Heater box woes (was proof hell exists) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2006, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Heater box woes (was proof hell exists)

After reading numerous threads on this and other groups concerning the Climate control systems on my 560SL, I decided to "attack" the issue. Armed with manual and hand-powered vacuum pump, I dove into the project. My main concern was why the center vents ALWAYS remained open. Secondary, why heat never made it to the floor. Thirdly, why the def vents stayed open regardless of setting. I should mention that, prior to this, I bought a reman control system from our good friend, Germanstar, to correct a problem with the buttons, so I was sure the "electronic" parts were "up to snuff".

Forget what you read in the manual about taking the vacuum line loose at the firewall and trying the I-IV tests so eloquently described as a failure in the main air flaps will give an erroneous reading. Instead, dive right in to the dash, remove the glovebox, and test the circuits there.

#1. remove the #1 circuit vacuum line from the switchover valve and attach the pump. Evacuate to 300 or so millibars... YEAH! The dreaded legroom pod is functioning (no loss of vacuum when evacuated and watched). Guess I don't have to worry about removing the heater box to repair (spoke too soon).

#2. remove the #2 circuit from the switchover valve and repeat above. Ok, looks like the short-throw def pod is fouled up. Now I know why the def vents stay open (partially) all the time. I can block off the valve and stop the needless vacuum leak anyway. I can live with that... But wait, doesn't the center flap pod share this line? Hmmm Why does it stay open all the time anyway. On to the next test.

#3. test #3 circuit as above... Great! The long throw is fully functional. At least the long-throw def valve is working. I think I read somewhere this pod is accessible thru the radio hole (and instrument panel, Strife and others). Maybe I'll have a look later.

#4. test as before... Crap. No vacuum. Wait, lets check each side independantly. OK! Passenger side works great... Rats, Driver's side no vacuum. No Problem, block off driver's side and good to go. At least I'll have 50% fresh air when called for/desired.

Crank her up and try... HEAT IN THE FLOOR! now move the dial to cool... Floor vents close! I guess vacuum leak was culprit with legroom flaps. Now about the center vents????

Here is where I get the title... I now know for a fact that hell exists (other than my christian belief)... Where would you send the guy(s) who designed this system??? Pulling the radio is a cinch, and exposes a decent view to why the center vents stay open... You guessed it. The heater box is broken around the rivets that hold the center pod. Well, that aint getting fixed anytime soon. Wait, what's this... the vacuum line runs straight to the center flap pod? What about the shared line to the short throw def valve (did I mention PO had pod work performed by a MB dealer some few years ago)? Some idiot bypassed the short-throw! Guess why... The diaphram must be shot because it will not hold a vacuum. Well, while in here, let's test the center pod anyway. Hmmmm... will not hold a vacuum. Like I said earlier. That's not getting fixed anytime soon.

All in all, I did learn a great bit, and did get the legroom flaps working. I can count the project somewhat of a success. Its easy enough to open and close center flaps with a wood dowel, since the pod is loose in there (and not rattling since the vacuum hose holds one side). The def vents will just continue to blow, I guess. I may make me a heavy black rubber mat to lay on the dash, covering those vents if I get industrious. I'm just proud to have heat in the floor for a change!

By the way... Whomever removed the def pod thru the radio must be a genius (sorry I forgot who reported that). I recall Strife performing the act thru the instrument panel access, but thru the radio would be a more impressive feat!

Maybe on day, when I have more money than sense, I'll remove the dash and heater box and repair correctly... Don't hold your breath!

Rory

Best Regards...

RM Smith
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Last edited by Ears; 09-16-2006 at 09:41 PM. Reason: change title
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2006, 03:31 PM
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This is exactly why I am looking into replacing the whole system with something from VintageAir or the like. As soon as I find a unit that fits...... The only drawback will be fabbing up a connection where the blower was to the input of the new unit for fresh air.

Craig S
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-15-2006, 07:32 PM
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Now what about all of us that cann't get the garn heat to turn off on the floor.
blisster feet
ps doesn't any off the those sliding thing shut the darn heat off.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 09:37 AM
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The stock MB heater system in the 107s was developed during the last ice age and was never intended to be shut off.

Craig S
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:38 PM
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That's it I'll have the heater removed next year.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ussun

That's it I'll have the heater removed next year.
Don't do that...
Instead, cut the heater hose and put in a hand-operated ball valve. Shut the water off and You''ll be assured no hot water flows thru your heater core then.

Best Regards...

RM Smith
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:47 PM
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Could you post a pic of where to do that.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ears
Don't do that...
Instead, cut the heater hose and put in a hand-operated ball valve. Shut the water off and You''ll be assured no hot water flows thru your heater core then.
Not the best solution, IMHO. The coolant that will invariably remain in the heater core will cause it to start to corrode and, come next winter, we got wet feet.

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:53 PM
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It sounds better then socks.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ussun
It sounds better then socks.
Another idea would be to buy a heater control valve for a '91 jeep cherokee. It is a diverter valve, which will allow hot water to continue to circulate thru the hoses and engine block. You could even buy the operating cable and run it into the car to open the heater valve when heat is desired. Valve is plastic, so no dis-similar metal conduction to the antifreeze to worry about. As far as coolant staying in teh heater core and damaging it, hopefully your coolant is maintained properly. You probably will want heat sometime, and open the valve to flush the core occasionally. I don't see how a manual valve would be any different than a properly operating monovalve that was neve called upon for heat?

Have you verified your monovalve/servo valve/whatever valve is operating properly? Is it actually airflow across a hot heater core that is causing your problem?

Best Regards...

RM Smith
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