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MG MGA - Heater Blanking Plate.

If your MGA came with no heater, what would be the proper hook-up for the heater hoses? Does the engine still have or require the water flow adjuster (just above the distributor)? Is there a special blanking plate to close this off? Is the elbow in the lower front rad hose removed and if so what replaces it? Is the copper tubing beside the valve cover removed? Does anybody have some pictures of the installation ? Thanks Gordon
Gordon Harrison

Gordon, Good question. I checked my Service Parts Book AKD1055. It shows a blanking plate for the water valve and a plug in the water pump connector pipe where the return would normally go. It would then follow that the copper pipe is not there. The valve and the water hose adapter are shown on Plate RS as optional "Heating and Ventilating Equipment" with all the other necessary stuff.

It is ineresting that with all of this optional equipment, the chrome demister finishing pieces show up as std equipment along with the plenums under them. I guess they would be needed to finish off the holes cut in the sheet metal.
C Schaefer

I bought my '56 roadster in Africa, and it did not have a heater fitted. If I recall correctly, the steel elbow between the lower rad hoses had a plug fitted to the elbow, ie, it was not connected to, nor was there fitted, a copper pipe, a heater valve, or a dash heater control panel.
When we came to Canada, we fitted a heater PDQ!
Regards, Peter.
P. Tilbury

Gordon, I've been wondering about this myself as I don't know that I intend on putting the heater back in my car when I reassemble it. I've rarely used the heater and see no real reason to put it back into the car.

Has anyone here done a conversion from heater to no heater?

Christopher Wilson

All Australian cars have the chrome demister finishing pieces as std equipment, along with the plenums under them. Because of our climate not all cars have a heater fitted. The steel elbow fitted between the lower rad hoses (and with the heater outlet),is readily available here. There is a special blanking plate for the block side outlet. I usually make my own from a piece of brass plate.
BM Gannon

I removed the heater from my car.

Initially I put the blanking plate on the side of the cylinder head, and brazed the hole closed in the tube between the lower radiator hose and the water pump. It ran fine like this although as always a little on the hot side.

Later I came across an elbow which fitted the side of the head which allowed me to run a hose back to the lower radiator hose. My idea was to provide better cooling to the back of the cylinder head although once fitted I could not detect any difference in temperatures.

To cover the hole in the bulkhead shelf where the heater would normally reside, I used a thin sheet of stainless steel and a rubber gasket to prevent fumes getting inside the car.

Advantages of not having a heater are reduced weight, lots of space on the bulkhead shelf to get at everything and less potential for water leaks.

J Bray


From the Workshop Manual Section S.9 which details fitting the optional heater when there wasn't one as originally equiped, it is easy to determine what the arrangement was for cars without heaters. Also there are illustrations of the blanking parts in the Parts Manual.
John DeWolf

Pictures of the engine compartment without heater are published in "MGA a history & restoration guide" by Robert P Vitrikas on pages 51, for 1500 and 104 for 1600. Page 26 of "The MGA, MGB and MGC" by Graham Robson also has a picture.
There is a blanking plate instead of the water control valve and no copper pipe accross the intake. These pictures do not show the elbow in the radiator hose. I asume Peter is correct and a plug was fitted instead of the nipple.
The pictures in these books are fairly dark and I could not get a good enough picture to post here.
R J Brown

When I re-assembled my car a few years back I decided that I would not reinstall the heater. The Heater Control valve at the side of the block was removed and a blanking plate plus gasket was purchased from Moss to cover the hole. The rectangular hole in the shelf was covered with a heater blanking plate and gasket also purchased and available still from Moss. The copper pipe was removed from alongside the head. The lower elbow connecting the two lower rad hoses was also modified by removing the threaded nipple and replacing it with a threaded plug of the same diameter and a fibre washer also obtained thru Moss. The whole conversion was very straight forward and the Moss catalogue shows all the related parts as options for the non-heater cars. The result was a very clean uncluttered engine bay, no leaking issues above the distrbutor from the Heater Valve, no leaking issues at the heater itself or at any of the 5 connections that were eliminated. Without the need of the air duct to the heater there is also now ample room to service the distributor, coil, plugs and wires without trying to work around the flexible air duct. No loss of cooling efficiency was experienced (it still runs as hot as it ever did !!)

1960 MGA Roadster
Michael Hosier

This thread was discussed between 13/12/2008 and 17/12/2008

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