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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS!

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Guess a followup is in order.

Ran that autox on Oct 2, a fun, tiring day, learned a lot, The cooling system worked flawlessly so getting that back to seamless was accomplished. Temps were in the low 80s that day so not a good test of the A/C in the late afternoon return ride home. Being it's getting colder here playing with the A/C system to get max performance on a 90s day ain't going to happen till late Spring.
Happy with it now but made a few observations to address.

The original blower motor and fan were pulled and the fan blades cleaned. Voltage and ground circuits verified good. This done in hopefully increase vent air flow. All the doors in the suitcase were check for function and seal and are fine. The door and roof seals are all new. The Astro Ventilation vents in the door jamb by the strike were removed and cleaned and checked for function.
What is noticed is how much the center vent air flow is reduced when the windows are up and sealed. That sealed compartment should cause the blower motor to have an increased load on it, maybe slow down.
Examining the original blower motor a visual said the commutator looked serviceable, but being a dc motor with brushes isn't always a good indicator. Cleaning, polishing the armature wasn't a consideration. So on the shopping list is to see if a new motor can be sourced that may have been made on this continent. They are reasonably cheap, possibly a Delco replacement can be had. But more than likely everyone selling a motor sells the same motor, just a different colored box.

So A/C project is put to bed for the Winter. Have already had to use the heater several times.

Regarding the H pipe for the cooling system bypass, DONE, installed and being evaluated. The Dart engine blocks don't have that 3/8" hole in the block at the right side of the water pump. On an OEM SBC that 3/8" hole is present and supplies coolant to the inlet side of the pump when the thermostat is closed and the heater valve is closed. That the 3/8" hole allows coolant to circulate within the heads and block during engine warm up.
With no 3/8" hole in the Dart block for years I've run a thermostat with three 3/16" holes and a 1/4" OD pipe from the rear of the intake which is close to equals the flow of that 3/8" hole used for stock bypass coolant feed.
The downside to all those holes in the thermostat is engine warm up is slowed because of all the bypass coolant is now coming from the radiator unless the heater valve is open. At that time you still have a lot of cold coolant from the rad feeding the water pump.
Now the thermostat only has a small 1/8" hole drilled in it to vent the chamber under the thermostat, a normal SBC mod. The 1/4" tube plumbing is still bringing coolant from the back of the left and right cyl heads to thermostat housing. The new H pipe is installed between the 5/8"and 3/4" heater hoses and has a 1/2" crossover pipe (3/8" ID) and is now supplying bypass coolant to the pump inlet when the thermostat is closed and the heater valve is closed. And is supplying coolant even when the engine is hot.

Have had the car out 4 times for long hard runs "around the block" and out on the highway at 60 mph and system seems to maintain the same temp once warmed up. Looks like a win-win so far. For 15 years dealt with that problem with this Dart block. Just surprises me i didn't think of doing the H pipe prior.

When the system was drained to install the H pipe and all new heater hoses it was empty with the exception of the heater core and of course the engine blocks low points. The new vacuum coolant fill tool is the cat's meow. You draw down a vacuum in the cooling system. Let it sit with 25" of vacuum on the gauge for 15 minutes or so and that lets you know you don't have a leak somewhere. Connect the filler hose to your bucket of antifreeze and suck in the coolant.
Filling the Dart block/Stewart water pump combo and getting trapped air out of the pump have been a problem from day one, 15 years ago. Once the air is out the combo works great. This vac fill tool is so easy to use and solved that problem, just plug and play, done.

Will stick a new blower fan motor in while you can still buy a good one. Cooling system and A/C and also the new electric fan controller all seem to be back up and running fine now. Soon time to move onto the next new project.
Bob

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Bob, When I replaced my heater core in my 86, I replaced the blower motor and the air flow was amazing afterwards. It's an old blower motor now anyway!!


Leo Paugh
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Leo i went ahead and just ordered a new Delco from Rock, it was the best deal i found. There seems to be a lot of our blower motor/wheel, 15-80213, available in Delco right now, Ebay is flooded with them. Supposedly made in Canada, I hope.

When i did the door window motors a little while back, used Delco there too. When you dissect the old motors the contamination of the commutator by the gearbox grease was a major reason for the old motor's slower speed. On the blower motor the bushing sits above the brushes with a oiled wick felt.

Will run both the new and old motors on the bench before installing the new one. Hoping the new motor spins faster.
Bob

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thumbs


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Another update of the A/C- heater progress.

The new Delco, 15-80213 ordered last Thurs showed up on Sat morning, and Made in Canada. With both the new and old original on the bench ran both at 12vdc, the new blower was notably a little faster spinning. Although slightly weighing less than original the quality was very good, appears near identical and had no regrets installing it.

Installed it Sat afternoon, no testing done. Sun morning there was supposed to be a cars and coffee at 9 am, so we headed out, low 50s and needed the heater to keep the toes warm. This was also testing for the new water pump bypass circuit now being feed by the H pipe between the heater hoses. Needed to see what if any effect that H would have on the cabin heat. Can say no noticeable change, tons of heat now with a new blower. If fact it worked so good turned the fan to low and still making tons of heat. So started to reduce the heat via the control, then reduced some more, then some more and now on COLD the still cranking heat. Hmmmmm.

Monday dropped the glove box out of the way and found the pivot pin on the plastic blend lever was broken. At first didn't notice the cause of the pin breaking, but it was because the attachment to the housing of the cable had broke, the angle of the cable changed putting extreme side pressure on the lever pin,snapped it off.
Both the lever and cable need replaced now. Mike's Monte has them on their way already.
https://www.mikesmontes.com/Air-Distribution-Door-Control-Lever_p_2703.html

https://www.mikesmontes.com/AC-Heater-Control-Cable-Free-Shipping_p_3124.html

Couple notes about the insanely hard to remove broken pin located in a place you can't even see.
First remove the glove box entirely, 5 screws and out of the way, also the trunk release and glove box light bulb. You'll be spending some uncomfortable time doing surgery through that hole in the dash. Because the broken pin is a T pin it goes into a hole that is slotted for the T. A new lever/Tpin is aligned to the slots in the housing and pushed down into the hole. When rotated the T doesn't allow the pin to rise out of the hole.

When the pin breaks the tee may be "locked" into the housing and will need to be realigned to remove the broken pin. After trying numerous mini pliers, hemostats, tweezers, frustrated, walked away for the night. The brain storm hit me the next day, a 2" alligator clip with crimp end bent at a 90.degree. The pin is about 1/4" OD, with one hand get the clip on the short stub sticking up, trial and error. Then with two fingers squeeze jaws enough to have a good bite with the teeth of the clip. Now pull up gentle on the clip and the pin will rise a little. Remove the clip and choke down lower on the pin. Now firmly squeeze the jaws/teeth of the clip into the plastic pin. Carefully, slowly turn the pin with the clip, aligning the T to the slot. With a 1" telescoping mirror i could see into the slots to align. Once aligned the broken pin came right out. The alligator clip was god send, thanks.

One end of the lever is pulled and pushed by the cable from the dash controller, it's attached to a plastic stud on the plastic lever. Sometimes that stud will break of, mine was good. The other end of the lever connected to a threaded steel rod which is used to move the damper. On the lever a connector insert is used to set the closed position of the damper. The threads on the rod snap into that insert. Before disconnection that rod from the old lever mark the position of the rod to the insert with a marker to make new reinstall/adjustment easier.
There is only that adjustment for the damper, no adjustment on the cable side of the lever.

Have read that you can just push that T pin down into the housing instead of removing it. There are a few very good videos of a complete tear down and rebuild of the entire A/C suitcase, on a workbench, very good info there. But no where have I seen any info on pulling the broken pin. But I did see what appears to be the pin hole is blind, and a molded in pocket for the pin won't allow pushing the pin down and out.
By the way cud-dos to the 4th gen 442 guy who did a three part series on the suitcase rebuild.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFZ9q9lLPy4

As mentioned the cable from the controller to the lever needs replaced, the probable cause of the lever pin failure. Controller removal is necessary and already hanging out of the dash but will get into sooner than later. Still evaluating what needs to be done to R&R that.

Just happy that PITA pin is out.
Bob

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Need to put this post to bed.
New lever and cable were sourced at Mike's Monte, thanks Mike for the quick shipping.

In order to disconnect/change the heater cable the controller needs to be flipped over. With the controller out of the dash both electrical connectors and the cluster of three hose on the left rear corner are removed. Leaving only the cluster of vac hoses attached to it, the controller was cleaned and a little lithium grease applied sparingly to necessary moving parts. That cluster of vac hoses are held on by push nuts on two plastic studs. I chose not to remove those nuts fearing stud breakage, old plastic. Just insured when the controller would be slid back into the dash all those 6 or so hoses are fully seated.
A push nut is used to hold the new cable loop to the pin on the cold control plastic pin. Be careful.
There is a push nut used on both ends of the cable, i reused both the old push nuts

Installing the lever was a little tricky, a light coat of lithium on the pivot pin and it took some effort to push it into the heater housing pivot hole. New cable was attached to the controller, controller installed in the dash, cable to lever end installed and cable support clip then pushed into it's hole in the housing.
The rod to the blend door itself is the adjustment, it has threads on the lever end and snaps into the clip to lock the threads to the white adjust pin on the lever. You adjust to the full closed position of the blend door at that point. Using a magic marker on the threads was done to mark the original position before disassemble.
Pulled the blend tight against it's seals in the heater, putting the cold control at full cold and then connecting the blend door rod to the lever was done. A check showed at full cold setting the door was fully closed. I'm adjusted just slightly tighter than the magic marker on the threads. Sliding the cold control requires just a little more effort than the past 30 years but I'm OK with that.

I tried to heat and bend the new plastic sheath of the cable but found it didn't like to be heated and quickly abandoned that idea. The original now broken cable sheathing fared very well with heating. The run of that short cable should have two slight bends in it to be relaxed when installed. You only want to bend the sheathing, not the steel cable inside. Not wanting to destroy the sheathing with heat the cable was installed once I straighten the steel cable from shipping.
So blend door/heater unexpected issues are now good as new.

With the center of the dash apart the Delco CD with EQ also removed from the dash. It was originally used in the early 90s Buick Roadmaster, Typhoon and Syclone and very limited production and a 1 1/2 DIN. I wanted stock appearing, CD, and EQ for the 86, it looks totally factory. For the past couple years it had an problem with not seeing, reading certain CDs.

It went on the bench for surgery, split the unit open and was about to remove 6 or 7 thirty year old ribbon cables from the CD drive to be able to get to the laser. STOP!
I've played with ribbon cables many times before but none this fragile, it still plays most CDs, why would i want to end up with the operation a failure and have a non working CD player. Reassembled it and tested before it slid back into it's opening in the dash. Ran my CD cleaner disc several times and satisfied that it will play 50% of the discs I have.
I did learn something about that unit. With all the work done under the dash dealing with that PITA broken lever pin, the cable, the controller, the Delco the interior lights were on, draining the battery. When I finally had the center of the dash all back together and now to test the Delco turned on but wouldn't do anything but show the 20% volume up and one preset station. The balance, fader, CD, clock, volume, nothing worked. WHAT, went home after that. Laying in bed, the brain light turned on, check the battery voltage.
Next morning meter said 12.3, a check of the Delco and everything OK. Turned on the headlights and fairly quickly it dropped to 10.7, Delco stupid again.
So the Delco doesn't like low voltage, didn't know that.
The battery charger ran overnight at 4 amps putting some juice back into the battery. Everything all well and good now.

This kinda finishes up this long process of freshening up a 35 year old A/C/heat system and cooling system. The A/C system is as stock as stock can be and on a R12 diet.
Lots of new parts in both the A/C side and heat systems, better fan control, new coolant bypass system and now the vac coolant filler tool.
Being the pumpkin had frost on it this morning revisiting the A/C charge and performance of the system will need to wait till the sun points back up North. I drive this car for fun 12 months a year if the weather permits. When it's cold out sometimes just to move the oil around in the engine or charge the battery a little.

Other Winter projects on the back burners now.
Bob

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Bob, you mentioned the 1.5 din delco a while back, it piqued my interest so I headed over to ebay. From time to time they are there but if in really good shape in the neighborhood of $300+ dollars. Im sure if a person wanted they could find it cheaper but I was wanting a pristine if I was going to buy one.

What is your planned projects for the winter?

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You need to be careful about year and model the 1 1/2 DIN Delco players come from. It was 13 years ago I installed the Delco in the dash. Because of differences in the size (width and depth) of the various 1 1/2 DIN GM head units the 3rd and 4th Gen Camaro/F-body was the unit everyone was swapping in at the time, a plug and play. They will slide right into the Monte dash. At that time when you bought a unit a wiring adapter was made that would convert the single G-body plug to a three plugs to go into the back of the new unit.
Also the display colors for different GM makes was an issue. The Pontiac units, Firebird in particular, is orangeish, doesn't look good in the dash of a Monte.

Also at some time all the CD players went through a change, maybe around 1994-95, to a different transport. My 1992 unit has the old transport and is impossible to find parts for today. I also believe about that time was when Delco/Delphi production moved manufacturing to Mexico.

Also you will see Bose and Monsoon F-body unit for sale. I was told to avoid them because they were purposely build systems, speakers, amps and crossovers all needed to sound good.

That Roadmaster unit in my car was bought from Ebay as refurbed for 300 bucks back then. I watched for months before the unit showed up on ebay, they were that scarce.
Bob

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Bob, will probably never do it but I've always just looked for the early model 90s roadmaster radio on ebay.

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 11/05/21 03:57 AM.
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One of the reasons they are scare is the GN boys grabbed as lot of them up so they could use a CD and have the correct display color for their Buick. Cassette was what came in the late 80s cars, also the EQ cassette was the top option in the 87-88 GM vehicles. 1989 may have been the first year for a CD player option at GM.
Bob

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GMHVACRESTORATION.COM great site for dash console repair

Last edited by tom demarco; 11/23/21 09:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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GMHVACCONSOLERESTORATION.COM he has everything

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