Heater Core replacement tips? [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: Heater Core replacement tips?


ClassiX2
09-01-2011, 03:31 PM
I need to replace the heater core (catastrophic failure, stop-leak won't work) in my 2004 Classic. Chilton's describes the process--basically involves removing the entire dash from the car.

I can follow instructions, but was wondering if anyone had some special tricks or tips to cut down on the amount of disassembly required?

Thanks,
Rick

Rodents
09-01-2011, 08:01 PM
You do realize that you're going to need to recover and recharge the A/C system correct? I can't say off the top of my head if there's any real short cuts, can't say I've done more than one or two of these myself and none recently. Quite a bit of removal here, sure you're up to it? If you get it apart and then decide you don't want to finish it, best of luck to you, some shops don't take that very well. If you need some more detail than Chilton gives, I'll try to help from GM service information.

ClassiX2
09-02-2011, 04:38 AM
Yes, Chilton's was pretty clear about the A/C issue, which is a bummer as that system is working just fine. I've got a few days cleared to put into it and will be taking notes as I go. This is definitely more complex than the last two cores I did--'49 Ford F-1 and a '56 Buick Century.

How long does the GM manual think this should take? I'll probably need triple that! Thanks for the assistance.

Rick

ClassiX2
09-02-2011, 11:06 AM
Well, I'm 3 hrs in. Chilton's isn't as clear or as applicable for this year and model as I thought it would be. I thought I was removing the dash COVER, which I did--mostly, until the steering wheel got in the way, a little detail not mentioned by Chiltons.

What it looks like the manufacturer intended is the removal of the ENTIRE DASH ASSEMBLY including sub-structures. That means there is nothing left between the seats and the firewall. Not sure if I'm ready to do that. I think I'll spend a few hours under the dash looking for other options.

RalphP
09-02-2011, 11:31 AM
If I can make a suggestion - Since you'll be recovering the freon ANYWAY, I'd swap the evaporator while you were in there. My plans are when I swap the dash (which is cracked!) on the Cougar, I'll be swapping both cores while it's apart. Just because Ford apparently hung both in mid air and built the car around them ... :D

RwP

Rodents
09-02-2011, 11:33 AM
Now you've seen the light. I think Alldata showed 6.6 hrs to do the evap core not including recovery and recharge of the A/C system. Once you've done a couple yeah maybe down and back in a day, first one is not a money maker though. That's the bad part about the Haynes and Chilton type books anymore, they can't cover the material thoroughly enough for doing every job. Alldata is the same thing, just enough info to get you into trouble, then you're on your own.
If you still want to do this, let me know and I'll see if I can print out some of the stuff you need so I can email it to you. It's not the good old days anymore. I think you're going to find there's a couple screws and a panel or two in your way, not much but just enough to keep it from being done.

ClassiX2
09-02-2011, 12:40 PM
Good news! The heater core case is a 2 part unit--a few screws and the lower cover came off, a couple of nuts on the engine side of the firewall to make the core slide out easier, and it's out. Evap core not affected at all--it's farther up in the case--so there was no need to recover and recharge the A/C system at all--too bad I already paid for that...

Will do a detailed write-up when I've got the thing back together, paying careful attention to what DID NOT have to be done. BTW--it was Hayes, not Chilton's that led me astray.

Rodents
09-02-2011, 08:35 PM
Good! By the picture in GM service information it wasn't real clear if there were screws hidden along the way. Usually just a couple screws or a panel somewhere cause a lot of additional labor but you got it. Great. Books are only guides.

F9thskynet
10-30-2013, 10:40 AM
Good news! The heater core case is a 2 part unit--a few screws and the lower cover came off, a couple of nuts on the engine side of the firewall to make the core slide out easier, and it's out. Evap core not affected at all--it's farther up in the case--so there was no need to recover and recharge the A/C system at all--too bad I already paid for that...

Will do a detailed write-up when I've got the thing back together, paying careful attention to what DID NOT have to be done. BTW--it was Hayes, not Chilton's that led me astray.

Okay Iím sorry to rehash this topic but Iím new here and a noob I can't figure how to start a new thread.

okay so Iím working on a Malibu classic ď02Ē and Iím trying to replace the heater core and mine is not as simple as those hidden screws as mentioned before so I have to remove the dash through I been stuck on this car for 4 days now!:eek:

I am at the point to remove the steering wheel and for whatever reason I can't get it off I broke two wheel puller sets and now Iím using steering wheel puller set J-42120 from snap on tools, the two sets before were rented from auto zone and they just snapped. I have done quite a few heater cores before and usually I just lower the entire column but on this model for some reason they decided not to add a service panel under the dash so I can't lower the hole column like I normally do, the problem Iím having is the wheel is either stuck or seized you choose witch ever you want it to be it just wonít come off I tried soaking the splines with liquid wrench, lightly tapping center of spindle w/hammer to see if it will loosen I have even tried just yanking on wheel w/no success I tried working around the wheel with the dash loose but that has proven to be more of a hassle so Iím hoping someone can help....... PLEASE HELP.

F9thskynet
10-30-2013, 08:16 PM
does not no one?

DrivenDaily
10-31-2013, 05:07 AM
I have a Gen7 2011 and am not familiar with your model. On Gen7 and likely on yours there shouldn't be any form of "lock" that stops the wheel from coming off the shaft once the nut is removed and a puller is used. With that said, take a look to see if there's some kind of C-clip or other obstruction. Don't bang on the shaft with a hammer or you could damage the safety collapsing feature.

My question since I'm not familiar with what you're doing or your car, is why are you removing the steering wheel on the left side to get to the heater core that is on the right side or maybe toward the middle? Is it that much in the way of getting to it that it has to come off? If so, can you cut the underside of the dash to allow for access and then find a way to latch it together once the repair is done? Just thinking outside the box.

F9thskynet
10-31-2013, 11:11 AM
Im doing the heater core for someone else on this car it's not mine to just cut open or i would have already i have thought about it mind you but i just can't cut it, thanks for your replay though...


Rich

Rodents
10-31-2013, 11:50 AM
Forgive me for not being able to picture this real clearly, I spent my morning under a gen 7 Malibu column so my mental picture is not clear for a gen 5. Why don't you just remove the whole column? 4 bolts, wire harnesses, should pull straight out. Don't turn the steering wheel though or you'll be putting an SIR coil in and then you will need to remove the wheel. I've had a couple steering wheels like that, real PITA. With the puller attached and under load, if you rap the end of the puller press bolt a couple shots with a hammer, maybe that will help. Don't collapse the column now. I think I'd pull the whole column, even if it meant more work than you want, that wheel may not come off without damaging the column.

What is stopping you from getting the core out like the OP did?