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Heater box upgrade #589560
12/08/19 08:27 PM
12/08/19 08:27 PM
3 Images
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Gordon D Online content OP
Just Getting Started
Heater box upgrade

Following a trip through Europe to lake Maggiore in mid July where we encountered temperatures of 39° (real feel 44°) I or rather my better half decided no more trips would be attempted without Aircon.

On return to the UK I contacted Gambalunga who I knew had a similar aged plus 4 and was one of the first to have Aircon fitted. My question was did he fit or was it specified when he ordered the car. Turns out it was fitted at the factory but can be retrofitted, however he went on to explain it wasn't like Aircon in a modern car mainly due to the lack of vents in the dash.

He suggested carrying out a simple modification to the heater box to prevent drawing hot engine air in, he also provided a link to some images of the modification he carried out. My heater box appears to be a little different so I thought I'd share some photos of how I carried out the upgrade.

I purchased some 20mm closed cell foam from e foam on the internet, this proved to be different from the original that was fitted by the factory in as much as it was closed cell throughout and a good bit more rigid. Seeing as I'd bought it and being a "canny Scot" I came up with the following solution.

Templates were made to fit exactly between the top of the heater box and underside of the bonnet, these were then reduced by 5mm in height, the original spongy foam was carefully removed and cut in a band saw to 10mm, the rigid foam was glued in place using spray adhesive ( purchased from the foam suppler) and the spongy Morgan foam glued on top.

The pictures show the completed job, a close up of one side showing the triangular piece fitted to the underside of the bonnet and one showing how it works at the hinge with the bonnet closed. There is a piece of the factory foam in the centre which gets gripped between the two flanges of the hinge creating an airtight seal. The masking tape on the underside of the bonnet was to prevent any glue seeping up and sticking to the paintwork when I closed the bonnet overnight, this to allow the adhesive to set properly.

I haven't had an opportunity to try it out yet as it's currently around 12° and raining here at the moment. But Gambalunga told me when his Aircon broke he had the fan on full speed blowing cool air and, with the hood up it was tolerable even in the Italian heat.

Whilst traveling towards the black forest region in Germany we were subjected to rain of biblical proportions, so heavy in fact the autobahn ground to a halt and we decided to pull into a rest stop till it passed. Whilst waiting I got this annoying drip on my lower leg. So whilst upgrading the foam I also fitted hose from the heater box outlets to drain the water over the top of the bulkhead and fitted seals around the box that covers the ECU. I'm sure this will be of major benefit with the Scottish weather.

Gordon Duguid
Owner of bespoke joinery business
2013 plus 4, Montreal blue.
8 Comments
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589594
13/08/19 07:37 AM
13/08/19 07:37 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 13,949
Suffolk
John V6 Offline
Member of the Inner Circle
John V6  Offline
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 13,949
Suffolk
Well done Gordon. I did something similar and covered the foam in duct tape to protect it.
[Linked Image]


JohnV6
2006 Indigo Blue Roadster S1
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589602
13/08/19 08:16 AM
13/08/19 08:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 287
L
Luddite Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Luddite  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
L

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 287
The then proprietor of Tudor Motor Bodies who rebuilt what is now my 86 +8 took time to point out that he had not fitted the usual foam seal betwixt "fresh air" intake for the heater and the bonnet as in time it induced corrosion and given the possible movement betwixt the two tended to wear the paint on the underside of the bonnet...? As for requiring the air to be fresh..in a Morgan... smile

I do agree entirely with the thought process though, having been stuck in a traffic jam in Naples in one of the hottest summers on record with a starter motor issue that inhibited my ability to shut the engine down roasting hot gearbox on one hip the roasting exhaust at the side of the other hip, and turning to a melting wife to ask her to open her heater flap too in order that I might switch the heater on to help cool the engine... hide

Air con in a Morgan.... About as useful as an ashtray on a m/cycle..? smile

Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589611
13/08/19 09:29 AM
13/08/19 09:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Gordon D Online content OP
Just Getting Started
Gordon D  Online Content OP
Just Getting Started

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Ashtray on a motorcycle? I would say a better analogy would be your private parts, I certainly don't use mine all the time, but they're extremely useful when I do need them.


Gordon Duguid
Owner of bespoke joinery business
2013 plus 4, Montreal blue.
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589613
13/08/19 10:44 AM
13/08/19 10:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Gordon D Online content OP
Just Getting Started
Gordon D  Online Content OP
Just Getting Started

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
A quick update.
I had the car out early this morning, hood up, engine up to full temperature I filled the car with warm air then switched to cold. Cabin cooled really quickly so looking like a success.

Downside could be, on the way home with the hood down and still a bit "nippy" the heater didn't pump out as hot air as it used to. Hey Ho, you can't have everything in life, this is what jackets, hats and scarves are for isn't it?

A vent on the heater box you could open in cold weather and close in hot weather, now there's something to think about!!!


Gordon Duguid
Owner of bespoke joinery business
2013 plus 4, Montreal blue.
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589645
13/08/19 01:35 PM
13/08/19 01:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,323
Yorkshire
CooperMan Offline
Has a lot to Say!
CooperMan  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,323
Yorkshire
Gordon, neat little V notch to stop the bonnet lip tearing your new seal


Jon M
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589646
13/08/19 01:36 PM
13/08/19 01:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,839
Mandello del Lario, Lake Como,...
Gambalunga Offline
Member of the Inner Circle
Gambalunga  Offline
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,839
Mandello del Lario, Lake Como,...
Nicely done Gordon. Regarding the heater it may be that you did not fully open the heater control. It is very stiff and many people have complained about a lack of heat only to discover that they had not fully opened the control. Mine goes 5 clicks but if I remember correctly some people get 6 clicks. It depends on how the cable is adjusted. When ours was new it was extremely stiff and at first I was reluctant to use more force in case I broke something.


Peter

[Linked Image]
Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #589760
14/08/19 07:19 AM
14/08/19 07:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 287
L
Luddite Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Luddite  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
L

Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 287
As I typed Gordon I can clearly follow the logic in your thinking relative to your modification. I suspect Peter may be correct in terms of the heater valve operation, though have no idea of the set-up in more modern Morgans than mine.

Truth be told I never operate my heater valve as it is at least now 34 years old and even when new they were a tad suspect in operation and if used regularly the internal sealing could fail causing coolant leakage, which is perhaps best avoided, and maybe more so these days given it`s advanced years and perhaps the valves rarity in terms of finding a replacement...?

Shutting off the heater in my old Mog is left to opening and closing the flaps on each side of the heater box it`s self which has worked well enough and with little risk of creating maintenance issues..?

Sure, in closing the flaps the heater box is still creating heat which can seem less than ideal in some situations, as in while melting in Naples, there was no way to cool the heat from the engine, gearbox, the exhaust system or us, regardless of the effect of the puppies breath levels of heat coming from the heater box..?

My main issue was concern about keeping the engine happy, for if we were to enjoy out remaining time touring in Italy and France we were entirely dependant on it... I decided that rather than the engine drawing fresh air from the exterior of the car as best it could, if it drew hot air from within the engine bay, in which case it might cause more air to be drawn into the engine bay..? Disconnected the air intake pipework before the air filter on top of the engine and job done.... though we were still melting, but the old V8 engine never ever did overheat... (-:

I do admit to thinking at the time of what absolute luxury it would be to be able just to switch on air-con... but it is a Trad Morgan, and not a Porsche and perhaps like all Morganeers we understand that there were swings and roundabouts to be considered relative to our decision to buy into the idea of ..err..more traditional forms of transport...? (-:

I have read of those who claimed success relative to reducing temps felt by Morgan crews, by adding specialist reasonably thin space age insulating materials under the carpeting over the gearbox tunnel in the foot-wells and placed to insulate the heat from the exhaust pipe(s), might be well worth considering if more trips to Europe are planned or if high temps of late experienced in the UK may become any thing like a semi regular occurrence...?

Even in the colder months in Scotland my heater seems to produce enough heat to maintain reasonable expectations of comfort with the hood down, I have often driven with the tonneau cover in place passenger heater flap closed and felt the comforting waft of warm air passing up past me from the foot-well not quite as ..err. comfortable as a 911 again but expected par for the course perhaps... (-: If inclined you could check out my pic on the current page 1 of the galleries near yours, titled Normal use...or abuse...?

Just thinking in type.

Cheers.

Re: Heater box upgrade [Re: Gordon D] #590331
17/08/19 12:40 PM
17/08/19 12:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Gordon D Online content OP
Just Getting Started
Gordon D  Online Content OP
Just Getting Started

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 56
Aberdeenshire
Checked the heater control knob today, maximum number of clicks I can get is 4.
Could it be the cable is fitted in a way that is somehow restricting the rotation of the knob?


Gordon Duguid
Owner of bespoke joinery business
2013 plus 4, Montreal blue.

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