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Heater core removal


Jim Olson
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Hi gang - I apparently have a heater core leak in my 63. The passenger side carpet is soaked with antifreeze. The previous owners have diconnected the heater hoses at some point but I want to make it correct so the core will have to come out from repair or exchange. Is it a pain or pretty straight forward? Thanks in advance. JimO

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The job is reletively straight foward. It's all done under the dash on the passengers side of course.. There is enough room to work under there unless your a really big guy !

Insure that the molded hoses are in good shape. If you need to replace them, take care to make sure you don't kink the new hoses as the formed bends were not positioned as well as the originals were!

At least on the ones that I bought ! .

When you take the core to a radiator repair shop...tell him NOT to paint the core and get a can of the special radiaor paint from "Eastwood Products",(or equivolent)

It will not insulate the core like the radiator repair shops paint will !

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I plan to remove my inop Climatizer for future repair. (In Houston a heater is rarely needed.) Without a close look I assume removal is not complex. My concern now is to tie off the supply and return coolant hoses in the engine compartment. Appreciate advice. (I'm an Avanti short timer.)

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Drain the radiator down enough to disconnect the heater hoses on the engine. Then blow through with compressed air (lightly) to get all the anti freeze out of the core. You will, of course, have to have the heater valve open to do this. his prevents a further mess when disconnecting the interior side of the hoses.

By the steering column, just to the right is one single phillips head bolt holding the distribution plenum box to the firewall, and heater fan housing. Remove this bolt, and the body should be free enough to slide left and disengage the heater fan housing. The heater, the housing, and the motor all comes out as a unit.

On the right kick panel, is another phillips head bolt. It screws into a rubber well nut, just above the vent door opening. On the engine side, at the heater motor, are 4 7/16 nuts that hold the housing in place to the firewall. Remove these too. Disconnect the wiring plug from the motor. Lastly, back inside, remove the hoses from the heater core. (Some will still dribble, so place a catch pan under it). Make sure the bourden expansion tube is not damaged from the heater valve. The housing should be able to be wrangled inwards, and slightly to the left. Once it's free undo the wire control cable clip, and slide the control wire off the flapper, then you can remove the whole shebang from the car, and further seperate it on the bench, and remove the heater core. Don't forget to clean the filter screen. new gaskets are available,or they are easily made.

Installation is just the reverse. Be careful that the wire for the motor doesn't get pinched between the firewall and the housing when feeding it back through.

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  • 4 months later...

On some later Avanti's the studs for the heater housing that go through the firewall are a bit long. It will be more difficult to slide the assy. back enough to clear everything. I ended up removing the dash bolts (all of 'em) and sliding the dash up, and back enough to remove the housing. It takes patience, but certainly do-able.

I would recommend cutting the studs so they only stick through 1/2".

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