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Old 12-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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Heater core removal


91 Olds Silhouette. 3.1 V6. Heater core is partially clogged so I bought a replacement from Rock auto. Haynes says. That after you take off the sound insulation panel, the glove box and the heater core cover, remove the hoses etc that you 'remove the core.'

Well it won't come out. No way. Won't go up or come out far enough to get inlet and outlet tubes through the firewall. The fuse box and ECM are in the way. No way it comes out. I tried for 40 minutes.

What's the secret? Taking the whole dash out?

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Old 12-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Heater core removal


Go to an auto parts store and they will let you look at a Chiltons repair manual.

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Old 12-15-2011, 12:06 AM   #3
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Heater core removal


The Haynes manual said it would come out with just the cover off. They lie. From additional research it looks like the whole dash has to come off. No way I'm taking the dash off a 21 year old van. I think I'll 'field engineer' a way to get the core out and in. A big hole in the firewall or some similar solution seems likely.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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Heater core removal


I've never heard of having to remove an entire dash to get a heater core out, but there's always a first.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:18 AM   #5
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Heater core removal


No kidding. I just find this to be implausible. I must be missing something. It 'should' slide right out. I will get back to it this weekend and rethink my approach. Getting the hoses off the first time was an ordeal.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Heater core removal


Removing the dash is pretty standard on most cars for the heater core these days. Not sure on that model though. Now you know why it costs so much to take it to a shop.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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Heater core removal


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjm94 View Post
Removing the dash is pretty standard on most cars for the heater core these days. Not sure on that model though. Now you know why it costs so much to take it to a shop.
Maybe these days, but his vehicle is 20 years old.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Heater core removal


The instructions say take the passenger side sound insulation panel and glove box out, unbolt a dash brace and take the core cover off. Undo the core clips and the hoses, then "remove the heater core."

It won't come straight out and the fusebox and ECM are in the way. I don't mind a hard job but it ticks me off when the instructions are just wrong.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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Heater core removal


I never used Haynes. You might see what Chiltons says. Or catch one of the service techs at a dealership when he's not too busy. If he doesn't know, he can look it up.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:18 PM   #10
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Heater core removal


Heater core replacement... always a terrible job. I have done it 2 on different vehicles but never had to pull the dash, but I have heard that a lot do need that.

You might also try Autozone website for detailed instructions. They have them for a lot of vehicles and tasks. Have to register, of course, but it's free.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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Heater core removal


I checked out the AZ instructions and the are similar to the Haynes. I am thinking that I should have pushed the core forward against the firewall, tilted it down and then pulled it out at an angle. I'll try it Saturday.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #12
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Heater core removal


Lots of cars in the 80s and 90s need to pull the dash, done lots of them. I don't remember if you car needs this tho, I don't think so.
Call a shop for an estimate, if its 1-2 hours no need to remove much, 6+ start worrying.
Question...how do you know its "partially clogged"?

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #13
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Heater core removal


Mitchell time is 2.1 hours so it should be pretty simple.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #14
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Heater core removal


I think the core is partially clogged because of low levels of heat. Even full blast it's barely warm air. With the cover off and the van at operating temp and the inlet pipe is hot. The core itself has cool and warm spots but is not hot at all.

If the job is listed at 2.1 hours labor I must missing something pretty obvious.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:09 PM   #15
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Heater core removal


If it is just clogged and not leaking you could try to flush it or blow it out with compressed air. Might be worth a shot.

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