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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 11-24-2004, 02:58 AM   #1
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Cleaning a heater core

Anyone have any luck cleaning a heater core in a 1st Gen 4Runner? I replaced the thermostat and the coolant hoses are hot going in and out of the core but I have minimal heat. I can only assume the heater core is plugged up, if I move the temp lever it gets cold or warm but never hot.

Should I bother trying to clean it or just buy a new one, money is tight with the holidays but it's getting cold real quick so if anyone has any thoughts/ideas let me know. A new one is about $110 from the auto parts store.
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:49 AM   #2
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Check to make sure the cable is connected under the heater box (pass side, bottom of the case) If both hoses are HOT, then the coolant is going through the core. We flushed my son's core, got good heat. Then a week later no heat.....found out a passenger had kicked that cable loose.

Might be out of adjustment too. Disconnect it and move the lever by hand, see if you get hot air.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:20 AM   #3
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I'll have to disconnect it and try that, the cable does move though but maybe not enough. What controls the cable to the heater valve in the engine compartment? I bypassed the valve since I originally thought this was my problem.

I thought the same thing that since both hoses are hot coolant is moving through the core but maybe not enough if it's clogged?

Thanks for your help

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Originally Posted by Yoda
Check to make sure the cable is connected under the heater box (pass side, bottom of the case) If both hoses are HOT, then the coolant is going through the core. We flushed my son's core, got good heat. Then a week later no heat.....found out a passenger had kicked that cable loose.

Might be out of adjustment too. Disconnect it and move the lever by hand, see if you get hot air.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:51 AM   #4
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Exclamation mine was plugged up!

If you do take it out and clean it use a soft brush or blow it out with compressed air, if you use water get it clean and rinse it with non chloronated water, if I remember correctly chlorene will corrode the metal! You may not even have to take it out, try just opening up the duct and blowing it backwards, then vaccum that crap out, mine got plugged up with a lot of cotton looking crap from the trees around here in the summer!
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Old 11-24-2004, 09:06 AM   #5
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I'll have to see if there is a lot of debris on the outside of the core, what I noticed is the first time I turn it on it's pretty hot for about 10-15 seconds and then it cools down. Turn it off and do it again and the same thing happens.
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:42 AM   #6
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off the subject..

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSRBIKER
I'll have to see if there is a lot of debris on the outside of the core, what I noticed is the first time I turn it on it's pretty hot for about 10-15 seconds and then it cools down. Turn it off and do it again and the same thing happens.
FSRbiker, is that a Specialized rig? I am a very avid mountain biker that is getting ready to buy a full suspension frame. I am looking at the new GT I-Drive XC1.0 since Ive ridden GT for YEARS! How do you like your FSR? if it is infact a mountain bike !
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:02 PM   #7
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I'm having the exact sme problem with my 85 4runner, had an 85 PU a few years ago with the same problem...still haven't figured it out. My 89's heater will burn your feet. I'm stumped.

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Old 12-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #8
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I removed a bunch of bolts and screws and was able to look inside the airbox by the passengers feet the other day and it has lots of leaves and debris. I cleaned a bunch out and now get some heat but this weekend I am going to use my air compressor to clean everything out. I think this will give me plenty of heat once its all cleaned out.

I do ride a 97 FSR, it's the same frame as the team was riding just aluminum. Great usable travel, my buddy with his old style I-Drive always enjoyed riding my bike
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:54 AM   #9
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also be sure that the door that switches from heat to cold isnt obstructed. that was the problem with mine, had same symptoms, hot hoses in/out but no heat. took EVERYTHING apart and found that door was stuck closed and the cable was bending. moved the door by hand and *poof*, hot as H&!! air through the vents now!!
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:54 AM
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