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Old 07-29-2003, 09:22 AM   #1
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Is it possible to change heater cores without dash removal.

Is it possible to change the heater core in a fox Mustang without removing the dash?

A fellow here at work says that his mechanic can change the heater core without removing the dash. That would be great if it's possible. Has anyone accomplished this feat?

If so, how do you make the change without taking the entire dash out?
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:02 AM   #2
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I think its possible on a car without A/C, otherwise the evaporator is in the way, or you can do like the guy who owned one of my cars before me did, cut the firewall open didnt notice that until later
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:08 AM   #3
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We would really like to know how he is going to accomplish that if your car has or was rigged for A/C. Three hour job amd it is straight forward work. Just gently flush the core and re-enforce the in and out tube solder joints. Oh, and LABEL EVERYTHING.

Someone awhile back did it but I think they cut the evap/heater core box, shoddy maintenance if you ask me.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by HighDesert88GT

Someone awhile back did it but I think they cut the evap/heater core box, shoddy maintenance if you ask me.
It wasn't just someone, it's a LOT of people. It's the only choice you have if you want to avoid having to crack into the A/C lines.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:34 AM   #5
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I was talking with a guy around here that had cut a hole in the firewall to do the heater core on his Thunderbird, actually didn't look too bad. I bit the bullet and did mine the ol' fashioned way, though.

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Old 07-29-2003, 01:41 PM   #6
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I just finished mine. Not as bad as I was expecting, just time consuming. It took me 3.5 hours to get the old one out, and another 3 hours to get it back in. My A/C was already removed, so I didn't have to worry about the evaporator. Remove the seats, it makes a huge difference.
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Old 07-29-2003, 03:18 PM   #7
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I have mine apart right now(waiting on new heater hoses). I didnt take the dash out, but you do have take the dash completly loose and raise it up almost to the roof Its a pain but a lot easier than removing it completly. Once the dash is up the box will fit right under the dash and slip out. Are you having to do one now or just a bet\argumnet thing?
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Old 07-29-2003, 04:12 PM   #8
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I think on the '86 and earlier cars you just had to remove the glove box and there is a door for the heater core to slide out of behind it.

On my car I had to lift the dash up and pop the top of the lid to the HVAC. Then slide the old heater core out and slide a new one in. Didn't have to disconnect the A/C lines and it took 3 hours. There is a web site that I used that had very detailed instructions on how to do it but I can't find it.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:13 PM   #9
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Thank goodness I am NOT doing a heater core change. It's really a discussion/argument deal. This guy is claiming 'his really good mechanic' can change out the heater core without removing the dash. It's been quite a while since I did the core in my '89 vert but, I can't see how it can be done without dash removal.

Maybe I can follow up and see how these guys claim this can be accomplished.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:18 PM   #10
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In the older Mustangs (i.e.: pre-'85) you'll have to remove the entire dash and possibly discharge the A/C lines. After 1985, Ford got smart and all you should have to do is remove the glove compartment to get access to the box. I know, when I did the heater core on my '84, it was about a 6 hour job to tear the dash apart and then get the old heater core and insulating foam out and then put everything back together.
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:02 AM   #11
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Ummm, you're going to have to remove the dash. I had to remove the dash, and all and all, it took me 15+ hours (couldn't find all the tools 'cause they're currently thrown around, I did some work on the stuff under the dash, like cleaning it up, etc. and put in the new heater core, put everthing back in, etc.) It isn't easy. I'd rather pull my engine than change the heater core!
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:20 AM   #12
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If you dont have A/C or it dosen't work and don't plan on replacing it just run the coolant lines into the a/c condenser, thats what I did. You just have no controll of the heat its all or nothing, no "warm". You also won't have a cool it's always HOT. It does work GREAT in the cold nights though.



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Old 07-30-2003, 12:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fast90LXStang
Ummm, you're going to have to remove the dash.
Im on my sixth one and I havent removed a dash yet? Totally break them loose yes, but only to raise them out of the way to remove the heater box.
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:29 AM   #14
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i have to do this. mine broke from prying the hoses off I do NOT have AC. my car is a 1989 lx. will i have to remove my dash or even unbolt it and raise it if i do not have ac? thanks.
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:53 AM   #15
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If the car didn't originaly have ac then I you have to do is open up a panel that is behind the glove box.

I haven't ever had to completely remove the dash on the 4 times I have changed the heater core(2 on '79 & 2 on '88). I have always just moved the dash just enough out of the way to do the job.

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Old 07-30-2003, 01:02 PM   #16
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"In the older Mustangs (i.e.: pre-'85) you'll have to remove the entire dash and possibly discharge the A/C lines. After 1985, Ford got smart and all you should have to do is remove the glove compartment to get access to the box. I know, when I did the heater core on my '84, it was about a 6 hour job to tear the dash apart and then get the old heater core and insulating foam out and then put everything back together. "

Fordspeed,
This is not totally correct. Ford did put the panel there but only if the car was NEVER equipped with A/C. All A/C equipped cars do not have the panel and you have to either loosen the dash up to gain access or take it out if you prefer.

Jeff
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Old 09-05-2003, 07:22 PM   #17
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I was thinking about gutting out under my dash. How hard is it to just remove everything. Is it worth it? How much weight is under there. I don't have heat because of no provisions on my electric water pump and I cant pull out my dash because of my 10 point roll cage. Any advice?

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Old 09-05-2003, 10:15 PM   #18
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Sounds like me and hotrod88 use the same technique. It doesn't save a tremendous amount of heartache, but at least you don't have to remove the gauge cluster.
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Old 09-06-2003, 06:48 AM   #19
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I've done to mine several times. I don't have AC so all that has to come out is the glovebox(three screws). I have never had to loosen or mess with the dash otherwise.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:56 AM   #20
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here's my guide

http://www.corral.net/forums/showthr...hreadid=177981
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Old 09-06-2003, 11:29 PM   #21
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My 86 has a small panel behind the glovebox.On an 88 I used to own,which never had air,there was no panel and I had to lift up the dash to get it out.Interesting thing about the 88 was that even though the car never had air, the heater core it took was for an air car.
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