HOW TO: Heater Matrix Repair

Koz

Member
Messages
263
Hi All. My first post! Very useful post, but i'm looking at 3200GT heater matrix but not sure how similar the replacement parts are.

I noticed a slight leak in the centre console recently after changing the coolant. It seems to be from the edge of the matrix core on the RHD drivers side. It's definitely new coolant sadly. Good job for the last bit(?) of Covid-19 lockdown.

What i would love to know; Does anyone out there know the part number for the aluminium replacement Saab 9000 or is the Nissins part (70016?) for the Alfa 166 best? They are slightly different from what i can see (although almost exactly the same size), one has the pipes at an angle whereas the Saab part are 'straight' and the Alfa part seems to have some plastic involved somewhere(?)

Lots of great help in this post as from what i can see the 3200 and 4200 are very similar.
Thanks
I used these guys for my heater matrix. Found them to be really good. 71837
 

Twinspark

Member
Messages
325
I forget the part number of the saab aluminium heater, there were a few brand new units on ebay but it seems to be gone.

One other option is this, its a copper unit and reasonably priced compared to the brassworks unit.
 

gravissima

New Member
Messages
14
Many thanks for those who responded. Now that i have the matrix out, i might compare measurements with the Saab all-ally ones see how similar it is and check out the other sites. The final little bolts on the heater unit were very difficult to get to on a 3200 (and there are a few minor differences), but follow very carefully the great instructions above about which bolts to concentrate on and it's just a big meccano set!
 

gillis

Junior Member
Messages
77
I forget the part number of the saab aluminium heater, there were a few brand new units on ebay but it seems to be gone.

One other option is this, its a copper unit and reasonably priced compared to the brassworks unit.
I have replaced mine with that one 6 months ago. perfect fit. no hose adjustments and no plastic parts.
 

gravissima

New Member
Messages
14
hi!

My new matrix arrived today, i immediately measured and checked it against the original. The Nissens part 70016 is almost exactly the same, give or take the odd half mm! Prices vary, bu mine was £37 delivered. From what i saw the SAAB part is a little smaller, but keeping these cars warm is never the issue - just water-tight! I even found a new original Magnet Marelli https://www.autopartspro.co.uk/magneti-marelli-1838890 £22.28(!) but avoided it! WHile waiting for the parts, wine bottle corks stop the open hoses dribbling - and we all drink lots when dealing with these cars don't we ;)

Long journey to complete car now...

(Just a point to anyone with a 3200, i'm doing a 3200 although most of this post is for 4200s - barely any difference!)

722337223472235
 

RSM Masser

Member
Messages
2,253
Well after putting this off for years I took the plunge
Nowhere near as difficult as it looks, all and bolts came out easily and looms un plugged - you don’t need to remove the steering wheel although some double jointed arm twisting is required.

The culprit was removed about 5 hours after starting - I have decided to replace the hoses connecting the matrix to the fire wall. These are not available as a spare but they look suspect as one was well crusted on the joint, I am not risking putting back together and still have a leak.
This is rather annoying as they have a double set and are S shaped need to be careful they don’t kink

Sunday morning inside car looks like this
 

Attachments

Masera

Junior Member
Messages
122
I just replaced those hoses with silicone ones and beefy clamps. What heater core are you using?
 

RSM Masser

Member
Messages
2,253
I just replaced those hoses with silicone ones and beefy clamps. What heater core are you using?
I bought the matrix over a year ago - I think there is a link on this thread
It wasn’t expensive and fits perfect.
I was a bit concerned the double bend on the hose would kink them, I can by 1m lengths off the internet for a few quid, but don’t mind spending a bit more to have them preformed, once again a google search has given me a few options, just need to give them details on size / diameter etc
 

RSM Masser

Member
Messages
2,253
The hoses I purchased as silicone 19mm Ultraflex from Viper Performance hoses, £20 for a 1m length which I cut to suit.
Car now looks like this not too happy with the passenger airbag as it will just not fit flush - the eagle eye will also notice the centre console where both the fibre glass clips broke off so it won’t sit back flat at the top - I have a cunning plan which will be based on the 4200 version with 2 visible fixings on the outside.

BEWARE on reassembling the rotary controls, these are spring loaded, one of the springs which is about 10mm long and as thick as pencil lead is somewhere in my garage as it pinged out on reassembly!!!
Fortunately if you smash up an old mini circuit breaker it has a small spring which fits perfect!

All the vents and plastic bits are being cleaned to remove that horrible sticky muck they seem to be coated in, leather is cleaned with dodo juice, good stuff that is!

Some of the plastic clips that hold the door trim have also broken off. These are on order from eBay for a few ££ a box of 100 - so too are the 1.2v type 286 lamps for the centre console, two had blown and I was very tempted to remove the CEL lamp from the dashboard assembly - that will permanently fix that!

All in all not too difficult a job, providing you have the patience of a saint, child’s hands and double jointed fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders - I can’t tell you how many times I got into position only to find I had the wrong bit on the screwdriver!
83939
 

Attachments

Oneball

Member
Messages
5,791
The hoses I purchased as silicone 19mm Ultraflex from Viper Performance hoses, £20 for a 1m length which I cut to suit.
Car now looks like this not too happy with the passenger airbag as it will just not fit flush - the eagle eye will also notice the centre console where both the fibre glass clips broke off so it won’t sit back flat at the top - I have a cunning plan which will be based on the 4200 version with 2 visible fixings on the outside.

BEWARE on reassembling the rotary controls, these are spring loaded, one of the springs which is about 10mm long and as thick as pencil lead is somewhere in my garage as it pinged out on reassembly!!!
Fortunately if you smash up an old mini circuit breaker it has a small spring which fits perfect!

All the vents and plastic bits are being cleaned to remove that horrible sticky muck they seem to be coated in, leather is cleaned with dodo juice, good stuff that is!

Some of the plastic clips that hold the door trim have also broken off. These are on order from eBay for a few ££ a box of 100 - so too are the 1.2v type 286 lamps for the centre console, two had blown and I was very tempted to remove the CEL lamp from the dashboard assembly - that will permanently fix that!

All in all not too difficult a job, providing you have the patience of a saint, child’s hands and double jointed fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders - I can’t tell you how many times I got into position only to find I had the wrong bit on the screwdriver!
View attachment 83939
You’re going to want even smaller hands when you try to get the radio in without the cables forcing it proud ;)
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
5,389
The hoses I purchased as silicone 19mm Ultraflex from Viper Performance hoses, £20 for a 1m length which I cut to suit.
Car now looks like this not too happy with the passenger airbag as it will just not fit flush - the eagle eye will also notice the centre console where both the fibre glass clips broke off so it won’t sit back flat at the top - I have a cunning plan which will be based on the 4200 version with 2 visible fixings on the outside.

BEWARE on reassembling the rotary controls, these are spring loaded, one of the springs which is about 10mm long and as thick as pencil lead is somewhere in my garage as it pinged out on reassembly!!!
Fortunately if you smash up an old mini circuit breaker it has a small spring which fits perfect!

All the vents and plastic bits are being cleaned to remove that horrible sticky muck they seem to be coated in, leather is cleaned with dodo juice, good stuff that is!

Some of the plastic clips that hold the door trim have also broken off. These are on order from eBay for a few ££ a box of 100 - so too are the 1.2v type 286 lamps for the centre console, two had blown and I was very tempted to remove the CEL lamp from the dashboard assembly - that will permanently fix that!

All in all not too difficult a job, providing you have the patience of a saint, child’s hands and double jointed fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders - I can’t tell you how many times I got into position only to find I had the wrong bit on the screwdriver!
View attachment 83939
Looks spiffing!