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Tack

Checking heater core

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Tack

I forgot to mention to the place that winterized my 2007 VLX that I have a heater and I'm concerned that they may have missed winterizing the heater core. I called them and they said they check for showers and heaters and include them in winterization. They’ve never winterized my boat before. The service place is a long ways away to haul the boat back to, to double check it. Is that something I can check myself to verify that the heater core was serviced for winter by them? If so, can someone describe where I’d find it and how I can verify that it's ready for winter? My VLX has the ETX/CAT, if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance.

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Bill_AirJunky

Sure. Pull the heater lines & use an air compressor &/or shop vac to clear the water from the core.

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Baddog
Sure. Pull the heater lines & use an air compressor &/or shop vac to clear the water from the core.

Whoa there, careful! Danger Will Robinson!

If using an air compressor ONLY use it a very low psi. You can easily damage a heater core with 110 psi air. Plus. omne of the ways "they" (I) winterize the core is to gently blow the water out, then replace it with RV antifreeze. If he takes a line off to see if there is water in there, it may be antifreeze and then he'd have to re-fill it.

Edited by Baddog

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BlastRlxi
Sure. Pull the heater lines & use an air compressor &/or shop vac to clear the water from the core.

Whoa there, careful! Danger Will Robinson!

If using an air compressor ONLY use it a very low psi. You can easily damage a heater core with 110 psi air. Plus. omne of the ways "they" (I) winterize the core is to gently blow the water out, then replace it with RV antifreeze. If he takes a line off to see if there is water in there, it may be antifreeze and then he'd have to re-fill it.

I agree with using low pressure. I used 40 PSI and there was plenty of pressure to blow the core and hoses out without damaging anything.

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LiQUiDSX

And the core is under the dash behind the "Kick" panel. Box looking thing with 2 hoses to it. Should look similar to this:

2VentHeatCoreLG.jpg

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tvano
... may be antifreeze and then he'd have to re-fill it.

i don't think i would fret about refilling.

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Bill_AirJunky

Been using an air compressor & a shop vac to clear the heater core for over 12 yrs now. Never once had a problem with it. Keep in mind that your 5/8" heater hose is not going to get a good seal on the air hose, so your not going to get 110 psi thru the heater hose. Not to mention that my cheezy little tire pump doesn't generate 110 psi anyway.

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Ndawg12
Been using an air compressor & a shop vac to clear the heater core for over 12 yrs now. Never once had a problem with it. Keep in mind that your 5/8" heater hose is not going to get a good seal on the air hose, so your not going to get 110 psi thru the heater hose. Not to mention that my cheezy little tire pump doesn't generate 110 psi anyway.

Good clarification, I could see someone rigging an attachment and hooking it to the hose with 100psi and then Blowup.gif

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Molarbu

A lot of shops just set up a circulating pump with RV antifreeze in it and run the boat until the thermostat opens and make sure it circulates. Then then catch the antifreeze that comes out the exhaust and feed it back to the pump. They can do a lot of boats this way. If they used this method, your heater will be fine.

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Baddog
Been using an air compressor & a shop vac to clear the heater core for over 12 yrs now. Never once had a problem with it. Keep in mind that your 5/8" heater hose is not going to get a good seal on the air hose, so your not going to get 110 psi thru the heater hose. Not to mention that my cheezy little tire pump doesn't generate 110 psi anyway.

Perhaps, but my bad boy twin cylinder compressor has some get up and go (125 psi and a fair amount of CFM) and I don't want my core to be gone.

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Bill_AirJunky
Been using an air compressor & a shop vac to clear the heater core for over 12 yrs now. Never once had a problem with it. Keep in mind that your 5/8" heater hose is not going to get a good seal on the air hose, so your not going to get 110 psi thru the heater hose. Not to mention that my cheezy little tire pump doesn't generate 110 psi anyway.

Perhaps, but my bad boy twin cylinder compressor has some get up and go (125 psi and a fair amount of CFM) and I don't want my core to be gone.

Yea, would cost ya about $18 to fix it.

I hear ya. I would still doubt that you'd get a good enough seal on the heater hose to pump 125 psi thru the core.

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Baddog
Been using an air compressor & a shop vac to clear the heater core for over 12 yrs now. Never once had a problem with it. Keep in mind that your 5/8" heater hose is not going to get a good seal on the air hose, so your not going to get 110 psi thru the heater hose. Not to mention that my cheezy little tire pump doesn't generate 110 psi anyway.

Perhaps, but my bad boy twin cylinder compressor has some get up and go (125 psi and a fair amount of CFM) and I don't want my core to be gone.

Yea, would cost ya about $18 to fix it.

I hear ya. I would still doubt that you'd get a good enough seal on the heater hose to pump 125 psi thru the core.

i did replace it a few years ago and the price wasn't too bad ($60-$70) but it was a ryal PITA getting it out and more importantly back in.

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Tack

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I won't be able to climb inside the boat and take a look until the weekend, but is the kick panel that the heater core is behind easily removed? I don't have an air compressor, but I'm thinking maybe I'd wrap the core and maybe that would insulate it enough to make it through the winter, in case the service place really didn't winterize it. Thanks.

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Bill_AirJunky
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I won't be able to climb inside the boat and take a look until the weekend, but is the kick panel that the heater core is behind easily removed? I don't have an air compressor, but I'm thinking maybe I'd wrap the core and maybe that would insulate it enough to make it through the winter, in case the service place really didn't winterize it. Thanks.

The heater core is usually installed under the driver's side dash, many times behind a false wall or a subwoofer. I'm not sure that wrapping it would do much to protect it against the brutal MN winters. Your going to need a heat source, plus the insulation, to defeat the cold. IMO your best bet it to get the water out of there.

The heater lines will be easier to access at the engine than at the heater. The return line is connected up by the thermostat on the top of the engine between the intake & the transom. This is such an obvious thing for any shop to notice & disconnect that I'd be surprised if they missed it.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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tvano
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I won't be able to climb inside the boat and take a look until the weekend, but is the kick panel that the heater core is behind easily removed? I don't have an air compressor, but I'm thinking maybe I'd wrap the core and maybe that would insulate it enough to make it through the winter, in case the service place really didn't winterize it. Thanks.

air compressor isn't a requirement; it's not difficult to 'huff and i'll puff and blow' the water out of it. i imagine that you can clear more out with an air compressor but if it's antifreeze you are clearing you will probably stop blowing when you see it's not water. if you clear water out of it ,then, once you have cleared all you can you can add a quart of antifreeze and you should be good to go.

Edited by tvano

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ibelieve

I agree ... I have been huffing and puffing for 15 years and never had a problem. Don't even bother with antifreeze although I can see the safety aspect of it.

/Steve

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I won't be able to climb inside the boat and take a look until the weekend, but is the kick panel that the heater core is behind easily removed? I don't have an air compressor, but I'm thinking maybe I'd wrap the core and maybe that would insulate it enough to make it through the winter, in case the service place really didn't winterize it. Thanks.

air compressor isn't a requirement; it's not difficult to 'huff and i'll puff and blow' the water out of it. i imagine that you can clear more out with an air compressor but if it's antifreeze you are clearing you will probably stop blowing when you see it's not water. if you clear water out of it ,then, once you have cleared all you can you can add a quart of antifreeze and you should be good to go.

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Soon2BV

I just removed both lines and gently blew through the upper hose and watched the water drain out of the lower one.

I added about 1/4 gallon of RV antifreeze, just enough until i saw it start to drain out the lower hose.

I bought something like this at AutoZone. It was $5 and it fits standard 1 gallon jugs.

Made it pretty easy to ad the antifreeze to this line and the shaft seal line.

Hand Pump

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Tack

Thank you everyone for your responses. I'll take a look this weekend at my setup and decide what to do. Hopefully I'll discover that the service place took care of it when they winterized the boat!

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