Heater Core Replacement - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Heater Core Replacement

My heater core has gone bad. I kinda knew this for a while just b/c fogged windows, sweet smell, "the puddle", and now puffs of smoke. I plan on replacing the core and the hoses next week (I'll have time since its spring break...yay) Is replacing the hoses hard or is it so simple it doesn't need explaination. I already know the challenge i'm up against with the core. Also is the 2.3l core the same as the 5.0? the only reason I ask is b/c I plan on ordering it : Mustang Heater Cores at LRS - Same Day Shipping!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008
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The hoses are easy to change. The heater core's tubes stick through the firewall so you can just clamp the rubber hoses right on. I don't know it the 5.0 is the same is the 2.3 though.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008
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The hoses are very simple to change, just as long as you drain the coolant out of the radiator. You might want to flush the radiator to as well since you have to drain her. Replacing the heatercore isn't too hard, just takes about 4 hours for even the most expert mechanics. Just be careful putting the hoses on the heatercore! Do not force them on. Lube the hose if you need to but do not force them on or you could break/crack the new heatercore not even knowing, put her back together and try it and have coolant everywhere. I would like to do it to my pony sometime soon. Let us know how it turns out man.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008
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Originally Posted by 05Musclestang View Post
Lube the hose if you need to but do not force them on or you could break/crack the new heatercore not even knowing,
Try spraying some silicone spray onto a rolled up paper towel and wipe the inside of the hose.

Also, the heater cores on the market now are junk. The solder joint where the tube meets the end tank is lame, and has a tendency to prematurely fail. The lifetime part warranty is great but it hardly justifies the labor involved.

The solder joint needs to be built up better. If you can do this, do it. If not, take it to a radiator repair shop and tell them what you want. It shouldn't cost you much (bring beer, and show up at the end of the day)
DO NOT use rosin core solder. That is a type of solder used for electrical repairs. Use only acid core solder for this type of cooling system repair.

Ensure you put a restictor plug on the coolant inlet tube to prevent errosion

Pics and tips courtesy of Pat Pearson, fellow SVO owner (of like, 10 SVOs!)
Below are before and after pics
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008 Thread Starter
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where can you buy the flow restrictor for the 2.3l? I only see it for the 5.0. Will the restrictor fit from a 5.0 fit on a 2.3l? I now know the heater core is the same.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008
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Both 5.0 and 2.3 heater cores are the same. The only difference is A/C and non A/C.

A/C cars you have to take the whole dash out, non A/C cars you can take it out from the glove box

The sad thing is, with 15 PSI, straight back exhaust, and a bobs log, it still feels slow...

Maybe 20PSI, new computer, new 3" VAM, and some porting will make it faster

For pictures of my build-up on "No Hands" PM me
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008
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When I pulled mine out I had to disconnect the lines for the A/C evaporator too. I cut the aluminum tube and reconnected later with a flare union fitting. The other A/C line can be unscrewed from the fitting. There are a few bolts that go through the firewall into the engine compartment that hold the entire box iin place, that contians the blower fan, core, and evaporator. Make sure to sure to unbolt all of them on the engine side and the box should come out "fairly painless". You should not have to pry, beat or cuss the thing out (this will only break the plastic)

Once the box is out you can disassemble the plastic panels to get to the core out. The panels are held together by a sticky sealent type of caulk. Pry carefully and evenly. Use small screws (through the plastic lips) and caulk to reassemble the box. The screws work great to hold the panels back together while the caulk seals out air leaks.

good luck....
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Lol 1 more question. What is this part called? Its the 3 way (plastic) heater hose splitter. The bottom hose goes to the other side of the engine. Can't wait to get rid of those factory clamps..lol
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008
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That hose goes to the lower part of your intake to complete your cooling system

The sad thing is, with 15 PSI, straight back exhaust, and a bobs log, it still feels slow...

Maybe 20PSI, new computer, new 3" VAM, and some porting will make it faster

For pictures of my build-up on "No Hands" PM me
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Is this the plastic heater core hose 3 way splitter in my pic?
AutoZone.com | Shopping | Parts | Product Detail - Heater Control Valve
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Doesn't look like it. The plastic piece on your car is just a simple 3 way junction.

If you've never removed your dash before this is a good opportunity to change out your heater motor (even if it isn't howling yet) and check your vents for who knows what. My heater core had bled into several areas and the heater smelled a lot better in there when I'd washed the antifreeze out.
It's a good idea to get your old core recored at a shop, my 'stang didn't have air conditioning but had the heater core for an air conditioned car. You never know what you're going to find, so give yourself lots of time and avoid the aftermarket cheapos.

Definitely flush out your cooling system before installing the new core. The last thing you want is for the junk that's still in the system to start clogging up a newly installed unit. Sort of defeats the purpose, IMO.
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not trying to brag but it only took me an hour .... if you get some hints from some people and talk around and get to know what you doing it will be a snap just dont snap the tubes on the core...if you havnt done it yet in the next couple days i will send you step by step instructions that i made when i did mine they are rather helpful
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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wow thats quick! I plan on doing it either monday or tuesday. I'm also going to do a few other things like flush out coolant, fix a/c: I took it to a shop and they said its an electrical problem which I already knew but they said it would be expensive since they'd have to go through the wiring. So I plan on checking the wiring replacing the sensors/switches as needed and also check for leaks ( I know the a/c clutch/compressor is good b/c I hooked it up to the battery and it cycled) , replace a few hoses and clamps, and a few other things I can't think of. Do you know where I can get the plastic 3 way hose splitter?
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if i can i will have the instructions on here by monday or tuesday
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2008 Thread Starter
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ok any help is appreciated! I just looked at the tracking # and I wont get it till tuesday (probly mid day) So I might just do it wednesday
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