Repairing the Van’s Broken Heater Pipe Joint

Saturday January 25, 2020 Guerneville CA.

Working on the old van

I was determined to work on the van today. I needed to finish putting the heater stuff back in the van I was last working on about a month or so ago. The hot water hoses needed to be hooked back up too so I got things ready to go.van


Oh oh loose heater pipe

While I was checking the heater pipes that come out of the heater that I need to  hook the hot water hoses to were having a problem or at least one of them was. I found it to be loose which meant something was wrong with a solder joint on the heater core so guess what, I had to take all the heater stuff out again to get to the heater core.

Take it out

I had to pull all the heater ducting back out again.ducting


Broken heater core pipe

Yep, the copper pipe came out and checking out the joint I found there was a cold solder joint there. core


I had some luck

Amazing it hadn’t leaked as the core has been in there since before 2000 sometime and been over a lot of real rough roads. Always nice to have some luck even if now I didn’t seem to. However, finding and fixing the problem now is  much easier than out on the road.

Should I order a core?

So what to do? I went in the house and looked up what a new core would cost, about 80 bucks but since it was Saturday I couldn’t  order it until Monday so  maybe I could fix it. If not I’d order a new core Monday.

Nope, fix the old one

I got all the tools out to fix it up, mostly soldering stuff. I cleaned up all the pipe joints I needed to solder up. And decided if I pre tinned the bad joint copper pipe things would go together much easier so I did that and attempted to get it back together and strong which I did. The pre tinned idea helped out the most in making this easy and a better solder joint too. I extended both heater pipes a bit to make it easier to hook up the heater hoses.

Soldering it up

Ready to fix the bad solder joint


I got it soldered and checked it out for durability and it was nice and tight and looked like it would work.

Pipes all soldered up and ready to put back together.fixed


Putting it back together

I got the unit back in the heater ducting.heatercore


All back in the van

And got the unit put back in the van when it started to rain, it was around 4PM.ducting


It needed done

I didn’t get done what I thought I would today, however I did get things back to where I started the day and now with a good heater core pipe, so it was a successful day and now I’m ready to continue putting the rest of it back together when the rain stops.

Rain rain

I tried to get some more work done on it between showers but it would start raining again before I could get anything done.

It got dark so that was it for the day.

Not what I’d planned to do today, but getting that done was important so it was a good day.

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