7 vacuum valve-need a good one or someone to recondition mine

So, I've put my 7 vacuum valve from the control head side to the test, and it failed. I looked at the instructions for re-conditioning it and unless I am missing something, the instructions are missing something (about how to take off the clip that provides the tension that holds the two pieces together). 

In any case, I can't do this particular repair so I am looking for a new valve (not likely), or a good re-conditioned one, or someone who has done this before and would do mine for just compensation.

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Comment by Norman Silverman on September 16, 2018 at 6:51pm

Nope. In my early years I was always a "Heavy Metal Guy" which meant I had lots of big Buicks, Caddies, Olds', Imperials, etc., and only about a half dozen Chevies, none of which was Nova. Also, when I was a kid I had NO patience so I was limited in what I would/could do. Now that I'm older I have found that along with the gray hair came this thing called PATIENCE. Now, I even read the factory service manual before I do a repair, or if it is a car where I know there's a junker handy, I'll first try the repair on the junker so I learn what mistakes I don't want to make. 

Comment by Clovis on September 16, 2018 at 6:45pm

Norm have you ever replaced the dash on a 68 nova? I did in my early twenties and i still remember it as quite a chore and I'm 54 now

Comment by Norman Silverman on September 16, 2018 at 2:00pm

Yup, this is the place for answers and camaraderie. 

Ironically, the only part of my system that is working correctly (and does not leak) is the refrigeration side-and it is still on R-12, so my efforts are concentrated on the part of the system that determines where the air is directed and how much heat is blended in. I have no objection to spending money but I like to know that what i am buying is the right thing, installed by careful and knowledgeable people. Right now I am still discovering what I will need to purchase. I think I know, but will have a better idea after I get the vacuum system working properly.


PS: When I was a kid (17) I used to drive from Coney Island to the dealers on Sunrise Highway (Nick Pellegrino Chrysler-Plymouth; Ted Rowland Ford; Sunrise Lincoln Merc; Gray Cadillac) and buy their "iron" (trade in cars too old for them to retail or wholesale) for $25 to $50. I would then do a tune-up or whatever light maintenance they needed and re-sell them for a profit. 

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on September 16, 2018 at 12:48pm


you are surely in the right place to get—-the answers —you may require to get the task at hand —done 

The passion for the subject of our cars on this site - is an amazing experience that I am so happy to be a part of 

ask away as the correct answers and directions you may have - will follow shortly 

the boys on here have amazing hands on experience and talents ( been there done that ) 


Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on September 16, 2018 at 12:34pm

I am 74 and grew up in the same environment in our younger days --as you seeing as you knew about Studnicks in Valley Stream NY

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on September 16, 2018 at 12:26pm
Mostly you need to be prepared to spend $ 800- 1000 on replacement parts --if needed --on an old system and have freon evacuated and installed by a shop unless you are able to do that part of the job

I just bought all the parts i know i need --to this point
When we do a test run on the the system -- i will then know what other parts i may need to replace at that point
I am prepared to replace what ever the system may require
Working with my neighbor who was an AC tech all his life
Going to R-12 in my system being lucky enough to have my neighbor that has that available
At this point i need to find the time to replace the parts that i have purchased that i know i need
Then with my neighbors Input we will fill and test the system to see how it performs and and then do what ever else is needed to get the system to work right
I have to make some time to get this done but it is very exciting to be getting close to have the comfort controll up and running once again

CLOVIS is major responsible for giving me the courage ( hutzpah in jewish ) to jump into the system and " Get Her Done " Due to him being savvy enough to share his experience with us on this site
Thanks much for that --my tallented friend

My system has been constantly maintained ( always working ) since the car was purchased new but needs some tweeks at this point to get it as cold as it SB getting
The comfort control truly is the icing on the cake regarding the driving enjoyment these cars provide
It won't be long now

Enjoy-- being COOL-- as it get much much harder the older we get to do that !!

Comment by Norman Silverman on September 16, 2018 at 12:03pm

Thanks. At my age (72) I grew up in an electro-mechanical world-and I'm still far more comfortable working in it than with electronics. Rebuilding an AFB is also not a challenge as I've done several of them over the years. What's taking a little more time is developing a comfortable working familiarity with the underlying engineering and operating characteristics of GM-based HVAC products vs MOPAR based HVAC products, which are designed very differently, and with which I've had extensive experience in the last 20 or so years. Before that I had lots of Caddy's, Buicks, Olds, Pontiacs and Chevies, but have not had my hands on the innards of a Caddy for quite some time. As an interesting aside, I'd rather have my hands under the dash of a GM product than a MOPAR, because if you blindly put your hands inside the dash of the latter they are guaranteed to come out torn to shreds. Not so with GM products. 

Comment by Clovis on September 16, 2018 at 10:36am

Glad to hear that you are getting a better understanding of the system. It may seem intimidating but remember it is 55 year old technology. Very simple once you dig into it.

Comment by Norman Silverman on September 16, 2018 at 1:04am

Mark/Clovis. Thanks for the quick responses. Yes, the first thing I did was to check for vacuum and its there. In fact I also removed the small section of black vacuum feed hose that had the restrictor in it. Years ago, I had a 67 (actually 2 of them) and the system in one of them had a vacuum leak I could not find, so I removed the restrictor (a much bigger thing by then and easily accessible in the engine compartment) and the system worked fine after that. No such luck here. I tested the Valve per the book and it failed, even with stronger vacuum input. My problem in doing the job is not re-surfacing the two pieces, I get that-and I'm capable of doing that. The thing that has me bugged (don't laugh) is re-attaching them with a rivet; I've never worked with rivets, nor am I particularly skilled at drilling stuff out.

As to an out-of-round condition, I see what you are pointing out but doubt that will be the case with my valve; the action is smooth, tight and the two halves move around each other in complete concentricity with no wobble. Famous last words.......

As to the valve that was screwed together, the troubleshooting book says that only the valve on the control head is riveted, the one on the power arm is not, so it sounds like it is a more straightforward repair. For me, the easiest thing to do is get an already reconditioned valve or get somebody with experience to do it for me, or to buy a new one-but they seem to be in the category of "unobtainium" these days. 

The upside is I finally feel like I am beginning to understand the system, and when that happens I usually manage to figure out and fix whatever I might be working on. Most of my HVAC experience is with MOPARS (Imperials, actually) and even though the ones I have and have had were too old for Auto-Temp, their vacuum systems were not as easy to work on as these (vacuum manifold-valve has to be repaired by an expert). Mercifully, they have their heater cores in the engine compartment and are VERY easy to remove/replace.

Much appreciation for the input. 

Comment by Clovis on September 16, 2018 at 12:29am

I cleaned and resurfaced my rotary valve on the servo as it was screwed together and was easily disassembled. I used glass with 400 grit sandpaper and wet sanded it. It was super smooth I used vacuum grease and put it back together. The main control rotary valve was riveted together and I didn't mess with out of concern that I couldn't get it together properly again. I did clean it out with brake cleaner and then sprayed lubricant into it. It ended up working perfectly.  I may have gotten lucky though. 


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