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Username Post: Uggh leaky heater core what to do?        (Topic#355613)
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 37

Reg: 03-12-19
03-14-19 01:55 PM - Post#2762076    

So I find out my 66 ragtop is what you call a summertime car meaning no heater cuz the core is leaking. My question is how hard are these for a novice like myself to try to tackle? Should I stick to paying folks (which a tight wad like myself hates doing) or is it something that with a buddy who’s more mechanically inclined is a doable task? Anyone here have experience changing one of these cores out? What am I looking at time wise and such? Do you go in from the interior or under hood? I’ve had a ton of these cars and not one has had a problem like this. Suns coming out around here again and don’t wanna have my ragtop sitting in pieces when I could be driving it. Even if it’s without a heater



 
Ecklers AutoMotive
Gaspains 
"5th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 290
Gaspains
Loc: Mankato, MN
Reg: 11-23-09
03-14-19 03:57 PM - Post#2762083    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

Quick fix. Drain your coolant then pull the two hoses off the heater core connections under the hood and use a piece of tubing and hose clamps to tie the hoses to each other. Refill the cooling system.

I’ve done this while I waited for a new core to come in but still wanted to a drive. It won’t hurt anything and stops leakage through the core.

Someone else can explain the replacement process!

Kevin
1965 Impala SS Coupe
Regal Red with Black Interior
L74 327
M-20
3.31 One-wheel wonder, 12 bolt

65-66 FSCC #512


 
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 37

Reg: 03-12-19
03-14-19 04:03 PM - Post#2762084    
    In response to Gaspains

That’s what I did when I found out it was leaky. Thanks for the reply though!! Anyone else’s wanna chime in?



 
rick1965 
Poster
Posts: 80

Loc: joliet ill
Reg: 12-07-16
03-14-19 06:00 PM - Post#2762094    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

first off the big question is do you have a/c ?? if you do it can be a p i t a.. if you dont, it isnt too tough of a job to remove the firewall cover that contains the heater core and change it out. while your in there might as well replace the old blower motor also..no telling how much time it has on it. it will come out with the cover since its bolted to it.



 
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 37

Reg: 03-12-19
03-14-19 06:36 PM - Post#2762096    
    In response to rick1965

No A/C. I wish though! Might not wish it was if I had to change the core out of an air car though huh? But yeah just a plain Jane impala no fancy do dads just a convertible top and power steering. Gonna try to tackle this next week unless someone advises me otherwise. A buddy told me I might be having to remove the fender and a bunch of other crap so that kinda scared me.



 
Oshawa65SS 
Contributor
Posts: 891

Age: 58
Loc: Burnaby BC Canada
Reg: 09-22-14
03-14-19 06:48 PM - Post#2762098    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

I removed my non a/c heater box so I could get the core redone.
The heater box has studs which the cover in the engine bay fits over secured by sealer filled Pal nuts.
The bottom passenger side corner nut is tough to get at, but I did it without disturbing the inner fender mounting.
I reached and worked a box end wrench in there and managed to get a little twist at a time to loosen it.
It's been awhile but I remember trying some different length and offset types of wrenches before finding a suitable one for reach angle and clearance.
Thankfully Pal nuts don't fight to come loose so it's not too bad and eventually spins off with patience.
No way was I loosening and shifting the position of a painted and detailed inner fender.
Anyway, get that bottom corner nut first, then the others are easy access, but work on the interior next before removing the other nuts.
Remove the glove box by removing the perimeter screws including the the door since the box is sandwiched by it.
Careful of the switch/lamp wire.
The glove box has a slit for it to pass thru, but if its easier to remove the bulb and slide the hook terminal out of the switch you can do that.
Battery disconnected, that terminal isn't fused and is always hot.
With the glove box gone, pull the internal tooth retainers securing the cables to the heater box, and unplug the harness.
Go back under the hood and remove the hoses and the firewall cover Pal nuts and cover.
The box is ready to come out on the inside now.
That's basically it, it's been awhile since I did the job so I might have left out a detail or two, but once you're working on the car you'll see what to do.

Ryan

65 Impala SS convertible 283 2V with Powerglide and 10 bolt 3.08 open
Build date Dec. 21 '64 Oshawa


 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1529
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
03-14-19 07:30 PM - Post#2762101    
    In response to Oshawa65SS

It's not a big deal to do a heater core on these. It's the blower motor that is the bigger deal.

Disconnect the heater hoses, remove the 4 nuts on the firewall side of the box you can get to. Leave the ones up at and around the blower motor. Follow Cliffs instructions on the glove box and cable removal. The defroster ducting is attached to the box as well.
Then...this is the key, from inside, drill off the end of the SOB stud (triangle/intact) on the bottom right of the box. (see picture, circle is the one removed) Work the box free of the sealant. The firewall side box will stay in place with the nuts around the blower.
Install the new core. Reassemble with new sealant. Thread on and tighten up the 4 speednuts removed (plus the blower wire clip). Don't bother with that bottom right stud you drilled off. You won't need it. Fill the hole with sealer from inside the car.

The other method is to pull your wheel housing away from the fender, remove the fender entirely or fight that difficult nut... Remove the stud, much faster!

How does this nightmare look?


Below; Arrow points to the area of the nut that's very difficult to access firewall side.




Cheers,

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 37

Reg: 03-12-19
03-14-19 08:56 PM - Post#2762103    
    In response to mjc1

Now that’s how you show someone what to do! Thanks guys! Mjc1 you went above and beyond for me



 
Oshawa65SS 
Contributor
Posts: 891

Age: 58
Loc: Burnaby BC Canada
Reg: 09-22-14
03-14-19 10:26 PM - Post#2762108    
    In response to mjc1

That's right, I remember now leaving the firewall cover in place with the nuts around the blower motor and just using some generic bolts/nuts/washers to secure the cover in the heater box area while the heater box was out.
Thinking of the next guy to do the core, that bottom corner nut didn't go back on.
It's in a labeled zip lock bag to go with the car if somebody's super keen to use it.

Ryan

65 Impala SS convertible 283 2V with Powerglide and 10 bolt 3.08 open
Build date Dec. 21 '64 Oshawa


 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1529
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
03-15-19 06:07 AM - Post#2762125    
    In response to Oshawa65SS

You're welcome C,

Sorry Ryan I mistook you for Cliff, Doh!

Like you said Ryan, with a lot of fussing, it is possible to get all the nuts off, and even the two self tapping bolts at the blower end. I tried for a little bit on my difficult one, then gave up and drilled it out. I was able to get the two around the blower by hand. The bottom one I used a series of extensions with the ratchet inside the fender all the way up at the battery.

Tip; use a center punch to make a starting dimple on the back end of the stud before drilling it off. The stud itself is very soft and the end is thin, so it's not a fight to drill it off.

Like Rick suggested about it being a good time to change the blower; I actually unbolted the blower from the plenum (5 ST bolts), pulled it out, turned it sideways and removed the retaining nut from the blower cage. Then separated the motor and cage. (I was surprised they came apart owing that everything was pretty rusty). This way I was able to finagle both out. The assembly will not come out (from inside the fender) as a unit, and the plenum cannot be removed with the blower in place.

Tip; remove the passenger side hood hinge to give better access if removing the blower on the 65-66.



1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
Tri5man 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3752
Tri5man
Loc: Possums Crotch, KY
Reg: 06-26-07
03-15-19 07:33 AM - Post#2762133    
    In response to mjc1

What ever you do not replace your leaking core with a Chinese repop. Its not uncommon for them to leak at the hose connections just after installation.



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1529
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
03-15-19 09:25 AM - Post#2762145    
    In response to Tri5man

I bought a Spectra Premium 94531 Aluminum core. Not tested yet, but looks to be of very good quality. Got it from my local parts place. Bought it on the Spectra name reputation. It's offshore.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=946934...

Unfortunately unless you can find good NOS, I think most all NEW cores now are probably Chinese. Could be wrong.

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
fsc66 
Contributor
Posts: 722

Loc:
Reg: 05-05-12
03-16-19 10:40 AM - Post#2762233    
    In response to mjc1

Or send yours out to be rebuilt.
Paul





 
shoeboxpaul 
Poster
Posts: 18
shoeboxpaul
Age: 71
Loc: New Freedom, PA
Reg: 08-15-16
03-18-19 01:03 PM - Post#2762392    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

I just checked with Rock Auto. They have a brand new heater core from Spectra (aluminum) for $33.79 plus shipping. Get a new one, then, take your time to see about getting the original fixed and motor on.




 
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