Sunday, March 11, 2018

Jeep CJ7 Fresh Air Box Restoration

PART 2 of 2
Lower Heater Restoration Link
  • Spring: Hillman #543210 (shortened to 3 1/4")
  • Push Nuts (for damper pivots): Dorman 961-345D - found at O'Reilly's
  • Foam: McMaster #86225K57 1" w/adhesive (24" square)
  • Eastwood Flexible Strip Caulk 13524
  • Damper Paint: Rustoleum Satin Black Professional
  • Linkage Paint: Dupli-Color low gloss engine enamel
  • There is no need to remove the dash.  I did loosen the right side dash bolts to provide a little extra room and the glove box was removed.
  • Tilt the windshield forward and remove the defroster duct.
  • Unscrew the speedometer cable and slide it all the way into the engine compartment.
  • Remove the heater cables from the air box and the dash.
  • Remove the resistor wire (the red terminal on the passenger end of the air box).
  • On the engine side of the firewall, remove the drain vent.
  • Remove the cowl vent screws and then the four screws attaching the air box to the cowl.
  • The top of the air box can then be rotated away from the firewall allowing the drain vent to come out of the hole.
  • Once the drain hole is free, drop and slide the air box to the right and out the passenger side door.

Disassembly: Front

Disassembly: Top

Disassembly: Back

Disassembly: Passenger side damper pin.

Disassembly: Driver side recirculation damper linkage.

Disassembly: Driver side recirculation damper linkage.

Disassembly: Driver side recirculation damper linkage.

Disassembly: Main damper linkage.

Disassembly: Main damper linkage.

Disassembly: Main damper linkage. Note: Missing Spring

Disassembly: Main damper linkage.

Disassembly: Resistor

Disassembly: Interior dampers.

Disassembly: Upper heater unit parts.


Parts dunked in Evapo-Rust, cleaned, and painted.  Used Rustoleum satin black on the dampers and Dupli-color low gloss black ceramic engine enamel on the hardware... also rubbed on some Min-Wax wiping poly on the springs and washer nuts and lubed the cable.

Separated box halves, cleaned and treated with Protect-All vinyl preservative.

Inside view.

Using 1/8" diameter, 5/16"grip aluminum pop rivets and aluminum washers to rejoin the halves.
Using 1/8" diameter, 1/4" grip steel pop rivets and steel washers on the two brackets.

Got a chance to use the Craftsman hydraulic pop riveter that my Dad bought to help me turn my 1969 VW into a Baja Bug.

Brackets riveted on using the steel pop rivets (inside).

Brackets riveted on using the steel pop rivets (outside).

Passenger side damper reinstalled.  Note that the damper shafts are flat on one side and only go in one way.

Driver side damper reinstalled.  The damper was sticking so I trimmed a little rubber all the way around.

Box reassembled (front).  Laid a bead of the strip caulk between the halves (encircling the rivet locations).  Used aluminum rivets with steel shafts with an aluminum washer on both sides.  Worked well.

Box reassembled (rear).  Note the new gasket cut from the 1" foam.  The original thicker gasket was 1/2", so cut the thickness on the new one to 3/4"  to allow for greater compression.

Here is the main damper mechanism reassembled.  I painted all the parts, but the paint will ultimately scrape off in contact areas.  The idea was to protect the rest of the areas from rust.  This is the new spring (trimmed to 3 1/4" overall).

Driver side damper mechanism reassembled.

Originally, I laid a double row of the strip caulk as a waterseal.  It got ruined in the process of reinstalling the air box into the Jeep.

Instead, I laid about four rows of strip caulk on the underside of the cowl opening making sure to surround all of the screw holes.  This worked perfectly.

The air box did not go in as easily as it came out.  I had to disconnect the speedometer cable (sliding it all the way back into the engine compartment) and remove all of the heater cables.

All that is needed now is to hook up the resistor connector and install the lower heater unit.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

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