Heater Core Removal & Installation - non-A/C '70 A-Body

Discussion in 'The Big Chill' started by john.schaefer77, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well, over 2 hours later, this heater box is ready for installation.

    I scraped all the old caulking off and added new 1/8" non-adhesive padding to the front AND back of the door.

    20190807_174032.jpg 20190807_201212.jpg

    This glue dries QUICK. There really is limited margin for error. Not to mention: you either need to be a contortionist or have small hands.

    20190807_202601.jpg 20190807_202539.jpg 20190807_204948.jpg 20190807_203814.jpg

    Next was 3M caulking strip along the edge where the core sits.

    20190807_213911.jpg 20190807_210537.jpg

    And viola!

    69GS430/TKX and BYoung like this.
  2. copperheadgs1

    copperheadgs1 copperheadgs1

    Make sure the rubber seals at the edge of the door. It needs to tuck under the lip.
    Brett Slater likes this.
  3. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Got this back in but did break the blue tab on the middle cable. Dave sent me a great way to remedy it and I'll get at it this week.

    Truth be told, this is a horrible project - and definitely a two person one as well.

    Nonetheless, it's back in and blowing hot air.
    BUICKRAT likes this.
  4. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Courtesy of Dave Johnson: these are the 1/4" clips you want to use to both repair the broken tabs on the cables and also strengthen them so they don't break.

    IMG_11381.jpg IMG_11341.jpg IMG_11351.jpg
    69GS430/TKX and BYoung like this.
  5. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    Some 3M caulk strip on the fingertips and a thin 7/16 ratchet head wrench later and we have a successful attempt at reinstalling that next to impossible heater box nut.

    BYoung likes this.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    Holy crap, Brett. We used to do these on a regular basis back in the day. Just another day. I'm glad someone can show how hard it is to actually do this job properly instead of complain about how much a competent shop would charge them! Sure, you can just crack the box, bend the inner fender, and put it back together missing a few key retainers, but yer feet will get hot and it won't ever be the same. Good Job!
    Brett Slater likes this.
  7. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member


    I had no intentions of drilling, cutting or removing any body panels. Of course, I also had the aid (for both removal and installation) of a very competent family friend, who is also a former Buick mechanic from back in "the day", who still has his '70 Stage 1 he bought new. Who better to help?

    As an aside - and during this debacle - I asked him why he decided on his car. He told me he'd just got back from Vietnam and had been working as a mechanic at a (now defunct) Buick dealership local to me. One of those dealerships that let you take a new car home for a couple days.

    He went on to say that he'd "read up" on the "new Buicks" and felt like an automatic Stage 1 car would be a "real killer" on the street, so he ordered one.

    His and another were the only 2 Stage 1's delivered to Bugle Buick on School Street in Taunton, MA.

    His car is still a "legend" around here and the rest is history...
    Utah455 likes this.
  8. Utah455

    Utah455 Well-Known Member

    sounds like I need you guys down here to help me install my heater core box and AC suit case.
  9. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member

    You just have to tear into it. Albeit carefully, tear into it nonetheless.

    And be prepared to walk away. I literally completed this entire task in 4 different installments. Of course, we benefit from these not being daily drivers but still want to drive them.

    Total downtime for the car throughout this ordeal was almost a month.

    Right in the middle of the season.
  10. Utah455

    Utah455 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, mines been off the road for 5 years now. Body shop #1 screwed me over and had it fours years. Body shop #2 picked up the pieces and put it all back together in a year. Now it’s my turn to put what rest back. It’s just a shell with a motor and trans.
    Brett Slater likes this.

Share This Page