In this video, we're going to show
that hearer boxes can be run effectively with an aftermarket header system. Currently
this 1967 Beetle has an EMPI ceramic coated header, and is running with a Fat
boy muffler and J-tubes. The owner wants to swap the J-tubes for factory heater
boxes, so follow along with us as we get them installed.
To begin, we block the front wheel,
jack up the rear of the car and set it up on jack stands. Underneath the car,
we can see that the factory heater cables are both still in place, next to the
transmission, and intact. With the help of an assistant inside, operating the
right lever next to the E-Brake, the cables are working properly. Which means
we can start by removing the J-tubes. Remove the two nuts at the head, for each
left and right J-tube. Loosen the bolts for the clamps for each tube at the
header. Slide each tube out of the header and off of the head, and remove the
old exhaust gaskets. The clamps can be reused with new gasket rings but in our
case we're going to install new clamp kits, so remove the old clamps as well.
With the J-tubes out of the way, we
can prep the new heater boxes for installation. Each heater box requires a
lever kit which will hook up the box to the cables that we just showed. The
lever kit consists of a lever which mounts to the box and operates the heater
flap, a spring clip which holds the lever to the box, a metal strap loop with
pin and clip, barrel nut, bolt, and a return spring. We also have a replacement
gasket and nuts ready for the installation of the box as well.
First, test fit the lever to the
box, inserting the open end of the lever on to the post on the flap, and then
onto the post on the box itself. Occasionally the post on the flap or on the
box, can be bent in shipping. The flap can be straightened as needed to get the
lever lined up. If the post on the box is out of alignment, a deep well socket
can be used to straighten it out. With the lever in place, set the spring clip
over the post on the heater box, and use a socket to tap the clip into place. The
spring clip holds the lever to the box. Slide the metal loop in place over the
lever, insert the pin through the loop and lever, and press the clip into place
to secure the pin. The barrel nut and bolt will be used later so don't misplace
them. The return spring is somewhat redundant as the flap mechanism has a
spring inside that forces the flap closed. Just the same we will install the
spring on the box on the opposite side of the lever.
The spring stretches from the small lever
to the attachment point on the box. This is one of the few different ways to
install the return spring, but it's typically the easiest as long as the heater
box has the provisions.
Back to the engine, before we
install the heater boxes, we need to install the heater channel tin to the
engine. There are two bolts for each heater channel that would normally be in
place that install from the top side of the engine, at the back side of the
rear cylinders. Because those bolts install at the rear we can't install them
without pulling the engine, or at least disassembling the top portion of the
engine or fan shroud. Just the same we can get them bolted to the engine and
the heater boxes and they will still be effective. The left side tin bolts up
to the engine case with two cylinder shroud screws. The right side channel tin
consists of two pieces, one sloped and one flat piece, which are bolted
together with shroud screws. Screw the two pieces together loosely and then
bolt them to the case with two shroud screws. As the tin is aftermarket there
may be some bending and fitting needed to get the tin to sit properly in place.
We use a pair of pliers to reshape the tin slightly around the exhaust ports
and they are good to go.
With the tins in place, install new
gaskets over the head studs and then slide new camp rings and exhaust seals on
the heater box. The heater boxes can now be set in place. Slide either box into the header
first, then over the exhaust studs. With the box in place at the head and on
the header on either side, thread the exhaust port nuts in place and tighten
them up. There are two tabs that stick off of each heater box, that attach to
the heater channels with shroud screws. In our case we had to bend the tabs on
the left heater box slightly, to line up with the tin, before we installed and
tightened the screws. On the right side, unscrew the outer
screw that holds the tin pieces together and bolt the tabs to the tin and then
tighten all the screws on the tin.
At the header connections, set the
exhaust clamps in place over the exhaust ring and seal and tighten the bolts
for the clamps. An assistant can be helpful to apply pressure to the header
pipe to ensure that the header is fully seated to the heater box while
tightening the clamps.
With both heater boxes installed the
heater cables can be hooked up after sliding new heater cable tube boots in
place, over the cables and onto the chassis tubes. Set the barrel nut in place
through the metal loop on the heater box, slide the cable into the barrel nut,
and make sure it is pulled tightly. Then tighten the bolt on the barrel nut to
secure the cable to the loop and the lever. Then have an assistant pull the
lever up and down to check that the cable is operating the lever and heater box
properly. Then repeat the process for the opposite side.
Now the heater hoses can be
installed from the heater boxes to the duct on the body. Because the car has a late model
engine, we had to trim about four inches off the hose which is quite simple. Unscrew
the plastic cap, pull out the insulation and spring, cut the hose, push the
insulation and spring into place and screw the cap back on. With the hoses cut
to length slide one into place at the body. Compress the hose down a bit, and
slide it into place on the heater box duct.
In the engine compartment we'll have
to change out the rear engine tin, as it doesn't have the holes for the fan
shroud hoses. There are usually two screws at the outer edges of the tin which
may be covered by the rear engine seal. In our case the screws weren't
installed so we just remove the nuts and bolts for the rear engine tin, near
the crank pulley, and pull the old tin out. We set the new rear engine tin in
place, pull the rear engine seal up and over the tin. Then install the outer shroud
screws as well as the screws, nuts, and bolts at the pulley tin.
If your car has them remove the fan
shroud plugs with whichever tool is appropriate. In our case the plugs were
just pressed in place so a large screwdriver works to push in an edge so they
can be removed. If your fan shroud doesn't have heater ducts, you'll need to
swap it out for a fan shroud with heater ducts to operate the heaters. Pull out
any dust and debris in the ports, and it isn't a bad idea to start the engine
up and let the fan blow out the ducts as well.
Once the shroud is cleared, new fan
shroud hoses can be installed from the shroud. Through the rear engine tin,
directed around the header pipe, and connected to the ducts on the heater
boxes. With the hoses test fit, pull the hose off the shroud, slide fresh air
hose seals onto each hose, and push the seal all the way down to the rear
engine tin. It isn't necessary to clamp the hoses in place but we add them for
a bit of security at the fan shroud and at the heater boxes. The rear of the
car can be jacked up and the stands can be removed, and that completes the
installation of the heater boxes. Now this car will have heaters, for our crisp
so-cal winter mornings.
Thanks for watching and be sure to
stop by JBugs.com for other tech videos tips, and of course all your vintage
Volkswagen parts and accessories.