Summit Heater, Breeze EzePak Cool/Radiator

   Posted by: kdavis

As I continue to do a bit of workaround while I wait for my engine parts and 3-link to arrive (ordered last week…happy birthday to me,) I am working my way around various parts of the car.

This weekend, I started the Summit Heater install. There are several heater options for this car, from hot rod heaters to a couple of variations on the factory five heater. I elected to go with one from Summit Racing, which has almost 2x the reported heat output (28k btu’s) and it’s roughly the same size. The only downside with this option is the lack of dedicated defrost vents, but nothing that can’t be corrected with some creative ducting.

I haven’t seen many write ups for the summit install, so I thought I’d be a little more detailed on it for those that might need the info.


Here’s the heater I bought:

It’s actually on sale right now, $15 off.

And the Duct kit:

Step 1 – Cutting the Hole

My first heater choice was the old-style FFR heater. After cutting the hole out of the firewall, I decided to switch to a higher output one, which meant I thought I had some patchwork to do.

Surprisingly, the hole needed for the summit heater is almost identical to the one for the FFR one, so no patching or cutting was needed. If you do need to cut the hole, simply locate it on the passenger side, check for clearance for the dash side of the heater box, mark, measure, and cut the hole.

Step 2 – Disassemble Heater Halves, Add Weather Stripping

The heater comes in 2 parts, the big heat exchange box, and the blower assembly. There are many ways to install these, but with the limited behind-the-dash room, the best procedure seems to replicate the FFR heater, which is to split the 2 sections of the heater assembly with the exchange in the dash side, and the blower on the engine side, with the firewall sandwiched in between them.

I was concerned that the plastic-to-aluminum seal wasn’t going to be very good, so I elected to use some weather stripping around both sides where the heater halves contacted the firewall. This should make for a better seal and help to keep the crud out of the cockpit as well. I had to replace the included screws with longer ones, as the weather stripping made it another 3/8″ bigger gap.


Step 3 – Mark and Drill Mounting and Plumbing Holes

I just measured the holes from the through hole location, which worked fine. In retrospect, I think it would be easier to use a cardboard cut out as a template for all of the mounting holes and through hole. Cut and drill out the holes, transfer to the firewall and cut and drill there.

Step 4 – Mount Heater to Firewall

The lower part of the heater is held in place with a slide-in bracket. I found it easier to mount the dash-side heater exchange with this bracket first, then add the rest of the blower assembly after.


Step 5 – Wiring, Controls, Plumbing (see later post)

Once the engine is in, I can complete the plumbing of the heater, and the controls and wiring will be completed following dash installation. I’ll add more about that later.

Breeze Automotive EzePak Cool Radiator Installation

Rather than try to piece together a bunch of parts for the cooling system, I took the relatively easy way out and bought a full cooling system kit from Breeze. This kit is awesome, and installation was straight forward, parts are quality, and everything fits well together.

This is the kit I’m using:

The kit comes with pretty much everything you need, from the radiator and shroud, all the way down to the rivets. The only thing you need to complete it is an electric fan, which comes with the FFR kit, or can be purchased separately.

The install is fairly detailed, so I won’t go into it too much here. I still need to finish up the lower adjustable mount that came with it this week. This is a huge helper in the install as the other mounting method requires you to use temporary zip ties and finish the install later once the body is one. With the lower support kit, the radiator assembly is part of the chassis, so go-karting can be done with all parts permanently installed.


Decisions on Interior:

I also made a fairly important decision on the interior this week. I’ve been going back and forth on whether to go with the stock black interior or to spend the money on upgrading to tan.

I did some more research this week, actually found a great alternative…two tone tan and black. Randy (chevycobra) did this in his interior, and I think it actually looks pretty cool. It’s something a little different, and because I’m already in need of carpet (with the footbox mods, I can’t use the stock stuff), there’s a “savings” of about $500-$600 in going this way (not using new seat covers, new dash, and tranny cover material.)

I’m still exploring my options for door panels, and may end up making my own, we’ll see about that. I like Herb’s door panels, but I’m not sure if the tan he offers is the color I’m looking for.

Randy’s Car: