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Joe Flanagan

Heater Duct Repair

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This is a project I did a little while back and I wanted to post pictures. My heater duct had a good sized hole in it. It was also caved in somewhat. Following advice from this forum, I propped it open with a piece of wood and repaired the hole with fiberglass resin and mesh cloth. Here is the kit I used:

FendersPolished056.jpg

I wasn't able to prop open the collapsed section as much as I wanted because the material was so fragile it kept breaking and making the hole bigger. I had to settle for something that wouldn't stress the duct too much but still open it up somewhat. Not the greatest, but it was all I could do:

FendersPolished055.jpg

This is the mesh cloth they provide in the kit. Here, I'm sizing the patch. You mix up the resin and mush this cloth down into it until it's saturated, then cover the hole:

FendersPolished057.jpg

Then you smear more resin over the patch. It hardens quickly and gets very solid:

FendersPolished062.jpg

I somehow didn't get a picture of it painted black, but it looks good. Still collapsed a little but very solid and hopefully open enough that air can get through.

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I replaced my ducting completely with fabricated metal cannister and tube assembly shaped as original..painted black, and at casual look one would never never really notice the change..sure beats the carboard...I originally thought of glassing the factory one..decent shape just damaged where the mounts tabs are riveted..but figured it would be a repair here, repair over there later etc etc..

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mine is the one with the round chamber and the connection tube that is slightly rounder corners and double bent (angeled at each end) these angles werre the main pain in the butt on fabricating a replacement..glad it is behind me..would do it again compared to working the carboard/fiber stuff again...of course I never show the car so it only needs to be clean neat and functional to suit myself.

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Tim these ducts Joe are talking about are behind the dash to route defroster air. I think you're talking about the underhood one that gets air from the heater core to the inside of the car.

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I hate to say this but it looks like the area covered was not taken down to bare metal. If it wasn't don't expect that patch to adhere for too long. Fiberglass repair needs to have a clean metal to attach to.

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I'm curious. Could one pull a STRONG balloon into the 'tube' then inflate it and push out that old cardboard. Maybe even a very light little kids soccer ball with an ambilical cord, sort of a 'heart bipass' idea. Just wondering.

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I did the glass cloth on my cardboard glovebox liner and it came out great. Really strong. At some hobby supplies, you can get a much finer weave of cloth, it's thinner and lays down great.

My heater duct was too far gone, so I improvised with some 4" dryer outlet hose, painted flat black. It fit right on to the blower housing on my firewall (53 style) and in a fit of Rube Goldberg-ism I fabricated a hose fitting on the heater box end out of an aluminum dryer outlet duct. Looks pretty good really, and gets the air from one place to the other.

Edited by Normspeed

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Norm, when you did your defroster duct, how did you handle the openings that are supposed to be in the top, the ones that direct air on to the windshield? Did you just cut new ones into the four-inch material?

I occasionally have fits of Rube Goldberg-ism myself.

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I was lucky. The defroster duct under the dash was still in great shape. On the 53, it's the under hood duct between the heater core/box and the firewall mounted blower fan housing that goes bad and that's where the dryer hose came in.

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It just occurred to me that the heater duct is kind of like papier mache'.

I'm thinking I've seen flower containers of the P.M. stuff......you might be

able to use that to piece in a new section of duct. Just a thought.

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