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Unread 01-09-2008   #16 (permalink)
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Anyway, on to some useful tips:

1. There is a really great Mustang Monthly article (actually two now, they did another one some months ago) on this repair. I used it as a guide when I did mine. A search of their site in their tech articles should come up with it. If you can't find it, in a nutshell: drop the steering column, pull the center console, unbolt the entire dash at both ends, unbolt the case from under the hood, and start yanking around on everything. I really hope you can find that article!

2. Chilton says to discharge the a/c. If your a/c works fine, you don't need to do this. The dryer under the hood is bolted down to the bolts that hold the heater case to the inside of the firewall. You can bend these tabs back verrry carefully and preserve your a/c charge. I did it this way, and had no problems.

3. Get a friend to help. A very stupid, bored, unemployed friend. If nothing else, it will help ease the misery. There is a time during removal & replacement when an extra set of hands on the dash, pulling it out from the firewall, is a real bonus.

4. The cover over the actual core is plastic. I seem to remember something about how it bolts down or maybe not, whatever-the-f%#k I just took a dremel with cut-off wheel to it. This allowed me to remove the core, and when I replaced it, I just used duct tape to keep it in place. This might sound silly or half-assed, but it is not a structural part and you're just trying to keep the air inside the box. I did it 3 years ago, and no problems since then.

5. I don't know about fin counts and all that crap on the heater core. What I will say is, get a good Ford heater core. Yes, you could have your old one re-cored. If it was leaking, that means the metal got thin enough to leak. Re-coring is not going to fix the thin metal elsewhere in the core, so you are really only prolonging the life of a hunk of brass that is (and has been for the better part of 20 odd years) slowly disintegrating. This is why it started leaking in the first place! I have a great radiator shop in my neighborhood. They do great work. But a recore is a recore. The metal will still be just as thin in the other places it hasn't leaked through yet, and it is just a matter of time. My '66 has the original, yes original radiator in it, and every 5 years or so, it springs a leak and needs to be gone through. After you do this job, you will understand why you never, NEVER want to do it again.

6. So get a new one. Get a Ford core.

7. As mentioned above, yes, be gentle with it. You might want to take the opportunity to order up a new set of hoses, both for the heater core and the rest.

8. Why do you think your core is bad? If it is not leaking, I would exhaust every other possibility first. If you only have tepid or cool air blowing, change out the thermostat and check your vacuum circuits first. If your thermostat is more than 2 years old, it needs to be replaced.

9. Make sure the little coolant restrictor is intact and in place in the heater hose before reattaching it to your just installed core. This little puppy looks like a lens cap with a hole in the middle, shoved into the mouth of the heater hose leading from the thermostat housing to the heater core. This was a Ford fix to heater cores bursting under hard accelleration, mostly in Mustangs driven by police. Or so the story goes.

10. Yes, you can do this. The most challenging aspect is the challenge of your patience. The rest is just nuts and bolts.

Here are a few pics when I did mine:

Heater core replacement on Fox Body Mustang-mustang-heater001.jpg

Heater core replacement on Fox Body Mustang-mustang-heater002.jpg

Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Unread 01-13-2008   #17 (permalink)
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How do you know if your heater core is bad? My blower works but the air is luke warm? Let me know by sending me a private message. Thanks.

Last edited by EagleAutosports; 01-18-2008 at 11:50 PM. Reason: remove caps
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Unread 01-16-2008   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzouMike76 View Post
Anyway, on to some useful tips:

1. There is a really great Mustang Monthly article (actually two now, they did another one some months ago) on this repair. I used it as a guide when I did mine. A search of their site in their tech articles should come up with it. If you can't find it, in a nutshell: drop the steering column, pull the center console, unbolt the entire dash at both ends, unbolt the case from under the hood, and start yanking around on everything. I really hope you can find that article!

2. Chilton says to discharge the a/c. If your a/c works fine, you don't need to do this. The dryer under the hood is bolted down to the bolts that hold the heater case to the inside of the firewall. You can bend these tabs back verrry carefully and preserve your a/c charge. I did it this way, and had no problems.

3. Get a friend to help. A very stupid, bored, unemployed friend. If nothing else, it will help ease the misery. There is a time during removal & replacement when an extra set of hands on the dash, pulling it out from the firewall, is a real bonus.

4. The cover over the actual core is plastic. I seem to remember something about how it bolts down or maybe not, whatever-the-f%#k I just took a dremel with cut-off wheel to it. This allowed me to remove the core, and when I replaced it, I just used duct tape to keep it in place. This might sound silly or half-assed, but it is not a structural part and you're just trying to keep the air inside the box. I did it 3 years ago, and no problems since then.

5. I don't know about fin counts and all that crap on the heater core. What I will say is, get a good Ford heater core. Yes, you could have your old one re-cored. If it was leaking, that means the metal got thin enough to leak. Re-coring is not going to fix the thin metal elsewhere in the core, so you are really only prolonging the life of a hunk of brass that is (and has been for the better part of 20 odd years) slowly disintegrating. This is why it started leaking in the first place! I have a great radiator shop in my neighborhood. They do great work. But a recore is a recore. The metal will still be just as thin in the other places it hasn't leaked through yet, and it is just a matter of time. My '66 has the original, yes original radiator in it, and every 5 years or so, it springs a leak and needs to be gone through. After you do this job, you will understand why you never, NEVER want to do it again.

6. So get a new one. Get a Ford core.

7. As mentioned above, yes, be gentle with it. You might want to take the opportunity to order up a new set of hoses, both for the heater core and the rest.

8. Why do you think your core is bad? If it is not leaking, I would exhaust every other possibility first. If you only have tepid or cool air blowing, change out the thermostat and check your vacuum circuits first. If your thermostat is more than 2 years old, it needs to be replaced.

9. Make sure the little coolant restrictor is intact and in place in the heater hose before reattaching it to your just installed core. This little puppy looks like a lens cap with a hole in the middle, shoved into the mouth of the heater hose leading from the thermostat housing to the heater core. This was a Ford fix to heater cores bursting under hard accelleration, mostly in Mustangs driven by police. Or so the story goes.

10. Yes, you can do this. The most challenging aspect is the challenge of your patience. The rest is just nuts and bolts.

Here are a few pics when I did mine:

Attachment 37840

Attachment 37841

Good luck, and keep us posted!


Re-coring IS going to fix the thin metal in the core because the whole core was replaced, not just part of it, only they used the same 2 ends. You might want to check where your Ford unit is made today. It might say ford on the box, but the new Ford unit my friend bought said Mexico on the core itself, only shoved in a ford box. Made cheaply because of cheap labour.
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Last edited by EagleAutosports; 01-19-2008 at 12:15 AM.
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Unread 01-16-2008   #19 (permalink)
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ThipleThreat:

If you have lukewarm air, chances are your thermostat is bad; and by bad, I mean it is opening too soon, it is weakened usually by age. If it is greater than 2 years old, replace it. I was thinking the same thing when I had the exact same problem, and replacing the thermostat is MUCH easier to do than the heater core. The heater core would have to get seriously clogged with crap before it simply fails to heat.

As for the recores: The end tanks are made of brass as well, remember. It all gets thinner at the same time.

To each their own, but for me, I will always go with new metal over recored metal.

If it were a radiator, i.e. something easily replaceable, then I would go recore without reproach. The radiator in my '66 is original......yes, original. And recored several times!

But for a heater core in the depths of a Fox Mustang dash, I would buy a new one, install it with care, ensure my heater hose restrictor is in place, and swap out coolant every 2 years. This outta get you another 15 years before you need to replace it again.


Michael
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Last edited by EagleAutosports; 01-19-2008 at 12:05 AM. Reason: removed questionable content/argumentative section
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Unread 01-17-2008   #20 (permalink)
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There is really no easy way I went out and bought a little portable heater thats how much I dont want to deal with it. I would take it to a shop and let them deal with it unless you got time because time and frustration are the words. It should be around 350-400 dollars if you find a good garage.
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Unread 01-17-2008   #21 (permalink)
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Ok Here Is The Deal, With A Little More Then Average Knolage You Will Be Able To Do It In 2 Days{ A Weekend With No Problems } There Are No Special Tools Needed And A Chilton Book Gives You Enough Info To Get It Done,i Did It Last Summer ,it Was Actually A Challange. Dont Be Scared Just Get A Warm Garage And You Will Do Just Fine. Good Luck Jerry

Usually it will be leaking into the car on the passenger side. Your windows will fog when u put the heat on, sounds like you need to look at the thermostat might not be closing, o yes you cant forget the sweet smell it has lololol Jerry

Last edited by EagleAutosports; 01-18-2008 at 11:53 PM. Reason: merged 2 posts, remove caps
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Unread 01-17-2008   #22 (permalink)
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The only reason I tackled mine myself was out of sheer penny-pinching. It decided to leak and fog up my inside windows, so I was pretty much forced to do it.

I like that portable heater idea!

Okay here is the Mustang Monthly article I used as a guide, maybe it will help some folks out who are thinking about doing it:

1979-1993 Heater Core Replacement
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Unread 01-18-2008   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzouMike76 View Post
ThipleThreat:

If you have lukewarm air, chances are your thermostat is bad; and by bad, I mean it is opening too soon, it is weakened usually by age. If it is greater than 2 years old, replace it. I was thinking the same thing when I had the exact same problem, and replacing the thermostat is MUCH easier to do than the heater core. The heater core would have to get seriously clogged with crap before it simply fails to heat.

As for the recores: The end tanks are made of brass as well, remember. It all gets thinner at the same time.

To each their own, but for me, I will always go with new metal over recored metal.

If it were a radiator, i.e. something easily replaceable, then I would go recore without reproach. The radiator in my '66 is original......yes, original. And recored several times!

But for a heater core in the depths of a Fox Mustang dash, I would buy a new one, install it with care, ensure my heater hose restrictor is in place, and swap out coolant every 2 years. This outta get you another 15 years before you need to replace it again.


Michael


You better install it with care. Be careful shoving those hoses on at the firewall also.
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Last edited by EagleAutosports; 01-19-2008 at 12:13 AM. Reason: removed offensive/disrespectful comments
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Unread 01-18-2008   #24 (permalink)
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Ok, enough of the bashing, name calling, in general being disrespectful of others. It won't be tolerated, not on my watch. It's ok to have differing opinions on how things should be handled, some ways works for others, not for all. Now please get back to the topic at hand.
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Unread 01-19-2008   #25 (permalink)
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C'mon guys. This is a BIG issue for Fox body owners. ITs an expensive fix, or a very involved fix for those that choose, or have to do it on their own.

We should be helping each other out and sharing ideas and how we fixed things. There is always more than one wy to fix a problem. Some are better than others, but there is no reason to start calling each other names and such.
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Unread 01-20-2008   #26 (permalink)
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Here's the other article by Mustang Monthly. This one is more recent:

Ford Mustang Heater Core Replacement - Mustang Monthly


And again, here is the earlier article, as posted above:

1979-1993 Heater Core Replacement

Both are great sources of information and should help tremendously.
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Unread 06-29-2011   #27 (permalink)
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i changed my hearter core in 3 1/2 hours. It is not all that hard to do. and I save myself 400.00

all you need is patience
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Keep all little bolts, screws and parts seperately. That little piece of rectangular shape metal that holds the cable for cold(blue) and hot(red) under the heater cor box is easy to get lost. I misplaced mine when I did my heater core and have to go to a junk yard to get one. Also make sure to label your vacuum motor hoses for easy reinstallation.
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It's a PITA yes, it took me a couple of days(I work at a leisurely pace). But I didn't think it was all that difficult, just a lot of work. Two things not to do. 1. do not cut the bolts that hold the cover on, and 2. do not use duct tape to hold it on. I used seam sealer and a caulk gun with the screws to seal mine. Don't let a heater core replacement be intimidating. Trust me, if I can do it.....
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