Lancia Delta Integrale specialists and enthusiasts
My good friend Pete, the painter, is repainting an old Vespa scooter. He told me last week he was fed up with doing the job, because the Vespa is just like an old washing machine, but with 2 wheels! I thought that was funny, and true!
Our Dealer Collectione Evo passed its MOT this week, last minute swapping of wires to the screen washers got water to the front.
To celebrate I went for a quick blast, the Evo was so happy it blew its heater valve apart! Mirror, smoke, signal, we know that activity.
Anyway, I ordered a replacement from AE Car, it arrived quickly, but looked so like a washing machine part, I realised what Pete had said was correct, Italian things are just White Goods! Integrales are just a big washing machine, although with a bit more power!
a new heater valve
Fun over, I'm going to fit this new valve, pics and report below...
The heater valve is well buried! I read up on the cd manual, the photos are useless, but I read the instructions, and thought it would be straightforward.
I should have known better than that!
The instructions told step by step to remove the cardboard 'bulkhead', radiator header tank, anything fixed to the bulkhead, then whip out the heater box.
First, remove the strut brace. Remembering the bolt head is 19mm, but the nut is 18mm, don't round the nut.
I would make a note which end of the bar is which, because by the time you've finished your brain won't be capable of rational thought!
Proceeding as instructed, lifesaving fireproof 'bulkhead' removed, water bottle removed. Relays unbolted, Inlet hoses and oil de-frother also removed to be on the safe side
It's now time to remove the heater. I located the hidden 10mm nuts under the scuttle, undid them and the heater wouldn't move, I unclipped the heater box top and that would only move an inch. I was lost, I'm sure people more expert than me have done this job easily, but I had to find another way in.
It looked like I could loosen the power steering bottle, and the wiper motor and get in from the side. I did this, and with several socket extensions, got my little socket on the nuts. My hand was being shredded on the wiper motor mounts, but I got the old valve off.
The replacement went back the same way, sideways.
Locating the bolts was tricky, the insulating stuff was
in the way of lining up the nuts, then the loosened heater box top slid down over the upper fixing bolt,
frustration rose as every attempt to bolt the little bugger on failed. Each attempt causing more pain to my poor hand.
I borrowed another long extension and while levering
the box top up a bit got the nut on. I suppose the term is 'Character Building'. As you work on Deltas you learn never to give up, someone has done the same job before you, and lived to tell the tale!
I removed the old insulation from behind the dash, and hoovered out all the old leaves and rubbish.
as the cd says, refitting is the reverse of removing, this is true, notes I had written on the various plugs had all been knocked off with my frantic burrowing, so some memory was used.
I could see why the valve had split, the pipe attached was in such a tight spot it was always in tension on the plastic inlet, failure was always going to happen. I reduced the strain a bit, but it's still tight in there.
I refilled the header tank with anti freeze and de-ionised water, always use this water it's gentle on the alloy head. I tested the valve and fittings, and there were no leaks, phew!
The strut brace bolts probably won't go back easily, don't force them, slacken off the 3 strut top nuts each side and the big bolts will go in easily, then tighten up the strut top nuts.