Heater core replacement?

Tiny
THEBURGH
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 DODGE RAM
  • 100 MILES
I have no way to recover refrigerant f they have to be disconnected. Just trying to save some money.
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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 AT 6:27 PM

32 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good afternoon,

Special equipment is required for Freon recovery so it does not escape into the atmosphere.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/re-charge-an-air-conditioner-system

Warning: review the warnings and cautions in the front before performing the following operation.

A R-134a refrigerant recovery/recycling/charging station that meets SAE Standard J2210 must be used to recover the refrigerant from an R-134a refrigerant system. Refer to the operating instructions supplied by the equipment manufacturer for the proper care and use of this equipment.

I also attached the procedure for removing the heater core.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replace-heater-core

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolant-flush-and-refill-all-cars

Let us know if you have any other questions.

Roy

REMOVAL

Warning: on vehicles equipped with air-bags, disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column, or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. This is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Failure to take the proper precautions could result in accidental air-bag deployment and possible personal injury.

NOTE: Disassembly of the HVAC housing is not required to remove heater core.

1. Remove the HVAC housing. Refer to Housing Assembly HVAC/ Service and Repair/ Removal and Replacement. See: Housing Assembly HVAC > Removal and Replacement
2. Remove the foam seal from the heater core tubes.

Heated Core - Dual Zone Shown, Single Zone Typical
imageOpen In New TabZoom/Print

3. If equipped with the Dual Zone system, remove the linkage rod from the actuator levers to gain access to the heater core.
4. Remove the two screws that secure the heater core tube bracket to the HVAC housing.
5. Remove the heater core tube bracket.
6. Pull the heater core out of the HVAC housing.
7. Inspect all foam seals and repair or replace them as required.

INSTALLATION
1. Install the heater core into the HVAC housing.
2. Position the heater core tube bracket onto the HVAC housing.
3. Install the two screws that secure the heater core bracket to the HVAC housing. Tighten the screws to 2.2 Nm (20 in. lbs.).
4. If equipped with the Dual Zone system, install the linkage rod onto the actuator levers.
5. Install the foam seal onto the heater core tubes.
6. Install the HVAC housing. Refer to Housing Assembly HVAC/ Service and Repair/ Removal and Replacement. See: Housing Assembly HVAC > Removal and Replacement

Housing removal

REMOVAL

Warning: on vehicles equipped with air-bags, disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column, or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. This is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Failure to take the proper precautions could result in an accidental airbag deployment and possible personal injury.

NOTE: The HVAC housing must be removed from the vehicle and the two halves of the housing separated for service access of the heater core, evaporator coil, defrost door, blend door(s) and the recirculation door.

1. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.
2. Drain the engine cooling system .
3. Recover the refrigerant from the refrigerant system.
4. Disconnect the liquid refrigerant line fitting from the evaporator inlet tube. Discard the O-ring seal and install plugs in, or tape over the opened liquid refrigerant line fitting and evaporator inlet tube.
5. Remove the accumulator. Discard the O-ring seals and install plugs in, or tape over the opened refrigerant line fittings and evaporator outlet tube.
6. Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core tubes. Install plugs in, or tape over the opened heater core tubes.
7. Remove the powertrain control module (PCM) from the engine compartment to gain access to the HVAC housing retaining nuts.
8. Remove the two nuts from the HVAC housing mounting studs in the engine compartment.
9. Remove the instrument panel from the vehicle. Refer to: Body and Frame, Interior Trim, Dashboard/Instrument Panel, Service and Repair, See: Dashboard / Instrument Panel > Removal and Replacement

HVAC Housing - Dual Zone Shown, Single Zone Typical
imageOpen In New TabZoom/Print

10. Remove the bolt that secures the HVAC housing to the floor bracket located in the center of the vehicle.
11. Remove the two nuts from the HVAC housing mounting studs in the passenger compartment.
12. Remove the HVAC housing from inside the vehicle. Take care not to allow any remaining coolant to drain onto the vehicles interior.

INSTALLATION

Warning: if the vehicle is equipped with air conditioning, review the warnings and cautions in plumbing before performing the following operation.

1. Position the HVAC housing into the vehicle. Be certain that the evaporator condensate drain tube and the housing mounting studs are inserted into their correct locations.
2. Install the two nuts that secure the HVAC housing to the mounting studs in the passenger compartment. Tighten the nuts to 6.2 Nm (55 in. lbs.).
3. Install the bolt that secures the HVAC housing to the floor bracket in the passenger compartment. Tighten the bolt to 6.2 Nm (55 in. lbs.).
4. Install the instrument panel. Refer to: Body and Frame, Interior Trim, Dashboard/Instrument Panel, Service and Repair, See: Dashboard / Instrument Panel > Removal and Replacement

5. Install the two nuts that secure the HVAC housing to the mounting studs in the engine compartment. Tighten the nuts to 6.2 Nm (55 in. lbs.).
6. Install the powertrain control module (PCM).
7. Unplug or remove the tape from the heater core tubes and connect the heater hoses to the heater core tubes.
8. Unplug or remove the tape from the opened refrigerant line fittings and the evaporator outlet tube and install the accumulator.
9. Unplug or remove the tape from the liquid line and the evaporator inlet tube fittings. Connect the liquid line coupler to the evaporator inlet tube.
10. Evacuate the refrigerant system.
11. Charge the refrigerant system .
12. Fill the engine cooling system.
13. Connect the battery negative cable.
14. Start the engine and check for proper operation of the heating and air conditioning systems.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 10:54 AM
Tiny
WORKINGMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE RAM
  • 100,000 MILES
I have taken all the screws and bolts out of the dash panels but the dash still won't pull up and out
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WORKINGMANMEX
  • MEMBER
It Helps some what I still am having a problem getting the dash to move. What's the best source for step by step with diagrams.
Thanks DR
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JOEDOYAL
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
I just replaced the heater core and it works great. But when I put my truck back together I seem to have some problems. The horn and wipers are not working and the head and tail lights come on when I start the engine. I have checked the fuses and the relayes. I even pulled the driver side dash out to check to make sure that I plugged everything up. I am stumpped and I will be very happy when it rains if you can help
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

you will have to check the plugs for these items as some times there are two or more plugs that are the same, I have fallen foul of this my self, start by re checking the loom plugs are all correct.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WORKINGMANMEX
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE RAM
  • 100,000 MILES
I have removed everything all dash screw and bracket screws on dash. It should roll down but the passenger side is loose but the drivers side seems to still be bolted down. Where exactly are the roll down bracket screws located. I have removed the larger bolts that mount the tube that goes through the dash from left to right side to the frome but dash still won't pull out. I subscribed to online manual but it doesn't give very good picture illistrations.
Thanks
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
Roll down bracket? Nothing rolls down about that dash. The entire dash has to be lifted off.
Make sure you got the ones above the steering column.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WORKINGMANMEX
  • MEMBER
Thanks I'll look for those are they different from the two nuts removed to drop the steering column.
I really apreciate the help
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
Yes, they are.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:08 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PLUMBER-DUDE63
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 145,265 MILES
Steps to change heater core
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Here are directions I was able to find for you. It is a big job!

Disconnect the negative battery cable.

CAUTION
After disconnecting the negative battery cable, wait 2 minutes for the driver-s/passenger-s air bag system capacitor to discharge before attempting to do any work around the steering column or instrument

On diesel models, remove the passenger side battery and battery tray.
Remove the instrument panel by performing the following procedures:
Remove the air bag control module (ACM) and bracket from the floor panel tunnel.
Remove the trim from both cowl side inner panels.
Remove the steering column-to-instrument panel opening cover.
Remove the 2 hood latch release handle-to-instrument panel lower reinforcement screws and lower the handle to the floor.
Disconnect the driver-s side air bag module wiring harness connector from the lower instrument panel reinforcement.
Place the wheels in the straight-ahead position and lock the steering wheel. Remove the steering column without disassembling it.
From under the driver-s side of the instrument, disconnect or remove the following items:

Parking brake release handle linkage rod from the parking brake mechanism located on the left cowl side inner panel. Instrument panel wiring harness connector from the parking brake switch located on the parking brake mechanism. Three wiring harness connectors (body wiring harness, headlight, dash) from the 3 junction block connector receptacles located closest to the dash panel. Head light/dash-to-instrument panel bulkhead wiring harness connector screw and disconnect the connector. Instrument panel-to-door wiring harness connector located directly below the bulkhead wiring harness connector. Infinity sound system wiring harness connector (if equipped), located at the outboard side of the instrument panel bulkhead connector. Stop light switch electrical connector. Vacuum harness connector located near the left side of the heater/air conditioning housing.

Under the passenger-s side of the instrument panel, disconnect the radio antenna coaxial cable connector.
Loosen both sides of the instrument panel cowl side roll-down bracket screws about 1 / 2 inch (13mm).
Remove the 5 upper instrument panel-to-upper dash panel screws; remove the center screw last.
Roll down the instrument panel and install a temporary hook in the center hole on top of the panel. Attach the other end to the center hole in the top of the dash panel. The opening should be approximately 18 inches (46cm).
Disconnect the instrument panel-to-heater/air conditioning housing assembly wiring harness connectors.
Using an assistant, remove the instrument panel from the vehicle.

If equipped with air conditioning, perform the following procedure:
Discharge and recover the air conditioning system refrigerant.
Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the evaporator. Plug the openings to prevent contamination.
Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the accumulator. Plug the openings to prevent contamination.
Remove the accumulator.

Drain the cooling system into a clean container for reuse.
Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core tubes.
Remove the PCM from the dash panel and move it aside. Do not disconnect the PCM harness connector.
In the engine compartment, remove the heater/air conditioning housing assembly-to-chassis nuts.
In the passenger-s compartment, remove the heater/air conditioning housing-to-dash panel nuts.
Pull the heater/air conditioning housing assembly rearward far enough to clear the studs and air conditioning drain tube holes.
Remove the heater/air conditioning housing assembly from the vehicle.
Remove the upper-to-lower heater/air conditioning housing screws and remove the upper housing.
Remove the heater core from the lower housing.

To install:

Install the heater core in the lower housing.
Install the upper housing and the upper-to-lower heater/air conditioning housing screws.
Install the heater/air conditioning housing assembly to the vehicle.
Push the heater/air conditioning housing assembly forward far enough to engage the studs and air conditioning drain tube holes.
In the passenger-s compartment, install the heater/air conditioning housing-to-dash panel nuts.
In the engine compartment, install the heater/air conditioning housing assembly-to-chassis nuts.
Install the PCM to the dash panel.
Connect the heater hoses to the heater core tubes.
Refill the cooling system.
If equipped with air conditioning, perform the following procedure:
Install the accumulator.
Connect the refrigerant lines to the accumulator.
Connect the refrigerant lines from the evaporator.
Evacuate and charge the air conditioning system refrigerant.

Install the instrument panel by performing the following procedures:
Using an assistant, install the instrument panel to the vehicle.
Connect the instrument panel-to-heater/air conditioning housing assembly wiring harness connectors.
Roll-up the instrument panel and install a temporary hook in the center hole on top of the panel and the top of the dash panel. The opening should be approximately 18 inches (46cm).
Install the 5 upper instrument panel-to-upper dash panel screws; install the center screw first.
Install both sides of the instrument panel cowl side roll-down bracket screws to about 1 / 2 inch (13mm).
Under the passenger-s side of the instrument panel, connect the radio antenna coaxial cable connector.
Under the driver-s side of the instrument, connect or install the following items:

Vacuum harness connector located near the left side of the heater/air conditioning housing. Stoplight switch electrical connector. Infinity sound system wiring harness connector (if equipped), located at the outboard side of the instrument panel bulkhead connector. Infinity sound system wiring harness connector (if equipped), located at the outboard side of the instrument panel bulkhead connector. Instrument panel-to-door wiring harness connector located directly below the bulkhead wiring harness connector. Headlight/dash-to-instrument panel bulkhead wiring harness connector and install the screw. Three wiring harness connectors (body wiring harness, headlight, dash) from the 3 junction block connector receptacles located closest to the dash panel. Instrument panel wiring harness connector to the parking brake switch located on the parking brake mechanism. Parking brake release handle linkage rod to the parking brake mechanism located on the left cowl side inner panel.

Install the steering column.
Connect the driver-s side air bag module wiring harness connector to the lower instrument panel reinforcement.
Install the 2 hood latch release handle and the handle-to-instrument panel lower reinforcement screws.
Install the steering column-to-instrument panel opening cover.
Install the trim to both cowl side inner panels.
Install the air bag control module (ACM) and bracket to the floor panel tunnel.

On diesel models, install the battery tray and battery.
Connect the negative battery cable.
Run the engine to normal operating temperatures; then, check the climate control operation and check for leaks.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE RAM
  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 176,000 MILES
When turn heat control on defrost the windshield fog up I believe the heater core is leaking could that be what causing the windshield to fog up if that is the cause how can I fix it stop it from leaking?
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The only fix for a leaking heater core is to replace it. If antifreeze is getting on the inside of the windshield, it will feel slimy or oily. The level will be going down in the reservoir too. If you look under the hood on the passenger side of the firewall, there will be a 4"-long rubber hose with a 90 degree bend in it hanging down. That's the drain tube for the air conditioning system. If the heater core is leaking, there will be antifreeze dripping from that tube.

If it's just water on the windshield and you're not losing coolant, that drain tube is likely blocked and there's standing water in the drain pan under the heater core. Squeeze that hose to open it and see if some debris can be dislodged.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RANGER812572
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE RAM
  • 5.9L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 75,300 MILES
I replaced the heater core in my truck due to leaks. At the same time, it also got a new thermostat. The temperature gauge reads where it is supposed to, but I still don't have hot enough heat coming out of the vent. It got brand new coolant, mixed like it's supposed to be. The coolant level is full like it's supposed to be, & I don't smell any leaks. At best, the heat that comes out is lukewarm. It's cold outside and I want to be warm! Please help!
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Do you live in an extremely cold region? Are the heater hoses hot? Did you check for flow through the heater core? Maybe there is air in the cooling system?
How hot does the engine get in degrees F? There could be an issue with temp door, under the dash?
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RANGER812572
  • MEMBER
It's been mid 20s Fahrenheit here. Engine temp gets up to about 180ish. Haven't felt the heater hoses.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I don't know your engine size? What was the temp rating on the thermostat? Some aren't fully open till the engine reaches about 220 degrees F.
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RANGER812572
  • MEMBER
5.9L V8, 195 thermostat
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
W/O being able to look at it, I don't know what else to tell you, other than suggestions already posted?
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RANGER812572
  • MEMBER
Due to the cold weather, could it be advantageous to block off my grille in order to heat things up more?
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)

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