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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've got a 90 YJ, 6 cylinder. Wondering if anyone has ever messed with the heater and if it was a major headache? I haven't looked into what the issue might be under the hood yet but I'd imagine the element has gone out on it. Also the control panel on the dash probably needs to be replaced. The high-low works fine but the cool-heat and the other switch (fan-defrost?) aren't working. They both won't let you push them all the way to the right... So before I dive into this, is it something I could do on my own or should I take it to the shop? It's too darn cold not to get it fixed!
 

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dude im totally in the same boat. I looked at my hanes manual on how to replace the heating element but it just looks like a time consuming pain in the asscot. I say if you have the money just get a shop to do it or just do what I've been doing. Get ya one of those massage seat cushions with the heat and a nice blanket.
 

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They are actually real simple. The cool - heat switch is common not to go all the way over to the right. It is just a cable that runs across the underside of the dash to a arm (that is visible) on the passengers side just under the dash. Check there. You can unhook the little linkage and let the arm "fall" to the right to open the heater. You probably just need to remove the controls and clean them as they get dirty and make them hard to move... The high - low switch works good because it is an electrical switch, the others mechanically move little cables and parts which can get "junked up" and make them hard to move.
 

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The place to start is the thermostat, if your engine isn't getting up to temp the thermo is most likely stuck open and not allowing the coolant to get up to temp to heat up the heater core. If you have to replace it you should flush the system while you're at it.
As far a the heater core goes, there are really only two things that can go wrong. It can be leaking or plugged and not allowing coolant to circulate through it.
The sliders on the heater control are hooked to cables that operate the doors in the heating system. If they aren't working correctly the cables may need to be adjusted, or the cable bracket on the back of the control may be bent. I'm not too familiar with the details as I haven't has to mess with mine... yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I bought my jeep in September. It's my first jeep. I'm in grad school at UGA and can't imagine a better vehicle to stroll around Athens on a nice day. But now it's cold and it seems like I'm just now finding out all the issues that I need to fix. It seems like the cold weather is bringing them all out. While we're at it... I'm going to make a new thread so I can get more hits with all the issues I'm having. I'll check the arms and the thermostat this next week. I'm going to my dad's where the garage with the tools will be better than working on it in the cold. Appreciate the advice fellas.
 

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Winter is a harsh mistress!

Marcusy18, I have similar issues creeping up with heat that I finally have to tackle. The heater core itself is not expensive. I found mine in stock at a local AutoZone for about $40. The work to replace it is pretty straightforward if I follow the Haynes Repair Manual, but it gets more complicated if you have to remove a dealer-installed A/C option from those early pre-97 YJs, like I have. It is hung below the factory instrument panel, complete with its own vents, and appears in the way of removing the heater blower housing as described in Haynes manual. [ Can anyone online confirm this? ] This is where I am right now. I'm putting in a new heater core and thermostat, but not before I drain and flush -- several times -- my entire cooling system and avoid crapping up my new parts with rust flakes. Fortunately, my A/C system has not been in operation for years, so I can just dismantle it as needed. Be careful with yours, if you have one. You should have a shop at least discharge the pressurized gas for you, unless you have specific A/C kbase.
 

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Someone on here said there is no way the hoses could be put on backwards I say nay nay. some how the guy that had the rig before me jerry rigged the hoses and had them going in the wrong direction so i'm just going to put it out there CHECK YOUR HOSES!!
 

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the worst out of this job is those nuts and bolts that you have to take out in order for you to get the heater out. It's even worse than draining the system. If those are fine it's a down the hill ride. I wouldn't pay a dime to anyone for this job. Haynes manual is pretty discriptive, although it shows only a system that has a return through intake header while this is no always the case for everyone. Mine goes straight back from the core, but I have a 2.5l. I do not believe I have seen them mentioning about the difference.
 

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My heater doesn't work very well and I determined it to be a water pump. I will be installing that tomorrow and see if it helps my situation. If your car is running it will sound like gravel, and the water doesn't go through the heater core like it should because it isn't pumped. Just a thought. But if you were running fine when it was warm then that probably isn't the case with yours :D
 

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Check your heater hoses after the jeep has warmed up. If one is hot and one is cold, then you have a plugged heater core.
 

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I have cut my hoses.. put flush tee in both hoses.. gone to a do it yourself car wash pulled off the hoses at the flush tee and used the power washer to flush the junk out.. rehook and drive off ( most car washes dont like you to do this ) my heat is fine .. chicago winter soft top and warm.. no leaks

if the heater core starts to leak.. needed it already!
 

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it's fun in Chicago right now :D
 

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I have cut my hoses.. put flush tee in both hoses.. gone to a do it yourself car wash pulled off the hoses at the flush tee and used the power washer to flush the junk out.. rehook and drive off ( most car washes dont like you to do this ) !
That's because ethylene glycol is a hazardous waste in most areas and should be disposed of properly.
 

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Heating systems are very straighforward. If your heater box flapper doors are moving correctly, then your only possible problem is the engine not getting up to operating temp or a plugged heater core. The engine temp will be obvious on the temp gauge. I have replaced several heater cores on my own cars, makes a big difference going new, junking the original with 20, 30 or 40 years of crud and scale built up in the heater core. Just on some cars the heater boxes are a huge PITA to get at to pull the core.
 
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