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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that we're heading into winter, i'd just like to give everyone who needs a heatercore the heads up... every replacement heatercore i have found(partsamerica, napa, autozone, rockauto) have been of unacceptalbly poor quality, in fact i installed 2 that wound up leaking within days, and this is not a project you want to do twice, let alone 3 or more times, so if you need a new one, get one from a low mileage junked one or from a dealer.
I
 

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every one me or the guys here have gotten have been fine. its now a sat afternoon project maybee 4 hours now. all the cars i have done havent leaked yet. they must just be sending you bad ones.

Before u install a new one preasure test it. it should leak that way if its going to.
 

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Do you race your car at all or drive hard and hold the revs a lot? If so then you are putting too much pressure on the heater core and it will pop. You'll want to install a restricting valve to slow the flow and lessen the pressure that the heater will see. Also lets you totally close the valve when racing.
 

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He does have apoint that if your going to spend that much time in installing it, at least look around and have the parts counter person at different stores show you a few before you buy one so you cna get an idea of the look and feel of the quality. I've looked at a few and they do look real cheap (meaning of questionable quality).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
every brand i've seen are all copper-brass construction with crappy solder joints, there are no side protection frams, and the channels are between 2 sheets of the wavy material used to make up the fins.. http://www.rockauto.com/ref/Stant/Detail.html?8327.gif
is a picture of the one you want to stay away from.

theyre all from same mexican factory.. rock auto apparentaly now has acdelco heater cores too, so i assume they are probably better quality, but from what i've found, all of the following are exactly the same:

GDI/TRANSPRO-#398260
SPI/FOUR SEASON-#2639 or #94741
STANT-#8327
NAPA/BALKAMP-#6603403

as for the heater cores i've had go bad, i havent abused the vehicle whatsoever, so that certainly isnt the cause, and i did pressure test them before. after the first replacement heater core went bad, i just assumed i got unlucky and wound up with a bad one, so i just returned it and got a replacement... well, turns out that simply the pressure of putting on the hoses was enough to break the solder joint between the piping and the body of the heater core, and within 2 days i couldnt drive 10 miles without having to add a gallon of coolant.

on the bright side, i discovered my dashboard removal skills are still sharp, as i was able to get one out of a wreck in less than 30 minutes. heh.. first time I had to replace one took about 6 hours
 

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Holy crap. 30mins now?!?! You have had way too much practice. I think I put a Stant in but the joints on it were all good on mine and looked like good quality. Maybe they have gotten cheap in the last year. :|
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yea.. i could have had it out quicker, except i forgot to bring a 10mm end wrench and wound up having to punch holes in either corner of the windshield to get a socket on the bolts on either end..

of course, it's a lot different when you arent particularly concerned with keeping the wiring harness intact, and the radio/heater control has been removed. and it's actually kind of easy now that i think about it, in my opinion anyway.. just drop the steering column, pop off the panel around the gauges and center dash, pop out the gauge cluster, heater control panel, stereo, vent cover, and then it's 3 bolts right underneath the windsheild, 2-3 bolts on either side of the body, and 2 bolts on either side directly below the center of the dash, and then the 3 bolts holding the heater in place. heck, if i was really ruthless i could have it out in 10.. hehe.
 

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I have taken a miilion bolts off but cant get the dash off still. How do you get to the bolts that hold the dash by the windshield? Under the hood or inside the car or what? Also what bolts were u talking about underneath by the center of the dash? Thanks CJ
 

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You have to get something that will angle to get the screws on the inside at the base of the windshield. It's a serious PITA.
 

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more questions

Ok I went out in the dark. I find one in the defroster vent from the inside(of car). Wheres the other 2? I tried to budge it and it still not ready. Are the other two right by the one in the center or soemwhere esle on the dash? ALso What do you mean by stnad outside and use a 10mm and look through and get the dash bolts? Are there bolts under the hood? Or cowl? If so how many than
 

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You need to remove the middle screw that holds the defroster vent on, and the pull that vent up until it pops off. Then there are 3 bolts under that. 1 in the middle (easy), and 1 in each corner (worst possible location). When I put my dash back in this last time, I left those 3 out and haven't had any issues so far.
 

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go to a radiator shop and have the old one recored or have a new one made from scratch it will be alot better than anything you will buy in a franchise store
 

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Ok, I just finished wasting an entire Sunday screwing with taking crap apart to try to get at the damn heater core in my car. Mine is a 94 LX. I bought a Haynes book and it didn't seem very hard so I started tearing crap apart, taking panels off, etc. EVERY damn piece was a headache to get off. It was a situation where you could see the panel and 4 bolts holding it on. Take those all off and the panel stayed stuck to the dash somehow.

Anyway, the car is all torn apart and I'm ready to quit and just deal with being cold for a couple months.

Now after reading this thread I'm on the fence again as to whether to go forward with it or not.

The Haynes book is useless at the point I'm at now. It never mentions anything about dropping the steering wheel or anything. It goes from pull out the center console to replace the heater core... It makes some vague references to some other stuff but it isn't very easy to follow in any case.

I'm looking for an in depth step by step process online but I haven't found any. Most of my day was spent dealing with surprises and wasting time finding the last bolt type crap. So, if any of you have a link to something like that please post it. Otherwise I'm putting everything back together and just dealing withno heat. I live in SC so I won't need it for very long.

Thanks for the help.
 
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