[200q20v] Definative Guide to Removing the Heater Box (Victory!)

Forhan, Thomas Thomas.Forhan at mail.house.gov
Thu Mar 8 14:15:17 EST 2001

Yes folks, I finally got it out this morning.  Thanks to everyone who helped
with great suggestions. I've incorporated them and my experience and so
offer the following:

The Bentley has -on page 87.18, what appears to be detailed instructions on
removing the heater box. What stopped my was when I came to the line "Remove
all retainers between the body and heater." What does that mean? Why did I
take out the center console. What to do now? 

1) Look at the picture on 87.22. From the interior, remove the two footwell
air outlets (two screws each). After disconnecting any vacuum lines that
might be clamped to them, remove the two large elbows on either side of the
vacuum servos- they pull down, and a little out.  No screws involved. Remove
the corrogated rubber duct connection that is up closer to the firewall, it
just pushes on. I did not need to remove any other ducting.

2) Look at the picture on  87.28. Disconnect the three vacuum lines -yellow,
blue and green- from the vacuum servos. Disconnect the red, black and white
lines at the joints located right next to the vacuum servos. (No need to
remove the two vacuum servos)

3) Back on top in the engine compartment, disconnect the red, black and
white vacuum lines located on the passenger side of the heater box .
Disconnected top and bottom, a section of these three lines will come out
with the heaterbox. Notice the metal A/C line running left to right in front
of the airbox. Cut any cable clamps from it and move flexible wires and
lines out of the way. There is very little clearance between the A/C line
and the heater box as you later pull, push and rotate the box out.

4) Use a narrow (like 1") thin bladed, flexible putty knife to break the
seal between the box and the firewall where you have access ( primarily at
the top of the box, and the drivers side. Next, carefully use a thick
bladed, ridgid 1" putty kniffe to begin to pry the box away from the
firewall. Follow up with  a big flat bladed screwdriver. At this point, I
had about an inch of motion on the upper drivers side of the box. Push the
bellows A/C duct connector on the passenger side into the heaterbox, I taped
it back so it would not interfer.  Keep working it. I spent a lot of time
laying on top of the engine, arms reaching around both sides of the box,
gradually pulling. Slowly, the adhesives would release. Finally, the box was
loose all around.

(Next you need a helper. Word to the wise: if your helper has a strong
emotional attachment to the car and has not been following your progress,
warn him or her about what they are about to see. Its not a pretty picture.
Your helper will look at the mess in the interior and not realize that you
labled all the wires and switches with masking tape, tucked the screws and
bolts into labled baggies, and of course have the Bentley, Chris' pages, and
all your buddies on the list to help figure out how to put it back together.
My wife is convinced I have managed to turn our car into junk that would
have to be towed away.)

5) Have the helper push from the interior, more or less on the vacuum
servos. The need to be pushing up and forward- at about a 45 degree angle.
Meanwhile, assume a position laying on top of the engine, hands grasping
either side of the airbox. pull back and up, favoring the passenger side.
When you have clearance, remove the black bellows connection to the A/C
unit, and push the airbox back down a bit. Then start pulling up favoring
the drivers side, until the box clears the metal A/C line. Now a big push
from below while you lift and rotate the top of the airbox back a little. 

There you are. Its out. 

If you thought it looked bad before, it looks really bad now, with a huge
hole running from behind the engine, past a million wires, cables and
switches, right into the interior. Yipes!

Good luck,

Tom F.

PS: Chris, I posted this to the comment section of your pages under Climate
Control. Thanks for making your pages available.

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