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Jul 10, 2015

65-66 Mustang Heater Delete

1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete
All 1965 and 1966 Mustangs came standard with the heater and defroster assembly.  So, did you have to get your Mustang with one?  Well, you could opt out and get the heater delete "option".  When you deleted the heater, you received a credit for not getting this piece of "standard equipment."

I've found that having the "heater delete" is quite rare and was usually reserved for Mustangs ordered in Hawaii, south Florida or another very warm climate.  Of course, when it was deleted so was the defroster, so some folks may have regretted the decision!  Mustangs specifically ordered to be converted to race cars sometimes had the heater deleted for weight savings.

I've always been a bit fascinated by the heater delete, so I dug my original pieces out of storage and shot these pictures to share.

The top picture shows the complete kit.  I also think that the heater delete Mustangs may have received "covers" for the holes for defroster ducts located beside the dash speaker hole.  I believe these covers were originally made out of the same material as the cardboard glove box.  They are not pictured above.

The kit consisted of the following:

  • Caps for the water pump and intake elbow where the heater hoses would have been connected.
  • Plastic dash plate to cover the hole in the dash where the heater chrome bezel and controls would have been located.
  • Plastic plugs for the heater hose holes in the firewall.
  • Metal stamped block off plate for the hole in the firewall where the heater motor would be located.
  • The RH (passenger side) fresh air duct and door assembly.
  • J-Bolts for attachment of above.

Also the "knock out" areas in the firewall insulation mat where the heater box assembly and heater hoses would have been located remained in place.
1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  This is the plastic plate that fits on the dash.
The above image shows both the front and rear view of the plastic block off plate for the dash on a 65-66 heater delete equipped Mustang.

The images below show different views of the RH (passenger side) fresh air duct assembly.
1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  RH (passenger side) fresh air duct.

1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  RH (passenger side) fresh air duct.

1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  RH (passenger side) fresh air duct.

1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  Heater motor block off plate as seen from the engine compartment.
The above image show the view from the firewall side of the stamped steel heater motor block off plate attached to the firewall from the under dash area.  The below image just shows the other side of the plate.  This was attached to the firewall with four small hex sheet metal screws as pictured in the very top image.
1965 and 1966 Mustang Heater Delete.  Heater motor block off plate as seen from under the dash.


racecar14 said...

Hi .
I enjoyed your post on the 1965 heater delete box...........I once owned a K coupe that was radio and heater delete....I would like to find another set. Do you have any parts for sale?Thanks Jerry


I have a '66 GT ordered specifically for drag racing. As such, it has the heater delete option. I've been led to believe this delete option was limited to a very few DSOs, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. In the photo, the 'knock-out' from the firewall pad looks to be brand new. What I'm curious about is that, when the pads were originally produced, some holes (steering column, gas-pedal, brake pedal support) would have been required for every Mustang, without regard to options. Those holes were coated with the rubberized sealer used on the face of the insulation during the production of the pads. Holes for options (clutch pedal, AC, various wiring feeds) were pre-punched into the material, then knocked out as needed on the assembly line, and had raw insulation exposed around the inside edges. On every firewall pad I've looked at, including the original in my '66, most of the heater opening in the pad is coated and sealed. This indicates to me that the heater 'hole' was removed when the pad was produced; not on the assembly line. The original owner of my car decided, upon moving to Washington State, to install a heater. He kept all the delete bits, but there was no sign of any pad remnant. Again, the pad has the edges around the heater hose and for the heater case sealed with the rubberized sealer, just like the steering column hole is. Does anyone have solid evidence of exactly what was originally there? Did the factory have a supply of knock-outs to put back in? What kept them in place? There are no holes for the pad retainers in that area. It appears my car had spray adhesive on the firewall in that area.

You are correct about the defroster holes being covered. My car was also radio delete, and has the gray cardboard blanks for both defroster openings and for the speaker hole. The reason for the blanks is to keep sunlight from shining through the speaker grill and onto the hump below the dash. It looks strange to see light projecting down there. They are retained by the same clips used to hold the defroster ducts in place, and the speaker hole blank just uses the inboard two defroster clips.

You made no mention of what was done at the water pump and intake manifold where the hoses would have connected. My car had an aftermarket intake and replacement water pump, so I'm not sure what I have is factory correct: hex-socket threaded plugs in both locations. Anyone know better?

Virginia Classic Mustang Inc said...

I believe that rubber caps with clamps were used on the intake and water pump fittings that would normally hold the heater hoses.
Your question about the firewall pad is also interesting.
By the way, years ago, I would also find a few heater delete cars in south Florida.
Thank you for your comments.