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My buddy is a Mgr. at a Goodyear up my way and not too long ago he had an 03 neon in there for a heater core replacement. It was leaking all over the cabin. Anyway, OMG, they had to frickin tear that thing apart inside to pull out the core. Unbelivable! The whole dash, steering wheel, center console/shifter....everything! I was thinking to myself.."man I'd cut the heater lines before I would tear the Sh_* out of my car like that." Bummed me out thinking I own an SRT4. AlumAseal here I come...no way!

Anyone ever had their heater core leak? I hope mine never does after seeing that carnage.
 

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well heater cores are usually behind the dash of modern cars......:paranoid:
 

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You aren't going to get around it with really just about any new car. I've done about half a dozen, in the old lebarons, daytonas, and shadows. I'd say it's right up there with replacing a clutch in terms of difficulty, especially the first time you try it, my manual was horrible in terms of describing what I needed to do. You have to know what each vaccuum line does, so you don't f that all up too. I'd say it's about a 4 1/2 out of 5 on the hard to do scale.
 

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Well, after seeing that mess and a half I'll take any advice to avoid having a leaking heater core in my SRT. I honestly don't know how they got that thing put back together after seeing it. I looked like a junk yard mess. I don't think it ever came back for rattles or probs. but still....
 

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Oh, one tip: never EVER use leak stop in your coolant, that shit will screw up your heater core like you would not believe. I can't tell you how often we'd be fixing a car up to sell, and it would have no heat, so we'd pull the hoses off the core inside the engine compartment and flush it, sure enough, all this gray shit would pour out, someone tried to fix a coolant leak using that crap leak stop.

All you get is trouble using that stuff. Get someone who knows what they are doing to put in a new radiator or replace your head gasket or whatever it is that you need, but don't use that crap.
 

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Doing a heater core in a first gen Neon is just as much fun :eeeek:
I did one in my '75 Ford Maverick - spent most of the time on my back with my legs hanging over the back of the seat, and my head stuffed up under the dash. Fortunately, I only had to remove the airbox and ductwork around the core, but it was still a bitch. And, of course, that was in January w/out a heated garage...
 

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I did TWO heater cores yesterday. :jester: One and a 99 S10 which was really easy. It paid 12 hours with a new radiator and some other things and I had it done in about 6. Then I did one in a 01 Nissan Quest. That one only paid 4.5 hours and it took me about 6. :jester: On the Quest I didn't have to pull the dash pad off I just had to pull the blower motor assembly out of the car. I'd say the S10 was way easier. :thumbsup:
 

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I had to replace the entire dash harness on my 03 SRT so I know what a bitch that can be. Nothing like have both front seats, center console, dash, and both front doors off your car. LOL
 

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weav343 said:
the older guys at my shop tell me about the good ol days of cutting the firewall yank that mofo out and weld the piece of firewall back on
What?, that's a serious HAK job. I used to work at a garage when i was in highschool, & i did MANY heatercores, the worst being in a Volvo, & a 68 Chrysler New Yorker, then there was the 80's mustang's/fairmonts, you had to remove the ENTIRE dash assy:,console,etc: to get at it.
 

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My heater core

I just did my heater core last weekend. Took me two days but I was busy inbetween working on it. I didnt have a solid go at it. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share. It went pretty smooth. Just very very time consuming. It definitely can overwhelm you with all the parts laid out on the floor. Made me pretty depressed to see my car like that :crying:

Its all good now! For a few days after I had a odd smell but it wore off, it was because of the new heater core I assume, or possibly the cleaner I used on the HVAC box. Because there was some serious burned coolant all over the bottom. I probably spent a good hour just cleaning the box. But it came out great! I wish I had taken more pictures. Sorry guys.

All together it probably took me ten hours. I worked very slowly. Wanted to do everything prefect. Not a job you want to do again!!!

If you have any questions let me know. Ill be able to help as best I can since its so fresh in my mind.

Please dont believe for a minute that this is easy. It definitely is not.

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My heater core

I just did my heater core last weekend. Took me two days but I was busy inbetween working on it. I didnt have a solid go at it. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share. It went pretty smooth. Just very very time consuming. It definitely can overwhelm you with all the parts laid out on the floor. Made me pretty depressed to see my car like that :crying:

Its all good now! For a few days after I had a odd smell but it wore off, it was because of the new heater core I assume, or possibly the cleaner I used on the HVAC box. Because there was some serious burned coolant all over the bottom. I probably spent a good hour just cleaning the box. But it came out great! I wish I had taken more pictures. Sorry guys.

All together it probably took me ten hours. I worked very slowly. Wanted to do everything prefect. Not a job you want to do again!!!

If you have any questions let me know. Ill be able to help as best I can since its so fresh in my mind.

Please dont believe for a minute that this is easy. It definitely is not.

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Wow man unreal - I think I have to do this job ASAP. I smell coolant all in the cabin - the heater hoses are in bad shape - need replacement - and with the heat on in the car low I smell coolant in the cabin badly. Even in the garage. This job is huge. I’m thinking to change the blower motor at the same time since I’m in there. The heater core I can strongly bet is corroded and leaking in there. The hoses are gone too.
Wow. 12 hours.

hopefully anyone out there can give me some miracle tips on 2020 of some easier crazy new way to do this. I bet not though.
Thanks for any new time saver tips anyone. Or made easy tips.
Cheers to heat and coolant.
 

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Wow man unreal - I think I have to do this job ASAP. I smell coolant all in the cabin - the heater hoses are in bad shape - need replacement - and with the heat on in the car low I smell coolant in the cabin badly. Even in the garage. This job is huge. I’m thinking to change the blower motor at the same time since I’m in there. The heater core I can strongly bet is corroded and leaking in there. The hoses are gone too.
Wow. 12 hours.

hopefully anyone out there can give me some miracle tips on 2020 of some easier crazy new way to do this. I bet not though.
Thanks for any new time saver tips anyone. Or made easy tips.
Cheers to heat and coolant.
It’s not too bad just be sure to pull the bulkhead out and not just start taking out bolts the biggest pain is the door clips from the harness, go slow and label and bag your bolts and it isn’t bad don’t force it apart
Wow man unreal - I think I have to do this job ASAP. I smell coolant all in the cabin - the heater hoses are in bad shape - need replacement - and with the heat on in the car low I smell coolant in the cabin badly. Even in the garage. This job is huge. I’m thinking to change the blower motor at the same time since I’m in there. The heater core I can strongly bet is corroded and leaking in there. The hoses are gone too.
Wow. 12 hours.

hopefully anyone out there can give me some miracle tips on 2020 of some easier crazy new way to do this. I bet not though.
Thanks for any new time saver tips anyone. Or made easy tips.
Cheers to heat and coolant.
just put one back together, it’s not too bad just take the bulkhead out and not just start taking bolts out here is a good video
label your bolts and slow down and it’s about a 4 hour job the door harness is the biggest pain tbh
 

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It’s not too bad just be sure to pull the bulkhead out and not just start taking out bolts the biggest pain is the door clips from the harness, go slow and label and bag your bolts and it isn’t bad don’t force it apart

just put one back together, it’s not too bad just take the bulkhead out and not just start taking bolts out here is a good video
label your bolts and slow down and it’s about a 4 hour job the door harness is the biggest pain tbh
It pays off to label bolts
 

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That guy in the video definitely did a lot more steps than I. I never removed the steering wheel, just detached the linkage near the pedals. I'm pretty sure when I did it, I followed these steps:

The job isn't that bad. The only annoying part is evacuating and recharging the A/C. I had the dash pulled back, core replaced, and put back in a few hours.
 

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I don’t see how you can do it without removing the steering wheel but kudos to you
Look at the posted link, he describes the steps in pretty good detail. It's a trick used at several dealers. Or, was, not too many Neons on the road these days worth replacing heater cores. The dash will pull back far enough to get the heater core assembly box out of there. I did this entire procedure by myself.
 
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