Monday, November 11, 2013

Ran into a problem with clearance on the lower heater case which was anticipated from looking at other builds with fiberglass bodies. Some have a double wall at the kick panel and some don't. Obvious the ones that don't have no problem. The steel body was single wall. Usually what we have seen is the inner panel cut away which is what we were going to do also, but after some brain storming we came up with a simple solution. I marked the area with a straight edge then cut it out with an oscillating multifunction power tool from Harbor Freight item number
68861 If you don't have one of these, get one, best $20.00 I ever spent. Then just reversed the panel giving us the needed clearance. This will just get glassed back in along with a filler piece for the bottom. This will still retain the insulting values of the double wall. A hole was then cut for the 2 pipes for the heater core. I made this hole a bit bigger for a starting point expecting to make a plate to cover the larger hole but lucked out with a pretty tight fit with only minor tweaking. The motor was then removed from the case for mock up then using a good reference point
on the stiffening plate behind the brake booster we triangulated a mounting stud location closest to the brake booster and drilled it out. A dab of black sealer was put on the ends of the other studs then carefully positioned the heater case into location using the drilled hole, pressed the case against the firewall and left sealer marks where the other stud locations are to be drilled. We could then see where the drain pipe below the motor needed to be located and drilled that out. We then drilled a 3 1/2" hole for the oversize motor, re installed the motor to verify location then cut a large enough hole to remove the motor through the firewall. This way if the motor
ever has to be replaced in the future you wont have to drain the antifreeze, remove the console and dash to get to it. I got that idea from my 95 Cherokee. We also clocked the motor that the larger flat part of the flange was towards the fender mounting area, that way the fender flange wont have to be modified. This also positions the feed terminal towards the top for easy access. The only thing that we will have to do is make a larger seal between the firewall and case around the motor


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