Heater Core Replacement

  • 1999 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • 130,000 MILES
Hello. I'm retired now on disibility and chose to decided to replace the heater core myself due to the cost-- this may have been a huge mistake -- but I got the core and have spent a few hours trying to remove the old one-- question is-- How much of the dash do I need to remove?

Thanks in Advance for your help Bob
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, January 19th, 2009 AT 4:55 PM

1 Reply

Hi Bob
Note :

After market heater core are different in size and will not fit properly
have to secure it in


1.Disconnect negative battery cable. Ensure front wheels are in a straight-ahead position and steering wheel is in LOCKED position. Disable air bag system.
Remove Air Bag Control Module (ACM) and bracket from floor panel transmission tunnel. Drain cooling system.
2.Remove left and right cowl side inner trim panels. Remove knee bolster/steering column cover. Remove hood release and parking brake release handle bolts from lower instrument panel support.

3.Disconnect driver's side air bag connector at lower left corner of instrument panel. If equipped, disconnect overdrive lock-out switch wiring harness connector from instrument panel wire harness near instrument panel lower reinforcement.

4.Pull PRNDL cable and twist to remove from position arm. Push tab on bottom of cable retainer upward, then squeeze sides to remove retainer from column. If equipped, remove tilt lever. Remove both upper and lower shrouds from column. Remove lower fixed column shroud. Loosen multifunction switch connector screw. Screw will remain in connector.

5.Ensure steering wheel is in LOCKED position. Remove remaining steering column electrical connectors. Remove air bag wiring harness from steering column wiring trough. Remove wiring trough from steering column. Remove steering column as an assembly from vehicle.

6.From driver's side of instrument panel, disengage parking brake release linkage rod from parking brake mechanism. Disconnect instrument panel wiring harness from parking brake mechanism. Disconnect 3 wiring harness bulkhead connectors located closest to dash panel.

7.Disconnect instrument panel left side wiring harness connectors. Remove screw from center of headlight and dash-to-instrument panel (bulkhead) connector, and disconnect connector. Disconnect instrument panel-to-door wiring harness. Disconnect instrument panel to stoplight switch connector. Disconnect vacuum harness for heater system.

8.If equipped with an Infinity sound system, disconnect Infinity wiring harness connector from instrument panel harness connector that is secured to bulkhead connector.

9.From passenger's side of instrument panel, disconnect radio antenna coaxial cable connector. Loosen right and left instrument panel roll-down bracket bolts about .50" (13 mm). Removing center screw last, remove 5 bolts holding top of instrument panel to top of dash panel.

10.Roll instrument panel downward and install a temporary support hook to center hole of dash panel. Support hook should support instrument panel in rolled-down position, about 18" (457 mm) away from dash panel. Disconnect remaining wiring harness connectors. With the aid of an assistant, remove temporary hook and lift instrument panel from vehicle.

11.Drain cooling system. In engine compartment, remove coolant hoses from heater core tubes. Plug all openings. Remove coolant overflow bottle. Remove instrument panel .Remove Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and position aside. DO NOT disconnect 60-pin connector from PCM.

12.Remove attaching nuts from studs on engine compartment side of dash panel. Remove defrost duct. Disconnect electrical connectors. Remove attaching nuts from studs in passenger compartment side of dash panel. Remove heater assembly from vehicle.

13.Place heater assembly upside-down on work bench. Remove screw securing floor duct to bottom of heater assembly and slide floor duct off of center heat duct adapter. Unsnap center heat duct adapter from bottom of heater assembly housing. Remove screw hidden behind adapter. Remove remaining screws and separate heater assembly.

Here is a link that can kind of show you.


To install, reverse removal procedure. Ensure all wiring and hoses are clear and not pinched. Tighten bolts and nuts to specification.
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 AT 5:22 PM

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