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Old 01-07-2014, 10:08 AM   #1
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Heater core

I have a 97 Wrangler & the heater core went out. I know I have to pull the dash & heater box out to get to & change out the core but is there any helpful advice on getting in & out of the project?? I have good mechanical skills so any advice will help out.

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Old 01-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregthecoach View Post
I have a 97 Wrangler & the heater core went out. I know I have to pull the dash & heater box out to get to & change out the core but is there any helpful advice on getting in & out of the project?? I have good mechanical skills so any advice will help out.
As with most things, Stu has a Great Write up on this. I did this when I installed my AC and getting the heater box out was the most time consuming and work intensive part of the job.

Just make sure you take your time and you'll get it fixed right up!

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Old 01-07-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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Hey Gregthecoach! I am currently in the same predicament myself. Have set aside an entire day up at my Dad's to work on this. Using the same step-by-step as XTRyan and will post any tips if I end up getting to mine before you.
Spoke with my mechanic cousin who works on Jeeps and he mentioned a couple things:
1) When the steering column has been completely disconnected, as outlined in the write-up, Stu mentions not to move the wheel around too much as you can break the clock spring and add a whole lotta expense to the project. A little wiggle is fine, just don't crank all the way around in either direction. Stu's tip of holding the wheel is key.
2) Didn't see this mentioned in the write-up, but when disconnecting the "knuckle" on the steering shaft mark the location of where the connection was as this is apparently a fine tune adjustment. This bit of advice seemed more of a general tip than anything.
Don't know the extent of your situation, mine was leaking and fogging up the windows no matter if I had the heater off or not. If you haven't yet, add a little of the powdered stop leak (found at any chain store) for the time being-has helped out A LOT.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:58 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Any help is appreciated. It's gonna be a few weeks as I just had to replace my alternator,power steering pump & TPS sensor all within 2 weeks. I've looked on YouTube for videos & on Stu's website but any extra advice is always welcome.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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is the heater core leaking?
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #6
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Did a core last September and I did not remove the steering column, I loosened both bolts and lowered the column, then protected the exposed column from damage. I wired the dash from the roll bar for support purposes. Doing this provided ample room for the core removal.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #7
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Yes the core is leaking.
Gotcha on the steering column. That's good to know I can do that since I will be doing this with no extra hands available.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:41 PM   #8
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Yes the core is leaking.
Gotcha on the steering column. That's good to know I can do that since I will be doing this with no extra hands available.
I was on my own also, good luck.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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I found it easier to remove the steering column and dash completely just so it was out of the way.
I also removed the doors, passenger seat and centre console for a bit more room.

A great write-up on this forum here...
Dashboard Removal

Another on Stus...
TJ Heater Core Replacement - 1

Deep-length 13mm socket is invaluable when loosening/removing the steering column.

Every fastener/clip/bolt etc went in a small plastic bag (Sometimes with a brief description) and kept in strict order - re-installation was a snap using all the fasteners in reverse order.
I started off labelling all the electrical connectors but this was probably unnecessary as it was very obvious where they had to go during re-installation.
The aftermarket electrical components I had installed slowed me down though.

I swapped out any replacement seals I could find - there are some on this list...
Wrangler TJ Air Conditioning and Heating Parts
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:42 PM   #10
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Also have a look at Taka's photo-walkthrough of his core replacement, courtesy of Stu: https://plus.google.com/photos/11444...CJv21KajpKeXcA

Each picture is captioned with instructions as you progress. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:48 AM   #11
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I will defiantly have to check out those pictures.
Removing the seat(s) I may do just to insure extra room.
Is there any issues removing the lines from the a/c to the inside heater box?
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:16 AM   #12
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Can you guys tell me, when you flush out your heater core (using water and CLR) what hose is the inlet? The one coming off the thermostat or the other?
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:33 AM   #13
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Can you guys tell me, when you flush out your heater core (using water and CLR) what hose is the inlet? The one coming off the thermostat or the other?
I don't remember which one is the inlet, but you'll want to flush it both ways regardless. And chances are you won't need the CLR. I just did this last week on my 97, and flushed about 5 gallons of black gunk out. Now I have heat again!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:47 PM   #14
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Well I flushed both ways, and I did not use CLR but it seems I still don't have heat! I doesn't look like the core is bad, because I don't see any fluid on the floor board! Any suggestions?
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:49 PM   #15
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I tell ya this much though after researching I just may do another but longer flush to see if that will fix it. I done it once before to no avail but another chance wouldn't hurt.
As far as inlet that I'm not sure of but would say the one that has the thermostat in the line.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:21 PM   #16
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I tell ya this much though after researching I just may do another but longer flush to see if that will fix it. I done it once before to no avail but another chance wouldn't hurt. As far as inlet that I'm not sure of but would say the one that has the thermostat in the line.

Ok I did another flush, with a water hose and water came out of both ends after that I did a complete radiator and system flush! Still is not getting hot anymore suggestions?
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:20 PM   #17
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What is not getting hot the core or the air coming out?

If inlet hose and outlet hose are good and hot and water is flowing and heater fan is blowing b it air is not coming out nice and hot only two possibilities

(Harbor freight sells a pretty good non contact heat measurement device with a laser pointer to check hose temperatures)

( Also note Blockage anywhere in heater hose flow would make inadequate flow even with hot hoses)

1 air not being directed at heater core ( air flow door issue)

2 surface of heater core blocked with leaves or other carp so air not flowing thru the core and instead going around so not getting heated up
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:33 PM   #18
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Well all the flushing & checking have failed. New heater core is in garage waiting for the weekend. Wish me luck.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:55 PM   #19
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Well all the flushing & checking have failed. New heater core is in garage waiting for the weekend. Wish me luck.
Well what's the update on this?
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:26 AM   #20
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Haven't had a chance to start on it but gonna tackle it on 1-18.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:46 AM   #21
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Haven't had a chance to start on it but gonna tackle it on 1-18.
Ok thanks!please provide update
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:08 AM   #22
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Sure will. Gonna replace core,thermostat & heater hoses while I'm at it.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:49 PM   #23
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It's a chore for sure but patience will prevail.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #24
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It's a chore for sure but patience will prevail.
I did the same last year when my evap coil leaked. I swapped out the heater core and blower while I was in there. Googled a promo code and got $50 off a $150 purchase.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:23 PM   #25
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It's a chore for sure but patience will prevail.
Did you guys have to remove the whole dash?
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:37 PM   #26
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Yes. All of the plastic of the dash & that uncovers the metal cage of the dash. Once that is pulled away or removed you can pull out the heater box.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:20 AM   #27
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Thanks for the update Gregthecoach! I take it everything went smoothly and all is well in the end?
My big date with the heater core is this Wednesday, wish me luck!
Also, any tips or tricks to pass along? I've come up with a solution for holding the wheel, but I liked your setup as well.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:13 PM   #28
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Yes all went well. The steering wheel can be a pain so I didn't remove it all the way instead held it by a cord & that work but if you can get yours out it will make it easier. I would highly suggest removing both front seats. Just 3 bolts & a T50 torx in each seat. Removal of center console will help in space but not required. There are two screws at the top of the airbag panel under the trim on pass side that are a pain in ya have average or above hands.
FYI when heater box was reinstalled,steering affixed & all connectors plugged back in try to crank it to see if leaking before you put it all back together. The link for Stu's write up was a great help. If you have a helper that would help.
Good luck & be patient.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:28 PM   #29
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Thanks Greg, I am going to be tackling with my father at his place (due to the workspace and all, I live in an apartment...on a hill...).
I will attempt to take out the seats for more room-both my father and i are 6'2" respectively.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:46 PM   #30
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Then I would highly suggest removing the seats. Drivers seat is actually easier as the passenger seat will have to be "raised up" to expose rear bolts. The paddle to do that is under the seat.

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