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Old 10-21-2010, 08:42 PM
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heater problems

I'm trying to get my heater in working order before winter kicks in and I have a few questions.. what does the vacuum ball connect to?(th350 has manifold vacuum) I have new heater core and the heat from the floor isn't very hot. is there a different part I'm missing?

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:02 AM
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Your heater control valve probably isn't opening. Look for a valve that your heater hose goes to on the engine. That valve opens when you turn on the heater to allow hot water to run into your heater core. They often get frozen open or closed when they aren't used for a long period of time.

Brian
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:23 PM
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I heard it was going to be warm in Mississippi this winter, you may not need a heater.

When was the last time the cooling system was flushed out? Do you have a picture of this vacuum ball?

One of the reasons you may have no heat to the floor is because the heater is in the 'fail safe' mode. I'm assuming that this is a A/C system, the fail safe if a vacuum line is off or a sensor doesn't work, is to put all air to the defrosters and the upper ventilation. Is this what is happening to your car?

What kind of car are we talking about?
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:29 PM
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1983 Buick park avenue with Chevy 350. all electronics have been removed
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:58 PM
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A few facts.

1) The heater control valve is normally open and only closes when the A/C is in the MAX position. Unless you have the valve incorrectly hooked to full time vacuum, it is not the problem. Simple test - disconnect the vacuum hose from the valve and plug the hose. If the heat works, you have the wrong hose connected to the valve.

2) The vacuum ball is a reservoir to maintain vacuum to the HVAC flapper doors during low vacuum periods, like wide open throttle. The ball is connected to manifold vacuum, BUT there is a check valve between the ball and the manifold.
The valve looks like this (Dorman Products P/N 47150):



The LH port goes to the manifold, Center port to the vacuum ball, and RH port to the HVAC source hose.

3) The most likely problem in your car is a broken bellcrank on the temperature blend door. The blend door is cable operated, not vacuum operated. You need to remove the glove box to access the bellcrank. This is a common problem and you can get a replacement bellcrank from RockAuto. Four Seasons P/N 74806).

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Old 10-22-2010, 03:02 PM
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Can you locate the air blend door of the heater? While selecting the AIR/HEAT lever back and forth, touch the door or the vacuum motor connected to it to see if there is movement. Check all vacuum lines coming into this motor and trace them back to the source of the vacuum to see if the vacuum is pulling in those lines. Check with a vacuum gauge!

If you previously pulled lines from the car or switched lines, you are in deep DOO DOO.

Try getting a colored copy of the vacuum line layout from your local GM dealer or buy a copy of the 83 Buick manual to refer to. It isn't going to be an easy fix!!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:03 PM
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the transmission needs full vacuum and I can only find ported vacuum switches.. and how do I correctly install da two vacuum lines from under the dash
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:40 AM
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My Edelbrock manifold has a tapped vacuum fitting on the back behind the carburetor on the passenger side. I have a vacuum nipple screwed in there, and then a t-fitting that splits manifold vacuum between the heater canister and the TH350 line. In the stock setup I had a third vacuum line running up to the carburetor intake heat control, but that has been removed and I replaced it with a line to my vacuum gauge.

I also have a steel vacuum line screwed on to the back of the carburetor, and that connects to the brake booster. There is a large fitting on the front of the carb for the PCV valve and a smaller fitting for the vacuum line running up to the vacuum advance.

I don't see why you would need a vacuum switch anywhere to make the basic controls work, unless it is something for an EGR system.

Once you verify all the engine compartment lines are hooked up and not leaking, then you need to work through the lines running from the canister to the heater and determine if the vacuum motors are moving at the right times. If you have broken hard plastic lines to the heater controls, you can use a short piece of tight fitting rubber vacuum hose to make splices.

Bruce
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:27 PM
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vfull vacuum is usually any port in base plate of the carb, and anywhere below that, IE intake manifold ports

vacuum ball is usually used with cruise control and sometimes with the charcoal canister, but not always
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:00 AM
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can any body take a photo or draw me a diagram for how to route hoses from the intake to the check valve to black ball. and the violet and grey vacuum line...its cold and really need heat
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:07 AM
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Many GM vehicles are similar, but they won't be identical, so my suggestions might not apply. joe_padavano's comments might be more useful, since he seems to know more about your specific vehicle.

If you are not getting enough heat (bad thermostat?), fixing the vacuum controls won't cure your problem. I think a no-vacuum condition on my truck puts the system into a mixed defrost/floor mode. I get plenty of heat, but no choice on where it goes.

The vacuum line routing is fairly simple.
-- From the intake manifold fitting there is a vacuum line running to the vacuum canister under the hood (you can use the same place the TH350 line is connected, and add a T-fitting). In my case there is no check valve.
-- The other port of the vacuum canister is where the hard line from under the dash connects. It runs through the firewall very close to the canister. It is a small diameter line that is made of hard flexible plastic, not rubber. You can buy sections of this line at most parts stores.
-- The hard line runs across under the dash (hard to reach) and then up to the back of my heater controls and is molded on to a large multi-port connector on the back of the heater controls.
-- The multi-port connector has hard lines running out to each vacuum motor, with a short soft connector on the end of each line where it connects to the motor.

If you find broken hard lines you can repair them by sticking the two ends into a very short section of rubber vacuum line. I think you need 3/16" rubber line for a tight fit, but you will have to experiment.

Bruce
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:03 PM
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if I hook up at manifold would that vacuum raise with rpms I have the entire dash out of the car and I have been playing around with the vacuum doors manuals and I think if I can get those working I would be satisfied. I think most early-mid 80s chevrolet used the violet and white vacuum lines
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