Heater Core Restoration w/Photos - RX7Club.com - Mazda RX7 Forum

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Heater Core Restoration w/Photos

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Old 06-12-16, 09:56 PM
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Heater Core Restoration w/Photos

After going through the archives and not finding anything similar to this 3rd gen post:
Heater Core Restoration w/Photos

Here's a similar pictorial walkthrough of the heater core on an FB.

I decided this was necessary after finding a mouse nest in the core. Darn things made taking the dash out to disinfect everything sort of a must... every vent, the fan blower, carpet and all soft goods have to be steam cleaned too! yay.

Here’s what I used for the foam with McMaster part numbers.
8785K17 High-Temperature Silicone Foam Sheet, Adhesive-Back, 3/16" Thickness, 12" X 12", Ultra Soft
8647K22 Weather- and Abrasion-Resistant Foam Sheet, Blended EPDM, Ultra Soft, 3/16" Thickness, 42" WD, 1' LG
93695K54 Oil-Rst Fire-Retardant Blended Buna-N Foam, 50 ft. Adhesive-Back Strip, 1/4" Thickness, 1/2" WD


The only gripe I have with McMaster is they determine shipping costs after the order is made and the sizing on the boxes they use is say… interesting. Not a big deal at all though.

I decided to use high temperature silicone for the flaps that would be near the core and oil resistant foam elsewhere instead of the ones used in the 3rd gen thread. The adhesive backed strip is a little weird, it is very light and airy and once stuck to a surface the foam rips apart instead of the adhesive peeling off. I ended up using lacquer thinner to clean up the old foam, just pour it on and wipe away. It helps to have a shop vac handy to clean up the eraser boogers and old foam dust.







To take the two halves apart, pop off the spring clips all the way around, including a tiny one at the top. Easiest way to do this is with a flat head into one side of the clip and pry towards the center. To pop the lever arms off the rods I used an adjustable wrench and a flat head screw driver.

Then unscrew all of the lever arms that hook up to the flaps.


Unscrew the copper tubing mounts.

Last edited by Pele; 06-15-16 at 01:04 PM. Reason: User Request - Rearranging images
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Old 06-12-16, 09:57 PM
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Once done, the whole thing can be pulled apart. It is a pretty tight fit on the core itself, there is a good amount of resistance.











Last edited by Pele; 06-15-16 at 01:08 PM. Reason: User Request - Rearranged Pictures
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Old 06-12-16, 09:58 PM
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Once apart, I cleaned up all the surfaces, straightened the fins and soaked the entire core in Lysol overnight. Some of the mouse debris was not able to be sucked up or blown out... so disinfecting it was the only thing I could think of.


That blue stuff is the Lysol. The orange scented stuff smells odd.

Baffles cleaned up, ready for foam.


Made some templates out of paper (used whatever was handy). Dry fit, then glue time. The adhesive backed silicone foam stuck very well to the metal flap and pretty well to the clean plastic one. I used a good amount of jb weld on the plain black foam for the rest.



Flaps the next day after drying, looking pretty good.


Last edited by Pele; 06-15-16 at 01:10 PM. Reason: User Request - Rearranged Pictures
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Old 06-12-16, 09:59 PM
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These areas will have to be closely checked upon reassembly. The foam I used was a little thick and caused too much friction when the flaps were installed. I cut the thickness down and then sanded the surface smooth again. Both foams sanded reasonably well.


Reassembly




If I were to do it again, I would try and find a foam that has a thin dense foam layer (almost plastic) as a top layer with a low density backing similar to the top flap in the assembly originally. The black stuff I found will work well enough though. Otherwise I think everything came out pretty well. It will be much better than the mouse nest, foam dust, weird smell spewing thing it was before. For a future build where I am more concerned with getting everything exactly right, I would sand blast and powdercoat/paint all the metal parts and polish up the copper tubing... but this is going to be a driver.

Last edited by Pele; 06-15-16 at 01:24 PM. Reason: User Request - Rearranged Pictures
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Old 06-13-16, 12:31 AM
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Mods. Sticky this.
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Old 06-13-16, 01:28 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to document with pictures! Not an easy job to get out of the dash, but if you're going to do it right, you're showing the path!
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Old 06-13-16, 04:00 AM
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GREAT write up. Gawd-willing, I will never have to do this. Respect for taking it on!
many thanks for taking the time.

Stu Aull
80 GS
Alaska
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Old 06-13-16, 08:49 AM
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Nice! Good to see picks of pulling the heater core apart. Did you do the AC as well?
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Old 06-13-16, 10:40 AM
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Thanks. This car does not have an AC system at all, 1983 gsl... which brings up a weird thing about the car. It is gsl badged, haven't checked the vin but all the options seem right. The firewall, firewall sound deadener, heater blower fan and everything else I can find related to the climate system look to be a factory AC delete. All the plugs and ports and the heater blower electrical connections appear to be either done at the factory or done by someone after the fact very well to make it look like the AC evap was never there.

I am in the middle of the heater blower rebuild now. That one is just as straight forward, thread to come later.

I have an entire (minus the drier I think) AC system from another car. I eventually want to put that in a my 84 that I'll redo everything in a similar manner.

Another comment about the flaps. It would save a bit of effort if you leave the templates a little (0.125"-0.250") large on the edges. I had to go back anyways to clean up the edges to allow for clearance within the housing. The extra slop would mean less time spent trying to line up all the edges while the jb weld sets under those weights. Also, keep the amount of jbweld around the rods to a min if you can. I ended up with a bit too much and had to take out more foam thickness to get them rotating without much rubbing.

Darn typos above, would be nice if I could edit those, proof reading last night didn't work.

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Old 06-13-16, 11:44 AM
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Nice work. The VIN will not give model options. The only thing the VIN would tell would be the engine size and year.

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Old 06-13-16, 02:42 PM
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For those of you that prefer schematics. From the Series 2 Parts Catalog Body Index

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Old 06-14-16, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by swbtm View Post
Here;s what I used for the foam with mcmaster part numbers.
I freaking LOVE McMaster-Carr. Any obscure, random stuff you need, they've got it. Their catalog is even chock full of useful data including material properties, working pressures, temperatures, etc.

I'll archive this once you get the photos straightened out as discussed in our PM.
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Old 06-14-16, 04:03 PM
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Just need a step by step on removal and installation now.
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Old 06-15-16, 12:13 PM
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$100T2 Covered the dash removal well in this post:
https://www.rx7club.com/1st-gen-arch...4-85-a-478528/

I can agree with T2, being 6'3", laying upside down with my feet out the sunroof gets a bit awkward when your head and shoulder don't fit between the steering wheel and the trans tunnel....

There are a few differences between the series 2 and series 3 dash's, but most are straight forward enough. I can do an install picture walk through if needed.

I can also add to this thread some information on how to reinstall the heater core, pre fill (with distilled water) and bleed the coolant system when I get to it, if wanted.
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Old 06-15-16, 01:29 PM
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ARCHIVING THREAD - PM ME IF UPDATED.

As a side note, The original foam they use in cars sucks. My 2001 Dodge Ram, 2000 Ford Excursion, and 2003 Mazda MPV all have the foam crumbling on the air flapper doors.
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