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Drain the cooling system. Draining the cooling system will prevent toxic engine coolant from leaking into the passenger cabin of the vehicle during removal of the heater core. To drain the cooling system, simply disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator by loosening the hose clamp and pulling the hose off. Be sure to drain the fluid into a sealable container and dispose of the coolant at an appropriate disposal site.
2Pull the dashboard six inches rearward. In order to do this, you must remove the following parts; the center dash bolt (located under the defroster vent cover), the bolts under the driver and passenger kick boards, the bolt connecting the dashboard to the radio mount, and the the bolt connecting the dashboard to the rear of the glove box. The locations of these bolts are immediately apparent upon looking under the dash. Once you have removed these bolts, you can pull the dashboard rearward and secure it.
3Remove the heater core box. The heater core box is a black plastic box that surrounds the heater core. This part should be visible when looking down into the dashboard from the passenger side seat. Remove the two bolts on top holding it to the firewall and another on the bottom near the foot well. After removal of these bolts, the heater core and box are attached to the vehicle only by the coolant lines, which you can now disconnect by reaching into the box and pulling them off of the heater core (you may have to loosen the clamps first).
4Install the new heater core. This is accomplished by applying steps 1 through 3 in reverse order; re-connect heater core coolant line, re-install heater core box (be sure to apply silicon sealant to the edges of the box, hermetically sealing it), replace the dashboard and install bolts, and re-fill the cooling system.
The heater core is located behind the dashboard, on the passenger side. Steam from the vent and an antifreeze smell is a decimate sign that the heater core is leaking and needs replacement. The procedure for removal and installation varies depending on your make and model, your profile says only "ford cars and trucks" so I can't say off the top of my head if your vehicle is an easy job or a hard one. A simple instalation would involve removing only an access panel under the dash and maybe the glove box door. Difficult ones can require removal of the entire dashboard. Look through a repair manual for your make and model (available at almost any parts store) to see how your heater core is accessed and decide if you can do the job yourself. Good luck.
The problem is the heater core leaking behind the dashboard.
Heater CoreRemoval & Installation1997-2002To Remove: NOTE: Heater core must be vacuum leak tested before it is remove from vehicle if a heater core leak is suspected.
Drain engine coolant.
Remove instrument panel.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, remove junction splash shield.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, disconnect starter relay cable.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, remove junction block bracket.
Clamp inlet and outlet heater hoses.
Disconnect heater hose from heater core by gently pressing it toward heater core.
Remove A/C plenum demister adapter.
Disconnect vacuum line.
Remove 13 plenum chamber top screws.
Remove blend door assembly from case.
Remove heater core.
To Install: NOTE: If needed, clean and lubricate coolant hoses with plain water.
Install heater core.
Install blend door assembly to case.
Install 13 plenum chamber top screws.
Connect vacuum line.
Install A/C plenum demister adapter.
Connect heater hose to heater core.
Release all clamps from inlet and outlet heater hoses.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, install junction block bracket.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, connect starter relay cable.
For 5.4L (4V), if quipped, install junction splash shield.
If leaking coolant under dash on passenger side floor broad it's your heater core. Call's for 2.8 labor flat time to remove heater core, in some case's you'll have to recover, evacuate and recharge your A/C system to remove your heater core.Sit under dash on passenger side.
It is not easy. you have to remove the old heater core under the dashboard.First you remove the hoses at the firewall going into the cab.You have to drain the coolant and be careful not to spill it when the core is removed. Then you remove the core which is attached with some small bolts and screws. It is uncomfortable to say the least. But it can be done . Did you try to flush out the old heater core ? Sometimes you can flush out the heater core by removing the hoses from the heater core attachment lines . Not the ones to the firewall. See which one is the inlet and the outlet. Run a hose with a good amount of preassure not a lot. you don't want to rupture the core. Run the water into the inlet and it will come out the outlet hose. Flush it to remove all debris until all you see is clear water coming out.Then reverse the hoses and place the hose on the outlet and it will come out the inlet. If the core is leaking you will see a wet spot in the carpet under the dash. Then the heater core has to be replaced.
Yup, I've done the same thing before. You have to just find a tube of some sort that is small enough to fit inside the hose's going to and from the heater core. Remove both hoses from the heater core, insert the tube into the hoses and put some clamps on both sides nice and tight! Good luck