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rfdaccount

rfdaccount 12/12/2015

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 8 Cyl 4.70L

Preventive Maintenance

would like to know how to change the heater core?

Changed the thermostat but is still leaking want to know just what i need to do to change the heater core

3 Answers


Jimm

Jimm 12/12/2015

Have you determined / tested (using a pressure test) and confirmed the heater core is in fact leaking?

This is important, because replacing the heater core involves removing the entire instrument panel - very labor intensive (and costly) procedure.

The cabin air control box sits under/behind the dashboard. This box contains several air diverter flaps which are electrically controlled, the blower fan, and the heater core and A/C evaporator core. The entire dashboard has to come out, dropping the steering column, draining the radiator and A/C, and massive amounts of dismantling inside and under the hood.

Service Information
REMOVAL

WARNING: On vehicles equipped with airbags, disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column, or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. This is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Failure to take the proper precautions could result in accidental airbag deployment, possible personal injury or death.
NOTE: Disassembly of the HVAC housing is not required to remove heater core.
Remove the HVAC housing (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/DISTRIBUTION/HVAC HOUSING - REMOVAL).
Remove the foam seal from the heater core tubes.
If equipped with the Dual Zone system, remove the linkage rod from the actuator levers to gain access to the heater core (Heater Core - Dual Zone Shown, Single Zone Typical).
Remove the two screws that secure the heater core tube bracket to the HVAC housing.
Remove the heater core tube bracket.
Pull the heater core out of the HVAC housing.
Inspect all foam seals and repair or replace them as required
HVAC housing
Service Information
REMOVAL

WARNING: On vehicles equipped with airbags, disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column, or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. This is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Failure to take the proper precautions could result in an accidental airbag deployment, possible personal injury or death.
WARNING: Refer to the applicable warnings and cautions for this system before performing the following operation (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/PLUMBING - WARNINGS) and (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/PLUMBING - CAUTIONS). Failure to follow the warnings and cautions could result in possible personal injury or death.
NOTE: The HVAC housing must be removed from the vehicle and the two halves of the housing separated for service access of the heater core, evaporator coil, defrost door, blend door(s) and the recirculation door.
Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.
Drain the engine cooling system (Refer to 7 - COOLING - STANDARD PROCEDURE).
Recover the refrigerant from the refrigerant system (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/PLUMBING - STANDARD PROCEDURE - REFRIGERANT RECOVERY).
Disconnect the liquid refrigerant line fitting from the evaporator inlet tube (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/PLUMBING/REFRIGERANT LINE COUPLER - REMOVAL). Discard the O-ring seal and install plugs in, or tape over the opened liquid refrigerant line fitting and evaporator inlet tube.
Remove the accumulator (Refer to 24 - HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING/PLUMBING/ACCUMULATOR - REMOVAL). Discard the O-ring seals and install plugs in, or tape over the opened refrigerant line fittings and evaporator outlet tube.
Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core tubes. Install plugs in, or tape over the opened heater core tubes.
Remove the powertrain control module (PCM) from the engine compartment to gain access to the HVAC housing retaining nuts (Refer to 8 - ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC CONTROL MODULES/POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE - REMOVAL).
Remove the two nuts from the HVAC housing mounting studs in the engine compartment.
Remove the instrument panel from the vehicle (Refer to 23 - BODY/INSTRUMENT PANEL - REMOVAL).
Remove the bolt that secures the HVAC housing to the floor bracket located in the center of the vehicle (HVAC Housing - Dual Zone Shown, Single Zone Typical).
Remove the two nuts from the HVAC housing mounting studs in the passenger compartment.
Remove the HVAC housing from inside the vehicle. Take care not to allow any remaining coolant to drain onto the vehicles interior

This is only Part 1 of this task...

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Jimm

Jimm 12/12/2015

Part 2: Heater Core removal / replacement

Dash Assembly
Service Information
REMOVAL:

WARNING: ON VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AIRBAGS, DISABLE THE AIRBAG SYSTEM BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY STEERING WHEEL, STEERING COLUMN, SEAT BELT TENSIONER, OR INSTRUMENT PANEL COMPONENT DIAGNOSIS OR SERVICE. DISCONNECT AND ISOLATE THE BATTERY NEGATIVE (GROUND) CABLE, THEN WAIT TWO MINUTES FOR THE AIRBAG SYSTEM CAPACITOR TO DISCHARGE BEFORE PERFORMING FURTHER DIAGNOSIS OR SERVICE. THIS IS THE ONLY SURE WAY TO DISABLE THE AIRBAG SYSTEM. FAILURE TO TAKE THE PROPER PRECAUTIONS COULD RESULT IN ACCIDENTAL AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT AND POSSIBLE PERSONAL INJURY.
Remove the left a-pillar trim. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERIOR/A-PILLAR TRIM/GRAB HANDLE - REMOVAL)
Remove the top cover. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INSTRUMENT PANEL/INSTRUMENT PANEL TOP COVER - REMOVAL)
Disconnect the headliner harness electrical connector at the a-pillar.
Using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, from the notch on the bottom, remove the left side cover. (INSTRUMENT PANEL COVERS)
Remove the steering column. (Refer to 19 - STEERING/COLUMN - REMOVAL)
Remove the two bolts at the column support bracket. (COLUMN SUPPORT)
Remove the left cowl trim panel. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERIOR/COWL TRIM - REMOVAL)
Remove the instrument panel drivers side bezel. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INSTRUMENT PANEL/INSTRUMENT PANEL DRIVERS SIDE BEZEL - REMOVAL)
Remove the left side mounting bolts. (LEFT SIDE MOUNTING)
Disconnect the wire harness electrical connectors above the brake pedal. (WIRE HARNESS CONNECTORS)
Loosen the screws and remove the hood release handle from the bracket.
Disconnect the park brake release handle actuator rod.
Remove the air bag control module trim cover, if equipped. (INSTRUMENT PANEL COVERS)
Remove the floor console, if equipped. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERIOR/FLOOR CONSOLE - REMOVAL)
Remove the center bracket bolts. (CENTER MOUNTING BOLTS)
Disconnect the air bag control module electrical connector.
Remove the right cowl trim cover. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERIOR/COWL TRIM - REMOVAL)
Disconnect the two electrical connectors. (RIGHT WIRE HARNESS CONNECTIONS)
Disconnect the radio antenna. (ANTENNA CONNECTION)
Remove the one HVAC screw. (HVAC/INSTRUMENT PANEL MOUNTING)
Using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, from the notch on the bottom, remove the right end cap. (PASSENGER SIDE MOUNTING)
Remove the right a-pillar trim. (Refer to 23 - BODY/INTERIOR/A-PILLAR TRIM/GRAB HANDLE - REMOVAL)
Remove the two right side mounting bolts on the a-pillar and one right mounting bolt on the cowl side panel. (PASSENGER SIDE MOUNTING)
Remove the four top instrument panel screws. (UPPER COWL PANEL BOLTS)
Remove the two top instrument panel bolts and remove the instrument panel
NOTE when it says remove steering column just lay it down infront of the driver seat U dont need to take it out. move seat back all the way then it will sit down there put something over it so it wont get scrached up.

Hidden bolts when the steering is down

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Jimm

Jimm 12/12/2015

As stated previously - the parts are very inexpensive as compared to the shop labor cost - to replace the heater core on this vehicle.

Try these on-line vendors: www.autopartswarehouse.com, www.partsgeek.com, www.rockauto.com, www.partstrain.com - to list a few.

For example, they (RockAuto) list the replacement heater core from around $41.00 for your vehicle.

Heater core = SPECTRA PREMIUM / COOLING DEPOT part# 99331 or APDI/PRO part #9010454 - or their equivalent

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