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Old 12-04-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
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Cleaning Off Heater Core?

Hello. I have a '98 TJ, 2.5L. Like many others, I seem to be lacking a little bit in the heat department. I pulled out my battery and blower motor today, and didn't see what I was looking for. I heard it gets dirty and cleaning it helps. Any idea how to find it and then clean it? Maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough. xD

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #2
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With the blower out, look inside and to the right. I had to use a small mirror and flashlight to see all of the heater core. It was half plugged up with dirt and junk, I blew it out with an air hose. It works much better now. Also, have you tried flushing the core?

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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If you have ac you won't be able to see your heater core without removing the HVAC box. Good luck "cleaning" anything in there by the way...
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:56 AM   #4
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Need to take it to a regular radiator shop that can flush it with either steam or hot water. You don't "clean" a heater core by hand!

Don't go to a quick lube place and get a coolant flush done either. That is no where near the same thing.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:04 AM   #5
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The thing to do is flush the heater core. You disconnect the hoses in the engine compartment and with a garden hose, reverse flow water through it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #6
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Wait, I've been planning to pull my blower fan and check my heater core because I've heard so many people say cleaning theirs worked for them. Are y'all saying if I have A/C on my 97 TJ I won't be able to see it?
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airtight View Post
Wait, I've been planning to pull my blower fan and check my heater core because I've heard so many people say cleaning theirs worked for them. Are y'all saying if I have A/C on my 97 TJ I won't be able to see it?
I think when people are saying they clean their heater core - they are talking about flushing it like Neil F describes in post #5.

With or without aircon, you won't be able to access the heater core by pulling the blower fan while it's still in the heater box.

This is a pic of my heater box - my Jeep is a RHD but the principle is the same - if you look at these pics in a mirror, that's what your LHD heater box will look like.

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And with the lid off....

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The round part on the LHS is where the blower fan sits.
Silver thing in the middle is aircon evaporator.
Heater core is way over the RHS (partly obscured - looking orange and rusty - that's why I had to change it).

As I said earlier, mine is @ss about being RHD but the principle is the same.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airtight
Wait, I've been planning to pull my blower fan and check my heater core because I've heard so many people say cleaning theirs worked for them. Are y'all saying if I have A/C on my 97 TJ I won't be able to see it?
That's exactly what we are saying. Plus even if you could blow it off it'll just get clogged again cuz it's in a sealed box. If you look at the pic in the post above mine you'll see the ac box there and you will be able to see that when you pull your fan not your heater core.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
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You guys saying he won't be able to see the heater core, what year are your TJ's? If I pull the blower, I can reach in and touch the heater core and I also have AC. Mine's a 97 and the blower is under the hood, behind the battery. The heater core is just inside.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s14sh3r
You guys saying he won't be able to see the heater core, what year are your TJ's? If I pull the blower, I can reach in and touch the heater core and I also have AC. Mine's a 97 and the blower is under the hood, behind the battery. The heater core is just inside.
Mines a 99. I thought I was looking at my heater core when I first pulled my fan too but what it actually was is a box for the ac. Mine was gross and causing a blockage so that the air from the blower motor couldn't get through causing me not to have very good heat. This is a pic of the HVAC box open. There is NO WAY to get to the heater core without removing the HVAC box unless they are different from 97-99.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jeepin9910 View Post
Mines a 99. I thought I was looking at my heater core when I first pulled my fan too but what it actually was is a box for the ac. Mine was gross and causing a blockage so that the air from the blower motor couldn't get through causing me not to have very good heat. This is a pic of the HVAC box open. There is NO WAY to get to the heater core without removing the HVAC box unless they are different from 97-99.
They changed it, but I'm not sure what year. Here's a picture looking through the hole where the blower was:

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Old 12-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s14sh3r View Post
They changed it, but I'm not sure what year. Here's a picture looking through the hole where the blower was:

That's the A/C evaporator.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Patrick H View Post
That's the A/C evaporator.
I stand corrected. I was wondering how it could sit that way and the lines come out the way they do

*EDIT*
The air still has to flow through the evaporator to get to the heater core, right?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s14sh3r

I stand corrected. I was wondering how it could sit that way and the lines come out the way they do

*EDIT*
The air still has to flow through the evaporator to get to the heater core, right?
Sure does. This is what mine looked like.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:13 AM   #15
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Here's my AC evaporator when I pulled it out.

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I have now put this mesh over the inlet in the cowl. Mines a '97, don't know if other years are different - but my '97 just has a big hole with nothing over it that goes straight down.
The mesh doesn't look that pretty but should stop all the junk accumulating again.

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Just a reminder - mine is a RHD so the vent is on the other side.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:02 AM   #16
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The thing to do is flush the heater core. You disconnect the hoses in the engine compartment and with a garden hose, reverse flow water through it.
This IS NOT the way to do it, if you want it done right AND totally thorough! Doing it that way is nothing but a waste of time and money, if you buy that crap Prestone flush fluid/kit.

Take it to a radiator shop that uses at least hot water and pressure.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:59 AM   #17
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Excuse me? How is it a waste of time? Did I say anything about the prestone kit? I am familiar with the parts it contains and it can be used for pushing water through the entire system but I an referring to disconnecting the heator core inlet/outlet hoses, putting a fitting in the outlet, and forcing water back through the core. This will push out debris. I've done this several times and is the same way many have.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/st...-core-1256757/



http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/flus...re-197728.html



http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...4085255AA7nBY0

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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Once you get the two heater lines disconnected, its easy to see if the heater core is blocked by simply holding a hose up to one of them to see if it flows easily through the core. To flush accumulated gunk out of the heater core, just alternate the sides the water hose is held to to flush water back & forth through the core.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cork1958 View Post
This IS NOT the way to do it, if you want it done right AND totally thorough! Doing it that way is nothing but a waste of time and money, if you buy that crap Prestone flush fluid/kit.

Take it to a radiator shop that uses at least hot water and pressure.
Flushing out the heater core with a garden hose has worked for me on several occasions.
The amount of crap that comes out is staggering.
I've seen the coolant in the radiator looking pristine but the junk coming out of the heater core by running a hose through it surprises me every time.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:39 AM   #19
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I think I will try flushing mine. I just assumed that the heater wasnt very strong. How do I know which hose to run the water/air threw so that I'm back flushing?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:04 AM   #20
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Look at the Youtube and follow the links posted above
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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I think I will try flushing mine. I just assumed that the heater wasnt very strong. How do I know which hose to run the water/air threw so that I'm back flushing?
Doesn't matter - Just flush both ways a few times till the water runs clear - initially, the crap coming out the other end will be disgusting so don't do it where a bit of mess is likely to upset anyone
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:42 AM   #22
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Flushing out the heater core with a garden hose has worked for me on several occasions.
The amount of crap that comes out is staggering.
I've seen the coolant in the radiator looking pristine but the junk coming out of the heater core by running a hose through it surprises me every time.
Yes,
Flushing out the heater core with a garden hose will get SOME crap out, but if you're even going to bother messing around with this, at least do it completely AND thoroughly. What's the sense of only doing a half a**ed job?! Flushing the way I suggest cleans out EVERYTHING!! Radiator, engine block and heater core.

I only mentioned the Prestone kit thing because most people have heard of that.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cork1958 View Post
Yes,
Flushing out the heater core with a garden hose will get SOME crap out, but if you're even going to bother messing around with this, at least do it completely AND thoroughly. What's the sense of only doing a half a**ed job?! Flushing the way I suggest cleans out EVERYTHING!! Radiator, engine block and heater core.

I only mentioned the Prestone kit thing because most people have heard of that.
Agreed, but this thread is only about flushing out/cleaning the heater core.

Most people flush the radiator and engine block and completely forget about the heater core or don't realise it should be done at the same time or even how to access it.

This thread is for those folks. (I think )
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:06 AM   #24
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Yes,
Flushing out the heater core with a garden hose will get SOME crap out, but if you're even going to bother messing around with this, at least do it completely AND thoroughly. What's the sense of only doing a half a**ed job?! Flushing the way I suggest cleans out EVERYTHING!! Radiator, engine block and heater core.

I only mentioned the Prestone kit thing because most people have heard of that.
And what way did you suggest? all you said above was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cork1958 View Post
Need to take it to a regular radiator shop that can flush it with either steam or hot water. You don't "clean" a heater core by hand!

Don't go to a quick lube place and get a coolant flush done either. That is no where near the same thing.
All you said was take it to a radiator shop that can flush "it". Nothing about the "entire system" .

Home flushing the core alone or the entire system is not "half assing" it. It is free maintenance you can do yourself rather than to pay someone right off the bat. Unless the system is highly neglected and heavly fouled, garden hose pressure and or retail flush cleaners will clear the system. If you want to go a step further, you can very easly hook a hose to a hot water faucet at home. If this does not clear it, then take it somewhere.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by s14sh3r View Post
You guys saying he won't be able to see the heater core, what year are your TJ's? If I pull the blower, I can reach in and touch the heater core and I also have AC. Mine's a 97 and the blower is under the hood, behind the battery. The heater core is just inside.
I second that your right.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 PM   #26
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+1 on flushing the heater core with a garden hose. It will work wonders. Just did it on sons TJ.His heat went from luke warm to toasty hot and there was a ton of shit come out of it. Just take both heater hoses off where they connect to the steel line from the thermostat and water pump and connect one end to a garden hose. I used a barbed hose fitting with a female garden hose end, its made to repair a garden hose. Any hardware will have them.Crank on the water and watch with amazement.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:58 AM   #27
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You guys can do it your way, but if the heater core is plugged so bad you are not getting the heat you should be, which is HOT in a Jeep, I would take it to a shop and get it done right. If the heater core is THAT plugged, your radiator and EVERYTHING else within the cooling system is half plugged! If you people didn't know that a flush from a radiator shop cleans the entire system, I don't know what you're even doing giving advice then!

Hooking the garden hose up to a hot water heater is not hot enough, unless you crank that puppy up to the max!

I used to work at the shop here in town and FULLY recommend doing it this way. Yes, I have done it with the garden hose also and then taken that same vehicle to the shop and flushed it. Got tons more crap out of system.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #28
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The bottom line is the garden hose trick does work and its free.
Of course if the rest of the system is in bad shape and dirty it will only plug again. So yea you would need to flush the entire cooling system or the heater core will plug again.
If you haven't noticed most here tend to do things at home to save money. There is no reason why anyone with any sense can not flush their own cooling system successfully at home.

For whats its worth the last time I checked prices it is cheaper to buy a new radiator than it is to have one dipped and cleaned ,pressure tested and repaired.

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