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Old 09-09-2008, 09:07 AM
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Gambler68 Gambler68 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 29, 2004
Location: Ignacio, Colorado, USA
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Rebuilding a metal Gladiator era Heater Core Box w/ pix (tech)

Well it looked ok from the outside, but I wanted to resurface the flappers with neophrene so it wouldn't be blowing hot air during the summer like so many do..they do this because the air flow flaps on the core AND the inner blower box are lined with foam that degrades over time and don't seal. After checking that the vac switches were still good I went ahead and got busy..

First the inner box. In very nice shape for being 40 years old. Still had the inspection stickers on it.

Next the heater core box. Simply dumping out the leaves is NOT good need to open it up. It's easy.

looks good right?



don't lose these. They are the main reason for all the rust gunk in there.

see how the flapper foam seal is useless at this point from time

leave the flapper in there and remove the airflow thingy

scrape it clean with a chisel or whatever

I used neophrene from a knee brace that was laying around..

sorry camera was in night mode. But you can see the nice seal now. Do both sides of course.

look at that NICE clean core. I flushed mine out in the shower and sprayed the fins out with normal pressure hot water. A few good flakes came out and some assorted gunk. Be sure to really get the inside clean and move it around while water is flowing. Re-install pieces in reverse order of disassembling (maybe I should go work for Haynes eh?)

Inner box got RTV. Didnt bother with the outer seal.

put back together. Sadly I had to reuse original 1/4" head screws, added some larger ones where they had wallowed out.

painted! I will add foam to the inlet/outlet and around the fresh air inlet and blower outlet later when I install

speaking of..does it still work? Yes! Battery jumper with on/off switch confirms.

paint it black!

Hope this was helpful to anyone wondering. Early style metal boxes do not swap. That bottom piece on the blower is absent in the later style, so they do not line up if you try and mix and match. I would assume if you replaced the ENTIRE HVAC system (newer style into an older cab) it would work of course..but where's the fun in that. Plastic sucks.
1979 Chero S "Sundog" 1979 Chero S "Hammer"
1968 327 J3000 1978 J10SWB
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Hunter S. Thompson .

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:35 AM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
Join Date: May 29, 2003
Location: Medford MA USA
Posts: 11,258
Heh. Somehow your write-up reminds me of the Rolling Stones.

Very nice - thanks for posting.
Tim Reese
Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
ECO Green: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:04 AM
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red mistress red mistress is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: Sep 13, 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 2,291
heater core

The heater cores from early years are little different than the new ones.

Spacing of heater tubes and the thickness of the core.

Newer heater core can be made to work with carbide cutter, but treasure hunting & finding a NOS one is so much fun.

I think I need Laura Croft on my treasure hunting team.
67 Gladiator 15K J3000 AMC 327, PTO, 35" BFG's
69 Jeepster 8701 convertible
80 Honcho Sportside
82 CJ-8 75K org SR decals
82 Cheroeke Laredo 24K
83 CJ-8 50K 401, ARB60's, F&R Winch, 38"
84 CJ-7 38K Garnet Int., Jeep 8274 winch
84 CJ-8 mud Scrambler
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:18 AM
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orangecherokee orangecherokee is offline
Join Date: Aug 17, 2002
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 5,414
If anyone needs a heater box, blower motor or under dash vent system let me know. I just stripped all of this out mine and don't need it anymore.
Places to Wheel in the Southeast

Originally Posted by Topgun2mo
I would think boxing would limit the amount the frame could flex over obstacles which I think IMO would be a bad thing. I would think you would want all the articulation possible.
Originally Posted by johnny019
I'm not saying lockers don't improve the performance of your rig, just that they're overrated.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:16 PM
budojeepr budojeepr is offline
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Somebody "sticky" this!
Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:38 PM
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Gambler68 Gambler68 is offline
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Originally Posted by budojeepr
Somebody "sticky" this!

there is a thread stickied for Tech Archives in the index in this forum. If someone deems it worthy, feel free to reply there with a link to this thread.

Hopefully this thread will help save a few of the old metal boxes! I'm sure rad shops will rebuild them but since its so easy and doesnt take long to rehab it yourself, why spend the $$
1979 Chero S "Sundog" 1979 Chero S "Hammer"
1968 327 J3000 1978 J10SWB
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Hunter S. Thompson .

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:53 PM
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hummer010 hummer010 is offline
Join Date: Jul 26, 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 192
Awesome thread! My heater core, inner box and blower are all out of the truck right now. I was planning to do this very thing in the next little while, so very helpful thread.

I like the shot of the NBA too - one of my favourites
68 j3000 327/T18/D20 Work in Progress
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:05 PM
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fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
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Join Date: Aug 21, 2002
Location: Jubilee Jeeps.SWCO
Posts: 22,391
nice work & documentation
Ran when parked.
88 GW, 401/727/208, 5" lift, D44s/4.10s/locked up, 35s with a few Evil Twin & TT's Fabworks mods
76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:32 PM
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men in black men in black is offline
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Location: Grand Blanc, Mi
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X2 on nice write up

you needed a couple Newcastles after that.
1990 Grand Wagoneer.. black with sand interior..
Razor grille, Hella H4 headlights, Piaa driving, LED spider taillights, tinted windows.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:51 PM
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skeletor skeletor is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Jan 31, 2006
Location: richmond, va
Posts: 1,360
thats amazing that the heater core is still there. when i did mine, half of it had dissolved into mush and the tubes broke off when i touched it. i still whish i had painted the box before i reinstalled it though.

1984 j10 LWB
1977 Cherokee chief wide track(sold)
2004 LJ
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:42 PM
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Lindel Lindel is offline
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Join Date: Jun 15, 2000
Location: Carpentersville, IL 60110
Posts: 9,204
The one I slapped in the 79 looked a lot like that before I installed it. I didn't go to the trouble of repainting it, I was doing a quick install to get rid of the gaping hole that was in the fiberglass box.

Nice work Ryan!
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:06 PM
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SnowShoe SnowShoe is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Feb 24, 2008
Location: Grapevine, TX
Posts: 1,293
Thumbs up

Very impressive...may have to make same for mine...
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