Allright, so today story is how I installed a T7 heater unit.
the main driver to install this unit is the following:
- my old heater matrix gave up and I had to replace it.
- I wanted to get rid of the heater pull valve - that will eventually explode in the engine bay, as you know.
so I though it was a good idea to modify a few things along the way. but of course, I wanted it to be as clean as possible. because that's the way I like it. so here it is.
this is what a T7 design heater looks like. you can buy it from the manufacture or from your usual part dealer, up to you.
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the unit is quite compact and it's really a simple design: it weights about 1.1kg. it has a fan. and a heater matrix.
it has 2 demisting ports compatible with the existing ducts
and 2 vents for in-car warm air supply.
and that's it.
compared to the original design, here are the two units side by side:
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it's a nice little unit, it's compact, well made and does not draw much current BUT make no mistake: it's not automotive grade and it will not last as long as the original one (that lasted 30y or so). so know that before you switch: it's a mod, and it will be less durable than the original, as it is most of the time.
it does not share any of the mounting points, so you have to find a way to mount it. often this is done under the dash.
that said: because I have a later model, the hot water hose comes from 2 oval grommet holes on the bulkhead. so it's not that easy to avoid massive stress on the water hose.
so, to allow some clearance and to make some rooms for the cables, I've made some brackets (of course)
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thos brackets will allow a slight tilt of the heater unit, and allow some more room for the pipes. talking about pipe: I have bought now kevlar/rubber type of hose: it's good but not very flexible. I should have tried silicon, so if you plan to install one unit, think about it.
the brackets will go like this on the top plate and the rails will be fixed under the dash:
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the plan is to mount the rail first, and then mount the unit under it. that what I can dismount the unit simply when/if I have to operate on it without having to mess with the dashboard.
I then painted the rails and while I was at it, I thought it would be a good idea to add some velcro loop for cable management along the bulkhead. I still had some military-grade velcro from another project in the past. it's super strong.
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Also, what I think is a good tip, I hope: as you can see on the first picture, the fan cable is dandling at the bottom of the unit. which means it would be dandling somewhere in the cockpit, as if there were not enough loose wire in a mini interior as it is.
so I modified it by removing a screw and let the wire come through one of the hope, so now the wire is invisible once the unit mounted:
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speaking of electrical: you still need a switch to activate the fan. As I removed the valve pull, I was left with an empty hole there, so I ordered a pull-switch and installed it in place:
IMG_20200215_142415-W600.jpg 34.8K 1 downloads
the switch is connected in-lieu of the original switch on the wiring loop. and I have added a little fuse there too, for good measure, because you know... british wiring loom and all...
once installed, it looks like this:
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several things to see here: it's not the original switch plate: I had to increase the diameter of the hole for the switch and I don't want to mess with the original plate. I kept it safe for measuring to make parts I will talk to you about later.
so this switch plate is the crap remanufactured switch plate I bought a while ago, only completely sanded, adjusted and repainted, because those companes can not even manage that well. anyway, it will do so far.
another tip: you may want to mount the unit with some silent block. for that I use simply M6 grommet like that:
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they will prevent vibration to go through. and the unit does not rely on the metal plates for ground so it does not matter too much.
that's it for today! in the next few days, I'll share more on the actual installation and the pipe to the rest of the engine.
cheers and be safe in those difficult times.