So here we are on the eve of the largest cruise event in Michigan - the Woodward Dream Cruise - and I decide to tear into my Sunbird...
I tightened the serpentine belt that relaxed after I put it together. I thought I overtightened enough on the initial install but I guess not.
I flipped a coin and decided to do the heater core first, then the axle. I need the heat for night time cruising. I will probably do both axles at once and do the seals too so it will be a more involved job - or so I thought.
I have the underside of the dash pulled apart on what I would call the lunch tray under the heater core. It appears to be loose but will not come out. I went under the hood and loosened the two 10mm bolts that appeared to be holding the core in and took the little rubber end off of the drain tube. The service manual says remove the tube when under the car. It does not seem to want to come out. It also says pull it straight off on the inside of the car. I was able to bend it a bit and see the heater core and the clips that hold it. Is there anything inside that needs to be loosened before it comes off?
Orlen - any flashbacks?
Wish I could help however I have yet the need to replace mine.It has been done say 15 yrs ago or more.Kinda of no idea to even suggest.
I thought they were just strapped in? I never replaced mine. It's still original from 89. I looked at it when I pulled my dash.
On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
it has 2 straps that hold it in did you get those off (inside the car)
Paul, there are some screws that run vertical ( heads are pointed down)in the back at the bottom of that "lunch tray" behind the carpet and are a pain to access. That tray will have to come out to remove your prize.....
Those screws are just as hard or harder to replace unfortunately.....
ok, just to re-iterate - first time for me on the heater core. I have had the dash apart before do no trouble there until we get to the cover over the heater core. I am having trouble removing the plastic cover that runs under it from the inside. I have the shop manual and have followed the steps I felt all around the lip of it and got all the screws - even the fun ones Orlen mentioned at the back. I am not having a problem removing the core (yet).
So, the one thing that may be a contributing factor is the drain. I have a little rubber hose that goes over a plastic drain outlet (where my leak originated). I took off the rubber hose. The maual says to remove the drain tube from under the car. The drain tube (in the pick below with the rubber elbow on) appears to be part of the tray itself and would appear to pull out from under the dash. The service manual mentions to remove it...
I was just telling a buddy of mine yesterday how much this car has taught me. Looks like I am not done learning yet...
One other thing, there are two 10mm bolts - one you can see in the pic above - that seem like they should come out. I removed them but now thinking maybe they hold something in so the cover can pop off.
THE PRIZE IS MINE...
I didn't need to remove the two 10 mm bolts from the firewall.
Good Job. Still have the original 1984 one in mine and I'm not looking forward to replacing it.
It is not really that bad of a job but I am not finding any replacements that look right. The non AC ones are all over but have much shorter tubes. It looks like the $150 replacement will be my single option. Makes sense. Everything for this car costs 3x what it should. I am taking the core around and shopping to see if I can find a cheaper option.
Advance says they can get one for my AC application for $40 or so. We will find out - Stay Tuned!
Curious , what was the problem you had to overcome to extract the core in the end?
Orlen - on the cover (which was my big problem) - there were two blind bolts in the middle. I got one right away and was focusing on the perimeter bolts. Once I found the elusive second middle bolt it came right off. The core was an easy extract with the straps on bolh sides - no drama there.
Getting excited now - I am going to Advance in an hour to see if the core came in.
The ordered part from Advance looks just like the non-AC version. But my part does have some marks on it that may help - Harrison 84F.
For some reason this reminds me of an Indiana Jones movie
Hope your search ends soon and isn't too costly.
Did you try rockauto.com?
I did a quick search guessing at you specs using 86 Sunbird 1.8 Turbo under heat and AC. They picture several different styles and the AC one is different than the non AC heater core. I have always had good luck when buying from them. Their packages usually arrive in 4 days to my place. If you do a search for rockauto coupons. You can usually find 5% off ones on the internet. You copy the long coupon number string and paste it into the "how did you hear about us" box and when you check out it should discount then, if not before. I have even called them right after placing an order to have the 5% applied the first time I tried using and could get it to work because I didn't know what I was doing. The guy on the phone was nice and got things straightened out with no hassles.
Hope that helps and that you get this issue resolved as quickly as you need.
Thanks for the suggestion. I ended up getting the correct temp sending unit from them for my last challenge. The parts they show for the heater core w/AC is the same one I received from Advance. Interesting though - it looks liek this Harrison 84f heater core was used in the Third Gen Camaro / Firebird as well. If so, this is the second odd part I have found that interchanges between J and F cars.
Paul the A/C core on the Pontiacs is suppose to be the same core on 67 Camaro/Firebird WithOut A/C!! How 'bout that......
The one WITHOUT A/C has 12 cores
The on WITH A/C has 14 cores
Why not take it and have it fixed? There are radiator repair shops. Since its coper it is worth fixing. I never replaced mine because the aftermarkets are aluminum.
On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
The 14 core one is what evryone wants to give me but it is obviously not the right part for my application
. I started doing research on the Harrison 84F and am learning a lot.
Rob - I was given a price of $150 to replace from the shop that rebuilt my radiator 10 years ago. I am going to take it in and see if they can do better. I had to get it out so I had something to shop around with first
I had a thought Paul. ......
If both cores are the same thickness - wonder if you can play with the straps and get a 12 core to fit in there. Maybe a bit of Styrofoam or foam packed it to take up the extra space left by the smaller to keep the airflow going where it is suppose to. Heck the Styrofoam might just work itself to take up the lost space and allow you to use the stock straps.
Any port in a storm they always say.
I took it in to Four Seasons Radiator - the same outfit that did my radiator 10 years ago. They had originally given me the $150 quote. I explained that I didn't really want to spend that much and they said they would do some research for me. They found a core that will fir for me. They will buy the core and weld my tanks to it and pressure test it - all copper nickel like OEM for about $90.
I should have it in a couple of days.
ok, here are some pics. I was able to get a whole new unit, but it is a bout 1/2 an inch to short so I had to modify the brackets...
A little brass and some rivets did the trick. It is back in but yet to install the cover and dash closeouts. Too darn hot!
Inquiring minds want to know!!
Where did you finally get a new one from? Since it is smaller is it the Non - A/C style or did you find another make & model that was a close fit? Can you get it off the Internet?
1/2 inch translates to just 1/4 each side so adapting it ought to be fairly easy.
Wish your photos were bigger - I want to see.......More!!
Well that is good you found a new unit.I might doodle on checking mine later in sept even tho no issues just checking.Cool new parts