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Old 06-19-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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Help....Heater Core?

I am on my first Jeep. Bought it this week. I noticed that it was leaking what seemed to be coolant on my garage floor this week. After further inspection I noticed a drain hose on the passenger side which later I determined to be coming from the heater core box. The leak is more like a drip but I want to fix it.

My neighbor told me I could bypass until it got to be winter. I am in TN so its in the mid 90's in June.

I purchased a reducing nipple 5/8 - 11/16 today. To my understanding I disconnect the two hoses from the heater core and then use the reducing nipple to connect them together. Right? Also, are there any side effects from doing this that could cause further damage?

I have not checked the pressure on the system, but can I be assured it is the heater core and not another issue. I hate to tear it all apart only to find that was not the issue.

Thanks for any and all of the feedback.

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Old 06-19-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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I haven't had this problem on my Jeep, but I have had it on my '71 Mustang. I did the same thing you're talking about (bypassing the core) and it worked fine, you just won't have a heater...which isn't a problem right now. How long has it been leaking? You might want to pull your carpet up and check out the floor pan.....it turns out that the core in my mustang had been leaking for a long time, and I eventually had to get the floor pan replaced. I'm sure Jeep floor pans can withstand a lot more, though - so you should be ok.

As for being assured it's the heater core - if it's actually coolant that's leaking, I can't imagine it being anything else. What finally tipped me off was that when I turned the heater on, I'd see white steam coming through the vents and I finally smelled antifreeze. You might want to try running the heater (or defroster on hot and see if your windows steam up) while you're heater is connected - BUT that would mean more coolant leaking into your cabin. Not saying it's the best test, or that the trade off is worth it.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck!

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Old 06-19-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Kyle. The temp is has not moved and I have pretty much drove it all day today. I have a complex about cars leaking fluids and the need to get it fixed. I will turn the heater on tomorrow and see what happens. I just hate to tear the dash apart and that not be the issue. Thanks again!
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:37 AM   #4
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You should be good with driving it. You might want to check your coolant level on occasion. Basically, all the core is is another step in the same "circuit" if that makes sense. Is your core still connected? If it's not, you won't get any steam or anything coming through the vents, since there won't be any fluid passing through the core. The core looks like a tiny radiator and eventually, fluid leaks through the side and that's what will cause the steam...so if it's disconnected - you won't get anything. Which, on the flipside, might still give you your answer (if it's disconnected and now there's no fluid leak - it's the core).

I'm the same way with fluid leaks - can't stand them. And it sounds like you already know what a pain heater core replacement can be.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:47 AM   #5
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Yeah I have had old car a pickups that would lose the heater core and to would bypass them all the time!
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:45 AM   #6
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It is also a sure way to test if the heater core is truly leaking. Once you bypass it in the engine compartment, everything inside will dry up and no more leak if there is still a leak it is something else leaking
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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Thanks fellas! I had forgot to mention that it is not leaking inside the cab. I dont have carpet so I dont need to worry about that. We went out in it last night, temp was at 210 and fluids all looked great. Like I say, it is more like a drip but it drives me CRAZY
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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Do you have AC? if so sure its not just condensation drip?
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:07 PM   #9
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good point about the ac. I know this is going to sound funny, but when I was 16 and my first car had a heater core leak (it was also a mustang), I remember every morning in the winter wondering why my car smelled like pancakes....which, turned out to be antifreeze.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #10
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I have not been running the AC, so I dont think it is that.

Blueberry pancakes or just buttermilk?
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #11
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If you plan to change it yourself, get ready for some fun.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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So I have heard. I did one on a 67 Ford Fairlane once. Sounds like I need to block out an entire day.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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Where can I find the reducing nipple 5/8 - 11/16 ? Have a 01 Wrangler with a 4.0 and it just started to steam the windows. I heard you have to take out the dash and it is pretty complex. $60 Heater Core and about $600 worth of labor. Damn!
Thanks!

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