53/54 C/K fender vents
I am having problems with the right fender vent control in a 53 coupe.
It is one of those simple mechanical contrivances that become
maddeningly difficult and make me feel stupid. I can get the vent door
to open and close perfectly, but cannot figure out how the crank handle
mounted under the dash on the steel horizontal stabilizing bar can
maintain the door open against the spring tension. There appears to be
no detente on the little handle's bracket to hold the crank in the open
position, such that the door stays open. The spring hooks onto the
door- rod in it's middle, where there is a slight wiggle in the rod,
but there is no place to attach the other end of the spring, no small
hole in the duct, and no attachment point, so I have it temporarily
hooked to one of the inside vent- door sheet metal screw attachment
points to maintain tension while I try and figure it out. the exploded
diagram in the parts book is relatively useless in sorting it all out.
The pivot rod stops against the kick panel sheet metal when the outside
vent-door is maximally open, but I cant figure out how to keep it
I must have something mounted backwards, perhaps.There are a couple of
ways the handle can be mounted on the dash stabilizing bar, and the
'reach rod' that hooks the control handle to the pivot on the kick
panel sheet metal can mount either of two ways, also. If anyone had a
photo or drawing of how the components go together, I'd really be
grateful..... thanks, m weiss.
The passenger side spring is longer than the driver side one. Also, the
rod with the dip in it that the spring hooks to is a different length
than the driver side one although they appear similar. The dip is in a
different spot too. So, make sure you have the correct parts there....
It so happens I had a drawing of this stuff readily available for
The passenger side spring hooks through the drain hole in
the bottom center of the clam-shell duct for the passenger side. The
driver side one with the short spring hooks to a tab that sticks up.
If the parts are all correct and attached correctly, the door will not
snap either open or shut but will be sort of neutral through its
Jeff in ND
Jeff- thank you so much. I am impressed with the blueprint- type
drawing. I have the correct springs, correct rod setup, that's all
correctly assembled. . I have to recheck my installation tonight, but
there is no drain hole in the bottom of the duct; I've looked for it. I
can't imagine I mounted the duct tube upside down, I think it only goes
in one way, it was angled for the original blower to mount high in the
inner fender. I removed that blower , for other reasons. . May be that
rust or some debris is in the hole. I think my temporary spring is what
is causing the problem, making it snap closed. I may just have to drill
a small hole in the bottom of the duct. How close to the inside
kick-panel sheet metal , is that spring attachment hole? is it just
barely inside ? thanks again- manny
Hopefully this makes some sense..... And, for anyone else reading this I'll add some detail I am sure you already know.
The duct (if its a orginal metal one) is a clam shell design. There are
2 pcs to it. There are 3 bolts or screws on the top and 3 on the bottom
to clamp the 2 halves around the flanges on the kickpanel of the car
body and the fender. A foam rubber gasket gets glued to the body flange
and another to the fender. Then when the duct halves are fitted on
there are 2 flat foam gaskets that are squeezed between the flanges on
the clam shell where those bolts are. The bottom of each half of the
clam shell has a notch stamped into it so it makes for a little drain.
The spring gets snaked into that. Its about in the middle I would say.
So, the spring is not attached at the bottom to either the car body or
the fender. Its attached to the duct itself in the center between the
body flange and the fender flange. I put together a quick sketch but I
don't think its quite correct since I am showing the spring going
through the whole clam shell flange. It should hook through that drain
notch at the 90 deg bend where the duct flange is.
If you don't have a drain (could be covered up with undercoating or
tar) you cold drill a small hold near the flange in the center.
If the spring is attached too far inside the car, it will tend to pull
he door shut. The dip in the rod and the spring attachement in the duct
at the bottom should sort of line up so that the spring ends up pretty
much straight up and down and not angled I think.
I attached a picture I had but its not the best as it does not show the bottom of the spring.
On my car, the lever under the dash goes "over center" right when the
door is closed against the fender so it stays shut. As its opened, it
moves smoothly and will stay pretty well in any position. The spring
neither pulls it open or shut.
Like you I was pulling my hair out with this to figure out where that
spring went. All my duct parts were hopelessly rusted away when I took
the car apart and the parts books drawings were not too useful. I
acquired good used parts and when cleaned up that drain/notch was
I gotta say that these vent doors are really "mickey mouse" in their
design. The amount of parts and labor to get them assembled and all the
fussy adjustments must have been a small nightmare on the production
Jeff in ND
Nice pic, i printed a copy for future referance for myself, thanks.
Is there supposed to be an inner door on the drivers side? I don't have one and it seems odd to me.
No door on driver's side, but there is a screen. The reason for the
passenger side door is to determine how the heat or outside air will be
diverted. Outside door open and inside door open "fresh air" is forced
in to cabin.
Outside door open, inside door closed, air is forced into the duct work
for the Climatizer. You can also cheat a bit by cracking the inside
door open about an inch or so when heating the car to add some fresh
air in. Also you need to crack open the vent window about 3/4 inch to
have hot air drawn into cabin from under the seat.
Jeff- thanks a million, again. i live near bill fennessee, he knows
theses parts cold, and is a big vendor for various stude things, esp
rubber. He and I went over this, he also said the same about the
attachment. I had the ductwork apart, I suspect I have that groove at
the top, I could feel it, rather than at the bottom. I don't quite see
how, because the thing really goes together and fits inside only one
way. The easiest will be to just drill a little hole and attach the
spring there. I actually have a 56 hawk dash in this 53, so the reach
rod is a little longer on the hawk, because of the difference in the
glove boxes; so I have to move the bracket attachment on the dash a
little to the left. I knew this, but didn't want to start modifying
things until I understood the damn thing better. If i read you
correctly, open vent is lever to the left, closed vent is lever to the
right. I think putting the spring attachment lower, and using the
correct spring with the right rate constant will get it right. You've
been a huge help, and thanks for all the effort with drawings, etc. On
my other 53, I actually welded the things in, and completely effaced
them with bodywork, it makes the car look better, but as mickey mouse
as they really are, they work, and that car gets way hot and the
ventilation is really missed. I thought better of it this time around.
- thanks, m weiss
Suggestion about heat, or how to lower it. Since I imagine you are down
to bare floor. Buy some of that "Dynamat" it lowers heat and lowers
sound. I have had it in my Hawk for about 4 or 5 years and it makes it
a bit more bearable to drive in NY traffic during July and August.
Thanks, you've confirmed what I thought, I didn't know about the
different openings effect on things tho, so thats good to know.
Originally Posted by bondobilly
When installing the 56 dash in a 53, is the reach rod the only
other 56 piece you need for the vent? I've got a 56 dash waiting to be
Originally Posted by mrobertweiss
John: In the process now, of doing this. It looks like the bracket just
needs to be remounted about an inch to the left. If you look at the
parts book, there are several rods listed for the different 53-58
models. The different gloveboxes and the dash designs account for this.
As for dynamat, I think its pretty worthless for heat control; I have
it in another 53, it's just butyl 5 mm thick with foil. Its good for
sound control, really. The best is a ceramic filled foil, insulshield,
and there are others that are similar, heatshieldproducts.com. I would
not use dynamat on anything but the inside roof, or door panels. It is
again, worthless for firewall and real heat control..... thanks m weiss
Tags for this Thread