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RWD - RANCO heater control valve testing

Volvo RWD 120-130 Forum

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RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

Is there a way to bench test a RANCO Type H16 heater control valve for both thermocouple operation and seal leakage while it's removed from car?

I rebuilt my valve (with new NAPA seal). Would like to test before reinstalling.

Has anyone used a heat gun (hair dryer type) to test thermocouple and/or low pressure (<= 20 PSI) air to test seal?





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    RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

    The best way to test is to fill ONE of the tubes up with water. If there is seepage to the other tube, then your seal need adjusting or is not seated properly. Main thing is to be sure if you have a Ranco type valve that the ether bladder is not ruptured. If it is the valve won't close. You can also adjust the level of'lift' by using the adjusting screw to help seal the valve if you get some mild leakage. I rebuild these so if you want one rebuilt email me at hornetllw@yahoo.com





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    RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

    Walter;

    I suppose you could plumb it up using 1/2" copper soldered fittings, rubber heater hose and clamps and adapt a cooling system pressure tester to it...

    I don't see why a heatgun couldn't be used to check the thermobulb action (careful, it can put out much more heat than should be necessary).

    I would be very interested in your impressions and results...please take lots of notes, pix or vids...not long ago, I disassembled a dead RANCO valve generously made available to me by Agent Stangelove...it seemed to me that to straighten the tabs of the frame where the thermobulb valve is housed from the base plate required significant force, and that the tabs would not likely survive another bending to reassemble...I planned to solder them back for reassembly (how did you fare in this operation?...does NAPA still source the seal kit?

    I haven't gone further than disassembly with this project, but once rebuilt, intend to publish a detailed article at some point.

    Cheers





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      RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

      Hi Ron
      I adapted a new Amazon valve for use in my Saab 96. The valve is the same except that the works are turned through 90 degrees. As you say, the tabs are tough to straighten out but survived the process of bending back again. It is difficult to get them down tight though. I'm sure Ranco use a press to build them up. It worked fine. The car is now in Brisbane, Australia, having been bought and shipped from here in the UK. I doubt if the heater will get much use out there!





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      RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

      I'm also interested in restoring a few of the Ranco valves of the type used in the 240, which instead of a thermocouple, use a capillary fluid line and piston to modulate the valve opening. All those I have are dead -- the fluid gone, and most seem to still have decent valve stems. Easily seen using the heat gun/hair dryer test. The problem appears to be more one of restoring the thermostat control, since the parts to fix the valve stem seal are reportedly available.

      The real reason I jumped in here was to remind y'all there's no need for 20 or whatever pounds of pressure to test the valve and seat. The cooling system might develop that on your Amazons (not nearly half that on a 240), but the heater port on the coolant pump won't push (pull) it against one side of the valve with more than a pound or two difference from the other side. I suggest your cheeks develop enough pressure to test the seal.

      Here's the Ranco used in the 200 series shown with an extra thermostat motor.


      --
      Art Benstein near Baltimore

      If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.





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        RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

        Thanks guys,
        Excellent, I'll suck/blow and see what happens...rather than blow new seal out with compressor. I’ll use heat gun sparingly to test thermo. Thanks for those thoughts.

        Today’s dumb question: which heater hose tube is water inlet to heater (blow)? Curved or straight tube?

        What's that adjust screw actually used for...and how??

        Can a 240 valve be used in 122? Or is older better here?





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          RANCO heater control valve testing 120-130

          The seal kit I used consisted of just the flat rubber seal and simplified, but helpful, instruction sheet for RANCO Automotive Thermostatically Controlled Heater Control Valve.

          It’s labeled NAPA/Balkamp part number 6601000: “Replacement seal fits most early models”
          It took 3 NAPA stores to find them. I bought two @ $9 each. I can get more if needed.

          I used soldering iron to heat the tabs before uncrimping them …s l o w l y with thin knife blade and then duck-billed nosed pliers. Tabs look easily breakable.

          Used similar method to uncrimp valve body from plate. These are brass and curved and even easier to break. I resized (made round again) copper tubing with propane torch heat and ¼” pipe nipple (.50 OD).

          Recrimped tap by tap with soft beryllium drift. Another set of hands would have helped.

          Lubed mechanism with NAPA spray white grease.

          Note: I have spare control valve so didn’t mind trying to take one apart.

          Now to build the heater itself.





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