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SSE Motorhead 09-21-2006 06:15 PM

63 'Chief Heater Core Replacement
Anyone ever have the pleasure of removing the heater core from a 1963 Star Chief or equivelant? Looks like the heater core cover has studs spot welded to it that go through the firewall and also hold the blower motor & duct. This requires me to remove the nuts located in the engine compartment. OK, except half the freakin' nuts are located under the blower motor inside a hollow place inside the right front fender and behind the fender skirt!!! WTF?? All that room under the hood, and Pontiac engineers had to stuff this into that little cubby? I really don't want to pull the fender off this old tank - I'll bet every bolt is rusted solid! Any suggestions, from those of you somewhat familiar with the car - anyone?

Ol' Timer 10-02-2006 08:47 PM

Re: 63 'Chief Heater Core Replacement
I've never had replace the heater core in my 61 Star Chief, but if you don't have A/C, I would assume you would be able to get to "the core of the matter" by removing that big black cover under the dash that houses the Heater Core. But, you know first hand what you can and no can do. I HAVE heard that on SOME GM models in the past that the right front fender had to be removed. Those people Never bought a GM car again. So now you know why GM has lost market share since the 1960's!!! :cry:

SSE Motorhead 10-03-2006 02:06 PM

Actually, the car does have AC, but it's an aftermarket/dealer item. I'm still pondering what I'm going to do about the heater core. It would be just as bad if the blower motor went bad...looks like the right front fender and the fender well need to come off. I can understand folks being pissed about that. When you look at how much room there is under the hood there is absolutely no reason for sticking the blower where they did. Problem with pulling off this fender is the dents in it and the rusted bolts!

I should take a picture and post it.

lash 10-03-2006 02:14 PM

Yes, do post some pics! :D

We need more pics of classic Pontiac metal on here. Even if it's repair pics.

That blows me away that you will have to remove a fender to replace a heater core and blower. Like you said, what ever possessed GM engineers to do it that way????

Ol' Timer 10-03-2006 04:42 PM


Originally Posted by lash
That blows me away that you will have to remove a fender to replace a heater core and blower. Like you said, what ever possessed GM engineers to do it that way????

The same ones that shoe horned a V-8 in the H-Bodied Chevy Monza in 1975 only to find out later that, due to its tight constraints, in order to remove/replace the #8 Spark Plug, they had to lift the engine off its motor mounts!!! :duh: Most owners never replaced that plug!!! GM lost more market share after that year too.

lash 10-04-2006 10:51 AM

Since I worked for a GM supplier for 13 years, I've met many GM engineers and many are as sharp and asconcientious as could be. The real issue, IMO, is the insistance on designing by committee. Meaning that nothing gets to be the way it was designed or conceived of originally. It all gets changed 50 times before production, watering down designs so as to make them sad and poor performing.

I aways kept in mind the axiom, "A camel is a horse as designed by committee".

Ol' Timer 10-04-2006 11:28 AM

That makes sense. In my example with the V8 getting "Shoe Horned" into the Monza, the engineers were originally considering a smaller Wankel Engine. But they couldn't get past the reliability and gas consumption issues. I assume their bosses demanded they want a Hi-Performance Monza and they looked around the shop and found a 262 V8 and, I think, a "bigger is better" 350 V8. Well, they got their straight line performance. I don't think it handled worth a damn. And then there was this #8 spark plug they couldn't get to.
Sorry for getting "Off-Topic". I would love GM to bring out one of their Concept Cars that was actually BETTER than the original concept. I can dream. :sleeping:

SSE Motorhead 10-10-2006 10:47 AM

I'll get some pictures. When you look at where the blower motor is you'll say WTF? The motor is nicely protected and out of the way (boy, IS it), and as long as there isn't any problem with the heater it's a cool place for the motor. BUUUT, an electric motor won't last forever (40 years is a while, though, and the motor's still cookin') and will need to be replaced at some point.

As far as design goes, they probably used an "off the shelf" heater duct...something they already had a part number for...and stuck it on there. In order to use it the motor had to be put where it is.

I have a couple problems with removing the fender. First, the thing is 40 years old and I'm sure every nut and bolt has welded itself to the chassis due to corrosion. Second, there's a pretty substantial dent in this fender - actually has a tear in it - and if I got it off, I may never be able to get it back on! Also, the car is in pretty rough shape overall, and I don't want to spend days on it just to change a heater core. What to do, what to do?

SSE Motorhead 10-11-2006 03:13 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here you go. You can play "Find the blower motor". I gave you some hints. :)

Attachment 58779
Anyway, I have to remove all the nuts that hold the heater duct on in order to remove the heater core cover (inside the car) because the heater core cover has studs welded on it that go through the firewall and also hold the heater duct on. Sheesh.

Echo SSEI 10-11-2006 04:34 PM

Maybe the engineers never thought anyone would keep a car long enough to need to change the blower motor. That is the only thing I can come up with to explain the selection of that location for it. :?

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