With the rapid approach of winter, it became clear pretty quickly that the heater in my recently acquired J10 left something to be desired. It was noisy and just plain didn't move much air.
My search for a replacement at the local parts houses either came up empty or were, I thought, too expensive.
Since I'm also a CJ guy, I got to thinking (don't worry. I'm ok), maybe the same upgrade that works for the CJ guys might work for the FSJ.
I picked up a blower motor at AutismZone for a '78 Chevy pickup. Part# PM102. $20 with a lifetime warranty. I would have picked up the squirrel cage too but it was unavailable.
Comparing the two motors, side by side, I decided this just might work.
The original motor has a ground wire attached. The Chevy part grounds through the body. No big deal. The squirrel cage from the J10 was held on to the motor shaft with a tiny, pain in the butt clamp that I promptly shot across the driveway, never to be seen again. Oops. No big deal. The Chevy motor uses a nut to retain the cage.
The biggest difference now became apparent. The J10 cage on the Chevy motor extended quite a bit more, into the blower duct. Perhaps with a Chevy squirrel cage, this might not be a problem... I don't know. I may look into that at a later date.
With the blower motor removed, I made a template and cut a spacer from a plastic, 3/8" thick cutting board (as in kitchen) that I picked up at the grocery store for $5.
A word of advice, if you try this mod. Don't use a jig saw to cut the plastic. It will just melt the plastic and make a mess, even on the lowest speed. I used a coping saw. I also had to drill new holes in the blower motor mounting flange to match the holes in my fan duct. You can probably drill new holes in the duct to accomplish the same thing. As a matter of fact, I may have saved myself some headaches if I had done just that.
The original wire that plugged to the original motor plugs right onto the new motor. Beautiful. I clipped the ground wire off of the old motor, crimped on an eyelet, and grounded from a mounting screw to the original ground point. Now, for the moment of truth...
It not only works but works better than I expected. Even with the massive air leaks my J truck has and sub zero temperatures, during my 70 mile/day round trip commute, the cab is toasty warm and I have one less source of noise in the old beast. I have no doubt that once I seal up the cab with new weather stripping and plug unnecessary holes in the firewall, that I'll be able to roast turkeys on the passenger seat.