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writeup: '89-'94 heater core replacement

Old 01-18-2013, 12:52 PM
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Hey Shaeff, nice write-up - thanks for posting this!

Where did you get your core? I looked for one on Toyota Parts East and no longer available. granted, my truck's an '87. I originally just picked one up at Advance, but they don't have all that great of quality parts in my experience, and I remember reading someone else posting to buy only OEM bc he bought aftermarket and it leaked.
I ended up ordering this one off USAutoParts




I haven't yet pulled mine apart. how exactly do the pipes fasten into the core?

I ordered clips and screws and some other thing they call a clamp (10010), which I think has to be some sort of gasket. When you mentioned that you replaced the gasket, what does it look like?

Please ref the two highlighted parts in the diagram below.
was there an o-ring or something as well?
do the pipes just slide into the core?




Originally Posted by shaeff View Post
i don't know how much demand there is for this, but i decided to do it anyway. i took some pics along the way when i replaced my heater core. maybe they'll help some people. i had done the heater core on my supra, so this was actually easier.

keep in mind that my truck has no A/C.

click the pics for larger versions:

the full dash before i started. (a bit dirty, heh)


-shaeff

Last edited by yodta; 01-25-2013 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:52 PM
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yodta- You're welcome.

I got my core at CarQuest, I believe. It was five years ago, so my memory could be spotty.

There is a flange where the two pipes meet, and a sort of circlip that locks them together. Then, as extra precaution, the parts ending in 89105 screw down to the plastic heater core duct work and secure the circlips in place, and hold the pipes to the plastic to prevent them from moving around.

There are o-rings that go between the pipe flanges.

Here:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...dstripping.jpg

See the silver piece tab that's screwed down over the pipe? Under that, there is a clip that holds the two pipes together. I always hated that design, and on a few past Toyotas I've had a local radiator shop solder the two pipes together to prevent any leakage.

Definitely replace the o-rings if your core didn't come with new ones.

Last edited by shaeff; 01-18-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:57 AM
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My defrost/floor heat cable has slipped, can't get full defrost, thanks for the pics, this will make it much easier. Also, where did you get those floor mats, they fit perfectly.

Last edited by JohnnyCanuck; 01-19-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:08 AM
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awesome, thanks man.
yeah, the Advance one didn't come with o-rings. I'll see what I get with the USAutoParts one and what comes with the bits I ordered from Toyota.

Originally Posted by shaeff View Post
yodta- You're welcome.

I got my core at CarQuest, I believe. It was five years ago, so my memory could be spotty.

There is a flange where the two pipes meet, and a sort of circlip that locks them together. Then, as extra precaution, the parts ending in 89105 screw down to the plastic heater core duct work and secure the circlips in place, and hold the pipes to the plastic to prevent them from moving around.

There are o-rings that go between the pipe flanges.

Here:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...dstripping.jpg

See the silver piece tab that's screwed down over the pipe? Under that, there is a clip that holds the two pipes together. I always hated that design, and on a few past Toyotas I've had a local radiator shop solder the two pipes together to prevent any leakage.

Definitely replace the o-rings if your core didn't come with new ones.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:53 AM
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Okay, so the heater core arrived from US Auto Parts. Def nicer build quality than the one I got from advance. Has greater fin density, too, but not exactly sure what that means for heat.

Anyway, got the other parts from Toyota, as well - no o-rings, and Toyota doesn't seem to carry these? Will have to try some other places, but recommendations welcome.

Heater Core
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Clip that goes under the bracket; I guess this is the piece that holds the two pipe flanges together?
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Another view of the top of the heater core
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by yodta View Post
Okay, so the heater core arrived from US Auto Parts. Def nicer build quality than the one I got from advance. Has greater fin density, too, but not exactly sure what that means for heat.

Anyway, got the other parts from Toyota, as well - no o-rings, and Toyota doesn't seem to carry these? Will have to try some other places, but recommendations welcome.

Clip that goes under the bracket; I guess this is the piece that holds the two pipe flanges together?
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p...ps6d447493.jpg
Correct.

You sure your parts guy is looking them up correctly? (the o-rings) I didn't have any trouble walking in and getting what I needed.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:37 PM
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I was just going by what I saw on Toyota Parts East. I put in an online request at a local Toyota dealer, too, and haven't heard back. will prob stop by sometime this week.

did you get your o-rings from Carquest or from the dealer?

Originally Posted by shaeff View Post
Correct.

You sure your parts guy is looking them up correctly? (the o-rings) I didn't have any trouble walking in and getting what I needed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by yodta View Post
I was just going by what I saw on Toyota Parts East. I put in an online request at a local Toyota dealer, too, and haven't heard back. will prob stop by sometime this week.

did you get your o-rings from Carquest or from the dealer?
CarQuest just wanted me to bring them in to properly size them with some of their off-the-shelf pieces. I don't trust that, mainly because if they do leak it would be a real pain to pull back out just to fix two o-rings.

I got mine from my local Toyota dealer. They're awesome, and always hook me up with rock bottom pricing.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:56 AM
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alright man, good info, thanks. I'll give them a call directly to see if they can get them.
haha, lucky! - my dealer always charges me full price no matter what I'm ordering.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:39 AM
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1st gen 4runner core replacement time

Hey gang I am a frequent browser but infrequent poster here at yotatech and I had a few questions regarding heater core replacements. I know this is an older thread but It seems like an appropriate place to ask the questions and for everyone to see good answers to them:

1) Is there a particular brand of aftermarket heater cores that are better than others? Would anyone recommend one brand over another or one brand they would definitely avoid? Im about to undergo the whole process in my 87 4runner and want to make sure i purchase the right one so i dont have to do this twice lol. It would be nice to buy a cheaper vs expensive unit, but in the end i want the highest quality unit so that heat quality is the best and to insure this job NEVER has to be done again. So quality is definitely a must for me.

2) Would it be beneficial to purchase one with in/out already installed or is that a terrible idea? Im looking at a few ebay auctions such as these where they appear to come with in/out lines. (links below)

3) I notice some come with weatherstripping/foam/insulation whatever it is already placed on the core. This is probably a sign of a higher quality reproduction right? Otherwise you would be trying to attach your own based on whatever i pull out of my old heater box I imagine.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/84-85-86-87-88-89-TOYOTA-4-RUNNER-HEATER-CORE-NEW-/180409709921?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2a0141b561&vxp=mtr
http://www.ebay.com/itm/291277707075?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
thanks for your input guys!!

Last edited by BrokenWindow; 11-23-2014 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BrokenWindow View Post
2) Would it be beneficial to purchase one with in/out already installed or is that a terrible idea? Im looking at a few ebay auctions such as these where they appear to come with in/out lines. (links below)
Could be a bad idea. Another member, y0da, in the last few days has been having trouble getting the correct one. It seems the one in his rig differs from what the parts guides suggest. His thread.

Last edited by rworegon; 11-30-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:18 AM
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heater core replacement

Broken Window.


Its been 3 years since I replaced the core in my 93 Pick up so my memory for details is a bit fuzzy. No issues yet thankfully. I got the replacement unit at Lordco. It's aluminium and, from what I can recall, the 'in' connector pipe was copper. The 'out' pipe was part of the core, welded in place. I was concerned about the dissimilar metals but so far, so good. I don't remember the manufacturer of the core. My receipt doesn't specify. I do recall that the 'out' line (already welded to the core) didn't line up properly with the hole in the fire wall. I had to bend it slightly to make it fit. Very thin alum so be really careful if you have to do the same! if you kink it, it's screwed.


Mine came with weather stripping on it. I actually added a bit in places to make it a better seal.


I can't comment to the best manufacturer. I would think that there aren't THAT many that make them. As long as it fits and doesn't leak.....


good luck. Sorry for the tardy reply...
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:04 AM
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GOOD GOD!

I have to replace 1 dash light. It looks like maybe I should either wait till my heater core goes out or just purchase ALL of the lights and the core to do it all at once.

Definitely not a good design Toyota!
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Old 12-09-2015, 05:55 PM
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How important is the foam insulation around the core? I didn't get any with my new core. Should I be looking for some?
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:04 AM
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foam on heater core

You need some foam around the core. It won't seal as well with out it. (heater won't work as efficiently.). Mine came with some foam on it. I bought some more foam and applied it to the edges that didn't have it.

Paul
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:39 AM
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I used some foam I found lying around (I think it was the stuff that is meant to be used between wood and a concrete floor to keep the wood from potentially getting wet) but am concerned about it melting from the heat. I could definitely smell the glue for the first few days even though it said it was heat resistant.

Also, before I put everything back together, I verified that coolant was flowing through the heater core with no leaks which was the case and it was too hot to touch for more than a split second, but now with everything back together, the heat coming from the vents is not nearly as hot as I recall it being with the old heater core.

Last edited by Brendan; 12-17-2015 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:43 AM
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The coolant temp. shouldn't be enough to melt the foam. Usually not much more than 100 c. Guess it depends on the foam. I'm not sure what to tell you there..... if it's heat resistant, should be fine! If your coolant is too hot, may wanna change out the thermostat.....
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Taskwatch View Post
The coolant temp. shouldn't be enough to melt the foam. Usually not much more than 100 c. Guess it depends on the foam. I'm not sure what to tell you there..... if it's heat resistant, should be fine! If your coolant is too hot, may wanna change out the thermostat.....
The glue is heat resistant. The styrofoam... who knows? If the thermostat were the problem, wouldn't my engine temp gauge read lower (or possibly higher) than normal? It's right where it should be.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:32 PM
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I recently went through performing my heater core replacements and just wanted to mention a few things, as I too found this thread useful.

What I own:
1991 Toyota Pickup
V6 2wd

The truck's AC and heater was both down, as I had lost all refrigerant and my heater core leaked all over my interior, so the coolant ports on my engine were capped off.

1) I found this thread useful and used it for the general process of removal of parts. I kept little ziplock bags of the screws and bolts and labeled them. You'll never remember where the screws and bolts go otherwise.

2) It took a long time to perform, however I was casually performing the work, taking breaks, eating, and I did have to go down for additional parts. From beginning to end, it took 12 hours.

3) If you have to replace your AC evaporator as well, do that first, and concurrently. I had a heck of a time trying to remove the heater core enclosure, as the evaporator core enclosure tabs blocked its removal. I got it out, but not without some effort and tugging. I would have removed the evaporator, done the heater core replacement, then installed the evaporator core and hooked everything up.

4) While I read that it was needed to drop the steering wheel, I found that after removing the bolts, I couldn't. It was stuck on and scraping against the screw threads. So, I proceeded without dropping it and it really wasn't much of a deal. I was still able to remove everything I needed to, including the heater core enclosure.

5) That C-shaped metal piece that locks the heater core to one of the coolant pipes was useless after I removed it. I realize it was probably a one time use item anyways, but none of my local parts stores knew what that was. So, safe thing to do was connect with a hose and pipe clamp each side. I think that was a more secure option anyways.

6) Don't forget the weather stripping for the heater core. Basically, do what you should do while you're in there, because I sure as heck never want to go back.

7) As mentioned earlier, don't go undoing all of your vent cables. I didn't and things went good.

Honestly, it's how I thought it would have gone. Nothing crazy or difficult. Just tedious and time consuming. I took a lot of pictures on the way and I should've asked a friend for help in just double-checking which pieces go where.

I bought my heater from RockAuto for $80+. My local stores were selling about 50% to 100% over that, for the same one!

It's funny because, I'm taking out all of my dash and vent part and I tell myself "wow, these are dirty! I'm going to clean all this up nice and put it back." Haha, after I got everything out, I just wanted to shove it all back in. If you have the patience and time, then clean. Otherwise, I had too much precious short-term memory of where things went, I wasn't about to lose that doing the install of everything another day.

Anyways, I hope that helps someone. In the end, my heater works (and my AC works). It's awesome and well worth it. Good Luck!
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:37 AM
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What is this wire harness for?

The blue one just left of the heater controls.
mine had a plastic cover over the dash and was plugged into a dummy slot in the back of the cover. It does not seem my go to anything.

Thanks


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