Lancia Motor Club

Model Technical and Interest => Fulvia => Topic started by: Paul Johnson on 27 March, 2020, 06:04:52 PM

Title: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance + Heater fix
Post by: Paul Johnson on 27 March, 2020, 06:04:52 PM
Hi everybody.
I would like to introduce myself as a "once again" owner of a Fulvia - the last one some 30 years ago😳

Now having returned to the flock, I am slowly becoming familiar with my new responsibility and am keen to tidy her up and attend to those little things that need doing...... hence the apology as I wil no doubt need the kind and patient assistance of you all.

As a starter for 10. The Heater is not blowing hot air and that is causing issues with the good lady who is now looking less and less keen on going anywhere in it.
Upon inspection, the top control appears jammed and tracking it down under the dash I come to what appears to be the valve fixed to the firewall- which also feels stuck.
So, for fear of breaking something I have only just got, where should I start?

Many thanks........


Title: Re: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance .......
Post by: lancialulu on 27 March, 2020, 06:21:09 PM

(Re) Welcome to Fulvialand.

I am guessing you have a Series 2 (or maybe a Fulvia 3)? Down in the passenger footwell (if RHD) you will find the heater water control valve - the thing that I think you have already identified. These are a problem on the Fulvia if they are original as they corrode up and the best solution is to buy a new one - not cheap but are available. What happens when they jam is the driver or passenger tries to operate the lever on the dash and this bends the bowden cable so that you can never operate the valve again without straightening the cable which is a dash top off job... Hopefully you have just got to the stage of deciding the valve is stuck and not bent the cable, fingers crossed.

You will need to drain the coolant - see owners handbook etc.... Best to refresh the antifreeze (I recommend blue glycol based type) if you dont know how long its been in the car, and also take the opportunity to give the whole system a good flush out.

Hopefully this will keep you safe for a few weeks!

Title: Re: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance .......
Post by: nistri on 28 March, 2020, 08:30:40 AM
Just a quick comment following Tim's good advice. Replacing the valve is simple and you don't need to drain the coolant especially if you jack up the car on the opposite side. There will be a small leak quite controlled with a rag. Check that the various operating rods move freely. However, it is a very good idea to replace the coolant (probably very old) to be drained via the stopcock fixed to the subframe (RH side below the horns). Flush the system thoroughly, ideally doing reverse flushing (with a hose connected to the rubber hose coming from the heater radiator that is inside the passenger compartment). Don't refill with red or orange coolant (based on organic phosphates) that can damage old hoses. Use blu coolant (4.7 litres). Good luck, Andrea

Title: Fulvia S2 Heater valve
Post by: Paul Johnson on 28 March, 2020, 11:48:47 AM
Tim and Andrea, many thanks for your replies.

With some time on my hands I have taken a closer look and have determined that the cable runs freely once disconnected from the lower mechanism-phew!
However the valve seems very stuck so looks like a new one will be required which is a shame as it appears that some work has been done down there fairly recently? I suspect lack of use is the probable culprit?
I have attached a photo and would appreciate any thoughts on whether all looks as it should.
The mechanism looks really 'old school' which I love, but understanding how all the bits coordinate with one another is challenging!

The cooling fluid looks very clean so maybe I will try and get away without a full flush, but to reverse flush, I assume the 2 hoses visible in my photos are the heater radiator hoses with top one 'in' and the bottom one the 'return'?
Very much appreciated.


Title: Re: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance .......
Post by: lancialulu on 28 March, 2020, 02:49:12 PM
Hi Paul

You might try and free that valve with something with more mech advantage while you are groveling in the footwell! as it looks as if it may have been replaced at some point - worst that could happen is it may weep where the rod goes into it. That will mean a new valve.

Obviously the valve has to be open for the reverse flush. I tend to take the feed pipe off the inlet manifold under the bonnet and connect the hose to that while having the coolant system drain plug open or even better the bottom rad hose (difficult to get off if old and more difficult to get back on.... - if these have not been changed for silicon (classic matt black finish) type now could be the time.

If you collect your coolant and it looks good you could refill with that but maybe a base line needs to be achieved on your new acquisition....

Title: Re: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance + Heater fix
Post by: Paul Johnson on 31 March, 2020, 09:03:44 PM
I just wanted to finish the thread with an update on the Heater which is now pumping out lovely warm air.
I decided to dismantle, so drained the coolant as suggested via the drain plug (fixed to subframe r/h side). I then removed the valve - and then all the plumbing back to the radiator.The reason for doing this was that the bigger of the two pipes was half full of dried up and solidified coolant which took me well over an hour to get out and it was so much easier doing it off the car than with it still attached.I then set about the valve expecting to have to buy a new one, but actually with a bit  of careful cleaning it suddenly went pop and sprung back into its resting position. It was caked up with crud as well, but with warm water it came up well and with fingers crossed I put it back in.

Reassembling went smoothly, a quick flush of the radiator and pipe work first, then using some gasket material I fixed the valve back on its fixings and reconnected the hoses. I was not hopeful that the Heater matrix would be ok, but I ran the engine up to temperature and with no leaks turned on the blower"......... HOT AIR 😀
Reattached the levers, and whilst they remain a bit hit and miss - I suspect the bowden cable is a bit worse for wear after all, they do a decent enough job until I summon the courage to remove the top of the dash and take a look.

Anyway, a job which will not set the world of home DIY mechanic-ing on fire, but I'm delighted and it was very satisfying to try and then to succeed.
Many thanks for the info which encouraged me to give it a go.

The best

My first

Title: Re: Saying Hello and offering an apology in advance + Heater fix
Post by: simonandjuliet on 01 April, 2020, 04:57:10 AM

I did this job a little while ago, it looks scary but just takes time and a bit of care, but once done it was very satisfying having everything work as it should

(if the link doesn't work, page 2 "I said I would never buy another fulvia")