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Gazzar

Series radiator heater matrix replacement

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The time has come to replace the heater matrix in the series. 

Are the replacements all the same? Or are there better brands?

I'd rather pay double for better, do the job once is my approach nowadays 

Thanks,

 

G.

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To be honest, it's not that bad if in really good order.  I don't think the matrix size is much different from the pre 2007 Defenders.  If you make sure all the piping is clear (using 13mm copper pipe instead of the standard steel pipes that rust up internally, and some foam lagging to insulate it helps).  Make sure the water flow control valve is completely clear of debris and corrosion, or remove it completely and use the two-fan speed switch to control cab temperature.  Then, just fix all the air leaks from the blower, air hose, matrix housing and distribution system (Defenders are equally afflicted).  As long as the matrix itself is in good condition, then it copes.  A soak in caustic soda and flush (internal and external) will sort out a reasonably good but dirty one.

 

That said, the matrix with electrical element for use while the engine warms up looks a good mod.  I think Maverick did it on his 90, so look in the Defender forum.  I think the matrix was from a Peugeot, but I'm not sure.

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It leaks.

 

The heater chucks out a lot of heat, but it's moist water reeking of antifreeze.

 

The problem is the duct in the lower dash, that's blocked up with decaying foam.

If I can stop the leak, then that's the engine side clear.

 

G.

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I bought a Defender one from them, nicely made and all proper metal. Chucks out loads of heat.

Only very minor issue was that the pipes were parallel rather than slightly splayed as per original which made getting the hoses on a bit of a faff. But otherwise no problems with it.

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That's really good to hear. Thank you.

 

G.

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Quite a difference to Allisport's  Defender matrix, at about 250+vat!

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Posted (edited)

Glad this came up, looking to swap out the one on mine this summer as its lukewarm at best, was going to go for Alisport one, but may take a punt at one of these :)

Edited by Les Brock

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I'll post up when it arrives. But the bigger problem with mine is in the under dash tray. I suspect it's full of gunk and dead foam.

I suppose I should just bite the bullet on that one, but it frightens me slightly.

G.

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It's not too bad, actually! Used to scare me, but once I'd taken it out, cleaned up and put it back together properly the heater started working much better. The frustration can be rusted bolts in captive nuts that break off, but that's about as bad as it gets. 

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Do I have to take the instrument cluster off? Been so long since I've done that, I forget.

 

G.

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I can't remember... I have a feeling there's a fastener under there, but I could be wrong. That's the job I normally dread, I hate putting that rats nest of old wires back in. 

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Exactly. 40 year old wiring is brittle. 

G.

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19 hours ago, Gazzar said:

Do I have to take the instrument cluster off? Been so long since I've done that, I forget.

 

G.

No.  Remove the dash end caps and disconnect the bowden cable for the vent selector, remove the passenger side demister hose and the plastic parcel tray, undo the two bolts on the upper lip of the lower fascia (previously hidden by the shelf ) and all the screws around the bottom edge of the fascia and it should come straight out.

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That's good to know. Thanks Nick.

All I need now is some spare time!

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When you rebuild the innards, make sure you use some decent, thigh neoprene pads bonded to the vent control paddles so that they seal against the fascia when closed (pads need to be bigger than the paddles).  The demisters are selected by these paddles blocking the flow out of the foot well vents that these paddles are mounted against, so getting a reasonable seal around them makes an enormous difference to demister effectiveness.  Obviously, you want to make sure any other leaks are sorted too, like the matrix case to bulkhead, fascia to bulkhead, and the big rubber grommets that seal the fascia and demister hoses.  The corrugated pipe from blower to matrix is usually split, too.

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Neoprene, is that the best? Longevity? Water proof? Not a rust sponge?

eBay?

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I used two piece of camping mat cut to size. It is  closed cell so doesn’t soak up water (if there is any about in there which is unlikely). It’s also soft enough to compress and seal properly. Anything similar that is non-sticky will do. 

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Heater core arrived from Motorads today, not had chance to look at it yet, but well packaged and next day delivery. will do a build/pics on my thread when I do it

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I used the neoprene because I had a large sheet of it, 2 or 3mm thick and self adhesive.  The camping mat suggestion would work just as well, if you find a thin one.

Neoprene is fine for this purpose - there is no abrasion, just a little compression when the vent is closed, and for that I wanted something compliant but medium density, not low density like LR use for air seals that invariably tear or crumble.  Neoprene might absorb a little moisture, but the warm airflow over those pad would dry them out fairly swiftly, so is not of concern.  However, one of them did fall of as the self adhesion failed.  I removed the adhesive film from the back of both pads and refitted them with contact adhesive.  No more problems!  It made a huge difference to the demisters, though.

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Neoprene ordered.

Spare heater box awaiting second coat of black zinc paint. 

Replacement matrix awaiting unpacking.

I might have a working heater this time next week! 

Just in time for the summer.

 

 

IMG_20180419_175301.jpg

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Interior sprayed with zg90 zinc rich stuff. The hot weather is great for drying paint.

 

IMG_20180419_185125.jpg

IMG_20180419_185122.jpg

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I'll probably not get back to this for a bit, hopefully next week.

But I'm reminded by how delightfully simple these vehicles are. Heater box removal requires a couple of bolts and a hose clip. Disassembly is just a dozen screws. 

Bliss.

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What is the condition of the corrugated air feed hose?  They're usually full of splits.

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