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Heater issues

 
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:27 pm    Post subject: Heater issues Reply with quote

Spring is spring, fall has fell.
Winter's here, and it's colder than usual.

The frosty mornings have inspired me to get my heater functioning. My toes weren't entirely appreciative of the -12°C this morning, and it's only going to get worse. It's not that it doesn't work, it does defrost the windshield (eventually) but it's not the greatest, and I'm not really sure how it's supposed to work... none of the controls seem to do much.

So far as I can make out, the three sliders on the heater controls are supposed to adjust valves that control various flows. The top, with a red triangle, should be connected to a valve that controls flow of coolant to the heater core. The one in the middle should control a flapper that redirects air from the defroster to the lower vents. The bottom one (blue triangle) should adjust a flapper that controls fresh air intake vs recirculation. Is this correct? Is there any intermediate ground on the levers, or should I be sliding them all the way across just as an open/closed position?

Thing is, slider positions don't really seem to do much in changing air flow. When I adjust the sliders, they all move a bit, as though the panel they're attached to isn't properly secured, although if you push them far enough they do change position relative to each other. There is definitely some air coming out of each of the vents, but not much at all. The fan speed switch makes the fan louder, but I'm not noticing increased airflow anywhere.
There's also a lever down beside my gas pedal foot with a symbol on it that makes me think of a heater, so I'm assuming this opens/closes a footwell vent, but I can't tell where the air is supposed to come out or which direction opens it. I would assume opening or closing this vent (if that's what it is) would decrease and increase airflow through the other vents, but I'm not noticing that effect.

This summer I was able to get more response out of things... it was all on Hot, which was unpleasant, but I was able to do things with the sliders, but although I wasn't always sure what I was doing initially, temperature and airflow did change. Eventually I managed to get it turned off, and was able to turn it back on to demist on cooler mornings, and off again in the warm afternoon, but now I can't turn it back on anymore.

After a brief search online, I've decided to pull things apart and make sure everything's still hooked up, also to make sure there's nothing blocking the cabin air intake. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Also, I apologize for the wordiness of my posts... I have trouble getting all the details in without lots of words...
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, funny story. I went and pulled off the center dash panel, and so far as I can tell, everything is working.
While I didn't test anything to do with the heater valve, I can hear something moving in the passenger side of the dash when I move the top slider. At some point while i had things disassembled, I noticed that the sound had stop, and then I noticed that the clip for the cable was off, because the plastic bit that it presses the cable against was broken off. This is one of only two issues I found, and it's not causing the airflow issues. I clipped the cable back on, although I don't expect it to stay there. I made sure the cable was all the way in, with the slider all the way to the right, which I believe is wide open, and I won't move it for fear of knocking the clip off. I'll have to replace this eventually.
I can also hear something move behind the dash when I move the middle slider, and I can change whether the air blows out the defrost or foot vents. I couldn't get it to come out the middle vents, though, despite leaving the slider in a few different in-between positions.
The bottom slider visibly changed the position of the flap which I could see inside the air intake under the hood. It seems to be jamming up on the one side, and opens kinda lop-sided but it closes properly. I'll have to pull that apart and grease it or something, but I didn't have time today. That was the second issue I found, and it's not responsible for my airflow issues, either.
There are some dead leaves and things sitting on the heater core, but I wasn't sure how to reach in there to get them out without pulling everything apart, so I left them there. No snow, ice, or anything else in there.

So basically, yeah. Things weren't working, I pulled them apart, couldn't find an issue, and put them back together, and now they work. I'm a genius! I'm the best! I can fix all the problems that don't exist!
Or maybe Ladas are like computers? If it don't work, unplug it and plug it back in again! Magic!

Also, the previous owner was halfway through installing what looks to be a junkyard cobbled together radio/sound system. I tore out all the wiring behind the radio in the bottom center dash, since it wasn't hooked up to anything except the radio itself. When the time comes for a radio, I'll do a neat job without the twist-and-wrap connections, although there's little point in putting in a radio since without 5th gear, I'm doing 4000rpm down the highway and would never hear it...
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, whether or not as a result of my dicking around with stuff last night, I've just developed a coolant leak inside the car, spraying into passenger footwell and causing a mist of EG in the car. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be breathing that, so I had all the windows open. This wouldn't have been so bad, except it's -11°C and I wasn't really dressed for being outside. To make matters worse, I was stuck in the left (inside) lane on the freeway in stop-and-go traffic because another idiot couldn't be bothered to actually DRIVE while they were driving, instead of doing something else, and rear ended someone else, and then they refused to move the vehicles out of traffic. So I got to sit there, barely moving (clutching in and out in low range first gear with only ginger throttle to prevent overheating... i was barely managing more than a walking pace so I assumed that lower revs would equal less overheating) before I made it to the first exit to get off the highway. So I'd managed to boil enough coolant into the cabin that I was seriously overheating by the time I got off, which was only making the fog of antifreeze worse.

I'm pretty angry about the whole situation, if you can't tell. I don't blame the Lada at all. Sure, that was annoying, but it wouldn't have been much of an issue if I was sharing the road with complete idiots... But hey, I was always wondering if my temperature gauge actually worked, because it's always climbed to 90 and then stopped. Until today. So at least I know that's working.

My guess is my heater valve popped, as I've read about. Looking at simply deleting it for now, until I can get another one. Hopefully I don't have to pull too much apart because I've got prior obligations tonight and then I have to drive to work tomorrow... ugh.

This whole thing is really making me miss my Jeep. Sure, has 11 times the mileage this thing does, and it did have it's share of issues, but heat wasn't one of them.
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GadgetBoy



Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 957
Location: Belfast, N. Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heater valve is fairly straightforward and is a standard fault after summer or winter when you move it to the opposite position.

Undo the two pipes that go thru the firewall in the engine compartment. Undo the 4 clips holding the lower half of the heater box - beware, these will try to ping off to unknown locations. Drop the lower half of the heater box and the heater matrix with valve will more or less fall out.
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'96 Niva 1.7i
Belfast, N. Ireland
http://www.ladaniva.co.uk
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh dang it, it's that easy? Shocked

I managed to remove the valve and modify it, and put it back, without removing the heater box, but with much swearing.

What I did was undo the bolt that I could get at on the engine side of the valve, undo the nuts on the heater side, this allowed the pipe on the engine side to pivot out of the way when I pried up on the heater side connection. Then I had access to the other engine side bolt, and I pulled it out. To make things easier on myself, I pulled the heater hose off the engine end of that pipe.

It took me ten minutes to pull it out my way. I then realized there was no way what I had on hand could eliminate the valve, and this being the middle of the night I couldn't acquire anything, and I'd kinda like to have heat. So I cut the lever end off the valve body, pulled out the valve, made a plug out of some scrap and sealed it with a crap load of high-temp RTV (which I hope is at least set up by morning... It definitely won't be fully cured). This took me probably an hour.
Then I spent the better part of three hours trying to get the damn thing back in place. That's always the way she goes, eh? Installation is never as simple as opposite of removal... It took several attempts to work out the exact order of pushing into the rubber hose under the hood, lining up bolt holes, and then screwing things down, and it also required removing the other heater hose to give me more room to shove the first back on. This being thoroughly hampered by my inability to be smaller than 6'2/230lbs while dicking around with stuff upside-down in the bottom of the passenger side dash without a lift, the inability to get anything that ratchets onto the nuts/bolts that you can't even turn 90° at a time, and being exhausted after a rather stressful day.
I'll order a new valve tomorrow and I hope this holds up until it gets here... if it doesn't I'm sure I'll find out right away. I've got vicegrips in the glovebox for the rubber heater lines if it does fail, and the I'll loop the heater lines and not have the core when I get home. Or I might actually pull the heater core out and see if there's something better I can do to bypass it. The other option would be to attempt to weld a plate to that cast housing... or some fancy rearranging of hoses and things... I'm sure I could take the pipe that goes through the firewall, attach it to where the valve goes onto the heater, and run a loop of hose to an adapter that goes through the firewall to meet up with existing plumbing.
Hopefully I'll be able to find one of the "better" ceramic valves. It'll suck moose testicles if I get stuck without a heater for a bit of time, though...

Today was day 12 commuting to this job. Three times I've been held up because someone rear-ended someone...
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GadgetBoy



Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 957
Location: Belfast, N. Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See here:

http://lada.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7375&start=12

You'll have to register.

Clues:

Wh4t 1s th3 n4m3 0f th3 L4d4 4x4? = N1v4
Wh4t c02ntry 4r3 L4d4s b21lt 1n? = R2ss14
Wh4t 4r3 tyr3s m4d3 0f? = R2bb3r
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'96 Niva 1.7i
Belfast, N. Ireland
http://www.ladaniva.co.uk
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't have to register cause I was already logged in. Wink

My patch didn't hold at all. Well, that's not quite true, it held up for about half of my morning commute. It was a pretty steady drip when I got to work. On the way home, it turned into a gush. I must have lost a gallon and a half into the passenger footwell. Fortunately I picked up some coolant plumbing stuff before leaving work, and put it all in last night. I did what I planned, took the lower pipe that goes through the firewall, unbolted it from the valve, unbolted the valve from the heater core and bolted the pipe in it's place. I reused the gasket that went with the pipe, because the one at the heater core is crushed differently by the valve. Don't know it would have mattered. Then I ran a loop of heater hose from the "new" pipe on the heater core to a 5/8" to 5/8" connector that I'd stuffed through the firewall, and hooked up the existing heater hoses from there. My new hose loop used much more hose than expected because I had to an airplane loop (three rights to make a left) since the pipe sticks out past the hole through the firewall.

On the morning drive to work with the valve removed from the system, I got no heat at all from the defrost vents. On the way back, though, it did get warm. I'm guessing the heater core just had air trapped. I parked with the front wheel on the curb at work, and it seems to have helped the air bleed out.

Your link was very helpful in this, thanks! And you were right, the hardest part is those two rubber hoses in the engine bay. Clipping the fan housing back on was a close second.

Speaking of the fan housing, I'm still getting incredibly little airflow out of the vents. Heat isn't an issue, it's simply volume of air. If you exhale gently enough that you can't hear the sound of the air rushing past your lips, that's about the pressure I'm getting with the fan on full speed. After the twenty minute drive home from work, the windshield was still frosted from my breath when I got into the car. Heat's great, just not so much air. Is there some kind of upgraded fan or something? Could something be plugged? Is there any way to test fan speed? The fan started making some pretty bad shrieking sounds after its shower in coolant (that *censored* is everywhere...) but after a bit it did eventually stop making noise. I can see/hear the fan working and changing speeds, and the airflow is less on the lower fan setting. It just doesn't seem to be moving much air...
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crb247



Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 2733
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fan setup on the Niva's are notoriously weak. (I find the one in the samara to be a much better design but that doesn't help you). Drop the core if you want and check if you have a build up of leaves/junk on top of the heater core. You could probably check from the heater box intake but it's hard to see down in there.

I put a ford tempo squirrel cage and fan motor in my last Niva.

There was a thread here but all the pics are gone. here's a linky to Baxter's copy but i'm not sure if there are pics on it either. http://www.ladaniva.co.uk/baxter/resources/
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gogmorgo



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Saskatoon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dropped the core when I deleted the heater valve. There was a bit of buildup, but not that much. A handful of leaves and the odd pinecone. The heater fan seems to be working a bit better now. It makes a pretty terrible shriek if I turn it on when it's still cold, but only for a minute or two. It still takes it a bit before it's putting out enough heat to clear the inside of the windsheild, but if it's warm or I leave the windsheild pointed south, then it's not an issue. It is moving a lot more air. I think having figured out how the foot vent works and closing it helps get more air onto the windshield... it's still not brilliant, but it'll do for now.
There's a fan I've found on Lada Power's ebay store, http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Lada-Niva-Reinforced-Heater-Motor-On-Bearings-2101-8101080-/221594926833?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3398163ef1&vxp=mtr, which I've been thinking of getting. It definitely seems more durable than the OEM fan, but I don't know if it's more effective. I still haven't gotten around to ordering the heater valve, so I might order the two together.
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