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Old 01-23-2014, 12:34 PM   #1
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How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

i have a 97 E350 and im seeing heat coming up on the inside of the windsheild and outside on the pass radius arm im seeing water/anti freeze marks on it...

so im guessing the heater core is bad... so i need to look into what it takes to replace

has anyone done one???? any tricks of the trade or something i sould look out for????

thanks again for all the help
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #2
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

Ouch, this doesn't sound good. I would check the Ford Truck Enthusiast or other Ford truck forums on this. FTE has a pretty good Full Size Vans section with some helpful guys. I would think this would be tough as crammed as the vans are.
Oh, also check Youtube to see if someone has recorded it by chance, and also check threads on blend door (HVAC) repairs, which also often involve pulling the dash. I'm not sure if it does on the vans but it might. It does on most minivans for sure.

Good luck!

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Old 01-23-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

thanks 86

found some info on the web and i can see where the heater hose clamps on the core on the pass side firewall and it takes a special tool to remove the clamp.... so it looks basic just like you said the room is not much... and im a big guy with big hands ....
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

I'll be finding out shortly myself, it seems to be dripping. I will have to get it done though. Interesting enough it only seems to leak on days I use the heater or defroster.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:43 AM   #5
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

I've done this my own self----not impossible and with the correct tool releasing the Quick Connect hose clamps its just time consuming and frustrating.

Within the FTE site there should be a ton of how-to's. I know I once replied to a post with my own about this---sadly it was too much in haste and didn't address the OP's real concern.

There is a work around for the special tool though---if this isn't a job you'll be doing frequently its not really necessary.

If you'd like I can write up something that should be helpful----that is assuming you've not already found your way through this task.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

thanks JWA i havent replaced it yet... i did buy a $10 tool kit from napa not sure if its the right one ... maybe some time next week ill get the new heater core in stock then ill make plans to change
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:19 AM   #7
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

My advice for removing the quick connect fittings would be something like the Schley 93440. If that or its equivalent isn't available a pair of pliers that'll open to fit around a 3/4" ID hose work just as well. For the most part tools like the Lisle #37000 don't work well on the heater hose fittings.

If you decide you'd like a few photos and text how I went about my own change lemme know---a day or two in advance would be best for me.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

Well as I mentioned a few posts up I be finding out soon on a replacement costs (NOT do it yourself). I was having trouble identifying the problem, for awhile I thought the puddles were just condensation from the defroster (dried clean) but I was losing coolant as noted by the degas bottle level. So I was procrastinating and it blew up on the way to work this morning. Steam coming out of the top and bottom of the dash. Once I ascertained it was steam and not smoke and it wasn't gushing out that bad I drove about 2 miles to my regular car mechanic. SO - $175 for the new core, $75 for 3 gallons gold, $40 bucks for a flush kit, $300 for core replacement labor, $32 for diagnostic pressure test (DUH - it's steaming) and $60 for the flush and re-pressure test. That should add up to about $700. So that is what you can save if you want to tackle it yourself. I didn't really need the flush but they didn't ask me on that. I only had 3000 miles since I had a flush and new coolant put in. I have to have cleanest cooling system in So Cal now.

The old core had a tiny hole on the edge of one of the aluminum end caps in the center next to what looked like a solder joint. Another round of applause for Job 1 quality; heater cores that only last 70K miles.

At this rate I'm never going to save any money to get myself an Aluminess Front Bumper. Maybe someone has a used for sale? hahaha

I'm glad this did not happen in Coyote Canyon two weeks ago.

My SMB carpeting is soaked on the passenger side. Need to figure how to pull that up and dry it out. Looks like the seat needs to be yanked.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

It's good you had the flush done. Introducing air into OAT and HOAT coolants shorten their life. You don't want any of that old oxygenated coolant hanging out in your 6.0.

Did they happen to do a combustion gas test after putting everything back together?
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: How Hard is it to replace Heater Core

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
It's good you had the flush done. Introducing air into OAT and HOAT coolants shorten their life. You don't want any of that old oxygenated coolant hanging out in your 6.0.

Did they happen to do a combustion gas test after putting everything back together?
Good to know on the oxygenation. That's a new one (test) on me. Is that best done after a coolant replacement? Or would it take some time for it to build? No mention on the invoice so I'm sure not. Since it doesn't seem directly related to the heater core failure I like to know more about your logic on it - thanks... Pat
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