plastic housing cleaned up well. The rear panel is all metal. I refinished that in the usual manner and it's hanging up to dry as I type.
The blower motor is on its last leg. It turns slow and makes a buzzing noise. I will probably have to replace it.
One other part of this project that remains undone is to remove the control knobs and lubricate the wires. Also, one of the knobs pulls off the metal shaft so I will perhaps use loctite or some other adhesive on it. A set of new knobs and control wires is not cheap, as is the case with most CJ parts.
One parting shot:
How did the heater core test?
I know two radiator shops in town that I drive by regularly. I'll see what it's going to cost to get this thing repaired.
One final idea:
I dislike the fact that a heater core is always heated, especially in the summer. I'm pondering setting up a 3-way ball valve system so I can shut off water flow to the heater core when I don't need it (10 months out of the year). I would probably use brass ball valves, but I imagine the cost would be high.