Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Frequently asked technical questions and common modifications/improvements
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Vanny
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Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Sun May 20, 2012 6:21 pm

Well with all the recent discussion about changing heater taps and the copious amount of recent experience I've had with changing them, I thought it might be about time to do a write up. I must admit that this is my 4th tap change in 3 months, not all on the same car, but I'm getting rather sick of doing them!

So this is what a new tap looks like! Brand new, bought by a friend of mine back in 2008 at the Stratford Rally, we’re not sure how much he paid for it, but he’s been well recompensed.

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We’ll split this into two parts, taking the old one out, and putting the new one in!

Removal
You can start in many places on this job, I prefer to start under the bonnet, you don’t then have to return there until the very end. So you need to undo the two hoses that run from the engine to the heater pipes. The TD is probably the hardest, followed by the Valver, there are many combinations but the sequence is typically the same, remove the top hose, then the bottom hose. Like this;

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Close up of the top hose;

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Disconnect top rail (not on all models, this is well worth doing, its one extra hose clamp, and gives a lot of extra movement). At this hose you’ll get a bit of coolant leak.

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With the top hose removed you can start on the lower hose. This will drain ALL of the coolant in the engine by syphoning if you don’t do something about it. I've used a fuel line clamp, the orange pliers looking thing (£5 in Halfords).

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That’s under the bonnet done with for now. Into the cabin.

Just take the steering column out. This can be debated for many hours, and you can do the job without taking it out, but for the 5 minutes it takes, and 5 extra nuts, just do it. I’m going to whip the wheel off first though, it makes getting in and out of the car a little better.

Remove the centre cover from the steering wheel and undo the 21mm nut, remove the nut and spring washed behind it. Grab the steering wheel at 12 and 6 and rock the wheel back and forth (pushing the top while pulling the bottom, and then reverse), about 5 times and it should free off.

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Centre console next. First take the vents out. If you look down the outside of the centre vents you’ll see a spring washer. When you take the vent out, this washer is going to exploded off into the car somewhere, so first CLOSE THE VENT. Trust me, you’ll be glad of this.

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Did you close the vent? Okay, stick a wide flat bladed screw driver down the side of the vent, put slight side pressure on it and pull the screw driver end of the vent along the screw driver flat.

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Don’t forget to recover the spring!

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Vents out

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Pull the knobs off. Sometimes they’re stiff and take a bit of a wiggle, this is good, it means there not broken like most of them. With the knobs off you need to remove the screws from behind the outer knobs. If you have aircon, with the sliders like below, you’ll be tempted to pull them off, DON’T, they’re fixed, you’ll only break them!

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To pull the console out there are two big metal clips either side of the vent aperture. Stick a screw driver in, pull the spring out (lever the lip towards the aperture) and pull the console forward.

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Once you've done both clips and pulled the fascia out, you’ll need to disconnect the fag lighter socket.

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You’ll then be faced with this, the blower control. You might notice that I have done the MAX Blower mod, I’m not sure exactly why, but this has made no difference on my factory fit air con car. I suspect the AC wiring is a little different.

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Notice this clip at the bottom of the circuit board, it holds the outer sheath of the Bowden cable which controls the heater tap.

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Remove the four screws that hold the control panel retainer in place, then lift the white lugs over the black lugs in the dash.

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Then do the other side. If you've got air con, the recirc switch will foul the centre vent duct. Fortunately the centre vent duct is incredibly pliable so it will pass with some gentle force.

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To get the retainer to roll forward you’ll need to remove the brown plug. This is often forgotten when reassembling!

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Remember that spring clip, undo it, and disconnect the cable.

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Okay, let’s take the bottom of the steering column off. First you need to remove the lower steering column shroud. There are four screws in the corners. I couldn't get a good picture of the whole shroud, but the screws are the ones that are sunk into the shroud.
Behind where the steering wheel was, there are two small screws that also need removal for the shroud to drop.

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Disconnect the dimmer and the ‘doors open buzzer’

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With the shroud removed, undo the four nuts holding the upper steering column to the car. I recommend putting one of the top nuts back on by three turns, it will save it from hitting you in the face!

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Now until the pinch bolt on the universal joint half way down the steering column. It only fits one way around so don’t worry about marking it for re-fitment. You’ll need two 13mm spanners to undo it. The nut is oval so don’t be too worried if it’s not super tight! With the pinch bolt removed, undo the last nut holding the column up, pull the upper column off the lower column, and lower the whole lot into the foot well. There is no need to undo the wires to the stalks, but I would recommend undoing the two bolts holding the bonnet release leaver as this will give you much more freedom of movement in the upper steering column.

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Man look at this for access.

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PART 2

Using a bit of logical progression, we're going to now work from the dash to the bulkhead

Eventually we need to slid the heater core out by around 4" (100mm) in order to get the tap out of the bulkhead. These following steps will make this much easier, just at a point where a weaker person might be scratching there heads and possibly swearing in French.

First remove the heater core retaining screws. Unfortunately i struggled to get a decent picture, so I'm going to have to combine a picture and a diagram. The stars show where the two retaining screws are. They are 7mm head and the one closest to the heater tap is often missing because it is rather difficult to get at.

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Next you need to remove the common instrument earth point. I don't think this is fitted to all models, but it holds the earth's for a lot of the 'toys' on the car. When you get to the end of the job and indicators, washers, tacho and door open warning lights don't work, you forgot to reconnect these! (its the white blob at the top of this picture;

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Removal is straight forward, remove the cage type retainer by squeezing the sides, the disconnect the yellow and brown connectors.

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In the middle is a 10mm headed bolt to remove. The metal that the connectors plug into is actually in two pieces, but when they separate don't panic as they only go back together one way. There is potential for temptation to set in here, it is possible to pull the heater core out just enough with the connectors and white plastic cage removed, however damage to the metal pins is inevitable and not worth the extra 30 seconds to remove the bolt.

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Now you need to remove the main fixing bolt for the heater tap. It is at the bottom left hand rear of the lower tap section and bolts the heater tap to the HVAC casing (HVAC is the big box of plastic that the air blows through!). It's hard to see and easy to miss. You don't want to miss it!!

I've struggled to get a decent picture. I'll try again at some point.

Next, disconnect the linkages. The hardest to reach is (for once) the easiest to remove simply put a flat bladed screw driver between the linkage arm (black) and the metal bar and slowly prise or twist off the linkage. It should pop off the mushroom headed stud without too much force.


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you can see it popped off here

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You'll also need to undo the lower linkage by undoing the screw holding the bar into the lever just below the heater matrix. Two turns should do it, there is no need to remove the screw completely or you'll be cursing later when you cant find it!

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Okay so with the heater tap free, we can disconnect it from the heater core by removing the 4 long bolts (with 7mm heads). I recommend un doing the lower left and completely removing the bolt BEFORE tackling the upper left as this gives you a little more spanner wielding room. You can see in the picture below that the lower left bolt has been completely removed.

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next, slide the heater core out. It is still held in place with four plastic clips which take a little bit of force to pop open. Don't be tempted to use a screw driver, it will only end in tears! You'll see here my mistake, at this point i hadn't taken off the bonnet release handle and the cable is right in the way of the pipes from the heater core!

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Well now the tricky part, getting the tap out! First un-wind the control cable (that we disconnected earlier) from the bowels of the dash, and point it into the foot-well. Its springy and likes to sleep in your eyeball, so be careful with it!

The tap is still held into the body of the car by a big rubber bung at the bottom of the pipes. You'll eventually need this bung out, and if you try to pull the pipes out without the bung you're going to load one of the pipes and probably break it, so try to remove the pipes with the bung. It is a case of gently tugging on the heater tap until it comes out. I take it right over towards the HVAC, under the heater core, then completely under the dash down the side of the clutch pedal. No number of pictures can explain this, so I'm not going to try! As a pointer, it can help if you move the big metal actuator about to clear the heater matrix pipes. You will get some resistance when trying to pull the tap out, usually from the rubber. Don't panic!


And here's one i pulled out earlier!

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End of Part 2. Please Change the Cassette.
Last edited by Vanny on Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Dollywobbler
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Dollywobbler » Sun May 20, 2012 6:29 pm

Thanks Vanny. This job is on the To Do list with my Mk2, along with replacing the cable. Either the cable or the dial has broken, presumably because the tap was jamming. It's now seized solid and I can't even move it by hand.

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by themildbunch » Sun May 20, 2012 8:01 pm

What a great write-up so far, thanks.
I have to admit I'd like to see more of this stuff on the forum and I keep meaning to document my BX mechanical experiences but I tend to get carried away with unexpected problems then having a big rush to get it finished - This kind of write up should keep the bad words at bay for longer! =D>
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Vanny
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Sun May 20, 2012 8:25 pm

Should get it finished tomorrow. I've found its taken much longer to take the photos, upload them and wrtie the words than it ever did to take the job. It probably took about 2 hours to actually do the job (not including the pictures), in the nice warm garage, with nicely arranged tools. I reckon maybe 3 hours to do outside from a tool box the first time.

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by sdelasal » Sun May 20, 2012 9:02 pm

That's a useful write up Vanny, thanks - especially removing the vents and dials. Steve

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by mat_fenwick » Sun May 20, 2012 10:01 pm

Now moved to the FAQ area for easy future reference - it might be better to edit your first post when the second bit is added to avoid it being lost down the page.

With hindsight I reckon removing the steering column may have saved a fair bit of time. Getting the cables on at the tap end was the biggest pain for me, and I probably spent nearly an hour on that alone!
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Mickey taker » Sun May 20, 2012 11:32 pm

mat_fenwick wrote: Getting the cables on at the tap end was the biggest pain for me, and I probably spent nearly an hour on that alone!
and thats why you take the heater panel off and release the bowden cable at the top , gives you more freeplay at the bottom(tap) end and then you refit at the top .

at least thats what Vanny did on mine in minus 3 and two inches of snow

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Vanny
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Mon May 21, 2012 12:46 pm

mat_fenwick wrote: - it might be better to edit your first post
Yeah, that's the plan. Think i might go get some more pics to explain how to get the damn vents back in without loosing the spring.
mat_fenwick wrote: With hindsight I reckon removing the steering column may have saved a fair bit of time.
I guess the argument for not doing it is that its safety critical (being able to steer), but having driven a car with only two nut holding the upper column and the pinch bolt missing, it actually makes very little difference to steering control, but it is obvious that something is missing. So if someone was concerned about the danger of not doing it all up, i'd have to say the risk is very low, and make sure you double check everything ;)
mat_fenwick wrote:Getting the cables on at the tap end was the biggest pain for me, and I probably spent nearly an hour on that alone!
I've never succeeded, tried a few times in the past but always end up doing it at the panel end. It does mean taking more off, but a lot less swearing!

EDIT - My quote syntax is correct, but for some reason BBCode and smilies are turned off!

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by JayW » Mon May 21, 2012 11:09 pm

[quote="Vanny"]
EDIT - My quote syntax is correct, but for some reason BBCode and smilies are turned off![/quote]

Turned off here too...

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by toddao » Tue May 22, 2012 8:29 am

Just sat down to read this but not getting any of the holiday snaps at the moment..

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Vanny
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Tue May 22, 2012 9:05 am

Tis a bit of a pain in the Harris TBH, i guess its a forum teething problem, and someone playing with the settings. I'm not allowed to use smilies any more either!

I'd suggest for the time being you read it over on the BXP;

http://www.bxproject.co.uk/phpbb3/viewt ... f=2&t=3808" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Though if you just want to see the holiday snaps, the gallery is here;

http://www.bxproject.co.uk/gallery2/v/mods/htapcng/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


@MODS - The problem i think is that BX Technical FAQ has BBCODE OFF! Hence it worked in BX Technical, but not since it has been moved!

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by xac » Tue May 22, 2012 5:11 pm

Yeah it looks like the permissions are rather squiff.
You should now be able to use IMG and other BBCODE
I'll be having a chat with Mat tonight so we can go over any of these issues.
My guess is the permissions were tweaked on the PHPBB2 forum, but there were fewer groupings so it's migrated them and not quite got it right.
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Vanny
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Tue May 22, 2012 10:44 pm

well if this is the only problem, then i'd say it was a pretty perfect conversion from 2 to 3, i had many many problems with BXP when it was converted.

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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Mickey taker » Tue May 22, 2012 11:10 pm

if you click on full editor you get the smilies up :D
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Re: Heater Tap Replacement - How To

Post by Vanny » Wed May 23, 2012 8:23 pm

It does now mickey, it didn't at the beginning of the week.