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TerrorJ2001 07-18-2010 02:39 PM

Fixing the heater core...
My heater core went. I got the typical fish steam coming out of the defroster vents. What is the best way to fix without going to a mechanic and dropping $800. Also, is this possible to complete without having to remove the steering wheel to remove the dash? Can't I just spin the dashboard counter clockwise around the steering wheel (with the top off) and access the heater core?

I found this DIY link online for the 4 cylinder.
TJ Heater Core Replacement - 2

I have a 2001 4.0 6cyc

Thanks for any input!

TJ2 07-18-2010 06:00 PM

I changed the ac evaporator on a '97. Disassembly of dash components was same for heater core. I used the FSM. I made notes, labeled anything questionable, and carefully organized everything I removed. It wasn't that bad. . . and the savings was considerable.

TerrorJ2001 07-19-2010 09:13 AM

Since my car doesn't have A/C and i am broke. I was considering adding the A/C evaporator while i change out the heater core. Are there more components to add while the dash is out besides the A/C evap - Except the controls? (maybe some pipe fittings, fresh air door). Trying to be efficent with the whole project.

Ken Steele 07-19-2010 09:37 AM

Adding a/c is a hard and expensive job. The heater core isn't too bad to replace. Check out Stu Olsen's website for a detailed write up on how to do it. The steering wheel does not need to be removed, but you will drop the steering columnn down to make room to remove the dash.

TerrorJ2001 07-19-2010 09:46 AM

One of my peers advised me to get the A/C system from a junk yard as opposed to quadratech. Yet this worries me knowing that a used A/C evap might one day fail me like it has for TJ2. Unless that would be the only 'new' item in the system.

TerrorJ2001 07-19-2010 08:27 PM

Here's my heater core ghetto rig temporary fix...

TJ2 07-22-2010 03:26 PM

Well, this certainly shows ingenuity :) I'd keep a close eye on the coolant level, though.

I'm with Stu on the difficulty of installing ac at this point. If I had to have ac and didn't, I'd trade jeeps. I would tear into that heater core and get the leaks stopped.

TerrorJ2001 07-22-2010 03:41 PM

It didn't show too much ingenuity when steam was coming out directly from the corners of the dash (instrument buttons/around the radio)

I gave in and having it fixed with a mechanic. I dont have the time for this nor money, but I'd rather have someone who knows what they are doing work on it for 8 hours instead of sacrificing my entire weekend fiddling and messing it up.

TerrorJ2001 07-25-2010 03:08 PM

heater core is now fixed, but the pressure is coming out of the seal between the metal and plastic part of the radiator.....

TJ2 07-26-2010 02:25 AM

Bummer, sounds like the coolant wasn't changed on time. Anti-corrosion properties are lost over time. I would carefully inspect coolant and heater hoses. Is the water pump weeping? Are you weeping? :)

If the system is full of crud it ought to be flushed. Absolutely nothing saves money and headaches like preventive maintenance.

good luck

TerrorJ2001 07-26-2010 07:33 AM

Yes I am weeping $$$$. But the jeep is crying coolant after every drive. The water pump should be fine as long as I keep things at normal operating temperatures - actually, I don;t know where the water pump is located.

I got the jeep in april with 98k... I didnt think about flushing the coolant so soon (the plan was to wait until the begining of winter for a full tune up).

changing the radiator shouldn't be a difficult job to do on my own right?

TJ2 07-26-2010 04:12 PM

Shouldn't be difficult. Basically you've got the fan shroud and two hoses.

marvin9738 09-07-2015 09:17 PM

Can someone help me get to Stu Olsons web site?

Big Sarge 09-07-2015 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by marvin9738 (Post 21274626)
Can someone help me get to Stu Olsons web site?

Google is your friend.

JFjeld 09-08-2015 03:14 PM

That's my write-up on the heater core change on Stu's site. I've been through it twice, lol; last time, a few months ago. Feel free to PM me with any questions.

TerryGilore 09-22-2015 08:18 PM

I tried the write up mentioned on Stu's site and another I found on the internet but both are for older jeeps. I have a 2010 wrangler unlmited with a manual transmission and am having a hard time getting the dash removed. The left side is free but there is something holding the right side on. Does anyone have any info on what I am missing. Thanks.

Digger84 09-22-2015 08:22 PM

2010 is a JK not a TJ so try the JK tec forum for more info

Wesboy 09-23-2015 08:08 AM


Originally Posted by JFjeld (Post 21286850)
That's my write-up on the heater core change on Stu's site. I've been through it twice, lol; last time, a few months ago. Feel free to PM me with any questions.


Thanks for taking the time to do that write-up.
It was an invaluable guide when I had to replace my heater core.

JFjeld 09-23-2015 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by Wesboy (Post 21572321)

Thanks for taking the time to do that write-up.
It was an invaluable guide when I had to replace my heater core.

Glad you found it useful. A few people have added suggestions/modifications and hints I never thought of to make it more helpful. Stu's website is an invaluable resource for our Jeep needs!

TerrorJ2001 04-21-2016 07:29 PM

Hey guys, just an update. At the time of this post I did pay someone to do this, but last year it went again. I took it on myself. Spend 6 gruesome hours in the August sun, but now it's done. Absolutely worth it with a dedicated day to do it. Leaves and trash get collected in the HVAC unit somehow. Caused the core to rot.

venutoa 05-02-2016 12:17 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I did this without removing the dash...but I was replacing steering wheel at same much easier.
(I just bungeed the dash to my garage door frame).

there are a couple things to note that most write ups don't mention

1 - the bolt/nut..on the firewall behind the engine. (holding plastic intake tube ) there are 2 nuts on same bolt.
what a PITA these bolts were...mine was 97 . all rusted to heck...and had to cut them ALL get a good dremmel
and then buy new ones from dealer or local hardware store (search for "heater box bolts")
MOPAR PART # = 04720533

2 - you have to remove the fuse box from inside the glove compartment. easy but not mentioned in write ups I saw

3 - there is another bolt you have to unscrew from underneath...once you get dash out of the way...behind the passenger air bag. (near the fuse box in glove compartment)

4 - I went to home depot and got some 1 sided foam tape....used for sealing ducts and like. Usually in heating/air conditioning section...and replace all the rotted out stuff in my heater box. well worth the 15 bucks. you have about 9 different places to replace them

5 - replace your heater blower...its only 45 bucks and well worth it...just in case it goes out. for all that work to get dash out...I decided to do it

NOTE: mine is 97 jeep TJ

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