Heater Valve R&R

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Courtesy of Jeff Caplan

Edited 7/1/2019 to correct wrench size.

This is how I removed the heater valve fairly easily.

1) Remove the drivers seat from the car or move it back out of the way
2) Remove the panel under the steering wheel
3) Unbolt the steering assembly from the frame of the car
4) Disconnect all of the steering column wiring and remove assembly (Some people have said to just lower it)
5) Disconnect control arm (use a pick to push in the button)
6) Remove accordian heater vent that is located north west of the valve (see photo)
7) Slide yourself into the pedal area with a good shop light and a staight 9mm wrench
8) You should be able to slowly remove three (3) of the nuts

Photo by Jeff Caplan

Here's a view of the pipe side of the valve showing where the nuts go. Photo by Sean Steinman


See wrench photo below
9) To make this, start with a cheap 8mm wrench, a small vise, a leather glove and a torch. Bend the wrench so you get enough room to reach the M5 nut and also so it clears the rest of the stuff above the valve. Once you have heated it up and made your bend, DON'T just stick it in water. You might cause a crack. I used some oil in a bucket to cool it or let it sit for a while. You won't get much leverage with it but it will make your life easier.

Here's the wrench Jeff C made. It's 7/8" from the bottom of the open end to the bend. Photo by Jeff Caplan

Here's a wrench made by Sean. Photo by Sean Steinman

10) Use plumbers grease on both the new o-rings and pipes. I would agree with Don Daynes to put the new o-rings on the pipes first and then slide the heater valve back on.
11) I guess I have small fingers because I didn't have to glue the nuts to my fingers to get them back on. I simply placed the nut on the end of my finger and was able to get a turn on them. Then it was back to the two wrenches.
12) To get the vent back on, I worked the bottom in position first. This way I could push it down and get my fingers inside the vent to align it. Then the top slipped right in.

After pulling up all of the carpet, I found two holes in my floor boards. This photo shows just one of them. It should be noted that I pulled out the plastic heater vent that feed the back seats. I found antifreeze still in here after sitting for over a year. I strongly suggest you pull everything up and re-rust proof everything and dry out the padding.

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