Question about 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

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How to change heater core in 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 PU

I have been told that this is a very difficult to change and the repair shop wants a lot of money. Is there an easier way to change this or do you really have to take out the entire dash?

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  • Tip Tipton Feb 19, 2009

    2002 Dodge Ram 1500 4x2, 102000 miles. On the way to town today the windows fogged up and I got a strong wiff of anti-freeze. What I have gathered thus far: AC must be pumped down, the dash will have to be removed to gain access, and must make sure the air duct is absolutely dry in order to prevent mold build up. Knowing all of this can any one give step by step?

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The simplest way to tell you how to do this is to go get yourself a chilton book. The process isn't too long, but a bit tedious and 3-6 hours of fun...

first off, disconnect your battery for at least 30 min before touching any plugs or harnesses. next, bleed your A/C and disconnect the quick connects that go inside the firewall. drain your coolant, and disconnect hoses from firewall. note a certain bolt with nut on it that is going to the inside of the firewall, you'll need to take that off when you get to the airbox inside the truck which houses your heater core. next, take off the pillar handles next to the windshield, then pop off the plastic dash panel with defroster vents. there are a few bolts up there that need to be taken out all the way across. next, take off your glove box. remove plastic below the drink carrier. there are 2 bolts there on left and right once you remove the plastic. there's a yellow or red AirBag plug which you may or may not need to disconnect later. next, drop down the whole steering wheel column. 4 bolts I believe. look up under there on both sides, you will see a 2inch piece of tubing that goes from each side of the truck. your dash and everything you see in front of you is connected to that tube. find on each side of the truck where that tube is mounted to the body with brackets. There are 2-3 bolts on each side I think. When you get those out, and the steering wheel is sitting in the seat or on the floor, the whole dash and panel should tilt and lay on the seats. there are wires from your a/c controls and radio which you'll have to disconnect and some various other wires as well. I also think you'll have to disconnect a harness plug with bolt in it on the drivers side. (white) after you've done all that and don't have the dash and panel in a bind with wire hangups you can now get to the air box. I don't remember how many bolts, but don't forget the one in the engine bay going to it also. get the box unbolted, then roll it up, remove 2 clips holding the heater core in, replace heater core and do this whole process backwards. Hopefully you didn't lose any screws or bolts. charge your a/c, replace coolant, make sure all plugs are connected before connecting power. Should save you $400-$500 in labor.

Posted on Apr 21, 2010

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Yes. the job is a pain. the heater core is a small radiator in your air ducting in your dash

Posted on Feb 18, 2009

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