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November 19, 2016

Heater Valve

The last thing necessary to totally button up the cooling system is to install the heater valve and associated hoses.  My initial plan was to clean up and restore the original valve if possible.

The valve consists of an aluminum body (I assumed it was pot metal at first, but I think it's too light for that) with a formed steel top.  Between the two halves is sandwiched a rubber diaphragm.  An actuator on the top of the cap can pull the diaphragm up, opening the path from inlet to outlet, or force it down onto a seat on the lower casting, closing off the flow.

In the cleanup process, I was thinking how good everything looked until I noticed this tear in the diaphragm.  

I'm not sure that the tear would actually make the valve leak, but it did let water into a cavity in the diaphragm that held a stiffening disc.  That disc was pretty corroded.  So, even though I think the valve was still functional, it had a terminal condition.  Luckily, there is at least one very similar valve available, so I ordered one.

There is one other thing about the TR6 heater valve that sort of bothered me.  The valve is perched on top of a three inch tall stalk protruding at an awkward angle from the cylinder head.  Functionality aside, it looked ungainly to me, kind of like a clumsy afterthought.  It's unquestionalbly just my OCD geek side talking, but I really wanted to straighten out that valve.

I rummaged around and found a little hunk of hex brass bar, and a short brass nipple.  I lopped off on end of the bar at the required 30 degrees, and drilled and tapped it to receive the new valve.  The other end of the bar got drilled to accept the plain end of the sawed-off nipple.  The nipple was then silver brazed into the bar.

 The result was a new dog-legged stalk for the valve.  The new stalk is also quite a bit shorter than the original, which tucks the valve down lower next to the valve cover.

To me, it's a cleaner, more "rectilinear" look, but I'd agree that it's a pretty subtle minutiae.

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