Dang, the R&P and heater core let go at 3 years? Stranger things have happened
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
lot more room).
6: Remove the instrument panel according to the shop manual. It sounded too
until now, didn't it. See www. fordcds.com for a CD image of the shop manual.
usually one bolt in each lower corner, one in the lower middle, and screws along
top near the defrost vents. Then you have to disconnect the wiring and vacuum
the HVAC. All wires around the heater\AC box, radio, HVAC controls and near the
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
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.
your time and learn as you follow the steps.
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
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!
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
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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