Restoration Impossible: Restoring the Heater

Here’s what we started with: rust, rat nests and a lovely smell.
Once welded up, we filled and painted the heater (along with some other pieces).
Our finished heater looks pretty good and should work perfectly.

Time to set to work under the dash in our project Lotus Elan. Sadly, rats had gotten into our original Smith’s heater and left nests that turned into rust holes. Undaunted, and again trying to keep as much of the original car as we could, we carefully disassembled the heater. First we cleaned the heater core in our ultrasonic cleaner at 160 degrees. The last thing we wanted was animal smells when we ran the heater.

We then media blasted all the heater’s sheet metal, including the fan blade. From there we carefully welded in patch panels on the thin metal heater box. Next we filled in and repaired these areas with body filler to make sure it looked perfect. Then we primed and painted all the pieces with Eastwood Chassis Black.

Surprisingly, the fan motor itself was still intact and turned freely when we tested it.

We reassembled the heater and carefully painted the white knobs that open the vents. We purchased new hose and correct clamps from R.D. Enterprises and added the now perfectly rebuilt heater to our growing stack of restored components for our early Lotus Elan.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the CMS forums
Sponsored by

Classic Motorsports House Ad

Our Preferred Partners