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Heater Control Valve Wire

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  • Heater Control Valve Wire

    I have gathered the pieces for a climatizer for my 53 hardtop. I obtained a re-built water valve (the one that mounts on the firewall). There is a flexible wire about 8 inches long with an eylet on the end. The control handle seems to only adjust the amount of water that flows. I assume this wire is supposed to connect to something or is it just affixed to the firewall or hang free? What function does this wire serve?
    Thanks for the advice

    Mike D

  • #2
    I'm assuming that what you are calling a "wire" is actually a copper tube? That just dangles there; the heater valve is actually a pretty elegant piece of engineering, it supposedly self-compensates for the internal cabin temperature (i.e. when the passenger compartment warms up, it will slow the flow of water to the heater core.) Theoretically, if you get the handle set "just right" you should only have to make minor adjustments to it to remain comfortable all winter, although I haven't driven any of my cars enough in cold weather to tell you if that's true or not.


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      As Nate said, that little liquid filled capilliary tube also compensates for increases or decreases in outside temperatures as well. Don't kink the tube as you will either obstruct the flow of the fluid or cause the juice to leak out. The valve will still work manually but won't make the adjustments but itself.


      • #4
        Nate's right. Set it and forget it. As the inside temperature increases, the flow of water through the heater core decreases until there is no heat coming through at all. If you once get it set right, you don't need to adjust it, come summer. All this is assuming the cabin is nearly air tight. If you get a lot of incidental air in the winter you will have to increase the water flow. You don't even need the fan, the right hand outside vent being open and the right inside vent being closed (and gasketed against air flow.)

        Tom Bredehoft
        '53 Commander Coupe
        '60 Lark VI
        '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
        All three Indiana built OD cars


        • #5
          This was a pretty sophisticated system, which actually acted as a thermostat to monitor the inside temp. I believe that other manufacturers also used a similar system. Then, perhaps thinking that we dummys wouldn't notice, they eliminated the thermostat and adopted a system where you have to continuously adjust the temp. control, except for those high priced systems where you set a dial for the desired temp. At about the same time they also eliminated the separate defroster fan. PROGRESS!!

          Jerry Buck
          Racine, Wisconsin
          '53 Champion Coupe - C (owned since 1956)
          '61 Lark VI Convertible