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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Right word of warning, I bought heater channel which are repro and are the best for pre 67s bar original nos.
Now I wanted this car to be strong and so was debating replacing the channel closing plate with the bolt with 16 gauge. I decided to unspot the bottom plate from one of them thinking ill be faced with a bit of paint. Im not surprised but there was no paint at all, i know i would have poured paint into them but I did a beetle 15 years ago and the new channels rusted out in 4 years!!

Ok so off with the closing panel and 16 gauge here we go.
The heater tube also just fell out!!, prior to welding I am painting the whole inside of the channel with por15 then the tube inside poured por15 in and painted outside.
Then I made the closing plate with said 16 gauge with nuts for captives welded in. Im also going to spotweld a strengthening strip the length of the panel so the channel pulls down correctly between bolts.
Weight is a tidly bit more but im not a racehorse.
when the channel is spotted back together I will pour the second coat of por15 into the channel with it all taped up.
So my advice is buy channels without the closing plate and either buy separately or make your own or buy from hookeys panel shop.
Treat the heater channel with the most rust treatment you can otherwise your car will be rubbish in 4 years, trust me as it happened to me, never again.


Before

After
 

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Nice one.

I bet you're glad you opened them up !

I had the same problem - my repro channels lasted 3 and 5 years before rotting out.

I replaced them with stainless ones, but I think the company that used to make them is no longer in buisness.

Dave.
 

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tofufi said:
Who made / sold those ones?

:)
A company by the name of Klasse Chassis. Based somewhere in London village I believe.

Bought mine around '93 - '94, I haven't heard of the company in a long time but his heater channels are still going strong !

Dave.
 

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Can I ask what kind of drill bit you used??
I had a go trying to do exactly the same on my repro heater channels today, but I found my drill bit to be a right pain. Its the hole-saw-type cutter one with the spike in the middle.
thanks,
Dean.
 

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I have had the same problem with channels in the past GSF ones lasted 3 years with a dodgy windscreen rubbers.

rather than spend all that time doing all that drilling, I got a parafin gun that you put on a compressor(normally used for spraying parafin/cleaning stuff all over engines/gearboxes) mixed up thinnned red oxide and sprayed down the channels from each end, letting them dry a bit and giving them a few coats, as when you weld them in they will burn the paint off a bit anyway. once eveything is welded to the heater channel, i will then blast them with another coat of red oxide through and then thin some standard tractor paint(oil based) and spray that through, followed by a coating of wax oil. thats just my prefferance though, but saves drilling all the spot welds out and having to reweld them all again.
 

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Last week I took the bottom plate off a heater channel to paint the inside, it is about a year old but has not been fitted to a car yet. To my surprise the bottom plate was too corroded to be put back on. I'm just glad I went to the bother of removing it before fitting to my car.

Pike
 

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I bought genuine VW mexico ones that are open and very well painted inside and out in that gloss grey paint thy come in.

I was gong to paint them further, but there's no point as the VW factory paint is thick, tough and vell appiled.

I will pour some down the seams when the closing plates (also gen VW) are spot welded on.





 

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Seeing them pictures of genuine heater channels makes you realise how shite the pattern ones are. The quality of the pressing look a 1000 times better and also I noticed that the original ones come with reinforcing plates under the top side and the outer edge which the pattern ones don't bother with.
 

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I hope you intend to put some drain holes in your new 16 guage Bottom Closing panels. Even with all the rust prevention treatments, they still need to be able to breathe.
 

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Pike said:
Seeing them pictures of genuine heater channels makes you realise how shite the pattern ones are. The quality of the pressing look a 1000 times better and also I noticed that the original ones come with reinforcing plates under the top side and the outer edge which the pattern ones don't bother with.
Yup, they are even better than they look. They weigh a tonne and fit perfectly.

They are only £80 too. Don't know why anyone bothers with anything else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
last_triumph said:
I bought genuine VW mexico ones that are open and very well painted inside and out in that gloss grey paint thy come in.

I was gong to paint them further, but there's no point as the VW factory paint is thick, tough and vell appiled.

I will pour some down the seams when the closing plates (also gen VW) are spot welded on.





how thick is that reinforcing plate in the heater channel and how far does it go
 

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opl505e said:
how thick is that reinforcing plate in the heater channel and how far does it go
Haven't got one to hand to measure, but it's pretty thick, almost as thick as the stuff the Frame head is made from.
Notice the one at the back ? reinforcing the bit that gets squashed when you use the jacking points.
 

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if it's not too much bother, how much does each one weigh (approximately?)

I'm wondering how they compare to my status VW ones...
 

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I will definately be painting the inside of mine... but looking at those genuine ones i may just get a set of those and sell the repros on decisions, decisions :rolleyes:
 

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Those genuine Mexican channels are the best ones ever made, due to that reinforcing strip that runs down the side; not even the German-made channels had that! The jacking point reinforcement has been a standard fitment on German (and Mexican) Bugs since 1974, but you'd never find them on an aftermarket part. The genuine items are not spray painted but dipped in electrolysis tanks to insure that every visible or non-visible parts is covered. Although you can't see it in the photos, the captive nuts on the bottom plates are rectangular in shape, unlike the square ones found on the aftermarket versions. These 'rectangular' captive nuts help to prevent distortion, that might cause leaks at the seal, and maintain the proper 'crush' on the seal all round the chassis. There is a lot of detail in the parts!
 

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We was in the garage the other night talking about all this. We came up with this plan.

Disconnect the heat - the reason the heater channels rot so well is because of the warm air travelling through them, it creates condensation. Take that away you take away the main reason for rusting

Waxoil the inside after welding - if you are not running the heat through the car you can waxoil the inside of the heater channels. If you have repo ones that have the bottom plate already spot welded to it use the chassis bolt hole to spray in the waxoil.

Dont paint them before hand - you are defeating the object if you do this. You spend all that time painting to weld the darn things in - hey presto paint burns off, perfect place for them to start rusting. Or even worse the paint stops the weld from mating properly and hey presto you have a weak weld - not so good as it kinda holds the car together :D

Thats what we came up with :crazy:

Skids
 
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