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Old 10-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
bumpdraft
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Default Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Has anyone ever installed a water valve to shut off flow to the Heater Core?

Reason:
In hot weather, there is still 190+ degree Fahrenheit heat entering the pasenger cabin and the radiant heat component is trying to cook me.

On my F-350, I installed a water valve to stop flow in hot weather. It can make the difference between needing to use the A/C or not (Meaning, performance and mileage)
(Also, the F-350 has no pushbutton to shut off the A/C compresser, so I have to un-plug the connector...Hey, what do you want for only $32,000?and that's 2001 dollars)

Question:
Is it possible to do something like this to an S-Series?:


And yes, it's a pain to turn on the heat and then realize the valve is closed

Last edited by bumpdraft; 10-30-2011 at 11:07 AM. Reason: There ARE electronic valves available somewhere!
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

I don't see why it's not possible. Access to it is going to suck though unless you added a "service loop" and placed the valve somewhere accessable from the top.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

No, do not do it.

The continuous flow through that lop is a part of the entire system. The volume of water returned to the pumps suction is critical to proper cooling of the head in all conditions.
http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=48629

There is not a continuous flow from the head through the radiator in all cases. If the heater lop is isolated then the coolant flow to the left end of the head is stagnant.

You could safely bypass it though just as long as you maintained it filled with slowly moving coolant. A bypass valve connecting the inlet and outlet when open would work. Just do not isolate flow in that loop.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

maybe your car hasa a problem with the doors isolating the heater core from the a/c system. i don't feel any radiant heat from the heater core in the summer in my car. yours is not sealing properly then..
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

I does sound like a door issue to me also as I detest baked right foot. Mine does not do that either...
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
No, do not do it.

If the heater lop is isolated then the coolant flow to the left end of the head is stagnant.... Just do not isolate flow in that loop.
I was afraid of that! ...and that's why I didn't do it sooner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The continuous flow through that loop is a part of the entire system. The volume of water returned to the pumps suction is critical to proper cooling of the head in all conditions.
http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=48629

A bypass valve connecting the inlet and outlet when open would work. Just do not isolate flow in that loop
Yes. I studied that picture (and the engine) and adding a shut-off valve did not look straight forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
A bypass valve connecting the inlet and outlet when open would work. Just do not isolate flow in that loop
Hmmm...I will think about that. It has to be sanitary. I don't want a bunch of rigging in the way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
maybe your car hasa a problem with the doors isolating the heater core from the a/c system. i don't feel any radiant heat from the heater core in the summer in my car. yours is not sealing properly then..
Door is fine. The radiant heat is in the car.
I've put up with it for 170,000 miles. It isn't like it's cooking my foot. - It only makes a difference at an air temp that is almost A/C time
(The F-350 is a roaster inside that little cab. Especially when I shut off the engine and get back in a few minutes later. With the valve closed, it does not do that)

Thanks all for the answer
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

All you have to do is open about a 1/2 bypass between the inlet and outlet. Modified ball valve and 2 appropriate sized tees and you are good to go. You want to maintain some minor flow in the core so it does not turn into a crud trap. The core inlet and outlet are 3/4".
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Two threads, one paste! Have you verified that the blend door isn't eff'd?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBucwjIcc3s
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

When you run the blower, and move the temp control left and right, do you actually feel the air getting hotter and colder?
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Really stupid options in case you haven't thought about the easy stuff.

First: on these hot days, you climate control knob is turned to the coldest setting, right?

Second: Turn your fan to the first or second click and see what happens. I find that just a little bit of moving air helps to keep foot well temps down.

If you are turned all the way to the cold side and you're still cranking 195 degree air, you have a duct problem.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Guilty! I think I have identified those engineers who were on the design team that decided to eliminate the VALVE that kept hot water out of the passenger compartment

I wish I had an infared camera. I would take a picture of the dash area while the car was sitting stationary with the engine running and the heater control set to cold with the fan set to "low".

The blend door is working as designed.

It is not that big of a deal. If I could easily shut off the water on 75-degree sunny days, I would.

thanks for all the comments

Last edited by bumpdraft; 10-31-2011 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Today's Words: Adiabatic Container
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

The door in question is inside the heater box and only the linkage on the left side is visible. There is a foam seal on the bade and it is prone to foam rot. See post #2 for the pictures. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=162508

Sure do miss the ability to upload pictures to the gallery and insert them in-line...
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
...
I wish I had an infared camera. I would take a picture of the dash area while the car was sitting stationary with the engine running and the heater control set to cold with the fan set to "low"....
Rented a FLIR camera for a home inspection.
Checked my SC2 ...and I was...wr...wr....wrong!

Engine Warm-Up sitting in the driveway.
Heater set to full COLD. Fan blower motor is OFF.

Looking in thru the open pasenger door at the dashboard area.

You can see the dash starting to glow, but the most heat is coming in from the engine (located at the bottom of the image)
(The hot spot on the left of the image is a dash light bulb)


Next image (below)
Looking in thru the open driver's door.
You can see the clutch, brake and gas pedals.
Biggest heat source is the engine (duh.)
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Jeeps have a bypass valve. Well, the few Cherokee's (early '90's era) I've seen did. That one is activated via vacuum, when the heat's off it's activated to bypass the heater core. You'd have to steal the EGR solenoid from a '91-'94 S-Series, and wire in a switch.

RockAuto calls it a "Heater Control Valve." $20 You'd have to find a Cherokee to figure out how to plumb it though, if the outlets are even the right size.
...
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Jeeps have a bypass valve. Well, the few Cherokee's (early '90's era) I've seen did. That one is activated via vacuum, when the heat's off it's activated to bypass the heater core. You'd have to steal the EGR solenoid from a '91-'94 S-Series, and wire in a switch.

RockAuto calls it a "Heater Control Valve." $20 You'd have to find a Cherokee to figure out how to plumb it though, if the outlets are even the right size.
thanks, but I'd like a manual switch. When repairing other thing, it's frustrating to have to remove any rigged things i added.

My 1986 ZuZu Trooper 2 has a plastic/aluminum heater core and a modular construction similar to the Saturn HVAC system.

The Trooper has a plastic Shut-off Valve built into the heater core. It is a source of failure. My Trooper is on its third heater core. The valve was broken when I bought the ve-hickel used in 1987 (posible due to the previous owner's cokehabit)

I killed one of the heater cores by only driving the Trooper in the summer and never thinking to turn the heat "on". Even thought I add pump lube/anti-rust, the heater core corroded from stagnant coolant going bad.

My '78 Cutlass has a metal vac operated valve. Still works fine...but the Cutlass is one piece of heavy De-Triot Iron.

Last edited by bumpdraft; 12-11-2011 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:48 AM   #16
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Simple answer; (2)two 'T' fittings with one being a 3-way valve while the other is a plain one. The 3-way fitting redirects flow from straight-through to the bypass fitting - this goes on the output side of the engine block. The plain 'T' fitting goes to the return line. In summer the 3-way valve is rotated 90 degrees to route hot coolant through the bypass to the plain 'T' fitting. Now hot coolant is redirected back to the engine without going through the heater core. When cold weather returns, rotate the 3-way handle back and coolant flows through the heater core. Simple. You just have to match hose diameters to fittings with adapters and screw clamps. Coolant flow continues whether through the heater core or bypassed.

Plumbing supply is one source of 3-way valves and making 'T' fittings from copper.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

With an all aluminum engine and a conductive coolant avoid mixing metals. Use aluminum or plastic. Anything else will be slowly dissolved and "slowly" is relative. There are plastic 3 way valves available in the conversion van market which will work. Now all you have to do is find the space for this plumbing.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Thanks all! I will look into it.
At least the heater core is something I can control.

A problem in summer....The engine heat radiating thru the fire wall (shown in FLIR images):

Reflective foil INSIDE the cab would reflect significant body heat back at me.

Reflective foil on the fire wall OUTSIDE of the cab would corrode in the salt spray. It would have to be laminated in plastic or something.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
With an all aluminum engine and a conductive coolant avoid mixing metals. Use aluminum or plastic. Anything else will be slowly dissolved and "slowly" is relative. There are plastic 3 way valves available in the conversion van market which will work. Now all you have to do is find the space for this plumbing.
the question is why is this valve needed in the first place? my car has no valve & the heat is hot & in the summer the a/c is cold. using a valve to mask a cooling system/heating system problem isn't the answer.....
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Heater Core Shut-Off Valve?

The reason that the shutoff was desired is the hot water flows continuously and if you do not go from heat to spring to continuous A/C you will feel your right foot being slowly cooked in the summer by heat from the hot core. A shutoff or bypass makes a dead leg and stops the flow through the core. The core tends to corrode and leak in a dead leg.
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