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heater box door covering-78 280Z

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    I have fabricated a new door in the heater box and repaired the original shaft with some weld and lots of grinding.  It is all working pretty smoothly and want to cover the door with something similar to the foam/vinyl that was originally on the rusted away door.  My great wife bought some padded vinyl from Joann Fabrics but not sure if that would be the best option.  Any suggestions will be appreciated and also what adhesive works the best?  Lots of different spray adhesives out there for headliners but I have never used any before.  Thanks again, John-Lugoff, SC.

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    Thanks for the quick response.  My great wife brought home some remnant pieces from Joann Fabrics yesterday.  The backing is more like a felt material rather than the original foam.  I may play with it a bit before heading off to work.  Also I will have to pick up some headliner spray adhesive.  This is one of those projects you want to do just one time.  I am very pleased with the door fabrication and the forming of the round channel for the shaft to go through.  It came out very nice considering the person who heated and hammered it into shape.  Thanks again, John-Lugoff, SC.

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    I recommend that you not use Permatex spray adhesive (a common offering in auto parts stores).  Use, instead, 3M #08088.  I have found that the Permatex product 'gives up' with time.  I've had much better results with the 3M product.  Also: You will find that some contact cements aren't compatible with foam.  Because the heater box is something you will hope to never need to remove from the car again in the future, you do not want to discover months down the road that your new flap door padding has started to peel off.

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    Thanks for the tip.  I have always been very pleased with any 3M products I have used in the past.  Unfortunately so many good tips come from failures we have made in the past.  I have had no experience with headliners or hardly any upholstery work so it is always good to rely on great people willing to share their helpful insight.  My crafty wife's foam is much too thick.  A foam pre-filter from a Briggs & Stratton panel air filter may be just what is needed.  Thanks again, John.

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    FWIW, I made my own flap cover by gluing thin upholstery vinyl onto 1/8" open-cell foam sheet.  After the two layers were joined, I traced out the pattern and cut to shape.  The gasket had to be 'relieved' (undercut) a bit in the vicinity of the hinge so as to provide good closing action.  Hard to describe in words, but you'll see what I'm getting after you do a trial fit.   The gasket patterns  that I made for the S30 HVAC system are available for download somewhere on this site (same place where the downloadable FSM's are located).

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    I had to tweak my door I fabricated just a bit to get it close on both sides of the housing when pivoting.  May not have gotten the screw holes drilled perfectly on the new door.  I am sure some final adjustments will have to be made as well with the foam and vinyl material.  Thanks again, John.

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    Finally got some time to finish off the heater box door due to a break in my baby sitting schedule-hurricane Florence cancelled school so our daughter was off from her work.  A foam prefilter from a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower filter is almost the perfect size to fit the door.  Some 3M adhesive as recommended earlier worked great on the foam and then wrapped the whole door and foam with black Gorilla Tape, just slightly compressing the foam.  Had to do a little fine tuning with an X-acto knife and Dremel tool and the door seems to work smoothly and seals both directions.  Thanks for all the tips.  Slow progress will continue on the resurrection project.  Thanks again, John-Lugoff, SC.

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