Reworking the Heat and Vent

This weekend was the 2010 Factory Five Open House. Much like the last few weeks, I had taken Friday off and wanted to get some work done on the car prior to the drive down.  I didn’t get any photos of that work, but I wanted to get a short post on here about what I did. In a nutshell, I removed the console and dash, rewired the heater blower to not use the speed controller, and patched the switch on the dash for the garage door opener into the newly unused wires in the center console harness.

On the center console itself, I removed the potentiometer from the switch panel, and replaced it with a simple SPST toggle switch to trigger the on/off relay. Power from there was routed directly to the blower, so the blower in the fender well is either full on or off now.

There were three wires previously used in the harness to provide the input to the fan speed controller from the potentiometer. One of those was repurposed to provide ignition-switched power to the heater bypass valve (so the heat/vent knob works any time the car is on). A second one is being used to provide 12v when the momentary toggle switch for the garage door opener is used on the dash.

The power feed from the dash switch for the garage door opener runs through a relay. A modified garage door opener is inside the center console and is wired into the relay, so 12v from the switch will trigger the transmitter.

While I was at it, I also poked around for a while trying to figure out why my high beams stopped working. I won’t say how long it was that I spent looking before I noticed the harness to the foot switch had pulled out down in the footwell. Suffice it to say, it was too long.

Getting the dash installed again was a real nightmare and I think before I do that again I need to find a better way to guarantee I have the dash aligned properly so the rivnuts in the underdash panel line up with the holes in the dash and the trim strip. I’m thinking right now that I may put a couple pins in the underdash panel, which fit through holes in the bottom edge of the dash and the trim strip to align everything before bolting. It should be an easy change to make next time I have the dash off.

On an unrelated note, my windshield broke sometime after the Open House. I drove the Cobra to work today and noticed it was cracked. Since this is #2, and I only have 600 miles on the car, I decided to order a Lexan replacement. I’m not entirely sure I won’t have problems with scratching over time, but I’d rather worry about that then replace the glass over and over. I believe I can do the replacement (thankfully) without pulling the entire windshield, which would require removing the dash again.

I’m also still having the valve cover oil leak — its not bad, but snugging up the bolts hasn’t helped. I also think my coolant de-gas tank may be leaking slightly. I need to look at that. Still, the car is running great and has been a real blast so far this summer. I’m hoping to do some carpet work in the car next, but I’m thinking of doing something a bit different with it, and need to source the various bits I need.