Question about 1996 Ford Ranger SuperCab

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1996 ford ranger heater core

Trying to replace a heater core. Trying to remove the dash and am stuck. I have dash all torn apart but there seems ro be 5 or 6 screws at the top of dash coming in from the windshield side that I cant access. these screws seem to be the last thing holding in the dash. Any suggestions?

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  • lgreer39 Dec 19, 2008

    It is 3.0 engine 4 wd.

    The whole dash needs to come out according to repair manual.

  • lgreer39 Dec 19, 2008

    need more help

  • lgreer39 Dec 19, 2008

    need more help

  • lgreer39 Dec 19, 2008

    Thanks Tom, but the problem I am having is removing the instrument panel in step 6.

  • lgreer39 Dec 19, 2008

    Thanks classyexpert, but you stopped too soon. Do I need to remove the gold colored bolts. My truck does look like a disaster area.

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Have you tried to remove the dash top defrost vents? You should be able to access the screws theough there. There are no screws going into the dash from the windshield side, unless someone has done that in the past. maybe they are just the guide pins.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

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There is no easy way to do it, you have to remove the dash,
disconnect the negative battery cable, remove the instrument panel, remove the evaporator core housing, drain the radiator, disconnect the heater hoses, remove the nuts and the plenum chamber, remove the screws and remove the heater core cover, remove the heater core. Installation is reverse of removal. Sounds easy but it can be a lot of work but it is a lot easy than pulling your entire dash. Don't forget to reservice your radiator fluid and havew your air conditioner reservice.
=================
Heater Core for a 1996 Ford Ranger For all those looking to attempt this job, novice mechanics of course, put aside a whole weekend just in case. I looked all over ford forums for advice on replacing this part, I found very little in details. This past weekend a buddy and I attempted this chore and nearly quit twice. But we pushed ahead and fixed it. Here's how. The part itself runs around $50, estimates for replacing it ran between $600 - $1000. When you do it yourself, you'll see why. Buying a manual helped me very little. Being a novice mechanic, it did help me find a few parts I didn't know existed, that's about it.
Quick fix: Take the two radiator tubes that run into the heater core and tie them together. Go to a parts shop with the shorter hose to get it fitted with a connector ( basically a round plastic tube that goes inside each tube, this will bypasses the heater core. No more leaks in the cab of truck. Cheap fix, two hose clamps and the connector piece.
Winter is here and you've got to fix the SOB now! Tools needed - full socket set, extra socket extentions, small open face wrenchs 4mm - 9mm ( needed to reach tight bolts on fire wall ), Flat & Philips screwdriver, hex set, sharp knife, needle nose pliers, electrical tape, marker, plastic cups, an optimistic buddy and case of beer.
First step: If you've already bypassed the heater core then you don't have to drain your radiator. If not, go ahead and drain it. Next, loosen up one connection on your battery. You can keep it on for most of the job, but as you get closer to the steering column, you'll want to disconnect it to avoid setting off the airbag. You will have to pop off the dash to get to the large black plastic piece that houses the heater core. This process took me around 7 hours, remember I'm completely a novice. Start with the glove box and start unscrewing. The manual shows where many of the screws are, but the diagram is hard to understand. You'll find that many of the vents just pop right off, small side vents, smaller top vents, passenger side airbag compartment ( I don't have an airbag on that side so it just popped right off ). If you have an airbag there, I suggest asking a mechanic on what to do next. You can call a ford service shop, most mechanics will be helpful in telling you what to do. Next move over to the radio area and unscrew the screws holding it in place. Many screws are hidden underneath, once they are removed you can just pop it off. There will be many wires, two on the radio, power plug to the cigarette lighter along with a ground plug, antenna wire( it runs across the right side of the dash up into the corner, you'll want to pull it completely through when you dislodge the dash - it hangs up the dash if you don't ) just push in the release tabs and pop them off the radio. If you're worried about forgetting where they go, take some masking tape and label the wires with radio, cigarette lighters….etc. Next move over to the driver's side (POP THE HOOD FIRST) and unscrew the hood latch, tape the screws to the latch once removed ( I found that it helped if I taped the screws to the pieces they belonged to ). Unscrew the break release, then unscrew the panel under the steering wheel, plastic and metal. Then start on the instrument panel, airvent, fuse box ( watch out for the ground wire that runs to one of the gold bolts - driver's side - that hold the dash on, put a piece of tape on it so that you don't lose it, you should see it when you pop off the side plastic runners. To reach some of the screws near the door area, you will have to remove the bottom plastic piece ( on the left side of the pedals same on the other side, runner guard will have to be loosened to pop the bottom side pieces off. Also take off the plastic runner piece that runs along the door frame right inside the cab, both sides. They pop off easily. Also pop off the black plastic piece that runs the length of the dash near the windshield. You'll start to notice the gold colored bolts that secure the dash to the frame, two on the driver's side, one on the passenger's side, two above the dash under and another one(two?) on the passenger's side dash. Along with two smaller black screws near the windshield on the dash. Don't take them off just yet. Your truck should look like a disaster area.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

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Welcome-

here is the procedure for replacing heater core. i got the instruction out of a chiltons:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Allow the engine to cool down. Drain the cooling system to a level below the heater core fittings on the firewall.
  2. Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core tubes and plug hoses.
  3. remove the five nuts that secure the blower motor housing to the firewall.
  4. Pull the housing away from the firewall.Disconect any wire harness plugs which inhibit the housing.
  5. Remove the remaining nuts which secure the heater air plenum (insided the passenger compartment) to the firewall.
  6. In the passenger compartment, remove the instrument panel.
  7. Pull the heater plenum rearward from the firewall and remove it from the vehicle.
  8. Remove the heater core from the heater air plenum.
  9. Inspect all air seals on the components and firewall and replace any that are damaged.
  10. Install the heater core into the air plenum chamber.
  11. position the heater air plenum against the firewall from the passenger compartment.
  12. Under the hood, install the plenum retaining nuts.
  13. install the blower motor housing to the firewall and install the attaching nuts.
  14. Connect the heater hoses to the heater core tubes at the dash panel in the engine compartment. Do not over tighten the hose clamps.
  15. Install the instrument panel.
  16. Check the coolant level and add coolant as required. Connect the negative battery cable.
  17. Start the engine and check the system for coolant leaks.

if have anymore questions let me know

thank you for uasing fixya.com
happy holidays
Tom

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

  • Thomas Dec 19, 2008

    here is the procedure to take the instrument panel out:


    1. disconnect negative battery terminal

    2. disconnect instrument panel wiring harness in the engine department

    3. remove the 2 screws retaining the lower steering column cover and remove the cover

    4. remove ashtray and retainer

    5. remove the upper and lower column shrouds

    6. remove the instrument cluster finish panel. remove the radio assembly and equalizer, if equipped

    7. remove the screws retaining the instrument cluster. remove the cluster, making sure to disconnect the electrical leads

    8. remove the screw that attaches the instrument panel to the brake and clutch pedal support

    9. disconnect the wiring from the switches on the steering column

    10. remove the front inside pillar mouldings

    11. remove the right side cowl trim cover

    12. remove the lower right insulator from under the instrument panel

    13. remove the 2 bolts retaining the instrument panel to the lower right sideof the cowl

    14. remove the 2 screws retaining the instrument panel to the parking brake bracket, on the drivers side

    15. remove the 4 screws retaining the top of the instrument panel

    16. reach through the openings in the instrument panel and disconnect any remaining electrical connectors. disconnect the heater/ air conditioning controls.

    17. carefully tilt the instrument panel forward and remove it from the vehicle. work the instrument panel around the steering wheel.

    to install do everything in reverse.



    if you have any more questions let me know. sory it took so long to get back to you.



    thanks tom

  • Thomas Dec 19, 2008

    I also have an exploded view of the dash if you want it. but i can't upload it here, the file is to big for what they allow. let me know what you think.

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Wow those are really hard to access, i would defenetly rather take it to dealer , since you could end up braking something u dont want to mess with

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

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