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T3: Re: Heater Woes

On 26 Feb 98 at 19:54, Patty and Bob Couse-Baker wrote:

> 1.  Is there any way to "test" heater boxes, short of asphyxiating one's
> self? Mine smell kind-of funny, but blow hot air.

The center steel tube on these is so thick that they almost never 

> 2.  Can a bad exhaust system contribute a funny smell from the heater? I
> did the John Muhr test . shove a rag against the exhaust while the
> engine is running, and I heard "pist-pist-pist" from under the car,
> indicating an exhaust leak someplace in the system.  Oh, perhaps I
> forgot to mention the oil cooler leaks, so like the whole engine is
> covered with oil (perhaps negating the hole notion of fresh-air hose for
> the heaters).

The most common problem here is bad seals where the muffler connects 
to the rear ends of the lower heat hxchangers.  A little exhaust 
leaking out here can spray back into the "heated fresh air" chamber 
of the heat exchanger and thus leak into the passenger compartment.  
This is specially a problem with header exhausts because the fit of 
the pipes is poor.  The fact that the heat exchanger pipe ODs have 
necked down from rust just makes it worse.
> 3.  Is there anyone who refurbishes heater boxes?

Don't know, would like to find a source.

> 4.  Do all VW heaters smell funny?

No, properly installed, they give good heat if everything is in good 
condition, but this is seldom the case any more.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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