1997 Ford Explorer - heater core replacement procedure

As I understand it, the heater core replacement on a 1997 Ford Explorer involves removing most [if not all] of the dash board assembly. Currently,
the heater core is leaking. Symptoms include a strong anti-freeze smell when the heater is on and there is a foggy coating forming on the interior of the windshield. These symptoms are identical to what happened with heater core leaks/failures on a 1987 Ford Taurus wagon and a 1984 Chevy Cavalier.
Is my understanding [e.g. dashboard removal] of this replacement procedure correct?
If so, are there any special tools required beyond what a relatively well stocked home garage would have [a wide variety of wrenches & sockets, pliers, screw drivers, torx bits, etc...]? The dealer wants abou $525 to do the job, and I've got time on my hands but not a lot of money. If there is nothing tricky and the job is just tedious I'm prepared to tackle it myself this weekend instead of shelling out $$$ that I don't have.
TIA,
Chuck
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Sorry dude, you have to take almost everything off. Use a google search on ford+explorer+heater+core+replacement, there are a lot of tips for ya. I use explorerforum.com. I hope one day Ford will smarten up with their fan/heater core/blend door ideas, and make it accessible to the everyday user. They would sell a whack more cars that way. The only thing that bothers me about the dash removal is the airbag. Good luck to you
On Tue, 09 Dec 2003 16:55:52 -0500, Chuck Chopp

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barrythedude - remove yer HAT and COAT to reply wrote:

I did the Google search and didn't find much in the way of details. I did take your advice and browsed on over to http://www.explorerforum.com and I've posted a question over there under the "general explorations" forum. I'm hoping to get some answers regarding any significant caveats associated with replacing the heater core. I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
--
Chuck Chopp


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"barrythedude - remove yer HAT and COAT to reply"
They would sell a whack more cars that way.
Yeah, because Explorers have been such bad sellers over the years ...
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Yeah, Yeah Allright......I know they sold because they were loaded and cheaper than anything in its class. But for the average Joe (or chief) The heater core is going to fail eventually. It would be nice for designers to have foresight to make certain hi-buck items easier to repair. By hibuck, I mean labour. Aside from the "the dealer makes money this way" I would gladly by a vehicle that had most items (Alternator, heater core, radio, wiring harness, water pump, etc) easier to r and r
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barrythedude - remove yer HAT and COAT to reply wrote:

Yea verily, that would be the very essence of automotive maintenance nirvana. I distinctly remember changing a heater core, starter, water pump, alternator, etc... on a 1984 Chevy Cavalier and it was all so bloody easy to do because you could reach all of those parts w/o disassembling the car to any significant degree. I even replaced head gaskets on that car w/o too much trouble [it blew at 177,000 miles]. And older cars like a '73 Dodge Polara and a '71 Oldsmobile Delta 88 were even easier since you could crawl inside the engine compartment or right under the car w/o having to jack them up. There's nothing quite like sitting on the front wheel-wells inside the engine compartment [more like a walk-in closet] when changing spark plugs.
--
Chuck Chopp


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