I am bursting with manly pride today. Flush with the unbelievable success of our hardwood floor installation -- and I do mean "unbelievable ... I still can't believe how well it turned out -- I turned to a couple of other overdue tasks. First I re-tarred the skylights to prepare for the winter. After dancing on the rooftop for a while, I came back to ground and finally tackled my other overdue winter task: replacing the defunct heater fan switch in the MGB.
A heater may seem irrelevant to a convertible that will never see the roads when the snow flies, but on cool evenings in the summer a bit of heat wafting up from the floor would be nice. And it'd be darn nice to have a few extra degrees of warmth if we manage any more late fall cruising and when the spring cruising season starts up. The MGB's heater itself seemed to be just fine, but the fan would never go on. So, in a burst of sheer optimism that the problem was just the fan switch and not the fan itself, I ordered up a fan switch from Little British Car Co. and studied up my various MGB guides in hopes that I might get a chance to take a crack at it this weekend.
Fixing the headlight switch shortly after I got the car this summer was a piece of cake compared to this switch, though the two switches look almost identical. The headlight switch can be reached directly from beneath the dash. To get to the heater switch you need to remove the glovebox and the center vents. This gave me a chance to discover what I had already suspected. If God had meant for me to be an MGB mechanic, he would've given me much smaller hands!
Here I am trying to blindly unscrew the fastener behind the center vents. This process involved lots of language that we shan't repeat on a family blog like the ol' Patio Boat. Everything else was pretty easy, but reaching those screws behind the vent was a royal pain in the patootie, in part because my stubby screwdriver was a bit too short to reach past the back of the vents and my long screwdrivers were a bit too long to fit behind the dash.
If anybody ever has to do this themselves, what you really want for this is a phillips-head screwdriver with a full-size head that's about five inches long. I'll buy one for myself if I ever have to go behind my dash again, though my stubby screwdriver (about 3" long) eventually did the job.
Frankly, it looks as if the MGB is eating me in this photo.
Eventually, I got the dash and vents out. In this photo the nifty new fan switch has already been installed and tested. Success! For anybody wondering about the part I used here, I went with the original part from Lucas, the Prince of Darkness. I did the same for the headlight switch I replaced in July. There are some cheaper replacement switches out there, but the Lucas part has the label nicely beveled in, and looks a little nicer on the dash.
Here are the center vents. You can see how they go back a bit. The nice thing is that once you have them out, you can remove the right-hand one from the assembly before you put them back in. This makes it a snap to screw the vent-holding assembly back in place.
And here's the vent going back into the dashboard. After that the glovebox went back in lickety-split and I was in business and ready for a test drive. I suppose a better photoblogger would've taken more pictures, but I was trying to get it done before the sun set and before the rain fell.
The sun was down when I finished the job, but tonight's rain hadn't yet arrived, so I took it for a spin. It was only 57 degrees today, but I'm happy to report that my feet were toasty warm with the top down. When the rain started to fall and I put the top up, I actually had to take off my jacket because I was too warm.
As an added bonus, my speedometer seems to be wavering a little less at speed. I think it's possible that the bumping around behind the dash may have loosened its cable a bit where it's sticking. A proper lubication for that is still on the to-do list, but even a manly man who has installed a hardwood floor, cooked a turkey and two pies, tarred the skylights, and repaired a busted heater switch in his British sports car has to call it a day sometime.
And so, with an MG-Experience-approved Old Speckled Hen ale in hand, I shall call it a day and reflect happily upon one of the most productive week-long staycations I've ever had.