I finally have started putting back in the heater assembly.
I had trouble rolling the coolant tubes into their plastic "mail slot" on the firewall. I found that the new think 1" gasket with 2 holes in it (goes around the heater core tubes to seal the area from below) was too "big." I pulled it off the tubes and the box rolled into position much easier. I'll slide the gasket on the tubes from below later, when reconnecting the heater hoses.
Remember to slide back on all your vacuum hoses - when it's not bolted tight. You'll never get your hands back in there to slide the vacuum hoses on the heater & AC valves. with it bolted down. Unbolt, roll it back (again)...
Bolts are around the perimeter: 2 bottom bolts (6 o'clock, corner at 3 o'clock), 1 RT top bolt. The LT top stud passes through the firewall, just poking out under the wiper pie pan area.
Color striped/coded hoses are hard to read, too. Age discolors them, so red looks pink, and tan looks yellow which complicates the matter. Here's a tip: For hoses, it's way easier to think this way: in pairs.
Pink and Tan go to the valve in the middle.
Red and Blue to the (closer to the driver)
Orange leads to kick-panel valve.
Connect vacuum lines, and don't forget the metal flapper wire line on top.
I was told to use a cut bicycle tire over the heater core outlet pipes. Couldn't keep those sealed. But I capped one tube off and using about 3 others combined to scale down and fit over the other tube. Connected to a hand pump, I put it up to about 15psi- no need to really go much more. If it doesn't leak, it's good.
Mine checked out fine. I did this twice, because I'll never, ever do this job again.
Even if someone paid me 2K to do their's, I wouldn't do it. After all that I know now, it's so true: GM built the Vette around the heater core.
I finished the whole heater control/dial thing last night. I can't believe it- it's looks straight forward, but it was a major pain to do. To make things worse, the darn orange dial fell out- it broke. Brand new Repo piece - it just slides on the threads with 3 clips (about a 1/4")- and it breaks. Now my dial just sits there!
Swapping the new faceplate and wheels is more involved than instructions say, and I still can't tell which is top/off or bottom/off?
I can read the #s the are around the vacuum perimeter- I call it the vacuum clock wheel because the numbers go around in a circle, like a clock. But every click you do, the back lever moves, but there's no "pointer" to what number.
Basically, I can't tell what vacuum line is being selected. I have the assembly manual, but it's confusing.
Then, after putting together all new pieces in the top plate, the plastic gear selector plates that slide with the shifter- you scratch 'em sliding them in place.
I wish I would've just bought a brand new cover plate ($300) but i was trying to be original.
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