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Advice required please - Removal of heater core

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I'm looking at removing the heater core from my 03 Response due to a leak. I've looked for threads on this topic but haven't been able to find one suitable, maybe my search skills are not up to scratch. After looking at the heater box I'd like some help with the following issues please,

1. The wiring to the fan seems hard wired, ie there doesn't appear to be a connector that can be released to disconnect the wiring from the fan.

2. Should I remove the fan from the heater box before removing the heater box and leave the fan mechanism "in situ" behind the dash?

I'm hoping to be able to fix the leak by  soldering the hole or holes, or perhaps modifying another similar sized core. The other problem I've encountered is removing the hoses from the core, they are well and truly stuck, I'm concerned that if I cut them there won't be enough slack to reterminate them later.

Any advice on this task would be greatly appreciated as the least amount of time I can spend laying on my back under the dash the better, too old for this type of work!!

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it's been a very long time since i pulled the core and my memory sucks (but i keep forgetting that).

if your heater is an aftermarket add-on then it should not be a big chore to disconnect the wiring at the switch and strip the wiring out with the mechanicals. 

take pix first so you can put the wires back where they belong.

i don't remember removing the fan from the plenum prior to pulling the core.  i'm not saying it didn't happen - i just don't remember it that way.

you may be able to remove the core without removing the whole unit from underdash; not sure what your clearances are but IF your core is toast then finding a replacement that will fit will be an easier task if you can take the plenum with you to the parts shop.  as you are laying under that core, swearing it loose, remember that it's going to dump a cup of water in your face as it gets moved about.  iirc the core pulls out from the end of the plenum (not by removing the front/back panels).

as far as the length of the used heater hose, do you have any slack under the dog house?  if so it's easy to pull another 6" from under the dash. 

if you don't have a pick and hook set shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcR7BWxU_CIneVpS4UDmFin your toolbox this may be the excuse you have been waiting for to buy a set.

only other advise i can add is maybe save up a few days of swear words; i hate crawling under the dash.

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Like tvano, it's been many years since I replaced my heater core and my memory is probably worse than his.

I do recall cutting the hoses off of the old core. There was plenty of extra hose length to make up for the 1-2 inches lost. 

I took the old core to an auto parts store and got a replacement for significantly less than Heatercraft's price at the time. It may not even be worthwhile trying to repair your existing core, and potentially doubling the amount of time spent under the dash.

I don't recall how I handled the fan and wiring, but I would be willing to bet that there is a connector within 6"-8" of the fan hidden under some plastic wrap. 

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On mine, removed entire aluminum heater box after cutting hoses; had to drill some rivets to get core out; took it to napa and got a new one. Pad it well with foam on install to decrease vibration damage. Don't bother repairing old one; won't last. Remember these cores have water, not antifreeze circulating so no corrosion protection.

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I just replace a 3 vent one for a friend. I was able to slide his core out of the fan box by removing the 4 end screws from the mounting bracket. Pull the 2 hose clamps and hoses and it was free. A new core from Bakes for him was @ $114.00 IIRC.

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@Timmo:  You can solder the core leaks, you will be on your back again within a year to repeat the process since once they start to leak there are other spots that are on the verge of springing a leak unless it is simply from a localized chafing.  To shorten your looking time for a replacement core if you go the auto parts route, narrow the search down to Ford (most likely Bronco, Mustang, van options) and it depends on whether you have 2 or 3 hole unit as to what size the core is.  I have not been successful in finding the long 3 hole core automotive replacement if that is what you need.  The automotive cores do not like raw water, I shut mine off when not in use.

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