replacing a first gen heater core - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Sean
 
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hi everyone, well, it looks like i'll be replacing the heater core in my 68, non a.c camaro real soon, that is if i want heat. theres no doubt it has seen its final day. i've had two 68's, and i've literally done just about everything to one or the other of them, except the heater core. all my racing buddies think i should do away w/ the heat anyway, but thats just not an option. i prefer to make horsepower w/ heat, power steering and power brakes. so i've looked it over, and figured before i jump into it, i'd get some tips and opinions from some of you that have done it before. thanks in advance for any help!
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 03:03 PM
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It is the most horrible job that can possibly be done. Get your buddies to help you, or you will end up scraping all the pain off your door and fender. You have to remove the passenger side fender to change the heater core. It took 2 people for us to do it, and we scraped the paint off the damn door! It was hard, but definately worth it. It is nice to have now! Good Luck

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 04:05 PM
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Just do it from under the dash.

Remove glovebox, 2 cables, lower vent.

Underhood, hose connections, and the 7 nuts.

Pull the box out, there it is.

Upon installtion, have a helper guide the tubes through firewall.



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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 05:16 PM
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Good call Don. Never thought of that. I would have done it the same way bigal98177. Learn somethin' every day

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 05:40 PM
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Definitely go from the under the dash. You donít have to take off the fender unless the blower motor is bad. Just remove the ductwork covering the heater core, the three heater control cables, and the five nuts on the engine side of the firewall. Then push on the studs and the heater box comes right out. I recommend taking out the clove box for better access. Also, the replacement core will probably not be as thick as the original, just bend the clips for a tight fit. I just did this a few weeks ago and the whole job took me a day, but Iím slow. Itís really not that hard.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 02, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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right on you guys, thanks for the quick responses. when i first looked at it, i thought the fender had to come off, but my buddy restoring his 69 Z thought it was maybe possible to do as stated above. i guess just get as much crap out of the way (glove box, cables etc.) and go to it. so its just the visible nuts on the box (in engine bay) i'm seeing 5, that must come off? looks fairly straight forward then. i'm sure it will be a fun time, but you guys helped a lot by clarifying it, so thanks a ton. any suggestions on best place to get a good replacement? does GM make them? anyway, thanks again for the help!
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 02, 03:44 AM
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As Don suggested, do it from the inside.

My suggestion is to place a large sheet of plastic down from the firewall to the seat and rocker panel to catch the remaining coolant in the core when removing. As always, it all never comes out.

As for the blower motor replacement, once all seven nuts are off, the blower panel can be removed from the engine side. The seventh nut is outboard of the blower motor, you can't see it, but, you can feel it.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 02, 05:30 AM
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Do it all from under teh dash. Romove the heater box, the core is mounted in the box. Why'll your at it, if it hasn't been done yet, now is the time to replace the seals in the heater box. Do it while its in your lap.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 02, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the tips, i'll be digging into it real soon. i did get the heater box seals in anticipation of doing it, and fortunatly my blower moter is good. also, good idea about the plastic, i'm sure its going to be messy. fortunatly the carpet is crap and is getting replaced this winter. my interior still needs to be finished, so its really a good time to fix the core. what can i say, i'm a hot rodder so i've put most of my time and money into the motor and drive train, but now i'm mostly done w/ that its time to finish up the interior. thanks again!

[This message has been edited by 68rs406 (edited 10-15-2002).]
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 02, 02:07 PM
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No one has seemed to mention here that on a small block car with heater only, the inlet and outlet tubes to the heater core are curved. This presents an obstruction problem with the engine side box when removing the inner box with the heater core secured by two straps. The engine side heater box needs to be shoved over a few inches so that the curved tubes can pass by the engine side heater box and then come through the firewall.

On my daily driver, I did indeed replace the heater core without removing the fender. But, I had quite a struggle getting out the old heater core due to the tube contour not allowing enough lee-way to angle it through the holes without interference while it was still strapped to the inner box. So, I pretty much destroyed the tubes on the old core.

On your new heater core if you are comfortable with a propane torch you can heat and loosen these pipes and turn them slightly. However, unless you know what you are doing sweating copper pipe, then you might just make things worse.

Chances are if your heater core is bad, then your firewall pad is soaked with antifreeze and might be full of mildew. If you are putting in a new inner firewall pad, remember as you snug the heater box nuts up, the firewall pad will tend suck-up or gather at the bottom of the box outline. Since, I didn't allow for this shrinkage, my firewall pad reseded from below the top of the carpet and now the bottom edge of the firewall pad can be seen (probably only me would notice it though).


[This message has been edited by bonecrusher67conv (edited 10-15-2002).]
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 02, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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bonecrusher, are you saying that when removing the inner box that there is'nt enough room to sneak the tubes out and around the engine side box? looking under my dash it appears that i should be able to move the inner box left or right enough to sneak the tubes through, but then again i hav'nt done this yet. at any rate , thanks for pointing out this new twist. this is the reason i thought i'd ask on this site before tackling it, i know i can do it, it's just easier when you have some info going into it. fortunatly (i guess) my core had'nt shown any signs of leaking untill it just let go, so water damage should be minimal. i know even if i had to take the fender off it is going to be easier than doing the core on my daily driver mustang 5 liter w/ ac, the whole freakin' dash had to come out, and the console and everything attached to it, just to allow BARELY enough room to get to the core, it was a huge PITA. again, thanks for the info, and any other takes on this will be greatly appreciated.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 02, 07:02 AM
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The tubes are curved so that they don't hit the exhaust manifold. Yes, it can be snaked, but I can be shoe-horn tight. If possible a helper would be desireable to hold back the engine side box, helf fish for the holes, and then get the engine box engaging all the holes as you side the inside box flush. Otherwise, by yourself it is a PITA.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 02, 09:56 AM
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Mine is the origonal heater core and I'm thinking of changing it to a new one, it's gotta be close to going bad.
I'm also thinking of installing a BB heater core, which will locate the hoses farther away from the engine.
Anyone done this one?
David

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 02, 11:01 AM
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David, yes, actually I have.

It's the only road to fly.

See> http://members.aol.com/zz430droptop6...s/img_0045.jpg

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 02, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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bonecrusher, yeah, i can definately see what you mean, thanks for the heads up. i'll just recruit one of my poor unsuspecting buddies for a second pair of hands. david , good thought on the big block core. i had'nt even considered that one, that would make life in the engine bay easier as well. most likely i'll just go the factory s.b. route because i have everything, but thats a good one. i checked into a new core at napa today, and lo and behold they had one in stock for around 30$. checked at a GM dealer and they said it was a discontinued part, bummer. anyone have any ideas as to who to get one from? i'd like to get this done right after one try. thanks again for all the good input!
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