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writeup: '89-'94 heater core replacement

Old 12-22-2010, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by blue_CA_yota View Post
Revival #3!!

I'm trying to get to the blower motor and airbox, without the intent to change my heater core.. I'm getting poor heat transfer from the core (which gets hot) to the air passing over it. I believe my core is caked in a layer of dirt and grime which is not insulating the core instead of allowing it to exchange heat to the air.. Seeing how dusty and gimey the outside of the dash is, which gets cleaned once in a while, I can only imagine how dirty the inside of the vetillation system is.

My question. Do I need to remove the upper part of the dash and the lateral brace to get to the heater box and faces of the heater core?
If you look at the fourth and third pics from the bottom of my initial post, it doesn't look promising for getting any of that out without removing the cross brace.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...arremoved2.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...uctremoved.jpg

I'm going to say yes, however you should definitely poke around in there first. Pull the glove box out, you might be able to remove that duct between the blower motor and heater core through there if you get creative, but that metal cross brace will be quite in your way.

Give it a go and let us know how you make out!

Edit: here's what you'll be looking at with the glove box removed:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...loveboxout.jpg

Last edited by shaeff; 12-22-2010 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:39 PM
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to be honest, heater core isnt that bad at all if anyone was wondering
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:10 PM
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True that. People just get scared about pulling the dash out.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:17 PM
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I decided to dig in yesterday and have not improved the heat in my truck.

on the first gen runner, it is possible to remove both the blower motor and centre duct without removing the lateral cross brace.. however you do have to remove the upper dash.. On the first gen runner the upper dash only goes to the drivers instrument cluster, so you have enough space..

In my case, the air conditioning exchanger was 2/3 clogged, so I was able to clean it out for better air flow.. my heater the system has increased tremendously, but they air isn't much warmer than before I started..

Good news, I was only left with 4 "extra" bolts, 3 of which I have no idea where they came from.. the fourth, well when the skin on my knuckles grows back, I still won't put that bolt back in.. what a PITA!
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:41 PM
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Ah, yeah the dash is one large piece on my Pickup, not sectioned like yours is. Have you checked your heater valve, located on the firewall? Make sure it's opening fully and that you have good coolant flow through it. Make sure the cable is actuating it fully. You could try popping the cable off and moving the valve by hand to verify.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:49 PM
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That is where I started in my quest for heat in november..
The valve is completely open, i disengaged the cable so that I (or anybody else) doesn't touch it. I flushed the heater core back in november and beautiful clean water poured out, and I have replaced the hoses..
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:00 PM
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Engine getting up to operating temperature? Thermostat functioning properly?

Man, my heat blows me out, makes my feet sweat, etc... I <3 heat!
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:09 PM
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Awesome write up and good timing as I'm thinking of swapping my HC out. Back flushed mine over 2 weeks ago and no leaks,but got a monster air pocket I'm working out. I replaced Tstat,water pump and radiator and was considering hC,but was reluctant till i saw this write up. Funny thing though...aldata says it takes one hour to do this job. I'm suprised the entire dash has to come out and hoping i really don't need to swap my HC,but kudos on this write up!!!
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shaeff View Post
Engine getting up to operating temperature? Thermostat functioning properly?

Man, my heat blows me out, makes my feet sweat, etc... I <3 heat!
My gauge cluster temp gauge stays pinned in the red zone, faulty gauge cluster. However new rad, water pump, and thermostat within the past year.

My last resort is to try to bleed out any air bubbles one last time. Otherwise it's mediocre heat this winter.. last winter I had NO heat whatsoever.. So at least I'm prepared physically for what's coming..
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:21 PM
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Great. I have a weekend/day off project. Much fun.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:35 AM
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93 SR5 V6 P/U heater core replaced

This thread was REALLY useful. Thanks to all (especially Shaeff). The Haynes manual was virtually useless, unfortunately. One issue I did have was the materials available for the core replacement. After market core is aluminium but the only connector pipe available is copper. Dissimilar metals. Anyone else have this situation and any problems arise because of it? I checked the dc voltage in the coolant and it's about .2v.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Taskwatch View Post
This thread was REALLY useful. Thanks to all (especially Shaeff). The Haynes manual was virtually useless, unfortunately. One issue I did have was the materials available for the core replacement. After market core is aluminium but the only connector pipe available is copper. Dissimilar metals. Anyone else have this situation and any problems arise because of it? I checked the dc voltage in the coolant and it's about .2v.
Glad it helped! The heater core I got is copper, so I was in luck. I believe I got it from CarQuest.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:28 PM
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Heater/AC Shut off

So I am in the process of replacing my heater core right now and began tearing apart before I got the heater core, well I got the core last night and read that I should flush the radiator before installing a new core. Well, with the dash torn out I decided to give it a go. I plugged in the instument panal back in place and a wiring harness that sits behind the glove box that looked big and important. With that done I figured it was ok to start the engine and begin flushing, so I started up the truck and began running water through the radiator with the heat on high. After about 5 min or so I hopped in the cab and was wondering why my temp guage hadnt risen a bit. In the process of picking up the instrument panal I moved or dropped (not hard) the panal and it hit the heat control unit and all the air shut down. Truck was running but no air/vent/ac period. I cant seem to figure out what happened?? Any ideas?
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:47 PM
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Maybe the power supply to the control unit was damaged or disconnected when you hit it. It's a plug that attaches to the drivers side of the control unit.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:43 PM
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After checking the fuses again today found out I indeed did blow a fuse thankfully. Guess I shouldnt check fuses in low light during the evenings. Now I feel stupid!!
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:24 PM
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There are no stupid questions..... just stupid results from not asking the questions!! take it from me! I've made my share of blunders....

I only knew the solution because I did that job. Thankfully this site existed because I probably wouldn't have had the guts to rip it all apart myself!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:52 PM
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Yeah, I might need to drink a little more liquid courage to keep on tearin into this. After getting all the dash off I found myself writing down every single step I have done and placed ever screw/bolt/nut into an individual baggy labeling them by each step. This is very complicating. Ive changed my timing belt, and all the rest of them, water pump and thermostat on my taco before but this job is way more involved with all these wires going every which direction and cables snapping into place. Right now I'm stuck at a point where Im tryin to slide out the unit the heater core is in but now I need to remove the air bag unit thing but nead a torx 35 screwdriver?? I have a torx 30 but its not quite the right size.. Really wish I had a 1996 tacoma.... anything but this 1995.5 taco I really have issues with repair manual due to the .5 year. I swear nothing ever matches.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:35 PM
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ya! good luck with it. Liquid courage is a good start! I don't have a shop manual for my 93 SR5 so I rely HEAVILY on this site.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:20 PM
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So after being gone for work all week I finally got to work on it yesterday. I had it alomost completely assembled minus a few pieces of plastic and decided to start the truck to make sure everything was going to work properly so I plugged all the electronics back together, connected the battery again and started it up great it works I though as I was beginning to feel proud of not having one extra screw laying around then I realized that the fuel guage was showing empty so I thought maybe it was empty so I drove towards the gas station and also noticed that the speedometer does not work. I came home checked all fuses twice! no dice. So I tore into the dash again and pulled out the instrument panel and saw that I did forget to plug the back of the panel into a cable that I beleive spins when the wheels turn thus turning the odometer, but that didnt fix my fuel guage/speedometer problem.... Any ideas. going through my useless chilton manual....
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:01 AM
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My instrument panel had only 4 different electrical plugs that attached to the back. There was no spinning cable. My SR5 is a 93. I can't imagine why the fuel/speedo isn't working. Maybe it was damaged when you dropped the panel on the heater controls or maybe the plug was damaged somehow. That's all I can think of.
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