Rambler Heater Valve Replacement

Many of the Australian built Ramblers in the 1960's used locally sourced heater and demister units.  These were not of the same standard as the US units and this was particularly true of the heater valve used on the Australian models.  I believe the heater valve was a Smith's unit and my experience with these valves has been poor.  Even when they were new the rubber sealing washer would often not completely seal.  This results in hot water passing through the heater even in summer.  The valves were also prone to leaking as they aged.  They are located very close to the spring tower in the Classics and difficult to install and remove.  Forty years latter even if you find a NOS valve it is unlikely to seal due to the aging of the rubber seal.

Solution to the problem

After trying several valves I found that a Ford heater valve can be successfully fitted to the Rambler Classics.  I am sure the same technique could be used on Rebels and Matadors.  This valve was used on many non A/C Fords and I happened to notice it on an XC Falcon.  The valve operates in the same direction and stroke as the Rambler heater control.  The valve has a plastic body with steel mounting bracket.

Fitting the valve to the Rambler Classic also required using a " NPT extension nipple  This is fitted into the threaded hole in the cylinder head where old heater valve was.

The valve must be installed with the water from the water pump entering the bottom of the valve.  The outlet of the valve then goes to the heater.  The outlet of the heater then returns to the new " NPT nipple in the cylinder head.

The valve will mount on the spring tower.  Two holes need to be drilled approximately 40mm apart.  One hole (4.5mm) for the locating tang, the other for a 8g x 5/16" hex head self tapper or similar.  This holds the valve in place.

The existing cable can be used.  It may need to be shortened and the cable end bent in the appropriate spot to connect to the valve lever.

The heater control should now operate smoothly and also completely shut off the heater water meaning a cooler cabin in summer!

Rohan Borrell Technical Officer