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  #1  
Old 09-09-2008, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
Posts: 51
Heater core replacement (howto guide with pictures)

I'd like to thank those that have taken time to write much information about heater core and blend door replacement. I decided to tackle this job myself and I found it to be easier than what I had expected. The time involved was fairly significant, but the overall difficulty of the job is something that anyone with a good socket set and assortment of other basic tools can tackle... saving hundreds of dollars in the process!

I used this document that I found in this forum post and it helped tremendously. I have a 2002 F150 and there were a couple of steps that differed a little. The illustrations in the document were sometimes difficult to interpret as well so I photo documented much of the process during reassembly and have created another document, complete with pictures, that is specific to my vehicle. It incorporates the tips that I found useful from the original document. It also skips the steps that are optional.

Here it is... http://www.michaelstaszewski.com/fil...eplacement.doc

EDIT: 5/17/2013 - my old domain, nator.net, has expired. I've posted the document to a new domain.

Enjoy!

Last edited by mstaszew; 05-17-2013 at 08:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2008, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
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I should have also noted in the guide that beer (and lots of it) is a necessary tool to complete this job. It also helps to have some good tunes and good weather. It was 90+ degrees and very humid here when I did it so I was dripping with sweat the entire day. The beer replenished the lost fluids and the tunes drowned out my cursing because I don't have a garage that is big enough to do this indoors.
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2008, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Awesome Info - Thanks!

My heater core started leaking the other day. Got a quote of over $1000 to fix from a decent shop. With the document above I knocked the replacement out with no problem. Only must have tool is a 13mm deep socket for dropping the steering column. Many thanks!
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2008, 02:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Are the heater core and blend door separate items? I see that people have trouble with the blend door, so this guide is posted. I see the blend door in the pics, but nowhere do I see part numbers for the blend door? Does it come attached to a new heater core or is it a separate part?

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2008, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Heater Core

Hey, Im reading so much about heater cores, I no longer know what my trouble is if anyone could help me decide. I have a 99 F-150 4.6 L truck, I smell a slight odor of antifreeze inside the truck, really strong when I run the heater and defrost, but I still have heat, I see no leaks, and Im not losing any level in my radiator, I should mention the smell of antifreeze is strong as soon as I turn on the heat, but mellows afterwards. I never flushed the system, which now I know I should after having 124,000 miles, would that help to do now and maybe try bar's leak, or does anyone know if this sounds famaliar to what they had. Any info in the right direction would be very appreciative and helpful.
Thanks
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  #6  
Old 11-16-2008, 05:37 PM
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sounds like your heater core is going bad. I have a 99 4x4 f150 started doing this about 4 days before the actual core went kerplow. I dcut on my heat and smoke poured out with that sypuryt seet smell of antifreeze and misted alll my windows I still had heat thought
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2008, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Vehicle: 1998 Ford F150 4.6
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cobrar97 View Post
Are the heater core and blend door separate items? I see that people have trouble with the blend door, so this guide is posted. I see the blend door in the pics, but nowhere do I see part numbers for the blend door? Does it come attached to a new heater core or is it a separate part?

Thanks

I could not get just the blend door. The dealers all quoted me a price of 375 bucks for the entire unit. I cracked the bottom of my blend door doing the heater core replacement and thought I would price out a new one and try the junkyard before I tried to fix the one I cracked. Even the junkyard would not just give up the blend door. You had to buy the entire thing.


Loop


PS...I could not have even attempted to do this without this write up. It was very, very easy with all the great pics and instructions. Kudos to those who wrote it up...it literally saves you hundreds of dollars to do it yourself.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2008, 09:20 PM
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Location: Lebanon, TN
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F150
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I bought a blend door at my local dealer last week for $41. They can get you one. I guess they'd rather make more money. Imagine a dealer wanting that. Good luck. Rich
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2008, 12:16 PM
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopmd View Post
Kudos to those who wrote it up...it literally saves you hundreds of dollars to do it yourself.
You are welcome. What I love about F150Online.com is that you have everyone from complete novices to experts that are more than willing to share experiences and advice. I am a shade tree mechanic that has nothing more than a decent set of hand tools, a high tolerance for consuming beer, a light wallet, and ambition. I couldn't have tackled this without the original document and thread that I referenced and I'm glad that you found help in the additional pics that I have added. I hope that you were as surprised as I was in how easy it is to save several hundred dollars with a little time and ambition
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2008, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Cypress, TX
Vehicle: 1998 Ford F150
Posts: 63
Lightbulb Special heater hose tool

Just getting ready to replace my heater core for the new year and have one comment about the special heater hose tool.

The tool costs $70 - $80, but, Auto Zone will lend you the tool for up to 90 days for free! They charge you $20 as a deposit and give you the $20 back when you return the tool.
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  #11  
Old 12-30-2008, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F 150
Posts: 82
Just cut the heater core input and output lines from inside the cab then push them thru the firewall into the engine compartment...the hoses are a snap to remove once you do that..and since the core is bad it does not matter that you cut it up...good luck with the replacement..i just did mine..went slow and took my time and it went extremely well.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2009, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Cypress, TX
Vehicle: 1998 Ford F150
Posts: 63
Never mind about the "Special Tool" from AutoZone, it's the wrong size. My dremel tool on the other hand was the perfect size.

Also, because my truck (and therefore the heater hoses) was 11 years old, I decided to replace the heater hoses at the same time...What a PITA!!! The radiator clamp for the back hose had obviously been installed prior to the engine being installed in the truck and was facing the firewall. It must have taken me three hours to pull that one hose!!! If you get the urge to replace the hoses here is what I finally ended-up doing.

Remove the front hose (this was easy and was installed with a screw type radiator clamp), but the rear hose was installed with a spring clamp type radiator hose clamp and the squeeze tabs were facing the firewall where I could not get pliers on it.
  • Loosen the man power fuse box from the firewall, and routed the old hose behind the fuse box. The allowed a near straight pull on the hose. (Note, I also had the battery completely removed, which gave me a little more working room)
  • As noted above, the squeeze tabs were facing the firewall, however, one of the two tabs were visible. I used two 12" long 3/8" ratchet extension to push on the one visible tab. This relieved some of the clamping force on the hose. (Note, it is very helpful to have a helper do this part)
  • While applying the pressure to the one tab I pulled like the devil on the hose. It slowly work it way out.

Note: the radiator hoses had been replaced several times in the past, but this was a first for the heater hoses.

Last edited by tbh999; 01-12-2009 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Added note about battery being removed
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:08 PM
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heater core

My core is bad and I will be working double shifts for the next 22 days. Can I avoid the core spilling it's guts if I simply don't use it?
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2009, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
thanks

First let me thank the people and replys to this post. Ijust replaced my heater core last Thursday. But I still have a problem if anyone has any input. Friday I drove from Missouri to Kentucky and heater worked fine. Today I drove back in very cold weather with no heat. Before I left I checked heater hoses and they were hot, checked vacum and vents moved as should.But no heat.Even drilled a hole in heater cover behind glove box. Door was closed so I wedged it open and plugged hole. Still no heat. None nothing nodda. Any ideals on what to check now.How does heat control work and what does it activate. Thanks ParttimeFordguy.
,
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2009, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotavele View Post
My core is bad and I will be working double shifts for the next 22 days. Can I avoid the core spilling it's guts if I simply don't use it?
I had to bypass mine. Pop hood look on firewaall you should see where coolant hose goes inside and a return hose right under it. Positioning should be more on passenger side toward the middle. No mess no heat
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:05 AM


 
 
 
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