OUR CARS – TOR­RENS

GT’S COLD AIR COMMO WAGON

Unique Cars - - CONTENTS - WORDS & PHO­TOS GLENN TOR­RENS

BOUGHT IN sum­mer, it wasn’t un­til late au­tumn that I rea lised my new-to-me 1979 V B Com­modore wagon’s heater wasn’t work­ing too well. De­spite cold-cli­mate Eu­ro­pean ori­gins, these early Com­modores weren’t k nown for their burn­ing heater per­for­mance but a lthough air wafted to the foot wells, face vents or demis­ter ports on com­mand, it was only luke-warm!

My f irst f i x-it task was to check t he en­gine’s ther­mo­stat, a com­mon cause of a too-cool heat­ing sys­tem. Fast-idling a car from cold

while feel­ing t he top ra­di­a­tor hose is an easy di­ag­no­sis: a grad­ual warm-up of the hose in­di­cates a dud ther­mo­stat while a sud­den rush of warmth in the hose af ter f ive to-10 min­utes shows the ther­mo­stat open­ing cor­rect ly. But for $15 and around 20 min­utes’ work, I sim­ply re­placed t he t her­mo­stat.

While do­ing t his, I no­ticed t he crappy con­di­tion of t he cool­ing sys­tem’s in­terna ls: The old ther­mo­stat was rust y and there were hor­ror-movie grow ths on the un­der­side of its a lloy hous­ing. Ew ww! Ac­cord­ing to t he prev ious owner, my Com­modore

“THE COM­MODORE’S HEATER WASN’T WORK­ING PROP­ERLY”

0202 Brisk au­tumn morn­ings re­vealed my wagon’s heater to be less than oven-hot

01 01 “The old gar­den hose in the ra­di­a­tor trick”

04 Ev­ery­thing looks clean and tidy but there was hid­den trou­ble lurk­ing in the cool­ing sys­tem 04

03 The “coolant” is sup­posed to be green, not orange. Yukky! 03

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