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dogma420

Honda Civic Heater Blower Motor upgrade for 240z's--My personal take

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Howdy everybody...

I just finished with the Honda blower motor upgrade for my 72 240z. I have got to tell you, this would be the best upgrade ever for my Z if it wasn't for Dave's Headlight relay harness upgrade.

I'm telling you...on the setting low (the first setting from off) the output is just about equal to what it used to be on full. Yes, it's that good.

I did it primarily for 2 reasons:

1. The stock heater fan's output reminds me of an early 70's Japanese car (duh)...in other words, this heater motor's output is very low in comparison to anything in modern times.

2. I plan on installing a new R134a A/C system this June..so I wanted to possibly get higher fan output if at all possible.

What I did was order a 88-91 Honda Civic Motor from this Link:

http://www.drivewire.com/hondaparts/catalog/hondacivicheaterblowermotor.html

I figured a new one for $85.40 ? Sounds good to me...(any of the motors at the bottom for any of the 88-91 civics work, they are all the same model)...

The problem was, and I'm to blame, is that it didn't come with a fan blade! Even the picture doesn't show it having one. The Honda one is plastic, much lighter than the 240z metal one, and after over 3 hours of fabrication tries, I came to the conclusion that the stock 240z metal fan blade can't be mounted to this Honda fan without major mods to the motor's bolt that the fan blade would mount to. [i'M NOT SAYING that someone else here couldn't figure it out--I gave up at the 3 hour mark--seems that the spacing is too deep when I got the fan installed--the bolt through the motor would have to be removed and have the indentation on the end of the Honda motor machined down lower on the bolt to make it work--just wasn't worth it, because at that point, the 3 hour mark, I remembered this.....]

Auto Adventure in Portland, Oregon

Link: http://www.partsadventure.com/

Growing up, I must of had 10 Honda Accords and Civics...and I used to buy parts all the time from Auto Adventure.

This is a smaller warehouse in the middle of Portland that houses just about every stock part imagineable for any Honda from 1988 to present (used to be from 1976 to present in the day...)

The great thing is, all parts are already disassembed and have been stored since they were removed from a salvage car in a temperature controlled environment. Auto Adventure (owned by Speed's towing) purchases wrecked and whatever else Hondas and then disassembles and does whatever. So....

I called them up, "do you have the plastic fan blade for a 88-91 Honda Civic heater motor?"

"yeah, $50"

So, now I'm in this project for $85 + 50...jeeze...anyways...

I go down there and for $50 I get the entire heating housing, motor, fan, the entire heating guts from under the dash from a civic. They force you to take it all so they have more space.

You could probably get them to ship to anywhere in the US, not sure, but if you can't find the parts,....I'd call them.

So here's what I did, and what parts I used:

1. New motor from first link

2. Used white plastic fan blade from used motor I got from Auto Adventure

3. Round rubber gasket that goes around outside of housing from used assembly I got at Auto Adventure (THIS was very useful, I think I would've needed this and/or created something--my 35 year old 240z fan gasket was too worn out to be resued IMO).

4. 2 wire crimper thingies, tube with insulation on the outside that you stick 2 ends of wires into each end, and then vice grip the connector tightly closed to complete a circuit.

Just put the whole assembly together as you would think it would go. Observations:

1. I tested the new motor with the plastic fan to ensure it was going to rotate the correct way (if wrong, the air output wouldn't be very strong)...when positive (red) from new Honda motor was connected to the postive (red) of the 240Z wiring harness (and both negatives attached) I found that POLARITY IS CORRECT, THAT THE FAN ROTATES THE CORRECT WAY WITHOUT SWITCHING POLARITY. All I did was check what rotation was on original fan motor in relation to the 240z fan blade's curvature)

2. The Honda motor (both the new one and used one) came with a vent hole on the motor, that would have a 'snorkel' that leads to the air housing where the fan blade is moving. My guess is this is to wisk away moisture and keep the motor more dust free than if it was just sealed (like the 240z motor)...not sure what would be better, plugged or vented...I chose to just keep it open, the opening sits on top of the motor and I doubt anything would get in there in the future...I think this would be better than if the vent was capped with a rubber emission type cap...

3. The gasket from the used motor I purchased that goes around the outside was very important in sealing the whole fan in its base. Make sure that you seal it in some way.

4. The 3 washer/rubber gaskets that the housing screws go through need to be modified. The oem Honda fan housing just has knobs in the plastic that the fan sort of snap into (like 2 legos) and then use large washers. What I did was remove the 3 washer/rubber thingies from the 240z motor, and I cut the inside rubber portion off, and removed the 'tube' of metal that the screw went through. What was left was the outside washer, attached to the outside portion of rubber--IMO the best way to mount the heater.

5. The glove box should definitely be removed so you don't damage/scrape the bottom of the glove box as you remove the fan (it would be very easy to damage your glove box). The wire leads from the 240z harness are VERY short (at least on my 10/71 Z) and reconnecting them would be very difficult without removing the glove box.

6. This FAN KICKS TOTAL butt! I highly recommend this upgrade. It's right up there with the headlight harnesses as far as making our 240's feel more like one of our other newer cars. The output is incredibly high on wind, but it isn't any louder, in fact, the motor is quieter at its highest output...the air rushing sound though, is actually louder than the stock 240z fan, which isn't surprising. Although it does not look 100% original, on anything but a low vin 70 car, it's barely noticeable that the fan has been replaced.

7. I would recommend just getting the used assembly from Auto Adventure...But at least I now have an extra Honda motor for future failures if necessary. After seeing/feeling the fan output, I don't feel bad at all about spending $135 on this upgrade...using my Z as a daily driver at times, it's nice to have a good fan on a cold Winter morning, or that one or two weeks of 80+ temps we have here in the Northwest USA.

Any questions, PM me...

By the way, I thought about doing pictures and/or putting this in the tech how to article area, but it's just too easy and short, I decided against it...am I correct?

Have a great rest of your week everyone,

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This was great information :cheeky:

I will definitly use this someday when I'm upgrading the heater blower motor in my 240z.

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Outstanding, I've got one of the Honda fans sitting in the garage waiting for a cold day and a bit of motivation. I've been hoping something like this would come along.

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Thats alot of work and money for something I can buy from a couple of different sellers on E-bay for less than $60. And both of them include a pigtail to plug it in with. Just do a search for "Datsun Blower"

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Excluding the 'dinking around' trying to get the stock fan blades to mate to the new motor, total time is under an hour.

Stock 240z fans don't have pigtails....that's a Honda pigtail...even if you have a pigtail, you still have to splice the wires into the setup. 240's use 2 male/female plugs sticking out of the wiring harness only about an inch.

All references to 'honda blowers' show a silver ended fan that even if painted black, does not match the 240z motor housing (the one in the picture has this pigtail thingy plugging into the motor). The procedure I used matches the original fan, where 2 wires come out of the stock motor. Without mods, my fan looks stock...I will post pictures as soon as I find my camera.

Uh, Russell, I post this information for users that could possibly use it. It's easy to make reply's such as yours. Sometimes experience at doing a job exposes a few things that if you were to know before you started a project, it might help you. That's what I did. What did you do?

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Carl? Where the hell have you been? Nice seeing you type.

I don't take it personally; it's just funny seeing people comment when they've done nothing.

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This all sounds so, funny to me. But, thanks for the info. I too will use the one from ebay. I guess the plug on the fan motor is not going to look any more out of place then the zx alternator adapter or the relays to the headlights or the wire changes for the zx dizzy. Or the newer radio in the dash? I am just not into the AM that came in mine stock.

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Dogma,

What I was trying to say, was that there are guys selling that upgrade on Ebay for about 60 bucks, with a connector for the honda motor that has the conectors spliced on it for "plug and play" use in our Z cars. Your write up was very detailed and complete, I was just pointing out that there was a cheaper and faster way to get the same result...that is to buy it complete and terminated to plug into our harness. I have purchased this exact fan for myself, and 3 other Z cars I service. I swear by it and can attest that it does move much more air than the original fan, is much quieter, and draws less current. I am not a "honda" guy so I do not know of any other year fan that works or is a different color. Are there others out there (fans) that bolt in like this and have a black motor? I would like to see one (pics please) so I can inform the rest of ZCCNV so they may glean from this knowlege.

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well, mine's all black; no silver. It's a Honda (but it was the aftermarket new motor I bought)...also, should be noted, that the new motor was quieter w/o fan blade attached vs. the new black one I got.

And, yes, IMO, if you're the passenger, the first thing you'd look at would be the silver motor, because it looks out of place in a completely stock interior. Easy enought to paint however.

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dogma,

Nice writeup. I really appreciate the detail. But then being an engineer I tend to want to know ALL the details before I do something.

By the way, I suspect that the "snorkel" is for cooling, but I could be wrong.

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Jim,

You are so right about the blower and how it plays with the rest of the stuff we modify our Z’s with.

Dogma:

Have heard great things about the Honda blowers on Ebay and I think that is all Russell was trying to say. Not to mention the significant price differential and modifying hassle.

I am considering replacing mine although here in the southwest I hardly use it and since I have no AC, and certainly no plans to go that route, a blower is not a priority. I hardly remember when I last had it on. Although I must say, when I went to the 105 amp ALT, it worked better than it ever did

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I got one of these blowers off ebay, but when i was going to mount it it seemed that you had to cut out or grind more of the metal out of the area where the fan cage goes in, this is on a77 so it might be alittle diff, did you guys have to modify the opening any???

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This is true....the honda motor is a drop in for the 240Z, however some modification may be required to use it in the 260 or 280.

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I attached 2 pictures so you can see what the motor looks like that I ordered new; looks much different from the normal oem honda fan that's silver on the outside. As you can see, no plastic connectors, just 2 wires, like stock, come out of the motor. It's not an exact clone on the outside, but I think it looks pretty good.

TBK1--This is stictly a drop in for the 240z only; I believe you do have to modify for the 260/280 style of heater box...maybe somebody on here has done a 280z? Or you could be the first!

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When I install the A/C unit this summer, I plan on painting the entire fan enclosure with POR15 Chassis coat black...it does look a little oxidized compared to the actual fan motor black.

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I had my used fan shipped to me for a total of $60.00. I installed it in less than a 1/2 hour. It is the easiest and one of the best upgrades you can do. I love it. Thanks!!!

Adam

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Thats alot of work and money for something I can buy from a couple of different sellers on E-bay for less than $60. And both of them include a pigtail to plug it in with. Just do a search for "Datsun Blower"

my fan motor runs but squeals really loud when it is first turned on.

where would a guy find this on Ebay? thanks for the help.

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Hey folks

Just got through with this upgrade. THANKS Dogma for the info, great stuff.

I bought a generic part from Autozone, $40 with my neighbors tech discount. Mated with a new Honda fan. Made a new gasket and used the outer half of the Z's bolt grommets to bold in to place.

Interesting detail from this experience follows:

As you may or may not know, squirrel cage fans have a curve to the blade. And, the fan housing is built for the fan to turn a specific way such that the air is trapped in certain areas and expelled in a specific direction.

The Z car fan has the curves in the opposite direction to the Honda blades, yet the Honda set up in a Z has to turn the same direction as the Z car to move the air through the housing.

I determined this by wiring my set up for the "correct" direction of the Honda blades. Verrrrryyy little air moving. Using a set of jumper wires reverse the motors direction of turn and ...lots of air even though the "fan" is turning in the wrong direction for the blade curves. The housing configuration rules.

So, what would we get if the Honda fan blades were curved the "correct" was for our usage? Woaahh. I would like to think a real Kansas storm. :-)

Now, will some one come up with a replacement fan cage that will have the correct curve on the blades!

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Just did this upgrade myself.

I removed and painted the back cover on the new blower satin black, as I couldn't stand the thought of installing it with that ugly pot-metal colored cap.

I was really dreading taking out the glove box, but I somehow managed to remove it and put it back in without destroying it, or really damaging it at all. A small miracle based on what I've read in a lot of other posts on this forum.

Contrary to what I had sometimes heard, I don't see how this swap could have been done without removing the glove box. In my case, there was simply not enough room between the blower housing and the glove box for the cage to come out.

I was a bit surprised when I hauled the old blower out. I had been under the impression that my blower was stock, and I was expecting to see a metal squirrel cage inside. Instead, I found a dingy old plastic one. I'm attaching pics of the two motors side by side.

I checked the motor part number shown in the picture in my microfiche, and it is listed as the correct number. Could someone have swapped out the cage at some point, or did the 240Z really have a plastic cage to begin with? I've yet to see other pictures of the original unit.

The newer Honda motor blows harder than the old one, but not by a whole lot. Still pretty happy with the upgrade, nonetheless. I was only testing the blower without the engine running today, I'm excited to see how it performs when the alternator is putting out a lot of juice. I also have the 60A alternator upgrade from MSA on the way, so hopefully I can get frostbite while idling at stop lights this summer.

Edit: Forgot to mention - not 100% sure what car model my "new" blower came out of. I bought one of those package deals on eBay a few years ago, with the little dongle wired to the 240Z connectors. It was literally sitting in my house for the last 3-4 years collecting dust before I finally had another reason to remove the glove box to upgrade the bulbs on the center gauges to the 4W variety from MSA. Here's to hoping I never have another reason to pull the glove box until I do a full restoration in 5-10 years.

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Edited by Inf

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This is definately a great upgrade. The earlier Z's had the metal cage, or at least my 70' had metal as did my early 71' (12/70) The swap is very easy and I definatly noticed the difference. Then again, my metal fan was unballanced and caused a bad vibration, in turn causing a slower top speed.

The 260Z got this upgrade but I had to Modify the fan box by cutting a 3/16" lip off the fan box, as the 260Z fan blade and opening is 3/8" smaller diameter. I tested the 260Z fan before pulling it from the box with a fully charged battery. The fan did well on all 4 speeds. BUT!!!! After cutting a larger opening for the onda upgrade and testing again with the same motor, The difference was night and day. The force of air from the new motor and fan blade was almost enough to MOVE the fan box in the oposite direction of the opening triangle. HI speed was a fricken Tornado compared to the Datsun motor and fan. Can't wait to get the 260Z done to see the end result in a rebuilt car.

The new green 240Z (72') will get this upgrade as well. My 12 year old Daughter can blow more hot air than this thing can. Seriously.

Dave

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This is definately a great upgrade. The earlier Z's had the metal cage, or at least my 70' had metal as did my early 71' (12/70) The swap is very easy and I definatly noticed the difference. Then again, my metal fan was unballanced and caused a bad vibration, in turn causing a slower top speed.

The 260Z got this upgrade but I had to Modify the fan box by cutting a 3/16" lip off the fan box, as the 260Z fan blade and opening is 3/8" smaller diameter. I tested the 260Z fan before pulling it from the box with a fully charged battery. The fan did well on all 4 speeds. BUT!!!! After cutting a larger opening for the onda upgrade and testing again with the same motor, The difference was night and day. The force of air from the new motor and fan blade was almost enough to MOVE the fan box in the oposite direction of the opening triangle. HI speed was a fricken Tornado compared to the Datsun motor and fan. Can't wait to get the 260Z done to see the end result in a rebuilt car.

The new green 240Z (72') will get this upgrade as well. My 12 year old Daughter can blow more hot air than this thing can. Seriously.

Dave

You got ANOTHER Z Dave? You're addicted to working on Z's I think. :)

I still need to do the fan conversion on my '72....one of these days when I get some money rolling in.....

Greg

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It was only mid 70s today in Austin, but the sun was coming down at full strength. I was getting hot even with the windows down, so I decided to turn on the A/C and give the new blower its first real test.

It was definitely a huge improvement over the stock fan. When cruising at a decent RPM, my little 40A alternator was putting out enough juice to keep the fan blowing pretty hard, and man, was it blowing hard and cold. I felt like I'd transplanted the A/C vents from a modern car into my Z! I stuck my arm into the back hatch area when I was feeling pretty cold up front - still pretty warm back there. I guess louvers or a tint job would fix that, but I'll just wait and see how the system handles this summer.

I heard something making a *thwap thwap thwap* noise at random intervals while I was driving, and after I got home, a flashlight down the center vent revealed it was a strip of ancient foam insulation (you know, the stuff that instantly disintegrates as soon as you touch it) bouncing around around way in the back of the central air box.

Not sure where it came from, but I guess I'll be removing the front panel and getting at it with a pair of chopsticks or something.

Guess the new fan blows hard enough to kick that debris around in there, while the old blower just left it alone.

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Hey guys, I was wondering if there is a simple way of testing your blower motor while in the car. I have a 73' 240Z and I would really like to be able to test out my motor to see if my motor is working or if my fan knob is actually just broken. I'm not the best with electronics but I'm hoping someone here has some insight that might make this test easy for me, so I can go ahead and replace my blower if the knob is working. If it isn't . . . then I'll just have to wait till I can find someone with a little more know-how then myself. :stupid:

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Yes, what you want to do is see if there is current running to the blower motor.

to test find the two electrical wires going to the fan moter. One is a ground, black and the other the positive (hot) wire.

Pull the connectors apart for the hot wire, and using a test light connect one end to the hot wire and the other to a ground (steel of the dash etc.) the test light should light if there is current being sent to the motor. (don't connect to the wires attached to the motor as they don't have current once you have disconnected them from the current)

If you don't have a test light get one it is a very valuable tool.

You of course must have the ignition switch turned on.

Have you checked all the fuses already?

Edited by ZCCOR#109

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