LT heater control panel

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13 Apr 2020 09:59 #1 by Sean And Yasmin
Sean And Yasmin created the topic: LT heater control panel
With the copious amounts of free time with the OKA due to the coronavirus lockdown, I decide to take a crack at sorting out the HVAC system on 281. I've cleaned everything up inside the box, flushed the core, and am in the midst of running the new AC lines.

As I started trying to sort out how I was going to run the AC switch, I was inspecting the heater controls themselves and discovered that two of the arms are broken. I've read that that likely means I currently have a broken Camira contol panel but I was wondering whether the Rodeo panel that others have will fit in the same space. If so, I was able to find two used Rodeo panels on the internet that I believe are the correct parts.

Has anyone had to make this change or is there a better way forward out there in the wisdom? Thanks.

Sean

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13 Apr 2020 14:05 #2 by Peter and Carla #396
Peter and Carla #396 replied the topic: LT heater control panel
G'day Sean
I replaced my heater control module with one out of a Holden Camira. Fitted no problems. The Holden Rodeo looks the same from the front but are different in the back.
Cheers Peter.

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13 Apr 2020 16:12 #3 by Landseer
Landseer replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Hi Sean, Just been down that road, I was told the early LT’s have a çamira control and the later ones have a Rodeo one. I bought a Rodeo control it looks exactly the same only smaller. I used the controls and repaired my broken one all works now ,only thing I did was make a seperate control for my heater tap because on the OKA one control has to operate two cables and was putting too much stress on the control lever. Regards Dennis

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13 Apr 2020 17:36 #4 by mort
mort replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Hi Sean,
Vince had the same problem and located a control from a Rodeo which had metal levers it looked the same but wasn't so back to the wreckers for one from a different model same thing looked the same but different, cant remember what was different. In the end he cot some sheet metal to fit the broken levers and glued back together using J.B. Weld which is a two part glue with a very high strength and can be obtained from most auto shops. End result works fine and is much stronger.
The problem is either a sticky cable but more than likely the change over valve that is seized.
You will find that valve in the tunnel which is a bugger to get too again you can get a replacement from an auto shop or pull your one apart and clean it out and free it up.
Martyn

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13 Apr 2020 20:08 #5 by Alister McBride
Alister McBride replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Since we're on this topic, does anyone know what the XT heater control panel was out of?

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14 Apr 2020 08:25 #6 by OKABloke
OKABloke replied the topic: XT heater control panel
Alister
The XT Heater Control was made in house by OKA

For Sale:
XT and LT Parts and Service Manuals Available on CD. $150.00 Delivered
### OKA Manuals Now Available as a Download ###.

20mm Spring Hanger Pin Upgrade Kits.

David
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14 Apr 2020 16:39 #7 by Sean And Yasmin
Sean And Yasmin replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Thanks everyone.

I'm tempted to just pull the trigger on getting the Rodeo panel as its available. Whether it was a stuck change over valve or me taking the dash apart, we'll never know... No matter which way I go, I am going to need to get a new applique for the front of the controls and work the cableing.

Marty, I forgot to tell you that currently I have the radiator out and the bull bar off so that I can work the AC lines and fit the new to me dual fan setup that I bought from the wreckers 2 weeks ago. I already cleaned out the change over valve as part of flushing all the coolant systems and replacing all the heater hoses and clamps. I've been taking pictures and will post them once I get it sorted.

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14 Apr 2020 18:49 #8 by Sean And Yasmin
Sean And Yasmin replied the topic: LT heater control panel
and if you're wondering why I thought it was a good idea to clean out the heater box here's what I found:





A mouse house!
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15 Apr 2020 04:50 #9 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Have you considered using a simple electrically controlled water tap for the heater? It is very simple and reliable compared to the lever and cable system. The down side is that there is no graduation, just ON or OFF but I don't really think that matters so much.

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15 Apr 2020 09:30 - 15 Apr 2020 11:33 #10 by Dean and Kaye Howells
Dean and Kaye Howells replied the topic: LT heater control panel

Sean And Yasmin wrote: Thanks everyone.

............................ currently I have the radiator out and the bull bar off so that I can work the AC lines and fit the new to me dual fan setup that I bought from the wreckers 2 weeks ago. I already cleaned out the change over valve as part of flushing all the coolant systems and replacing all the heater hoses and clamps.


You're not the first one to go down this path :(

Perhaps consider re-routing the heater hoses from in front of the radiator/fan as it's not really desirable to cool the heater lines before entering the heater core :) On #413 I replaced the factory heater tap with an 'in line' tap mounted up high and behind the radiator shroud on the passenger side. Also a lot easier to access for maintenance etc. Paul's suggestion of an electrical replacement valve is a good one though I've not come across such an animal before.

Found it on eBay :)

12 volt Solenoid valve

Had to look up .8MPa to convert it to something understandable (116 psi) and is specd. to 100 degrees C so should do the job and will take the strain off the dual cable setup on the heater control lever. It would be pretty easy to fit a micro-switch to the 'hot-cold' lever to activate this valve :)


A bit off topic but why are you replacing the existing 6BT fan setup ? Done properly this is a very efficient and simple design. Whilst this can be a bit of a tight fit in a XT due to the radiator mounting in the LT there should be plenty of room for the a standard Dodge factory hub bracket/viscous coupling/fan setup with a thicker (more tubes) LT radiator. Changing this to a (presumably) Falcon twin electric fan setup will be very much a backward step. Whilst this setup works very effectively in a comparatively light-weight 4 litre Falcon petrol powered 2WD sedan it will prove to be way under-powered for the 5.9 litre Cummins diesel in a 6 tonne 4WD truck especially when working hard off road. It has been estimated that when operating the factory 6BT (Dodge RAM) setup uses around 14 HP when flat out. All of this power is needed to keep the radiator/engine cool under heavily loaded conditions. There is no way a simple Falcon < 1 HP electric fan(s) setup can deliver the same amount of cooling. I would seriously re-consider going down this path if indeed this is your intent.

Deano :)
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2020 11:33 by Dean and Kaye Howells. Reason: Additional Info.

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15 Apr 2020 13:12 #11 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Well said Deano, it has long amused me to read ads for such things as electric fans that save ten horsepower or some such thing. There is no reason at all why an electric fan can be expected to move the same amount of air from one-twentieth of the power! Or an electric water pump that similarly used much less power to move the same amount of water.

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15 Apr 2020 15:36 #12 by Peter and Sandra OKA 374
Peter and Sandra OKA 374 replied the topic: LT heater control panel
I did try the twin Falcon electric fan setup with the 6bt and upgraded radiator, the fans were mounted directly behind the radiator at the front of the duct and while they worked well in typical 25 C east coast autumn weather they really struggled when temps got up to 30+ with high humidity, virtually ran full time and even with an alternator that puts out 100 amps at idle the battery voltage started to drop on very hot days.
Lobo had a single electric fan at the rear of the duct directly in front of the engine with his 6bt conversion and it apparently worked well but that engine ran very cool and was in a very low state of tune plus the truck was usually pretty light on and without aircon.

OKA 374 LT Van, converted to camper/motorhome,
400ah Lithiums, 1100w solar, diesel cooking heating and HWS,
Cummins 6BT, Allison 6 speed auto, Nissan transfer.

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15 Apr 2020 15:44 #13 by Sean And Yasmin
Sean And Yasmin replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Deano and Paul,

The short answer on why I am installing a twin 14 in fan setup has to do with buying an OKA with a single 15 in fan installed at the back of the tunnel... not to replace a belt driven fan. When I saw the dual fan setup at the wreckers I saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; moving the new fan unit to directly behind the radiator means more CFM through the radiator and opens up access to stuff in the tunnel.

Could I have tried to sort out a new fan shroud, new set of pulleys and a new serpentine belt setup to support installing a belt driven fan properly? Absolutely, but I decided to tackle a different set of problems.

For those who have followed the saga of 281, her issue has been one of running too cold, not too hot. I’m pretty sure I’ve made the right decision on this fan setup but as always the proof will be in driving 281 across the outback.

As for the heater valve, I am pretty happy with the clean out of the valve that I did last week. I’ve also decided that if I get fed up with the heater setup I’ll go buy one of the $500USD builders kits from vintage air and retrofit the whole damn thing with an integrated package.

Sean

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15 Apr 2020 16:48 #14 by Sean And Yasmin
Sean And Yasmin replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Deano,

Rereading your post and Peter's, I can see that the setup you thought I have is not the setup that I have. As Peter mentioned the radiator on 281 is at the front of the tunnel and now so will the fans. I'm not looking to argue about it but I think that I am moving the truck into a better condition than when I got it. And I based that confidence on trucks and jeeps that I worked on in the states. It'll be clear soon enough if this decision needs to get revisited, and if so then i'll do so.

Sean
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16 Apr 2020 08:17 #15 by Dean and Kaye Howells
Dean and Kaye Howells replied the topic: LT heater control panel
You're right Sean I did assume that you had a more 'conventional' fan setup and as you point out Falcon twin fans may improve air flow. Whether this proves to be a success or not, as you suggest, "the proof of the pudding will be in the eating" :)

No one on here should be looking for an argument. Informed discussion, both theoretical and practical, as there is a lot of experience here regarding Cummins 6BT conversions in particular. I estimate there's about 50 or so out there or up to 20% of Okas on the road including #281 whose conversion path was somewhat unique. We have all learnt along the way what has and what hasn't worked and sharing this information can hopefully limit "re-inventing the wheel" experiences for others. I wish you well with your cooling system (and other) modifications and look forward to your sharing of this information as it will add to the overall 'knowledge pool'.

We may have similar cooling issues. The cooling system on #413 runs excessively cool except under extreme conditions but in my case this is a result of 'over design' with a five row radiator, aggressive viscous coupling parameters and a 35+ litre coolant capacity. Except in the harshest of situations I run a blind in front of the radiator to compensate. Installing a water air inter-cooler using the radiator return coolant should hopefully resolve this issue and improve overall engine efficiency and reduce EGT's. That's the theory anyway. Fitting a less aggressive viscous coupling would probably achieve the same result with an improvement in overall cabin noise level as a bonus.

Your suggestion to totally replace the LT HVAC system with an aftermarket unit may be the least time consuming and frustrating solution to the deficiencies of the factory fitted unit. The crappy plastic control levers from the long obsolete Camira control panel are easily broken and spares are becoming difficult to source although I've had good success repairing them using a 2 part 'sand & solution' plastic welding kit from SupaCheap :) The overall design is pretty poor though IMO and it doesn't matter how hard one tries "you can't polish a turd", as the saying goes :(

Good luck with your improvements.

Deano :)

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16 Apr 2020 09:37 #16 by mort
mort replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Hi Sean,
If you can get the heater and A/C working I found both to be very good and looks like your mouse did also, the down side is if you have any holes in front of your legs on a cold night the freezing cold air blowing in negates any benefit.
The heater hose is fairly thick so wont loose much heat going through the tunnel so if you dont have to move it dont bother.
Martyn

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16 Apr 2020 10:07 - 16 Apr 2020 10:09 #17 by mort
mort replied the topic: LT heater control panel
Hi Sean,
I should have read all posts before replying,
I have an electric fan and water pump setup.
The fan is a single 16" at the end of the tunnel and controlled by a Davis Craig controller.
I could have sat down and done some calculations first but purchased the fan 16" 2200 cfm and controller then thought I would need more air so purchased the Zircon fan from the states which gave 3600 cfm allowing for a 30% loss from test bench spec gave around 2500 cfm, once installed I realised that was a lot of air because the loss wasnt anywhere what I expected.
It works well I have no regrets and would recommend electric to anyone, with the controller the fan only comes on when needed which in my case after 5 yrs only once while driving which was going up the 5 rivers lookout.
If you have forward motion normally there is enough air to keep the engine cool and yes I have been in the Desert and on very hot days and driving slow over very rough terrain.
My 16" Davis Craig fan was given to an Oka owner who put in a 6bt and had trouble locating the correct fan hub to fit as needed for the Oka which is rare so decided to try the electric that was 2 yrs ago and is more than happy.
The twin set up you have dont worry it will work and you know what you are doing anyway.
The good thing with the electric is if set right if you are hot it will keep running after you turn off the engine to keep cooling down a mechanical wont engine stops fan stops.
Martyn
Last Edit: 16 Apr 2020 10:09 by mort.

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