Heater Core Replace - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019 Thread Starter
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Heater Core Replace

Guys, I am pulling the 302 engine in my 68 Mustang and having it rebuilt due to some cracked piston skirts. It occurred to me this would be a good time to replace the 20+ year old radiator and heater hoses. Going down that rabbit hole, it would probably make good sense to replace the heater core just because. Need to remove it to get the heater hose off anyway. So looking at the heater cores available brings up a couple of questions:
  • Aluminum or copper/bronze core?
  • Scott Drake offers an aluminum core that has the hose ends turned and long enough to go through the firewall. So the hose connection is under the hood instead of under the glove box. This sounds like a good idea to do. I know what is involved with taking out a heater core. Any reason to stay with a stock core?
I'd welcome all thoughts on these two items.
Thanks

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019
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If you have an original style copper core, then stick with that.
If it looks good and pressure tests OK, then you should be fine to use the one that is already there. If there is evidence of corrosion, then replace.
Just make sure you buy a heater box seal kit and get the foam rubber heater core end caps. These help protect the core from vibrations and damage and make the core work more efficiently.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019
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I replaced a Mustang heater core about ten years ago when the original brass style was not available but instead I had to buy an aluminum one. I would never buy anything but the brass if its available. The Al was too small, too thin by 1/2", not shaped correctly, etc. I also agree that time isn't a good indication of need. If its always had regularly changed antifreeze there is no reason to think its going to leak soon. My first new car is nearing 49 years old and a daily driver that still has its original heater core. A new heater valve and several sets of new hoses but the same core.

I have never replaced a '68 core but the earlier ones require taking the heater box apart which is held together with metal clips around the outside. Its not all that difficult but more of the usual hassle.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019
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Better just to clean and test it. Brass will last a long time if you use distilled water and quality antifreeze.

If you do have to replace it, you might want to upgrade the system to a modern AC and heat core. They work so much better than in 1968, especially defrosting the windshield in humid weather.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019
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Ask anyone who has batteled changing the core on a mid 80's T-bird or cougar. DONT use aluminum if at all possible. Ford tried to get around the electrolosis problems by adding a separate strap at the heat core.

I'D RATHER GO SLOW THAN NOT GO AT ALL
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Great info. I've decided to clean this unit and let the sleeping dog lie. I had an interesting conversation recently with a tech at CJ Pony regarding replacing the water pump while I am at it. He said sort of the same thing, the new replacement water pumps are all made "overseas" as in China. And those units don't have the durability of the original units. In fact he said 90% of water pumps and such are made in China now. No one makes water pumps in the US anymore. He strongly recommended if my current water pump is OK don't replace it. But he did say if I really want to replace it he recommended the Edelbrock water pump. What has the world come to? Putting Chinese parts on my Ford?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbegley View Post
Thanks guys. Great info. I've decided to clean this unit and let the sleeping dog lie. I had an interesting conversation recently with a tech at CJ Pony regarding replacing the water pump while I am at it. He said sort of the same thing, the new replacement water pumps are all made "overseas" as in China. And those units don't have the durability of the original units. In fact he said 90% of water pumps and such are made in China now. No one makes water pumps in the US anymore. He strongly recommended if my current water pump is OK don't replace it. But he did say if I really want to replace it he recommended the Edelbrock water pump. What has the world come to? Putting Chinese parts on my Ford?
Unfortunately that's what our world has become. Don't forget though a lot of this stuff is rebuild-able. Support your local machine shop.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbegley View Post
Thanks guys. Great info. I've decided to clean this unit and let the sleeping dog lie. I had an interesting conversation recently with a tech at CJ Pony regarding replacing the water pump while I am at it. He said sort of the same thing, the new replacement water pumps are all made "overseas" as in China. And those units don't have the durability of the original units. In fact he said 90% of water pumps and such are made in China now. No one makes water pumps in the US anymore. He strongly recommended if my current water pump is OK don't replace it. But he did say if I really want to replace it he recommended the Edelbrock water pump. What has the world come to? Putting Chinese parts on my Ford?
Often the parts made in China are superior to the ones that used to be made in the US. In today's global economy, you never know what factory is going to be the best equipped and have better materials to work with and using modern techniques, the best parts can be made anywhere. China produces a lot more cars and car parts than any other country and there's no reason to think they don't have the best tech for producing them.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT'sGT View Post
Often the parts made in China are superior to the ones that used to be made in the US. In today's global economy, you never know what factory is going to be the best equipped and have better materials to work with and using modern techniques, the best parts can be made anywhere. China produces a lot more cars and car parts than any other country and there's no reason to think they don't have the best tech for producing them.
And I suspect in many cases the "off brand" products from China may be made on the same assembly lines as the name brands.

But I'm not trying to defend the situation, and wish things were different. I suspect it will resolve itself in years to come as the working class in China becomes more and more affulent.
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