Getting at the heater core - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 28th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Getting at the heater core

I think I have a small leak in the heater core because I smell a little bit of coolant in the cab. Same thing happened to my 94. Truck isn't running hot and coolant level is fine..


I was wondering if you can drill out the rivets on the heater box inside the engine compartment, pull the heater core and re-revit.....I ask this because I remember it being a PITA to get from inside.

Thanks as always.
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  #2  
Old September 28th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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I think you have to drill out the rivets. I could not see any other way. It is really not that big of a PITA.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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No that big a pita? Does someone else have a method other than pulling the box? Its a huge pain and makes a mess really easily. I think there's a thread here somewhere.
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  #4  
Old September 28th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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I meant drilling and resetting the rivets. Removing the box is the worst part.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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I was hoping there was a way to drill out the rivets from inside the engine compartment and not have to remove the whole box by taking the dash and a/c out.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campbell View Post
I was hoping there was a way to drill out the rivets from inside the engine compartment and not have to remove the whole box by taking the dash and a/c out.
There is pretty much no way that will work...sadly. There is only a small hole that lets air through from the heater core.

Taking the box out lets you check for rust, and clean the motor/housing.
-You dont need to drain the coolant, you can either pinch the lines, or just drain a little in to a bucket. But you will need to move the expantion tank out of the way IIRC.
-Be careful with the little green clips that hold the vent control.
-If the rubber that is sealing the top and bottom of the core, and box to bulkhead, is in good shape try to keep it, otherwise use weather stripping.

It is really not that bad compared to other heater cores.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for all the information.

Rich
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  #8  
Old October 5th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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O.K. I came in a little late to this post but my heater fan is not blowing. It's just starting to get cool here and I thought I would check the heat and nothing. I replaced the fuse and it blew.
If I read the post correctly.. If I remove the rivets from the box in the engine compartment then I will be able to get to the blower motor??? I just want to check if the fan seized up from rust or corrosion before I go pulling the entire dash.

Thanks,
Rico Palomino
1995 D90 #001
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  #9  
Old October 5th, 2010, 07:41 PM
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Replace the heater core with one of the new Allisport high flow heater core while you are at it. www.allisport.com
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  #10  
Old October 6th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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Ok, just to be clear - you never need to pull anything on the dash to access the heater core and blower motor - both are contained in the heater box under the hood (NAS 110s just have a different box).

Its a huge hassle to get the heater box out, but that's all that has to be done to accesst both the blower and core. If replacing the core, just clamp the heater lines and then break the plastic pipes off of the core - that will save a lot of trouble. Just pull the ends out after the box is out.
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  #11  
Old October 6th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Thanks Jim! Thats what I was trying to find out.

Rico
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  #12  
Old October 6th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Is it safe to assume that the core is still good if I get heat when driving. No fan when sitting still but when I start moving the air flows through it and it is warm.

Thanks
Rico
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  #13  
Old October 6th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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you'll know when the core begines to leak, coolant filled steam will fill the windscreen and heater vents ... not pleasant
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  #14  
Old October 6th, 2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomino View Post
Is it safe to assume that the core is still good if I get heat when driving. No fan when sitting still but when I start moving the air flows through it and it is warm.

Thanks
Rico
Rico ~ I had the same issue with mine. If you remove the wing top vent on the passenger side, you can reach inside to the fan and try to turn the squirel cage by hand. Mine had rusted almost stuck. I ended up punting on the repair and had it done.

Turns out a washer had fallen in the air box under the wing vent. Collected water and rusted. That and normal sediment was enough to stop up the drain stopper. While you are in there, clean out the stopper and make sure it can drain properly.
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  #15  
Old October 7th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Thanks! This gives me a good idea of what I'm in for.
I'm getting ready to pull the box out. If I plug the two hoses and clamp them would it be o.k. to drive or do they have to circulate? I want to clean it, check things out and order new parts if needed but it is my DD.

Thanks
Rico
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:22 PM
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Got access to the blower fan and it didn't spin freely. Sprayed a little PB Blaster and spun it. Then added some silicone and kept spinning by hand until it would spin. Changed the fuse and the wonderful smell of BP Blaster came blowing through the vent. Its working great! No need to pull the box at this time. Thanks for all the advice.


Rico
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  #17  
Old October 7th, 2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Velardi View Post
Replace the heater core with one of the new Allisport high flow heater core while you are at it. www.allisport.com
Bwahahaha, have you seen how much those cost!!! It would be MUCH cheaper to replace the entire heater.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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I don't even see the heater core replacements on their site yet , I believe Merv paid £90 at the LRO show for one. Also you can buy a new replacement heater but it will still not be as efficient or give as much heat as the Allisport uprated heater core can put out .
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  #19  
Old October 8th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Ok, just to be clear - you never need to pull anything on the dash to access the heater core and blower motor - both are contained in the heater box under the hood (NAS 110s just have a different box).

Its a huge hassle to get the heater box out, but that's all that has to be done to accesst both the blower and core. If replacing the core, just clamp the heater lines and then break the plastic pipes off of the core - that will save a lot of trouble. Just pull the ends out after the box is out.
Jim,

Can u explain how you do this? Do you drill out the rivets?
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  #20  
Old October 8th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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Here are some pix so you can get an idea of what you're working with. You don't have to drill rivets to get the heater core out, but you do have to drill some to get the motor out of the housing.

The heater core is retained by two long "c" shaped clips that screw into the housing. It almost looks like you can remove the thing from the top (wouldn't that be great?) but there is another retainer on the bottom - so its all gotta come out.

When you have the core out, you might find some leaves and crap lodged up inside it. Its also a good chance to renew some of the foam in the box if necessary. There is a foam piece that seals the heater core against the box sides as well. I think I just used regular weatherstripping foam from Home Depot or Lowe's, but you have to compress it somehow to get the core to slide home. I just used some thin strips of cardboard to hold the foam down, slid the core in, and withdrew the cardboard.

Good luck!
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