Hot-Boxed my 90: Blown Heater Core? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2014, 05:18 PM
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Hot-Boxed my 90: Blown Heater Core?

So I just hot-boxed my 90. I haven't been running ac or heat for a few weeks since the weather has been close to bearable in NOLA, but i moved the temp control down to the red and the entire cab filled with stinky hot steam. I pulled over and noticed that there pints of anti-freeze dripping from the what appears to be the heater core. There wasn't much spray inside the engine compartment, so the leaking is coming from the inside the heater core box.


Part?:
I am assuming that the cause is a blown heater core, but is it possible that it could just be a hose(s)? The fan definitely still blows since it was force feeding me Martian style steam.

Access?:
I did read the below thread, but couldn't gather the best way to access the core, so any advice on that would be great.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...eferrerid=8747

Replacement?:
I was going to buy (http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/STC250K), but then i saw the Allisport reference in the above post and wanted to know if that or any other afte amrket upgrade is a better idea than going stock. Price isn't really a concern, as I hope to not have to do this again in the near future:


I have never been inside the box before and I'm in uncharted territory, so any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Tyler
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  #2  
Old September 27th, 2014, 05:32 PM
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By pass the core by removing the 2 hoses and join them with a short length of 3/4 pipe.



I don't think there are benefits to any special cores ... a radiator shop can probably rebuild yours or a new one is gonna be needed.

The removal isn't particularly difficult and some improvements can be made by making sure everything seals nicely when you put it back together.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Tyler,

I had the same thing happen on my 94 earlier this year. Replacing the core is a bit of a job, but not difficult. I doubt it would be the hoses, mine are outside the heater box. My core had plastic end caps, and one split. You have to remove the box itself to get to the core. There were a couple of bolts with nuts that are under the A/C eval/vent unit, which required me to remove it. I replaced them with riv-nuts so that will not happen again. Then you can pull the box out enough to get the core out. Be sure to bleed the air out of the core once done or the heater will not get very hot.

I am sure there will be a lot more help offered when folks get back from the Expo.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Sounds like your heater core went. Mine had a bunch of debris buildup at the bottom of the heater box which finally wore out the fins. AB sells the genuine core for around a $100 or so; it still does have the plastic inlet/outlet pipes but if the factory part worked since '97, Im ok with that.

Ive read on here that you may have issues attaching the hoses on aftermarket cores as the inlet/outlet pipes on the core are too close together...no experience but for a $100 for the genuine, no brainer. No experience with the alloy models, they look nice.

So as alluded to, you have to remove, if installed, the AC fascia and gently push the evaporator/blower assembly off the rubber mounts towards the center console to get at two bolts midway up the passenger footwell that hold the bottom of the heater box.

Also remove all the crap on the passenger engine compartment wheelwell, and clean out the intake pipe. The drain on mine was plugged, again causing the buildup and demise of my heater box.

Other than that, pretty straight forward. Lots of little screws to remove to split the heater box. There are also a lot of foam bits in there that may or may not need replacing. I did not but will later, they add to the musty smells if not replaced.

Also search for Overlander's thread on port matching the heater box to the bulkhead for increased output. Theres also info on upgraded wiring to the blower and replacement GM blowers for more air.

I also replaced the hoses and clamps at the time.

There should be pics in those threads...deleted all off my phone unfortunately.

And as Leastonce said, connect the inlet/outlet hoses as a temp fix if needed.
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  #5  
Old September 27th, 2014, 06:31 PM
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While you have it opened up, look at improving other things. http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=30938
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  #6  
Old September 27th, 2014, 07:17 PM
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Gents,
THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is all super helpful. My initial plan was to bypass the core and connect the hoses. Luckily I have a few months before I'll need to start thinking about heat. I'l probably buy the genuine from AB, but do you guys think its worth the $$ to have a shop do the work for convenience sake or do it myself to maintain quality control?
As always, thanks again,
Tyler
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Old September 27th, 2014, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtgoldenb View Post
Gents, THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is all super helpful. My initial plan was to bypass the core and connect the hoses. Luckily I have a few months before I'll need to start thinking about heat. I'l probably buy the genuine from AB, but do you guys think its worth the $$ to have a shop do the work for convenience sake or do it myself to maintain quality control? As always, thanks again, Tyler
Do it yourself if you have the time. Id guess this would take you the cost of parts and 4 hours versus a $400-600 job for a shop. And you get to know a bit more about your 90. But we understand that sometimes our time is more valuable than wasting it on a Defender!

On those two bolts inside the cab, best to have an additional set of hands as they may be a bit rusty or at minimum some locking pliers to hold onto the bolt head.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
Do it yourself if you have the time. Id guess this would take you the cost of parts and 4 hours versus a $400-600 job for a shop. And you get to know a bit more about your 90. But we understand that sometimes our time is more valuable than wasting it on a Defender!

On those two bolts inside the cab, best to have an additional set of hands as they may be a bit rusty or at minimum some locking pliers to hold onto the bolt head.

Sounds like the right plan, i think that's why i'll take the bypass shortcut until i can devote a weekend. I also think i can hear all my buddies rapidly filling their calendars, but luckily grandpa is always around to wrench.

Thanks again,
Tyler
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  #9  
Old December 1st, 2014, 08:37 PM
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So after much anxiety and intimidation, I have decided to undertake replacing my heater core. But, as always, i have a few questions. (apologies for the length, just want to chronicle this thoroughly)

FIRST -- Genuine or Aftermarket? I typically don't think twice about this, but with such a massive price difference, I want to make sure the genuine is worth the price. (FWIW, George at RDS had a genuine that he was going to sell me for $260, but I was unfortunately too slow on that)

RN Genuine ($389.95)
http://www.roversnorth.com/ProductDe...de=UTP1725&eq=
RN Proline ($79.00)
http://www.roversnorth.com/ProductDe...=PLF414&type=0

AB Genuine ($359.95)
http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/UTP1725G
AB Premium Range ($99.95)
http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/UTP1725


SECOND -- Hoses? This seems straightforward.

RN Feeder Hose ($20.06)
http://www.roversnorth.com/ProductDe...e=0&eq=&key=it
RN Return Hose ($33.95)
http://www.roversnorth.com/ProductDe...e=0&eq=&key=it

AB Feeder Hose ($16.95)
http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/AWR6631G
AB Return Hose ($31.95)
http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/AWR6632G


THIRD -- Foam? Does anyone sell specific replacement foam or is this just local hardware foam?

FOURTH -- Enlarging bulkhead hole. Is it worth cutting into the bulkhead as described in Overlander's thread below? I plan on having this truck until I die, but I do like the idea of keeping it "stock" and cutting into the bulkhead almost seems taboo.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=30938


FIFTH -- DefenderVENT? Similar to the bulkhead cutting, its it worth cutting into the dashboard panels? Also, how difficult is this install?
http://www.mudstuff.co.uk/defendervent.html


SIXTH -- Heater Fan Upgrade. I think this may be above my level of expertise at the moment, but these are the threads I was looking at regarding blower upgrades. If this is in fact easier than it looks, please chime in.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ht=heater+core
http://siteground237.com/~gunsandr/showthread.php?t=321
http://www.red90.ca/rovers/Heater/heater.html


Lagniappe -- Beyond the workshop manual, these are the other resources I am referencing:
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=27684
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ht=heater+core
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ushings&page=5
http://landytown.myfastforum.org/Def...about1383.html
http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=40566

As always, any advice or guidance is much appreciated.
-Tyler
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  #10  
Old December 1st, 2014, 09:17 PM
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All the non-genuine are likely from the same place. I used non genuine in mine about 4 years ago and haven't had any issues. Just make sure it's not damaged before it goes in.
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  #11  
Old December 1st, 2014, 09:17 PM
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Check out rovahfarm.com when you know the part numbers. I like to look at Allbrit.de because they have a pretty good parts diagram, but there are many out there.
Third - MRC8378 and STC953 are the foam pieces you will need.
Forth - I would do it since you are there. You probably won't be back in there for awhile. I did mine.
Fifth - if you want to get into the dash more then go for it! I also have one, but I already had my dash open. I hear good things but a lot of people say it's too expensive for what you get. Dave at urban landcruisers sells them stateside.
The old foam will probably be pretty crudy. Take some time and clean it up well and use a good adhesive to put the mrc8378 part on.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 09:30 PM
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Awesome, thanks gents.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 09:55 PM
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Trevor has the same heater matrix.Rovahfarm: UTP1725 / Price $62.95

For Foam, get closed cell neoprene medical type.

Some limited dollars to save if ordered direct from UK.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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I pulled my heater box out to replace the core and found at least a pound of mud and this:
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  #15  
Old January 7th, 2015, 12:38 PM
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The leaking core:
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  #16  
Old January 7th, 2015, 12:49 PM
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You don't need no stinkin' heater core in Phoenix! Rip the guts out and turn it into a manifold cooker for your snacks!

Hey, go through that stuff with fine toothed comb, just in case Maurice Wilks left a time capsule in there.

------ Follow up post added January 7th, 2015 12:50 PM ------

PS, if you have mud in your heaterbox, you're doing it right! Not like those Jersey metrosexual owners that focus on armor all'ing their boost wheels! No offense Boost Club!
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Old January 7th, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
You don't need no stinkin' heater core in Phoenix! Rip the guts out and turn it into a manifold cooker for your snacks!

Hey, go through that stuff with fine toothed comb, just in case Maurice Wilks left a time capsule in there.

------ Follow up post added January 7th, 2015 12:50 PM ------

PS, if you have mud in your heaterbox, you're doing it right! Not like those Jersey metrosexual owners that focus on armor all'ing their boost wheels! No offense Boost Club!
Ssshhh they never realize an insult unless you tell them...

------ Follow up post added January 7th, 2015 12:28 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
I pulled my heater box out to replace the core and found at least a pound of mud and this:
Yeah that's crazy...
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  #18  
Old January 7th, 2015, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
I pulled my heater box out to replace the core and found at least a pound of mud and this:
You found treasure Like the MOD issue AA battery
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