Who can tell me about replacing my heater core?

Discussion in 'Buick FAQ' started by RANDY TAUSCH, May 11, 2004.

  1. Slappa

    Slappa Member

    While restoring my 63 Riv, after removing the AC/Heater Box in the engine compartment i found that the previous owner had removed the Heater core thru the front and not from the inside. He had cut inch and a half slots in the firewall all the way around the heater core and pulled it thru. Not the nicest look when the box is off, but once it was all back together again you couldnt tell that a bad shortcut was taken. Not what i would have done but different strokes for different folks
  2. riveng

    riveng Member

    cant be as bad as a 90's tauris.
    the whole dash has to come out
  3. wuzgrandads

    wuzgrandads 72 Skylark Custom

    My A/C-equipped 72 Skylark has a bolt at the top of the heater box that was accessible only by removing the dash pad. So, besides the nuts on the 4 studs that poke thru the firewall (of which the lower left one requires either the fender-removal method or the stud-drilling method), I had to remove 2 bolts from inside the passenger compartment (the 2nd is at the bottom of the box and is more readily accessible). I believe that these 2 "extra" bolts are unique to A/C-equipped cars, per the body manual.
  4. Truzi

    Truzi Perpetual Student

    Wuzgrandads, could that be a later addition? I don't remember a bolt requiring removal of the dash pad. It was a long time ago, so maybe I simply don't remember it that bolt. I did not remove the pad, though.
  5. wuzgrandads

    wuzgrandads 72 Skylark Custom

    Don't know about it being a later addition. Do know that the service manual shows that non-A/C heater box does not have the two extra bolts that A/C-equipped heater box has. The service manual shows these bolts for A/C cars and says that dash pad needs to be removed. Sure enough - that's what it took on mine!

    I'm just glad that I did not yank on it too hard before getting a manual to look it up. I had followed online instructions (must be for non-A/C) and box would not budge.
  6. Junkman

    Junkman Well-Known Member

    Car manuals always help but some don't describe a good way to do the job! I recently had to replace the heater core in a 800 mile original '79 Trans Am SE with a/c. One book showed to cut a hole in the inner fender.NOT happening on this car! This car still smelled new on the inside. I spent 4 hours and was very carefull. I removed lower hush panels,glove compartment and a few other dash pieces. Unbolted the lower fender and all of the inner fender bolts with the pass. door open. I could pull the bottom of the fender out far enough to get my arm in to unbolt the heater box assembly.Got the new core in without scuffing or scratching anything.Whew! What a tedious job! I did all this without disturbing the body panel alignment or scratching any of that beautiful black paint. I never sweated so much in my life,knowing the car was going to be sold for $40,000.
  7. IDOXLR8

    IDOXLR8 Senior Member

    One worse then that would be a Tauris with a center shift console, Been there! :af: AL.
  8. Sergeant Major

    Sergeant Major Biggest Nut in the Can

    Replacing this heater core is going to be the bane of my existence as well. I've got a leak somewhere, no dampness but can smell it. I'm waiting for the replacement to arrive. Meanwhile (today) I'm going to pull the old one out. From what I've read this is going to be a real PITA. Good thing I've got plenty of beer to ease the frustration. :beer
  9. garys64wildcat

    garys64wildcat garys64wildcat

    Hey Sarge Sounds easier than a Skylark, I did my cat last summer. I only had to take out the consol and buckets, so I replaced the carpets while they were out. The back bolt on the out shroud I got it with a flex extension and a deep socket 1/4 drive It took a while but it came out
  10. 64BuickCat

    64BuickCat Geaux Tigers! L-S-U!!!

    In talking to my Dad, who bought a new Wildcat in '64, The heater core went south in about '66. The dealer said it cost big $ to replace, so Dad bypassed it. No leak, but no heat, either. Every Wildcat, LeSabre, and Electra I've looked at has been bypassed, save the show cars. I replaced the core in my '70 LeSabre... All day job, twisted like a rag doll working under the dash. Looking at it, it's a design flaw that allows water to stand in the core, causing corrosion and failure. There's gotta be a way to evacuate the water from the core to help avoid failure, or allowing water to circulate constantly without heating the passenger compartment, except when needed. I've heard that a Harley oil cooler can be made to work with modifications, but I've never spoken to anyone that's done it.
  11. Sergeant Major

    Sergeant Major Biggest Nut in the Can

    As usual, thanks a bunch!! I didn't get to it today, as the rain kinda put a damper on it all. But the beer went down nicely. Any advice on getting this clock working? It works for a bit then stops. Oh...and I'll have to wait on that corner window frame. Got to many irons in the fire right now, and a two week stint to Korea in a bit. I should be able to make the show in Puyallup though. :TU:
  12. vireena

    vireena Member

    :beer :beer
  13. stagedgs

    stagedgs 1967 GS400

    Where is the best place to go to purchase a heater core? This is something I only want to do once, so I want to buy a good, quality heater core. Not some cheap knock off that will corrode through in a short time.
  14. stagedgs

    stagedgs 1967 GS400

  15. Sergeant Major

    Sergeant Major Biggest Nut in the Can

  16. carlivar

    carlivar Well-Known Member

    I need to replace the heater core on my 71 Riviera. The shop manual says I can do it all from the firewall and dash side, no fender removal. Are these fender removal or drilling stories only applicable to earlier Buicks?

    Still not looking forward to all this underdash work. I'm 6'4" and it's really hard to contort myself under there.
  17. Phoenix350

    Phoenix350 Well-Known Member

    AH now i find out:ball: i was asking people how to do it when i had a haynes manual and the manual mentioned drilling and i was so happy when i got it without drilling as i stared at my entire front clip i pieces:Dou: i never realized thats what the drilling was aimed to prevent, ah well, at least the engine will go in easy...
  18. garybuick

    garybuick Time Traveler

    The heater controls control the water flow to the core? I thougt the heater controls only control the vent doors to direct the air either through the core for heat or around the core for no heat?
  19. Stampy

    Stampy Well-Known Member

    When you switch the temperature selector to hot, it activates the vacuum module located at the passenger side rear of the engine block, which allows hot coolant to flow into the heater core. That's why it helps to turn on the heat when you're overheating- its like adding another little radiator to the system.
  20. SteeveeDee

    SteeveeDee Orange Acres

    If you have a '68 Skylark, you have to take the hood off to get the fender off to get to the top bolts on the heater box. I replaced the core in 2001, and it went bad in '07. I put a fan in it back then, to avoid double-pulling things. But then my oldest son hit a light post with my precious, so in the fender r&r process, I went ahead and replaced the heater core for the second time. I didn't want to drill a hole in the inner fender skirt, anyway.

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