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Brass Heater Valve Repair

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Brass Heater Valve Repair
#1
  This topic is about my 1979 MG Midget 1500
yycmidget Avatar
yycmidget Dave B
Calgary, AB, Canada   CAN
Many years ago a Brit car mechanic swapped out my weeping brass heater valve for a plastic VW valve - I wasn't bright enough to ask for the old part. The result was ugly, but serviceable. A year or so ago, I decided that I'd like to return things to stock, however those brass valves are not available commercially and difficult to find otherwise. This led to some uncharitable thoughts about that mechanic and the motives for swapping out the valve. Especially once I learned that the issue was likely just a worn o-ring.

After some searching I found a valve on-line that has been "re-built and cleaned", so I bought it. Yesterday I replaced all of the heater hoses with silicon and installed the brass valve only to find that it leaks terribly. I decide I better check the o-ring and find that the little steel pin that retains the valve cylinder in the body is seized up tight. Heat and penetrating oil are not helping, and I am wary about damaging the brass.

Any tips, hints or suggestions? One possibility seems to be to dissolve the steel screw with alum or a sulfuric acid, but the steel handle is likely to be damaged and I don't have a clear idea of what the pin (& spring, apparently) is like. Does any one have pictures of a disassembled valve?

Thanks!



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Dave

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heater valve 1.jpg    55.1 KB
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Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
I have a heater valve that I have rebuilt and was getting ready to sell, but since I still have it here are some pictures of the screw. You will notice a pin on the end of the screw. This rides in the groove on the barrel and holds in place.



Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-10 08:04 PM by Richb.


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Heater Valve Screw 1.jpg    12.8 KB
Heater Valve Screw 1.jpg

Heater Valve Screw 2.jpg    12.7 KB
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yycmidget Avatar
yycmidget Dave B
Calgary, AB, Canada   CAN
Rich,
Thanks for the photos, they should help a lot. I'll keep trying to free things up, but if I end up drilling out the screw at least I'll know what I'm up against to make a replacement.

If the extraction goes sideways for me and you don't yet have a buyer for yours, you might have an easy sale.



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Dave

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Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
You might try finding a small bit for an impact screwdriver. That's what I always use when working motorcycle cases that are held with Phillips head screws. They are always tight and hard to loosen with out stripping the head. In the case of the heater valve the shoulder of the screw tightens against the brass valve body so it shouldn't cause any damage to the brass and the shock may be what you need to loosen it up. If you do go the impact screwdriver route remember to hold the driver firmly against the screw while you strike it. That is the key to it working.

Good luck.



Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-11 03:00 PM by Richb.

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
I learn something new everyday...

I've been doing some engine detailing and a day ago I just posted how I discovered my radiator fill plug is actually brass. I didn't realize the small heater value is brass as well - I thought I cleaned it up pretty well, but apparently not.

Looks like I'll be getting out the soft wire brush again tonight.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
Soft wire brush, Mr. Metal metal cleaner/polish and time...



Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA

spettro9 Avatar
spettro9 Silver Member John Loiacono
Cedar Grove, NJ, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Laurel"
1999 Volkswagen Golf
2001 Saturn SC1 "Vicky"
I rebuilt my heater valve, to replace the steel flange part which was very pitted and came apart.
I used an old salvaged rectangular cast iron pipe hanger that had a 1/4 npt hole in it.
I cut it into a diamond shape to match brass valve part, painted black and screwed in an elbow barb.

The little screw wasn't that hard to get out, once I got rid of the old gasket.
I sanded that surface it on fine sandpaper on a flat surface.
Replaced O-ring with appropriate size.
Working fine.
About to add a little cable to control from right side of console. I found a little Subaru heater control cable for ~$5 on ebay that will work nice.

I know some people omit the heater box, but I like the idea of taking car out in fall/slightly chilly weather.
Also, having it on seems to keep my engine running more easily in the normal temperature, but I'm still watching this...

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heater valve.jpg    50.4 KB
heater valve.jpg

yycmidget Avatar
yycmidget Dave B
Calgary, AB, Canada   CAN
I think that the little brass items are some of the greatest touches on the car, there are several including the heater plug and valve. There is also the brake pressure differential warning assembly and a tee that splits the rear brake line into left and right sides. That tee is currently my favorite part on my car - last year I redid the entire rear end and spent 45 minutes or so polishing that tee. I used a paste metal cleaner/polish to start, then finished with cotton buffing wheels (the small 2.5 inch ones, mounted in my drill press) using white diamond polish and finishing with jewelers rouge.

It's highly satisfying and helps make up for the trauma of when things don't go as planned, see above eye rolling smiley



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Dave


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Wayne Burner Avatar
Chester, NH, USA   USA
I watched a John Twist video, when I repaired my water choke. I used his method, for freeing up dissimilar metals. Warm the parts with a propane torch, then quickly quench them in a bath of cold water. The process releases the corrosion bond, between the two types of metal. I used it on aluminum and steel, and it worked great. I have not tried the brass and steel yet, but I don't see why it would not work well toothumbs up

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CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
Thanks Richard and Dave for the information about the "guts" of the valve. Since mine was so oxidized I let my OCD get the best of me and decided to pull my valve and clean it. After cleaning, I caused it to leak a drip or two near the handle sad smiley

Went to the hardware store and found a new o-ring and put it back together - works great now. I would have NEVER guessed that there was a small screw between the brass top-half and the steel elbow on the bottom that holds the valve together. I probably would have tossed the whole thing and replaced with something more readily available. My steel elbow portion is rotting on the end where the hose connects - ok for now, but I'll have to find a replacement at some point.

Thanks again!



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”


Attachments:
valve.jpg    24 KB
valve.jpg

spettro9 Avatar
spettro9 Silver Member John Loiacono
Cedar Grove, NJ, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Laurel"
1999 Volkswagen Golf
2001 Saturn SC1 "Vicky"
In reply to # 3754887 by CountBasey My steel elbow portion is rotting on the end where the hose connects - ok for now, but I'll have to find a replacement at some point.

I had the same problem and it came apart too.
Here is a better picture of the one I made.
It adds a little more brass if you like that, like Dave B said above.

The only reason I have it standing off the bracket with the longer bolts + nuts is so I only need one gasket.

If anybody wants, I can fabricate another one for the cost of the parts + shipping. PM me.


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00p0p_1ZmPqrPKpoG_600x450.jpg    48 KB
00p0p_1ZmPqrPKpoG_600x450.jpg

yycmidget Avatar
yycmidget Dave B
Calgary, AB, Canada   CAN
Wayne - thanks for that tip, I took a look at the John Twist video and gave it at try (the o-ring is definitely shot now!). Sadly, it didn't work to free up the screw. The slot is quite damaged as the steel is really corroded and weak. I might be out of options other than to see if I can find a machinist willing to take on such a small job.

John - I really like the way that you've set up your valve - looks good! Dropping down to 1 gasket seems pretty smart.



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Dave

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
Ok, so now I’m curious - both of you keep mentioning multiple gaskets on the original valve, but mine only has one to begin with (???). Are you perhaps saying your valve was assembled with the mounting bracket between the brass top and the steel elbow on the bottom, thus requiring a gasket on both sides of the bracket? Mine only has the one gasket between the brass top and the steel elbow, and then the assembled valve was inserted thru the bracket (so only one gasket).

Or am I missing something?



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-13 09:26 PM by CountBasey.

spettro9 Avatar
spettro9 Silver Member John Loiacono
Cedar Grove, NJ, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Laurel"
1999 Volkswagen Golf
2001 Saturn SC1 "Vicky"
Count Basey - Yeah, mine had the bracket in between the brass and steel, so 2 gaskets...
kinda weird...

Dave B -
I would be patient and put penetrating oil + continue to tap/wake up the screw
That said, if you really got cavalier about it and drilled it out,
the threads aren't really necessary as that little screw is captured once it's put back together
All it has to do is keep the valve cylinder/arm portion from coming out.
You could probably make another appropriate little screw out of some bolt/screw.

yycmidget Avatar
yycmidget Dave B
Calgary, AB, Canada   CAN
John - I haven't given up on it yet. My new afternoon routine, once I'm home from work, is to heat it with a propane torch, quench in water, nudge the screw, experience disappointment, blast it with penetrating oil and go have supper. ...this will either work, or the screw slot will completely disappear and I'll resort to the drill. I hadn't thought about it being captive - there is probably a bit of leeway in sorting out a replacement screw.

As for gaskets - mine is set up (see picture) with:
brass valve - gasket - bracket - gasket - elbow.



-----------
Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-14 11:18 PM by yycmidget.


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brass heater tap - knolled.jpg    39.9 KB
brass heater tap - knolled.jpg

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