Monday, January 28, 2008

25) Heater Channel Work


I've got the body rolled over on its side now, peeling off the bottom cover of the heater channels. Since I replaced the front section which didn't come with the bottom cover, I figured this was a good time to replace the entire length. I wanted to expose (hopefully) the last of the rust, and be done with it once and for all!


Another piece that I wanted to improve was the pipe that the hot air travels through up to the front. The originals were all rusted, and were not air tight. My solution was to buy some galvanized steal tubing from McMaster-Carr, and some 90 degree pipe fittings to plumb the hot air up to the front.


After sandblasting I painted the inside of the channels with Magnet Paint Chassis Saver. (Found at my local paint supply store) I really like how this stuff goes on, and drys to a nice smooth finish. I will be using this paint where ever I want to protect against future rust, rock chips, and general dirty shenanigans : )


Here is everything painted up and finished. To get to this point, I drilled a zillion holes in the covers, sprayed weldable zink primer on the spots to be welded, welded all the holes up, ground down the welds, and painted on the rust paint.


Here is the back section, you can see the 90 degree elbow sticking out. I ended up welding up the old hole that the heater channel was sticking out of, and cut a circular hole that the fitting would fit nicely in.

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At July 23, 2008 3:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,

Nice write up and pictures

I am doing a 66 Bug and am replacing the rear crossmembers. Does the metal lip of the cross member get welded to the bottom of the channel?

At July 26, 2008 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work! I am worried about the magnet paint though. I painted a truck frame with it as they made all these claims about how great of a chassis paint it was, not! Stuff flaked off like crazy and its rusted all over again. My frame is ALWAYS outside and exposed to road salts, etc. So I suspect thats what did it in. But then they claimed salt, etc. wouldn't affect it. I am sure your beetle won't see near the miles or wear my frame has, but I would watch its performance and keep an eye on it.

At November 17, 2008 10:55 PM , Blogger - Pete said...

I believe the metal lip does weld to the bottom of the channel. I don't know for sure though, because my channels were gone at the point they meet the crossmembers. Here's another picture that might help.

My guess would be spot welds were drilled up through the crossmember lip onto the channel originally.


At November 17, 2008 11:16 PM , Blogger - Pete said...

About the Magnet Paint. I have in fact seen it not stick to metal that was too smooth. I believe it sticks best to metal that is heavily pitted, sandblasted, or at the very least has been roughed up with some 40 grit sandpaper.

I did some searching and found a couple of great links if anyone is interested. They don't talk about Magnet Paint specifically but a lot of the prep talk really holds true.

Side By Side Comparison by Dr Jing

Rust Prevention Product Testing by Lee. on



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