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Old 09-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
ClassiX2
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Default Heater Core replacement tips?

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
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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 ...

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Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

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.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassiX2 View Post
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!

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.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Heater Core replacement tips?

does not no one?
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