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Differences in heater core replacement

This is a discussion on Differences in heater core replacement within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Recently while trying to change the infamous #8 plug, I managed to break loose one of my heater hoses (turns ...

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Differences in heater core replacement

    Recently while trying to change the infamous #8 plug, I managed to break loose one of my heater hoses (turns out the clamp slid off long ago). Anyway, I figured I had damaged the heater core and would have to replace it. Turns out I didn't, but the loose clamp was the reason I could always get a very slight coolant smell through my heater, but never used coolant, leaked, or got the smoked-up windows.

    My car is a '99. I have the GM manual set/Chilton's and I proceeded to educate myself on the heater core replacement, being I heard it was very involved. Good news!!! If you have anything from 1998 to (and including) the 2001 models, the replacement is fairly easy and only requires the removal of the glove box, other than the standard bolts/hoses associated with heater cores. Now the bad news, if you have a 2002 model; the procedure is much more involved and requires a lot of the dash area and components to be removed.

    Just wanted to put that tidbit out.

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    I hope youre right Jad! Im getting the smoked up windows and coolant smell in my 2001 WS6, so all I gotta do is remove the glove box and get to the heater? Anyone out there done a heater core in a 98 to 2001? Any advice would be appreciated. Im settting a time frame of 4hrs to complete, is this reasonable? Thanks.

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toneloc71sr View Post
    I hope youre right Jad! Im getting the smoked up windows and coolant smell in my 2001 WS6, so all I gotta do is remove the glove box and get to the heater? Anyone out there done a heater core in a 98 to 2001? Any advice would be appreciated. Im settting a time frame of 4hrs to complete, is this reasonable? Thanks.
    Good luck. I think you are in good shape with a 2001 model.

    Let us know how it pans out.

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    Thanks, hopefully I wont need it I did a search and found one guy here saying he needed special clamp tools to get to the clamps. Were you able to get to the clamps easy enough with regular pliers or do I need to go out and get clamp tools?

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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    hmm. . i wonder why they would have changed for 2002?

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toneloc71sr View Post
    Thanks, hopefully I wont need it I did a search and found one guy here saying he needed special clamp tools to get to the clamps. Were you able to get to the clamps easy enough with regular pliers or do I need to go out and get clamp tools?

    Get a clamp tool. It may not be absolutely required, but it will be worth the expense (less than $10) in making the job easier.

    Reach back to the firewall with regular pliers and see how good you are at manipulating those clamps. My big mitts didn't fare very well.

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    I did a heater core on my 97 and it is the same as the 98. It was actually very easy. The hardest part was getting the anti-freeze smell out of the car. It soaked the front and the back, and I had to steam clean the whole carpet!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9t8z28 View Post
    I did a heater core on my 97 and it is the same as the 98. It was actually very easy. The hardest part was getting the anti-freeze smell out of the car. It soaked the front and the back, and I had to steam clean the whole carpet!!
    I hate antifreeze, the stuff is garbage. You'd think, out of all the liquids in the world, that they could come up with a coolant that doesn't smell bad, isn't corrosive, and isn't toxic and environmentally damaging.

    All it really has to do is not freeze or corrode metal, and have the ability to absord and carry heat away (like water). I don't see whats so difficult about that, but apparently it has the world's greatest chemists stumped

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    So I did it last night. Wow, the inside of the car was very very easy, I was impressed how easy it was, only took me like 10mins to get down to the core. I was able to remove the clamps from the engine compartment side but must say that was the biggest hang up!!!! Took me like 1hr 20mins to remove two small clamps!! Theres a tool at sears that removes clamps easily:

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...pecialty+Tools

    But when I went to my local Sears, they were out! Would have saved me 1hr at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    hmm. . i wonder why they would have changed for 2002?
    misinformed?... 2002 was the same as 2001... no difference.
    firebirds from 1993 on are quite easy

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    Quote Originally Posted by jad628 View Post
    . Now the bad news, if you have a 2002 model; the procedure is much more involved and requires a lot of the dash area and components to be removed.

    you got this outta chilton's???

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD RECOVERY EXPERT View Post
    you got this outta chilton's???
    Either that, Haynes, or the GM manuals (set of 3). It didn't really matter to me since I have a '99, and the one time I inquired about having it done from a mechanic who had an '02 SS, he said it was a pain in the ass from the dash side.

    I just looked in Haynes and it says:

    Note: On 2002 models the entire instrument panel and cowl bracing must be removed to access the HVAC module, which must be removed from the car to access the heater core." Chapter 3, Page 9, Section 11.


    All theoretical study from my standpoint for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jad628 View Post
    Either that, Haynes, or the GM manuals (set of 3). It didn't really matter to me since I have a '99, and the one time I inquired about having it done from a mechanic who had an '02 SS, he said it was a pain in the ass from the dash side.

    I just looked in Haynes and it says:

    Note: On 2002 models the entire instrument panel and cowl bracing must be removed to access the HVAC module, which must be removed from the car to access the heater core." Chapter 3, Page 9, Section 11.


    All theoretical study from my standpoint for now.
    ^That can't be true!^

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9t8z28 View Post
    ^That can't be true!^
    I didn't print the thing!!! That's what it says though.

    I don't have a 2002 so I can't say for sure.

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    we arent callin you a liar. just wanna do some research as to why gm would have changed the last year when they knew it was doomed some time ahead.
    Last edited by FORD RECOVERY EXPERT; 03-09-2008 at 12:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD RECOVERY EXPERT View Post
    we arent callin you a liar. just wanna do some research as to why gm would have changed the last year when they new it was doomed some time ahead.
    X2.....

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    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD RECOVERY EXPERT View Post
    we arent callin you a liar. just wanna do some research as to why gm would have changed the last year when they knew it was doomed some time ahead.

    If ya'll find out, please let everybody know. I didn't understand it either, but there it was in B&W.

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