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  #1  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 07:53 PM
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Baird M. Gehring
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Heater Box Leak

I was sitting in traffic today in 90+ degree heat, top on, AC on and thought I could smell coolant. My suspicions were confirmed when I got out at my destination and found that the inlet manifold on the heater box was spewing coolant.
Next I drove to the nearest gas station for water to find the water dispenser out of order so I had to fill up the radiator with multiple trips in and out of the gas station using a 'big gulp' cup.
I drove home and the temp gauge stayed just shy of the middle the whole way, so no overheating.
My question is, what does repairing this leak on my heater box entail? I can bypass the heater for now so I can drive around while I wait for a new heater box/radiator. Do I need to remove the entire passenger side wing and fender and remove the entire heater box? Do I need a whole new heater box or is it just a matter of having the heater core recored?
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  #2  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMGmotors View Post
My question is, what does repairing this leak on my heater box entail? I can bypass the heater for now so I can drive around while I wait for a new heater box/radiator. Do I need to remove the entire passenger side wing and fender and remove the entire heater box? Do I need a whole new heater box or is it just a matter of having the heater core recored?
I did this repair last week in an hour and a half

You need a new heater matrix (less expensive than repairing)

Remove or lift and strap bonnet all the way up/back

Remove the three small panels that support/retain the heater matrix from the top of the heater box.

Remove heater matrix out of the top of the box

Take the opportunity to vacuum out the inside of the box while the matrix is out

Insert new matrix into box

clean and repaint the small trim pieces if any rust is present

Refresh any seals that need refreshed (self adhesive foam)

Reattach the three top pieces

Reconnect the coolant pipe to one side of the matrix and pre-fill with coolant

Connect the return pipe and bleed system

Enjoy...
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Baird M. Gehring
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Thanks Mybluett! So if I am to understand correctly, I do not need to remove the entire heater box/fan assembly just the heater core/matrix which should come out of the top of the heater box?
Can you recommend where to get a new heater matrix?
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 08:47 PM
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UTP1725 Our price is $49 - Would be a week though as I just used the last one we had in stock...
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  #5  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 09:07 PM
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Some random pics from my heater core replacement. I was not aware that you could replace the matrix on a 97 NAS without removing the entire box. If you do end up removing the box and you have AC, you have to drop the blower in the cab to get at the two bottom heater box bolts.

In my research, others have claimed that the aftermarket cores make attaching the inlet/outlet pipes quite the chore and it is recommended to get genuine. AB has them for a bit over $120. They are plastic though, so be careful.

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Oh, and there will probably be a ton of debris in the inlet, around the fan, and in the box. The other filters will probably be soaked with crap as well which contributes to interesting smells, so taking the box out and cleaning it all makes a good bit of difference.

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old July 3rd, 2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Is the new matrix aluminum & plastic, or copper & brass?

-Jeff
aluminum and plastic…

No issues fitting the new matrix as it comes with pipes.
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  #7  
Old July 19th, 2014, 04:24 PM
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So I am trying to remove the heater core. Have removed screws and top retaining plate that goes around the top of the core. The heater core will wiggle around but does not want to come out of the top of the heater box. Is there something else that's retaining the core from underneath? Do I need to remove the entire heater box/assembly?
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  #8  
Old July 19th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Search for a thread called "Getting at the heater core"

Can't figure out how to link to threads on this stupid app.
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  #9  
Old July 19th, 2014, 04:51 PM
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yes the whole thing has to come out... 2 bolts inside the foot area vent etc.. fun fun job
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  #10  
Old July 19th, 2014, 05:34 PM
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Thanks Jeff! I was intending to just remove the heater matrix today in an effort to just get a start on this job since I don't yet have the new heater core. However I see that that's not possible without removing a bunch of other stuff too. Looks like this project will have to wait till another weekend when I have the new core and can get it all done in a day.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 01:00 AM
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I've always been skeptical of that idea of enlarging the bulkhead hole. Excuse me while I get science-douchey, but airflow is a combination of two factors, pressure and speed. Counterintuitively, the are inversely proportional. Given a constant output from the fan (maybe a silly assumption I know) making the hole larger will increase the pressure but decrease the speed of the air. The smaller hole will increase the speed of the air, but decrease the pressure. When you're trying to spray water from a garden hose (or air from a vent) you actually care less about pressure (the ability to move a volume of air or water some short distance) and more about the "spray" effect you get from closing down the aperture in order to water the whole lawn or circulate air around the cabin.

Now I recognize that a lower dash which doubles as a heater plenum is not a hose and LR might have just made an arbitrarily-sized hole in the bulkhead, but nevertheless I can't help but wonder if the increased hole size actually produces an increase in the performance of the heater system.
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  #12  
Old July 20th, 2014, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I've always been skeptical of that idea of enlarging the bulkhead hole. Excuse me while I get science-douchey, but airflow is a combination of two factors, pressure and speed. Counterintuitively, the are inversely proportional. Given a constant output from the fan (maybe a silly assumption I know) making the hole larger will increase the pressure but decrease the speed of the air. The smaller hole will increase the speed of the air, but decrease the pressure. When you're trying to spray water from a garden hose (or air from a vent) you actually care less about pressure (the ability to move a volume of air or water some short distance) and more about the "spray" effect you get from closing down the aperture in order to water the whole lawn or circulate air around the cabin.

Now I recognize that a lower dash which doubles as a heater plenum is not a hose and LR might have just made an arbitrarily-sized hole in the bulkhead, but nevertheless I can't help but wonder if the increased hole size actually produces an increase in the performance of the heater system.
Except that the bulkhead hole doesn't align well @ all with the heater output. The result is a lot of turbulence where the two meet. The difference in airflow/output pressure @ the vents is considerably higher once you make the modification,like Jeff says.
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  #13  
Old July 20th, 2014, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMGmotors View Post
So I am trying to remove the heater core. Have removed screws and top retaining plate that goes around the top of the core. The heater core will wiggle around but does not want to come out of the top of the heater box. Is there something else that's retaining the core from underneath? Do I need to remove the entire heater box/assembly?
You should not have to remove the box from the truck. Did you pull all three plates that hold the heater matrix in place? May just be a bit of buildup/mastic/sealant holding it in place.
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  #14  
Old July 21st, 2014, 11:59 AM
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I removed the rectangular metal retaining plate on top of the heater box and 9 or so screws that held it down. Tried to extract the box but would not budge, wiggled back and forth. However, in my NAS workshop manual this is what it says.
HEATER MATRIX
Service repair no - 80.20.29
Remove
1. Remove heater unit. See Heater unit
2. Remove 3 nuts securing angled bracket to
heater unit. Pivot bracket to remove from studs.
3. Remove 14 screws and detach 2 matrix retaining
plates from heater unit base.
4. Remove 9 screws securing matrix top retaining
plate.
5. Withdraw heater matrix through top of heater
unit casing

Wish I knew how to attach the page out of the manual, just had to copy and paste.
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  #15  
Old July 21st, 2014, 03:00 PM
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Here we go:
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  #16  
Old July 25th, 2014, 06:52 PM
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Tackling the heater core removal project today. This is why I could not remove the heater matrix through the top of the heater box and had to remove the entire heater box from the engine compartment; there are 2 plates and 14 or so philips screws that hold the bottom of the heater matrix in place on the bottom of the heater box, the bottom bracket that holds the heater box to the bulkhead is also attached in this area and has to be removed as well to provide access to some of those screws.

I rinsed out the heater box which was not very dirty nor did it have a collection of leaves in it. Hopefully my heater blower won't go bad in the near future because I do not want to have to do this again, at least hopefully not for another 113,000 miles.
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  #17  
Old July 25th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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By the way, my heater box had a sticker on the top stating a 'campaign number' and of course there's the large sticker that says Land Rover Genuine parts on the front part of the box. I'm wondering if these stickers have any unusual significance? Is it possible LR had to recall the boxes and repair/replace them? Hence the campaign sticker/large sticker stating 'genuine parts', etc.
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  #18  
Old July 26th, 2014, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMGmotors View Post
By the way, my heater box had a sticker on the top stating a 'campaign number' and of course there's the large sticker that says Land Rover Genuine parts on the front part of the box. I'm wondering if these stickers have any unusual significance? Is it possible LR had to recall the boxes and repair/replace them? Hence the campaign sticker/large sticker stating 'genuine parts', etc.
Only thing I can think of since you have a 97 is it was the cold start ECU update campaign sticker.
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Old July 26th, 2014, 05:17 PM
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ok so, I have reinstalled the heater box and connected everything. I thought it would be a good idea to check that the blower works. As luck would have it of course the blower motor doesn't work, I've since discovered that the truck won't start, starter has plenty of crank, cannot hear fuel pump coming on. Fuel gauge not working. I have looked through my wiring diagram and see multiple ground junctions that eventually provide ground for blower motor, ecu, fuel pump, guage, etc. Could one of these be the culprit? Have checked fuses all seem good. I know electrical stuff can be pretty tricky, can't seem to figure this one out.
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  #20  
Old July 26th, 2014, 09:03 PM
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Well after many exhausting hours of deliberation with wiring diagrams I looked again at the connections in the corner of the fender/bulkead near the heater box and noticed that there were two sets of block connectors that could be fit together even if they weren't supposed to go together, one wiring loom went out to the fuel tank I imagine and the other was for the heater blower motor. Both had purple wires which made them even more difficult to distinguish from one another. So I plugged them in properly by switching the block connections around and suddenly everything worked! Of course that was after I took the heater box out a second time in order to make sure I hadn't done something else wrong and to make sure there was nothing wrong with the blower motor itself.
With that sorted I put everything back in place and it was all downhill from there.
While I had the heater box out my dad helped me sand and respray the all of the parts and plates flat black. We also added some foam strips around one of the ventilation doors inside the box to ensure a more air tight seal.
The original thick foam gasket around the blower inlet that mates up to the plastic intake manifold had deteriorated long ago, so I used some generic black household plumbing insulation and made my own. Here are some pics from the refurb/refit process:
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