Advice regarding removal of the center console

You can't remove the center console - it's welded into the center of the monocoque chassis.  You can take the covers off of it.

Removal and replacement of the heater tubes is a bitch.

To get them out, you have to break some inaccessible welds, and then I had to cut them out in short sections.

Then you better buy some pre-bent tubes that fit, because making your own tubes that fit well is a nightmare.  They have to poke up at very specific angles to properly come out of the forward part of the console, and they have a strange bend in them to make them poke out parallel to each other into the engine bay.

OBTW - they have to lay along the passenger side of the console, very tightly, so they don't interfere with the shifter.

Access is very difficult, and then once you have tubes that you think are right, you will find you can't get them back through the console because they are too long.

This is more than a 1 banana project!

OBTW:  Once you start on this one, you are committed, as well.  You will be taking your car down until you finish it.

Rocky

Hey Rocky, thanks for the reply.

I have never taken the console cover off so do I need to pull the stereo and guage panel to do that?

As for the tubes I am considering using copper pipe and fittings like household plumbing materials with threaded female 1/2" pipe to screw in 1/2" male pipe fittings that have 5/8" flared nipple to receive the hoses on each end.

I can make the pipes in two pieces and solder them together once they are in the tunnel.

My other option is to run heater hose instead of pipe once I remove the old pipe?

Louie

I read about someone on one of the DeTomaso forums who pushed smaller diameter plastic PEX tubing (if I recall correctly) through the existing heater tubes. They stated you don't need that much volume flowing through the heater core for it to be effective.  I don't know where the original post is, but thought it sounded like a viable option for rotted out heater tubes.

If you search, you will find lots of information on dealing with the heater tubes and valve.  I got a plastic valve from NAPA that I can operate with the existing dash lever then ran hoses down the passenger side of the console next to the seat tracks.  There is no heat when the valve is shut off.  Sure was easy and got rid of the problematic stock valve.

Norm

When I replaced mine I used 5/8" OD soft copper tubing otherwise known as refrigeration tubing. I was able to then work them through and bend as needed. Unless your original tubes are really bad I would not replace them. The originals, at least in my car, were a pretty thick wall and though they looked bad at the engine end there was a lot of material left and would have probably out lasted the rest of the car.

Forest

lousbby posted:

Hey Rocky, thanks for the reply.

I have never taken the console cover off so do I need to pull the stereo and guage panel to do that?

As for the tubes I am considering using copper pipe and fittings like household plumbing materials with threaded female 1/2" pipe to screw in 1/2" male pipe fittings that have 5/8" flared nipple to receive the hoses on each end.

….

Louie

Hi Louie -

IIRC - I did this about a year or more ago...  Easiest to pull the seats.  Then there are 4 screws (maybe 5) holding the console cover (plus the stuff with the shifter gate, and the emergency brake enclosure.

My first headache was that I had to loosen up the whole lower part of the dash to get the shifter assembly box out.  It wasn't just loosening up a couple of screws, and loosening the instrument panel, it was that whole panel had to shift to get some part of the assembly (I think it was my shifter box) loose.

You need to disconnect the shift linkage too - I think I loosened the U-Joint in the console.  Make sure you mark the depth of the shaft engagement, so you don't have to readjust the shift linkage (much) later.

There is lots of stuff you will have loose that you can now clean up & relubricate - primarily the hand-brake, and the shifter box (which likely really needs attention).

 Once that is out, you can get after the tubes.

 I also thought I could make new tubes with 1/2" copper pipe and soldered connections.  You need a hotter torch than a Bernz-o-matic (use MAPP gas?) and you can not make the correct angles with straights / 90* / 45* fittings.

I agree with Forest on the tubes.  They are thick, and if you can just clean up (maybe extend) the original ends poking into the Engine Bay, that may be all you need to do.

 But there are other opinions on other approaches.  Ultimately you get to decide.

 Rocky

So I removed the shift mechanism and ash tray and was able to cut up the old pipes with a cordless sawzall and remove them. I purchased 3/8" plastic coated flexible copper line and I will use compression fittings that go from 3/8" to 1/2" male pipe thread at each end. The two ends in the engine bay will have 90 degree elbows so I don't need to find pre formed hoses to make the bend. The ones under the dash I can bend as needed to run the new hoses. I hope the smaller diameter line will do the job.

I had enough copper line to run the back lines in a bend where I could easily install straight 3/8" compression fittings  to 1/2" pipe thread with 5/8" hose barb fittings under the A/C compressor. From there I am running the hose up with ball shut off valves on both hoses. Tonight I will  take photos of the front under the dash and complete the rear hose installs to the engine block and water pump if time allows.

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I just need to try and clean corrosion from the copper heater lines and reinstall the heater valve. I used a 90 degree fitting on the passenger side under the dash so no more pre bent hoses needed. One photo is under dash and other is from inside car looking down at rear end of heater lines.

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