Heater core, 99 Taurus.

Ok, I got the rack and pinion replaced, so while I've got a case of "I'm invincible!" I want to go ahead and change out the plugged heater
core. I know the dash has to come out...any tricks or tips that will help me out? 3 years without a heater is long enough....gonna do this thing!
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snuffy wrote:

Dang, the R&P and heater core let go at 3 years? Stranger things have happened I guess. Heater core replacement isn't for the faint hearted. Basic rundown is: 1: Disconnect the battery. 2: drain the cooling system. 3: Evacuate the AC. Move the accumulator out of your way. 4: Lower or remove the steering column (I suggest removing it) 5: Remove the seats, at least the passenger seat (Not necessary, but it gives you a lot more room). 6: Remove the instrument panel according to the shop manual. It sounded too easy until now, didn't it. See www. fordcds.com for a CD image of the shop manual. It's usually one bolt in each lower corner, one in the lower middle, and screws along the top near the defrost vents. Then you have to disconnect the wiring and vacuum hoses to the HVAC. All wires around the heater\AC box, radio, HVAC controls and near the fuse panel. Remove the IP from the car. You really need a shop manual for this step.
7: Unbolt the heater\AC box from the firewall and remove it from the car. 8: Split the heater case and R&R the heater core. Clean the case interior with bleach or your favorite cleaner while you're there. You will thank me. 9: Reverse to reassemble.
If you are a competant DIYer, you can do it. If you are a novice, well, you can do it but you'll make up more than a few new four letter words to add to your vocabulary.. The main thing is, get the shop manual. Not a Haynes or Chilton. Take your time and learn as you follow the steps.
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No experience with Taurus, but I've done it a couple times on other vehicles. Tom is absolutely right about inventing new four-letter words. Practice how to undo those tricky/sticky Ford connectors without breaking the tangs before starting the job - perhaps on a junker at your friendly salvage yard. It's going to be a lot more challenging under the dash, lying on your back in cramped quarters and holding a flashlight in your mouth... Unless you have photographic memory, note which type of screw goes where - there will plenty of those... And one more thing: assuming that the Tarus is anything like I've seen, make sure to unhook the thin wire connecting the shifter to the gear indicator needle BEFORE you drop the steering column, or it will break with some dire consequences. And yes, don't even dream about this job without acquiring the factory shop manual first. It was confusing enough even with it...
Having said all that, putting all that stuff back together and seeing everything working again is great satisfaction. Go for it!
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Hmmm.....not feeling so invincible now.....she is going to the shop for this one! Thanks! The R & P went out recently, and I just replaced it last week, but the heater core has been clogged for 3 years, and I'm pretty tired of hearing spousette fuss about no heat, so I gotta get that taken care of. I've tried flushing, back-flushing, sending all types of nasty chemicals into it to try and dislodge the crud, burped it, you name it....clogged tight! Sure wish they still made 'em like my old 78 Ford truck....heater core replacement in it took less than an hour!
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snuffy wrote:

Since you have nothing to lose, did you try hooking it to your air compressor and shooting compressed air though it for a period of time?
Bob
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yep.....tried that one, too! Thanks for the tip, though.
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Since the Taurus heater core replacement involves a lot of labor to remove the dash etc., my thought is to make sure related maintenance gets done at the same time. Apparently the "blend doors" on Fords ('96-'03) get warped and bind (TSB 02-23-06, November 2002?), so that TSB should be done at the same time as the heater core. So maybe you could check all Ford TSBs for the Taurus on things like the instrument cluster, A/C condenser, steering column etc to make sure everything has been taken care of before they put the dash back in.
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