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  #1  
Old 09-16-2006, 05:08 PM
Walrus's Avatar
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Heater Box Repair

Thanks to John Roncallo for his pic of his heater box repair, I have an idea for my own heater box repair. The attached pic shows the approximate exposure of the heater box when the radio is removed. I think I can use a hot knife or similar and cut out the outlined section, Remove the pod thru this new opening, and replace with a fabricated metal "door" to include a new pod mount. The jagged whit line about the rivets is where mine is broken loose, and my pod will not hold a vacuum. What do you guys think about this idea? Any better way to cut without possible damage to stuff behind in event of a "slip" (i thought about my roto-zip, but access is kinda tight...Dremel?).

ps.. John, I edited out the rivets in your picture so as not to confuse... Thanks for posting your experience(s)...

Rory
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Heater Box Repair-boxrepair.jpg  
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RM Smith
1988 560SL

"Where is it again that we are going, and why are we in this handbasket"?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2006, 07:26 PM
79 / 450SL
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: East Texas
Posts: 39
I like the idea but do you need to cut so much? I mean if you are going to do this while the box is still in the car, the smaller the hole then the more you have to attach and pop rivet to.

Just a thought.

I have another 450 to work on the ac/heater and I will keep this just in case.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2006, 07:30 PM
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Evening, Noel.
I do not know, but I suspect to be able to extract and hook up the pod to the lever on the air flap, I'll need a bit of elbow room. I do not intend to rivet, but use small screws into the plastic with double-sided foam tape around the perimeter... If you have ever used the tape I am referring to, it would almost be all that is needed to hold the access panel in place. I think 4-6 screws will be more than enough to help hold it, and the foam nature (thin, albeit) will help seal the access panel. I plan on cutting it out in sections to minimize the vertical extent to limit the "bends" necessary, if possible, in the replacement panel.

If you look at John's picture, that pod is pretty big!!!
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Heater Box Repair-centerflap3.jpg  
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RM Smith
1988 560SL

"Where is it again that we are going, and why are we in this handbasket"?

Last edited by Walrus; 09-16-2006 at 07:37 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2006, 08:33 PM
79 / 450SL
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: East Texas
Posts: 39
I guess you are right.

Have you found those replacement diphrams for the pods yet? They go in perty easy.

They are in CA and I see a site in England I think.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2006, 08:48 PM
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heater box repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
I wonder if you could convince your mechanic to write up how he changed your center vent vacuum pod thru the radio opening...
Rory,

Please feel free to contact my INDY Renato. I don't believe he will be willing to post his findings as he makes money from you and I on repair work and does not benefit from DIY'ers.

Aliso Viejo, CA

center vents not working on 560SL
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Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Lynn

2000 SL500 Silver
2000 SL500 SOLD
1989 560SL SOLD
1988 560SL SOLD
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2006, 12:00 AM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,845
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Thanks to John Roncallo for his pic of his heater box repair, I have an idea for my own heater box repair. The attached pic shows the approximate exposure of the heater box when the radio is removed. I think I can use a hot knife or similar and cut out the outlined section, Remove the pod thru this new opening, and replace with a fabricated metal "door" to include a new pod mount. The jagged whit line about the rivets is where mine is broken loose, and my pod will not hold a vacuum. What do you guys think about this idea? Any better way to cut without possible damage to stuff behind in event of a "slip" (i thought about my roto-zip, but access is kinda tight...Dremel?).

ps.. John, I edited out the rivets in your picture so as not to confuse... Thanks for posting your experience(s)...

Rory
I recomend two things before you do this.

1) Verify you can disconect the actuator linkage. This may be possible by removing the center vent rubber boot and center vents anc OAT gage and working throug the three holes of from the glove box or instrument cluster opening while looking through the center vent openings.

2) Have the actuator on hand when you size the hole. You might be best to also purchase and actuator bracket if available so you know wher to cut. The bracket also retains the vacume line coupler.

Good luck
John Roncallo
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2006, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo View Post
I recomend two things before you do this.

1) Verify you can disconect the actuator linkage. This may be possible by removing the center vent rubber boot and center vents anc OAT gage and working throug the three holes or from the glove box or instrument cluster opening while looking through the center vent openings.

2) Have the actuator on hand when you size the hole. You might be best to also purchase and actuator bracket if available so you know where to cut. The bracket also retains the vacume line coupler.

Good luck
John Roncallo
Roger on #1... If I can't separate from the pod lever at the bottom (by grinding out rivet/cutting pod arm), I can, I believe, access it thru the openings you mention (but do not know about removing vents?). The attachment is directly in line with the left-most center vent. Incidently, after pod is out, it would be not too great a feat to rig a cable mechanism for manual control, no?

#2 I'm not too concerned with, as the bracket is loose from the heater box presently. The plastic box has broken loose in a rough rectangle encompassing the rivets, and is free-swinging except for the vacuum hose still attached (see picture above...jagged white line is roughly where pod is broken loose from the heater box). Good idea on having pod on hand before cutting... I may tackle this project this winter. I am concerned about the legroom flap pod, although it is working for now. My luck it will fail after this project, if it works out as planned.

I realize this plan is possibly frought with disaster; however, if un-successful, I can always fall back to dash removal, ehh?

ps: I did receive yours and Lynn's email... Thanks. Lynn's mechanic must be some kind of genius to have replaced pod without removing dash. Perhaps, as you speculate, the heater box can be removed without removing dash?
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RM Smith
1988 560SL

"Where is it again that we are going, and why are we in this handbasket"?

Last edited by Walrus; 09-17-2006 at 12:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2006, 08:12 AM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Roger on #1... If I can't separate from the pod lever at the bottom (by grinding out rivet/cutting pod arm), I can, I believe, access it thru the openings you mention (but do not know about removing vents?). The attachment is directly in line with the left-most center vent. Incidently, after pod is out, it would be not too great a feat to rig a cable mechanism for manual control, no?

#2 I'm not too concerned with, as the bracket is loose from the heater box presently. The plastic box has broken loose in a rough rectangle encompassing the rivets, and is free-swinging except for the vacuum hose still attached (see picture above...jagged white line is roughly where pod is broken loose from the heater box). Good idea on having pod on hand before cutting... I may tackle this project this winter. I am concerned about the legroom flap pod, although it is working for now. My luck it will fail after this project, if it works out as planned.

I realize this plan is possibly frought with disaster; however, if un-successful, I can always fall back to dash removal, ehh?

ps: I did receive yours and Lynn's email... Thanks. Lynn's mechanic must be some kind of genius to have replaced pod without removing dash. Perhaps, as you speculate, the heater box can be removed without removing dash?

For #1. It is not only important to be able to get it out. But also make sure you can get a new one in. You may also be right about removing the center vents with the dash in place. I know the OAT gage can be removed, it just pushes straight out from behind. The center vents will require acces to 4 plastic latches arround each one, very easy to install but next to impossibe to remove. On the other hand they may be cheap enough to fracture and replace (check price and availability first).

I have know idea how anyone would install the defrost actuator through the radio hole alone. My approach would be instrument cluster and radio holes

John Roncallo

JR
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2006, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roncallo View Post
...I have know idea how anyone would install the defrost actuator through the radio hole alone. My approach would be instrument cluster and radio holes

John Roncallo

JR
Even more amazing is that Lynn's mechanic did the center vent pod?!?!?
Quote:
FWIW, here is the name of an Idependent in SoCal that did my center acuator via the radio/climate control openings.

Renato Benz Service
27822 Aliso Creek, C-160
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
949-360-0154
You know, I think I am mistaken about which Pod Lynn's mechanic replaced. I went back and read the entire thread. In the first post, Lynn is asking about the DEF pod (upper left next to radio). Later on, on page two (and quoted below), it sounds like the center actuator, as it does on the last post of the thread (quoted above).
Quote:
1989 560SL center vent acuator fixed at 78K miles
Well I finally had my center vent acuator replaced and cracked heater housing (that rattled) repaired (not replaced). I had it done at an independent. He replaced the actuator and the cracked housing threw the center console at a cost to me of $450.00. Everything seems to work just fine after about 2-3 months now.
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Regards, Lynn
That makes more sense that it was the def pod...
center vents not working on 560SL
is a link to the entire thread.
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RM Smith
1988 560SL

"Where is it again that we are going, and why are we in this handbasket"?

Last edited by Walrus; 09-17-2006 at 05:39 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2006, 11:44 PM
88Black560SL
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,845
A couple of things to consider.

It may be possible to get the defrost actuator out from the center console only. But more than likely anyone who does this and makes money doing it will only install it with two retaining push nuts. In my opinion it is far easyier to also remove the stearing wheel and instrument cluster. This only involves disconecting the battery and removing 6 easy to get at fasteners. It takes about 10 minuts.

I say this because in the job you are talking about doing, you are already stripped down so far that you are only about an hour away from getting the dash out. It is essentially the trim around the windshield, removal of the leg room and side vent ducting, unpluging a bunch of wires and three bolts holding the dash in. The only part I see is that a first timer might be intimidated by all the wiring but they do generally fall into place.

I took a look at the defrost vent actuator rod today in the car. It does appear that the rod is fairly accesable from the center console and instrument cluster hole. With these areas open and the center vent boot removed I see it as somewhat difficult to remove the pin but easy to install.

I had also previously looked at the possibility of replacing the center vent actuator without removing the dash. I belive this is also doable but I never tried it because on both my cars I had a cracked box that I wanted to fix. I belive it is possible to remove the bottom cover only of the heater box and replace both the center vent actuator and legroom actuator.

However I think the repair I did on my car may also be doable with just the bottom cover removed. I think it may require a smaller plate with less rivits but probably just as doable as what your talking of doing from the outside. The plate and amount of rivets I put in is way over kill, but I was having fun.

John Roncallo
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