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lostviking

Restoring a Mopar Deluxe Model 31 Heater

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I'm starting a new thread to show this restoration, rather than continue to use the "What Heater fits..." thread I started when I was trying to find a heater. I'm not going to move the content related to the restoration, but you can still see it here:

 

The beginning of the project to restore the heater is there, I'm picking it back up with the rust removal of the rest of the box and associated parts. Today I did the first half of the main box. I again used a power supply and a bucket of water with Washing Soda it in. The details can be seen on the previous thread. Nothing new there. I am using the currently limiting resistor this time of course to avoid damaging my power supply, again. Due to other resistances in the circuit, namely I didn't bother to get a perfect connection from my negative wire to the metal, the current was about 1.36A. That's based upon there being a 6.82ish volt drop across my 5-Ohm resistor. Ohms law.

 

I didn't take a picture of the metal before, but I do have the other side and the first part I did today. I left it in the bath for around 3 hours. There is a very minor amount of rust in some places. Most people might just use a spray over rust type paint, but I'm going to put it back in the bath tomorrow to finish the job.

 

Looking at these pieces to take pictures, I see the worst part is the ones I've already done. I still wouldn't paint over this rust. A side benefit of the electrolytic rust removal, is that is take all the original paint off too :)

 

first cleaning bottom.jpg

first cleaning top.jpg

Edited by lostviking
Added some pics

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Here is the other half before I ran it through the bath. The pictures above had the same paint (some still there), but the electrolytic process takes you down to bare metal. I'll need to get some more VHT self-etching primer to protect the metal once I wash the parts post rust removal.

dirty inside.jpg

dirty top.jpg

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The medallion and the hands/tabs on the various doors are riveted on, so I'm going to have to dremel them off before I do any painting. I'm also going to remove the screens. The just have some small tabs bent over them. Easy.

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OK, the medalion was just bent tabs, so that came off easy. The little door handles took a drill. No big. The inside of them is still rusty, so I'll put them in again. Remember when you use this process, that the electrons always take the shorted path, so if an area is "hidden" like the inside of the handles, you need to somehow make that open so there is a direct, or close line of sight. In my case, removing them was perfect.

 

I dipped the first have of the main case again to get it really cleaned up. Only an hour, but after improving the connections of my setup, I was getting the full 2.5Amps I calculated.

 

After some minor cleanup with a fiber circular painter removal disk (fibers are like wheel spokes), I painted it with self-etching primer. Under the medalion I was able to find the original paint, which is kind of gray hammered finish. I bought some of that also. Here is the primer drying in the sun. I need to wait 1 hour to top coat. I'll post a picture of that later.

 

You can see from how smooth the primer is, that this process really gets the metal clean.

first piece primer.jpg

first piece primer 2.jpg

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Here is a first coat of the hammered finish paint. I think I like it. I didn't sand off a bit of left over paint where I circled, I should have but hey. I'll wait a couple days and sand it before I do another coat of paint. The inside I'll only do area's I might have missed the first time.

 

Not bad for an amateur and rattle cans. I'll be more careful about sanding off paint that stays behind on the remaining parts.

first coat on first body half.jpg

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I left the second half of the main body in the tank for 3 hours. Here it is in all it's glory. You can scroll up to see this exact view as a before. The black area's are where the rust was heaviest. Rust doesn't just magically disappear, it get "converted" by replating of the steel from the donor anodes. That looks black and can be a bit loose also. I go at that with a steel brush or wheel to remove as much as I can. The rest gets painted over.

 

Here is one coat of the same primer. After 10 mins I'll sand any rough spots and recoat. The some of the same hammer finish paint.

second half raw.jpg

second half primer.jpg

 

The air is pretty wet in San Diego today...gonna take a bit longer for the paint to be ready to sand.

Edited by lostviking

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I use Solidworks at my job, so I'm working on a model for the firewall to heater adapter shown in the manual. I've only created a rough part without the correct dimensions. I don't have one. I will look at pictures and estimate as much as I can. I'll also measure angles on the firewall to help me get this at least close to the real part. If anyone has one, dimensions would be very helpful. Even just the thickness of the metal would be helpful.

 

I'll use best practices to get it as close as I can. I'll post the drawing once I'm done for anyone to grab a copy. This is just kinda, sorta what it looks like.

 

Edit: the hole spacing is actually from measuring my heater, so that's good.

panel adapter.JPG

Edited by lostviking

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5 hours ago, Young Ed said:

I've got one of those somewhere. I'll try and locate it and get some dimensions

Thanks Ed. It's not a hard part to make, even at home. You just need accurate dimensions. I'm trying to recreate the fan motor mounting pad also :) Again, I have a picture in my manual, which is terrible and doesn't really show it, but since my heater is all apart right now it's easy to measure things. I have to make a guess at the thickness and material. Right now I'm 3D printing something that is actually a slightly different design. I think it's a better one, but I'll see when I get it done and try it.

 

Tim

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Last rusty piece that needed to be cleaned up. The defroster vent from the side. Before and after.

IMG_20200801_161555.jpg

defroster clean 1.jpg

defroster clean 2.jpg

 

Still need to brush it off a bit before I primer.

I also found some better pictures of the part I'm modeling above...I see I need another flange on the skinny end. I hope Young Ed can find his and give me some dimensions. Then we can all build one.

 

Edited by lostviking

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Located it and it was actually right where I thought! 5" wide at the bottom 6.75" at the top. Left is 5.75" right 6". 2" tall bottom and 7/8 at the top. Top and bottom have a flange. Top of the holes is 1" from the top edge. 

IMG_20200808_201136.jpg

 

PIMG_20200808_201127.jpg

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Ed, I'm trying to get all the dimensions I need from you picture and measurements. I took one of the pictures you posted, and popped it into a CAD program, then scaled it based upon the dimension you gave for the top width.

 

I'm getting all sorts of weird measurements, and I think it might be that the picture is not dead on. Could you post another shot of the part taken from directly over the part? Here's what I'm seeing, but I think there are shadows and artificial angles causing it.

 

Once I have the image in my CAD program, I can rotate or scale it...so long as I have a known dimension to measure. Maybe if that is the only image you upload, you can keep it large.

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Tim

 

P.S. Being slightly off 6.75 across the top is just because it get bleary when I zoom in to find and edge to measure.

 

trying to get dims.jpg

Edited by lostviking

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