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Re: Can't find heater core 97' F150 XLT
I did the heater core on mine a couple years back. Yes, you will need to remove the dashboard. The heater core is on the passenger side behind the glove box. It is not exposed, it is inside a black box type housing.
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96' or 97' it makes a big difference. 96' models are very simple if you have a basic understanding of automotive work and some basic tools. remove the glove box, the heater core is located behind a panel just inside and below the glove box hole. first remove the plastic panel but not the heater core, to the left of the heater core inside the box is the blend door that separates the heater and A/C cores. this door is often obstructed by pens, pencils, or plastic junk that have fallen down into the defrost vents on top of the dash and landed in the box. something like this will stop the blend door from being able to close the A/C core off from the vents allowing cold air in. if you have big hands like mine you may need a woman or teenager to reach into the box and check for debris but you can see the door open and close when you turn the switch so you know where to check. if you have a 97' model the blend door actuator is electric and usually not accessible without removing the dash and heater/A/C box from the firewall. good luck
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.
if it is just the rubber hose going in, the rubber hose can be replaced. if the aluminum tube coming out of the firewall is leaking, it it part of the heater core, and the whole core will need to be replaced. good luck!
The inlet/outlet pipes (tubing) is an integral part of the heater core. If the actual core is leaking, you 'll need to remove and replace or repair the heater core. Be sure it's not the hose that is failing ... alot easier and cheaper to change out a hose and clamps...
To start if your truck overheats in about the first 10 minutes after starting and you have a surging or bubbling noise then your thermostat is stuck and needs to be replaced. Also if your radiator coolant appears to be rusty your heater core may be plugged. So, while you are replacing the thermostat back flush the heater core also. Also check your radiator internally to see if it needs to be rodded and cored. It may have poor flow characteristics due to obstructions in the tubes from deposits and rust. This should fix all your cooling problems at once if you address all the above items.
This is a really easy job, disconnect the heater hoses at the firewall, go inside the truck on the passenger side there is a plastic panel/cover over the core, 6 bolts/screws I think, remove the cover pull the core, tops 1 hour, as job at work I did them in 20 minutes.