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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not to jump to conclusions regarding my no heat situation and my '02 GT but in case of a heater core replacement I'm looking for a heater core DIY *or* I'll likely end up being the first to document.

Right now it appears that I have a blockage since I have one hot and one cold hose coming/going from the core. I also have coolant smell when not moving and the blower on (and off, after stopping the car). It's not pooling under the car or losing much coolant overall, overheating, etc. I can't find a evaporator housing drain else I'd check for blockage there, too, but I don't hear any sloshing... suggesting the leak is not bad if there is a leak.

Anyway... anyone have a heater core DIY? Specifically, I'd love to hear from someone who hasn't had to remove the dash!
 

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dam. definetly in for some work! any vacation time avialable? lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, okay. Calm down everybody. Yes, it's a big job. I've done these before. Most of the time you have to remove the dash, after all the evaporator and heater core are 99% of the time physically in the passenger compartment. I'm wondering if anyone has done this on the XD before without removing the dash.

This is one of those repairs in which you replace all of the other stuff in there while the dash is out. It can be fun!
 

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you will need to remove the entire dash and then remove the evap case and take it apart to replace the heater core. there will be nothing left on the firewall when you get it apart.
 

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Given good routine maintenance, what sort of life can we expect out of a core?

I remember doing this...ONCE. On a '67 Pontiac, it was buried down in Hell's Kitchen somewhere, but got at it from the engine compartment.

Never again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Given good routine maintenance, what sort of life can we expect out of a core?
I have 122k miles. Likely with regular yearly flushes, correct coolant, no stop leak silliness, and no head gasket failures you'll get more than 122k miles.

you will need to remove the entire dash and then remove the evap case and take it apart to replace the heater core. there will be nothing left on the firewall when you get it apart.
Any special steps to getting the case apart? Normally there are clips, tabs, and/or screws. Sometimes it's also sealed and stays together until you force it apart (after removing the screws).
 

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Just wanted to give this thread a bump since I have a feeling my heater core is blown since I am leaking coolant into the inner cabin. I was just wondering if this could have been blown as a result of my removing the spiral object that looks like a filter next to the core under the passenger side dash? I was trying to make room to get into the firewall to run wires but I didn't know if that would cause the core to blow
 

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2003 Elantra heater core replacement

Heater core - 2003 Elantra - STOP!! Don't try to replace this core without reading my experience. I started by studying my Haynes repair manual. It included a warning I don't recall seeing in Haynes before: it's a big job -- consider getting professional help. After getting a $1000 quote from my mechanic, I decided to do it myself. Haynes did all of their work and instructions for a 2000 model -- I assumed the 2003 would be similar since there were no alternate instructions. Problem #1: plastic parts in the dash are extremely brittle from age. Many parts were already cracked and a number of attachment points and clips broke off during my disassembly. Once I got the dash out (an extraordinarily difficult process) I was ready to have the car towed to the junk yard when I saw what I was up against: the heater assembly is wedged behind a 2" diameter steel tube that extends from one side of the car to the other and has multiple components -- including the steering column supports, etc. welded to it. I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my daughter (the owner of the car) that I had failed totally, when it suddenly hit me -- there is an easier way. Here's the good news. Read all the way to the end -- there's a punch line that's even better.
Instead of removing the core intact, I cut off the inlet and outlet pipes a couple of inches above the point where they turn upward from the core. (I used a Dremel) They must be cut short enough to pull the core out past the blower assembly. Cut a few more inches off of the remaining pipes still in the car. (yes, you know where this is leading!) Cut the pipes off of your brand new core (yes, that's kind of scary) in the same place you cut the old core -- or perhaps a little higher. Buy some heater hose (5/8" inside diam.) and cut it long enough to span the gap plus a couple of inches. Buy four hose clamps -- the ones that screw tight -- I started with the smallest ones that fit, but they leaked, so I replaced them with the next size up. ("Ideal" brand #5212v from Pep Boys) Well, you can figure out the rest. It worked great. The plastic retainer over the pipes will no longer fit. I broke mine in half (deliberately) and replaced the remaining screw with a much longer one. It holds everything in place very nicely.
Now for the surprise ending: All of this could have been done by removing only the glove box and the heater core cover trim. No kidding. In fact, after I discovered it was leaking, I practically re-did the entire repair with only the glove box removed.
Enjoy!!
Reply With Quote
 

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2003 Elantra heater core replacement

Heater core - 2003 Elantra - STOP!! Don't try to replace this core without reading my experience. I started by studying my Haynes repair manual. It included a warning I don't recall seeing in Haynes before: it's a big job -- consider getting professional help. After getting a $1000 quote from my mechanic, I decided to do it myself. Haynes did all of their work and instructions for a 2000 model -- I assumed the 2003 would be similar since there were no alternate instructions. Problem #1: plastic parts in the dash are extremely brittle from age. Many parts were already cracked and a number of attachment points and clips broke off during my disassembly. Once I got the dash out (an extraordinarily difficult process) I was ready to have the car towed to the junk yard when I saw what I was up against: the heater assembly is wedged behind a 2" diameter steel tube that extends from one side of the car to the other and has multiple components -- including the steering column supports, etc. welded to it. I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my daughter (the owner of the car) that I had failed totally, when it suddenly hit me -- there is an easier way. Here's the good news. Read all the way to the end -- there's a punch line that's even better.
Instead of removing the core intact, I cut off the inlet and outlet pipes a couple of inches above the point where they turn upward from the core. (I used a Dremel) They must be cut short enough to pull the core out past the blower assembly. Cut a few more inches off of the remaining pipes still in the car. (yes, you know where this is leading!) Cut the pipes off of your brand new core (yes, that's kind of scary) in the same place you cut the old core -- or perhaps a little higher. Buy some heater hose (5/8" inside diam.) and cut it long enough to span the gap plus a couple of inches. Buy four hose clamps -- the ones that screw tight -- I started with the smallest ones that fit, but they leaked, so I replaced them with the next size up. ("Ideal" brand #5212v from Pep Boys) Well, you can figure out the rest. It worked great. The plastic retainer over the pipes will no longer fit. I broke mine in half (deliberately) and replaced the remaining screw with a much longer one. It holds everything in place very nicely.
Now for the surprise ending: All of this could have been done by removing only the glove box and the heater core cover trim. No kidding. In fact, after I discovered it was leaking, I practically re-did the entire repair with only the glove box removed.
Enjoy!!
Reply With Quote
Does anyone have a how to on the plastic plates? I can see access from the glove box but I don't see the logic of the puzzle box of plastic pieces that I have to remove to get to the hose.
 
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