Heater Assembly Restoration



The Heater Assembly

The Deluxe Heater components are located on each side of the firewall. The blower assembly and the core and valve assembly are located in the core case on the engine side of the firewall. The distributor duct, with the defroster equipment and the resistor assembly are located on the passenger side of the firewall. All diverter doors are located within the distributor. Air is drawn from the cowl vent plenum chamber, down through the heater core and is pulled by the blower, through the blower and into the distributor within the cab of the vehicle. The thermostatic valve is a manually set temperature control to limit core and outlet air temperature. The image below illustrates the heater assembly per the 1963 Chevrolet Truck Shop Manual.


Cleaning and Painting

Once completely disassembled all parts were media blasted and wiped down with a clean lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol to remove any media dust. As with the Bendix Hydrovac I elected to use Rustoleum from the can; a product readily available at most hardware stores and home centers. The primer was a standard light grey and I chose a gloss black for the final color. Given the inherent porosity of spray can paint, I applied 3-4 light coats of primer to each piece, allowing approximately 15 minutes between coats to allow the previous coat to partially dry and also to prevent running. Once the final coat was applied the pieces were allowed to dry for a minimum of 48 hours. Each piece was then lightly sanded using dry #400 wet-or-dry sandpaper and wiped down with a clean dry cloth. The color coats were applied in the same manner as mentioned above. Each part received 3 coats of gloss black paint. The images below show the main heater assembly parts following the painting.


Parts Order

I checked with my local NAPA store and they indicated they had a heater core for my truck. The image below show the old heater core and the new NAPA heater core. At first glance they appear to be the same. The core dimensions are identical as are the inlet and outlet tube diameters; however, the spacing between the tubes was too close. While the heater core fit into the heater box just fine, the plenum did not fit. The tubes would not clear the 2 angled slots in the plenum unless the plenum was filed to increase the size of the slot.


After I brought the heater core back to NAPA for a refund I sent a detailed e-mail to Classic Parts customer service department explaining the dilemma. I provided dimensions and also explained why the NAPA version would not fit for my application. The next day I received an e-mail indicating that the Classic Parts heater core would work for my truck. So, in addition to the heater gasket set, heater motor, and heater fan, I also ordered the heater core. The images below show the original heater core and the Classic Parts heater core.


Note that the diameter of both the inlet and outlet tubes is the same, and that only the end of one tube is flared to 3/4". Because of this, the heater core fit perfectly in the 2 angled slots mentioned above. It should also be noted that the 3/4" hose from the water pump connects to the upper 3/4" tube on the heater core and the 5/8" hose from the thermostat housing connects to the lower 5/8" tube on the heater core. The customer service I received from Classic Parts was excellent as was the quality of the products I purchased from them.


Reassembling the heater was pretty simple. I had purchased new screws for the whole project at the local hardware store and primed and painted them as well. Below are some images of the heater assembly in various stages of reassembly and also the completed project.





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