Place a pan under the van and disconnect the heater intake and outlet hoses. Quickly remove and plug the hoses and support them in an upright position. Drain the coolant from the heater core into the pan.
When draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.
Remove the heater distributor duct-to-case attaching screws and the duct-to-engine cover screw. Remove the duct.
Remove the engine cover.
Remove all the instrument panel attaching screws.
Carefully lower the steering column. Raise and support the right side of the instrument panel. Refer to for further details.
Remove the defroster duct-to-case attaching screws and the two screws attaching the distributor to the heater case.
Disconnect the temperature door cable. Carefully fold the cable back and out of the way.
Remove the three nuts from the engine compartment side of the distributor case and the screw from the passenger compartment side.
Remove the heater case and core assembly.
Remove the core retaining straps and remove the core.
Remove the steering column-to-instrument panel bolts. Lower the column carefully.
Remove the upper and lower instrument panel attaching screws. Remove the radio support bracket screw.
Raise and support the right side of the instrument panel.
Remove the lower right instrument panel bracket.
Remove the vacuum actuator from the kick panel.
Disconnect the temperature cable and vacuum hoses at the case. Remove the heater distributor duct from over the engine hump.
Remove the two defroster duct-to-firewall attaching screws below the windshield.
Under the hood, disconnect and plug the heater hoses at the firewall.
Remove the three nuts and one screw (inside) holding the heater case to the firewall.
Remove the case from the van. Remove the gasket for access to the screws holding the case together. Remove the temperature cable support bracket. Remove the screws and separate the case. Remove the heater core.
- If you need clarification, ask it in the comment box above.
- Better answers use proper spelling and grammar.
- Provide details, support with references or personal experience.
Tell us some more! Your answer needs to include more details to help people.You can't post answers that contain an email address.Please enter a valid email address.The email address entered is already associated to an account.Login to postPlease use English characters only.
Tip: The max point reward for answering a question is 15.
Get a piece of pipe that is the same size as the heater core hoses. Remove the hoses from the heater core, normally near the rear of the engine compartment 9on passenger side. Connect the 2 hoses together with the pipe as the "patch". Secure with clamps.
If you need a shop manual for the chassis you can get a used book from Ebay. If it involves lights or other accessories for the conversion part of the van you could try contacting the company that did the original conversion. I doubt they print books with diagrams for the public.
If it is necessary to remove the heater assembly, the cooling system must be drained before removing the heater core.
When a heater core leaks, a new heater core is installed or the old one repaired. Heater Housing
The heater housing is usually under the dash and must be removed to gain access to the heater core.
Procedures for replacing the heater core vary with the year, make, and model of car. It threfore necessary to consult the manufacturer's repair manuals for the proper procedure for replacement.
The heater housing is disassembled to get to the heater core.
Remove the access panels(s) or the split heater/air conditioning case to gain acess to the heater core.
Remove the heater coolant hoses.
Remove the cable and/or vacuum control lines (if equipped).
Remove the heater core securing brackets and/or clamps.
Lift the core from the case. Do not use force. Take care not to damage the fins of the heater core when removing.
To reinstall the heater core, reverse the removal steps.
When the heater core leaks and must be repaired or replaced, it is a very difficult and time-consuming job primarily because of the core's location deep within the firewall of the car. For this reason always leak test a replacement heater core before installation.
I believe on a 1987 chevy van the heater core should be under the black plastic cover on the firewall on the left hand side as you are standing in front of the van.
I believe you can also get to it under the passenger side dash.
It is NOT fun. Unless you are a seasoned mechanic, I would not attempt it.
Otherwise stop by your local auto center, and get a HAYNES manual, they will be able to show how to.
there should be 3 places where the hoses connect on the Tee, see what ones are looped -one into the other, the heater core goes on these 2 in & out, the other goes to the rear air if equipped, such as in a conversion van.
I just had the same problem. If it is a regular van try under the driver seat in a plastic box. If it is a conversion van try in a pannel just behind driver seat on side of van wall behind a pannel that looks like a vent.