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My PDF manual shows a coolant bypass pipe. I will try to look for it on my engine, later. If you can remove the hoses that go to and from the heater core, you could try to flow water through them. They may be hard to get at where they go to the core, but try to follow them to where they go in the engine compartment and remove them there. I also know of a situation many years ago in which the coolant lines were reversed going into the core. Once the system went empty during some repair, the core would not refill as there was trapped air, in the core, and the coolant would just flow in through the top pipe and run out the bottom, without flowing through much of the core.
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.
Find two small hoses, probably about as big around as a man's thumb and black. These are not wire bundles. They go into the firewall behind the engine, most likely on the passenger side. Take off the hose clamps and pull the hoses off the heater core ends, Buy yourself a short piece of pipe the same size as the heater core, put the hoses on either end and tighten down the hose clamps. Anchor it somewhere with zip ties so it does not flop around under the hood and you are done. Move south, going to be cold in there this winter. You are not going to have any defroster either..
The heater is located under the dash board to the right and down from the radio. To remove and replace it you will have to remove the dash board down to the fire wall. Also, you will have to disconnect two hoses that connect up to it from the engine compartment. These are located in the back of the engine and down on the firewall about midway. Once you remove the dash board and locate the heater core you will be able to see the location of these two hoses. Removing the heater core is time consuming but it will save you about 700 dollars.