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Convert Heater From Vac To Cable

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by 65CJ5 SRD, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Oct 11, 2019
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

    NM
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    Has anyone here converted their vacuum style heater control to a cable operated control? I'm tired of messing with the vac "motors." Simple cables would be, I would think, better, but I'm not sure what issues I'd run into doing this. I can get a later model control setup on ebay but it's pricey.
     
  2. Oct 12, 2019 at 7:14 AM
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    What is your problem with the vacuum control? Mine work fine, if you need a vacuum control I have extra, I can send you one.
     
  3. Oct 12, 2019 at 8:01 AM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    I replaced them long ago and it all worked. For awhile. They are fine as long as they are working but one of the vac units has failed again. It's a PITA pulling the heater box and if I convert to cables, I should not have to pull it again. Probably. Anything can happen but the diaphragm inside those vac units tends to go bad.

    Appreciate the offer on the part. If there is some big obstacle in converting the controls then I may replace the vac unit again. But I'm hoping someone here has done it and can tell me how it went for them.
     
  4. Oct 12, 2019 at 8:30 AM
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Tulsa, OK
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    I replaced mine with a choke cable and a 2-way switch. it works fine for what it is. The stock heater is so wimpy that cable is either all the way open or all the way closed.
    Look in the lower left corner of my dashboard.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Oct 12, 2019 at 8:51 AM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

    NM
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    Did you have any issues attaching the cables to the heater box? Did you have to do anything special there?
     
  6. Oct 12, 2019 at 11:16 AM
    Greevesman

    Greevesman Sponsor Sponsor

    Napa, Ca
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    I have trouble getting the vacuum (signal) thru the control. The vac pots work ok but maybe I have a leak in the controller. Push button actuate ok.
     
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  7. Oct 12, 2019 at 2:21 PM
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    no it was pretty straight forward. I changed it maybe 25 years ago.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Oct 12, 2019 at 3:27 PM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    Yeah, I looked at that as best I could. Swapped the vac hoses around. Looks like the vac motor thing is bad. Access to it all is terrible now. When I worked on it before I probably had everything out/off the dash. I'll have to pull a LOT of stuff out of the way to get to the heater box no matter what I decide to do with it. If I could get to the vac motor in question (the one on top) I'd just take it apart and set the door open for heat now. But I can't even do that!
     
  9. Oct 12, 2019 at 5:06 PM
    Greevesman

    Greevesman Sponsor Sponsor

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    Mine all work. If you use a brake bleeder vacuum tool on each pot, the actuate and hold vacuum. It's getting vacuum thru the control I have trouble with.
     
  10. Oct 12, 2019 at 6:00 PM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    I never had a problem with the control, just the "pots" themselves. Mine worked OK after I fixed it the first time (it had 2 bad "pots" on it then; neither would actuate with vacuum or hold vacuum so I replaced them). This time I'm going to try using cables. I ordered the push pull cables I need from NAPA and I'll get a switch next week. If I can work up the energy to tear it all apart I'll relate how it goes later.
     
  11. Oct 12, 2019 at 6:59 PM
    Greevesman

    Greevesman Sponsor Sponsor

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    where did you find the pots? I got some used ones from Walcks.
     
  12. Oct 13, 2019 at 6:40 AM
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The Air control is already cable control on the factory controller, the vacuum controls only the defrosters our heater ducts. You would only need to control the door that opens the defroster duct, and closes the floor duct. I took my controller apart and made sure it made a good seal in the vacuum switch, and put new hoses on the vacuum lines, everything is good now. Just a suggestion, Good Luck
     
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  13. Oct 13, 2019 at 4:28 PM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    As I recall (it's been so long I don't remember for sure), I think I got them off ebay. But wherever I got them from I don't think they were new. I don't think you can find them new anymore. Even if you found NOS the diaphragms would be really old in those. I would think that ideally you'd want freshly made units for the longest diaphragm life.

    I tore everything apart today. What a PAIN. I hope I can get it all back together again and that it all still works...

    It was indeed another bad vac "pot." So I'm switching it over to cables (I do NOT EVER want to have to go through this again if I can help it). I tried to order control cables online at NAPA yesterday, but they didn't get the order right. I want 3 matching cables. So a counter guy located what I needed at 2 different stores locally. It should all be sent to the one near me Monday or Tuesday. That also gives me time to go to the electronic parts place and get a switch (rotary if I can find it, toggle if not). Then I have to fab up a bezel for mounting. I'll use the old one as a guide and I plan to use 1/8" aluminum angle since I have some left over from my mirror bracket project.

    Old defrost vac module still in place before removal. This one was still working but is as old as the one that failed:

    P1020832_sm.JPG

    Cable mount to replace heater vac module. I found some clips that worked well to mount and hold the cable sheath. Push-pull cable is a test cable, and I still need to remove the arm that used to connect to the vac module. The attachment will be much better than shown! This is a test, this is only a test:

    P1020833_sm.JPG

    Cable setup for defrost vent. Cable is a test cable:

    P1020834_sm.JPG

    Another view of the setup for the heater venting. I like the way the defrost arm is attached better than this, so I may do that with this one once I get the actual cable controls:

    P1020835_sm.JPG
     
  14. Oct 13, 2019 at 5:11 PM
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    This post and the ones following it may help in finding them: 1964 Cj5 Heater Duct Vacuum Solenoids
     
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  15. Oct 15, 2019 at 8:52 AM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    Well, I won't be doing much on this for awhile. I needed to cut the angle material for a new heater control bezel yesterday but the saw jammed up and all hell broke loose...

    I spent yesterday from 2 in the afternoon until 2 in the morning today in the hospital. They repaired my index fingertip the best they could, but it will be a little shorter than it used to be. Could have been much worse but that's little consolation. I feel like a class A number 1 fool.

    Of course the Jeep is unusable right now as everything is out of the dash and I'm the only one who knows how it all goes back together. I have no idea how long it will take before I can even attempt the simplest thing on it now. And it will turn too cold to work out there soon as well.

    A word of warning to all! Clamp the material down. Lesson learned, but a little too late.
     
  16. Oct 15, 2019 at 9:25 AM
    Twin2

    Twin2 wasn't me Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    sorry for your mishap
    seems to be a lot of hand injury's lately
     
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  17. Oct 15, 2019 at 9:38 AM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    Thanks. But I'm now in contention for the Darwin Award!
     
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  18. Oct 15, 2019 at 10:34 AM
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    I'm sure there are plenty of us that are in line for it...glad you weren't hurt worse. We could probably form a large group and call it "Wow, I survived!"
     
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  19. Oct 18, 2019 at 5:26 PM
    65CJ5 SRD

    65CJ5 SRD Member

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    Well, it's finished. Jeep heater mod is done. Took it on a short test drive and it seems to work OK. Actual heat coming out of the heater and/or defrost vents. What a concept. I'll add some photos below. Controls work pretty well. I added some very light springs to help close the heat and defrost dampers. I think I can disconnect them without removing it all if needed. Switch is on-off-on as that was all I could get. I wanted off-on-on (i.e., off-low-hi) but not available locally. Control at left is temp, next is heat, last is defrost. A few scratches in the front paint. Oh well. And I wasn't 100% happy with my switch placement, but I can change it later if needed.

    Had a difficult time reassembling it all. Damaged finger did not help any but it was the Jeep fighting me more than the finger. Spouse helped some (mostly held things in place so I could bolt back in). I used speed nuts to attach everything underneath this time instead of nuts, lock washers and bolts. Much easier to deal with that way.

    Only thing not working when I got done was a small accessory light in the engine compartment. I spent at least half an hour checking everything I did and it turned out to be (you guessed it) just a burned out lamp. I replaced it with LED so should not have that issue again. At least for the number of years I have left on the planet!

    So, the world's most expensive heater repair (when the medical bills come in!) is finally done.

    P1020837_sm.JPG P1020839_sm.JPG P1020840_sm.JPG
     

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