Yep. You have to remove the instrument panel and HVAC box to replace the core.
usually remove the front seats for added working room. You WILL need a shop
(Not Chilton or Haynes, the Ford manual).
Make sure to ask around before just yanking it apart.
T-Birds and Cougars with the "Fox" chassis (83-88) supposedly have
to disconnect and remove the entire dash too. Wrong wrong wrong.
On those, it's been proven that we just have to remove the 7 bolts/nuts
holding the dash to the firewall, then pull the right side back a foot or so,
leaving enough room to drop the plastic AC box those few precious inches
so the top cover can be removed and the core replaced. No disconnecting
anything (except heater hoses) required. Those who have done it a couple
of times have Ford's "official" 8-hour + recharge job down to about 3 hours.
MB, you are absolutely correct, BUT..... I would only recommend doing it this
to someone who has already done it the "official" way on a similar vehicle. The
possibility of broken parts, air leaks, squeaks/rattles, damaged wiring, etc.
exponentially when using this "shortcut" if the person doing it is unfamiliar
what's up there in the deep dark recesses of the instrument panel. For a DIYer
take longer and be much more frustrating than the "official" way.
When I worked Flat Rate, I did many the way you suggest. On my personal
do it the "official" way. It's only a few more steps and is IMHO better than
wrestle the HVAC box out through the passenger footwell. It also makes it easier
spot and rectify other concerns as well.
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