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HomeOff Topics › Heater Core
04-11-2010 03:27 AM  8 years agoPost 1
Flying Brian

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St. Clairsville, Ohio

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I'm trying to see if my mechanic is yanking my chain here. 2 Months ago I had a Heater core blow up in a F-150 97 model. The job was about 7 hours, and 640 bucks. 2 days ago I noticed steam blowing from the vents very slowly, and as time went by it got really bad, and was leaking again. I'm sure the heater core is shot again, but why? So I called him, and he is claiming I have other problems causing the heater core to blow up.

What did he say????

"I just don't Listen" "

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04-11-2010 05:36 AM  8 years agoPost 2
stargazerww

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parkside, pa.

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if he replaced it then you have a defective heater core it is nothing but a small radiator to blow heat into the cabin
this is very rare sounds like he never replaced it he might of only patched it

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04-11-2010 07:49 AM  8 years agoPost 3
Flying Brian

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St. Clairsville, Ohio

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This is what he told me. Blown Head gasket.Pressure builds up in the coolant system. Air coming in from the cylinder creates excessive pressure and the aluminum heater core is the thinnest and weakest point so it pops.

"I just don't Listen" "

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04-11-2010 12:55 PM  8 years agoPost 4
nitrojunkie

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N.C

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Thats BS the weakest point in your coolant system is the radiator cap.They are designed to act like a pressure reliefe valve if working properly.To check on the head gasket remove the radiator cap from your cold radiator and start the truck.If you have a head gasket issue you should see air bubble rising to the surface of the coolant once things get warmed up good.Aluminum heater cores suck, copper was waaay better.

I love the smell of nitro in the morning..

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04-11-2010 02:06 PM  8 years agoPost 5
Mutt

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M ca usa

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Hmm 7 hours to change man he is sure slow took me less then 2 hours to change mine on my old 97 f150. As far as the core being the weak link as stated before the cap is the weak link and would blow out the cap first unless you have the wrong cap on there but it would still go first. Blown head gasket you would notice steam in your exhaust sometimes and a rough runing engine as stated remove the cap if blown it and blowing into the water jacket it will cause bubbles or blow water up out of the radiator when you start the engine. You can also take it to a repair show and they can put the sniffer from the smog machine over the opening of the radiator and see if any hydrocarbons etc is present indicating a head gasket leaking.

I say he either patched it or pinched it while reinstalling or put a real cheapo china made pos in.

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04-11-2010 02:21 PM  8 years agoPost 6
BeltFedBrowning

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Kansas City

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When they changed the body style mid 1997 the heater core got much harder to change. the old ones you could service through the glove box. The new ones require removing the dash.
There are a few possibilities-
-The new heater core is defective.
-He nicked the new heater core installing it.
-The heater hoses are leaking at the core.
-He didn't install the new heater core(least likely)
I have changed hundereds of these heater cores. I have only seen one defective one.

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04-11-2010 02:29 PM  8 years agoPost 7
Flying Brian

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St. Clairsville, Ohio

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Yes, he whole dash had to come out, it was a nightmare. We also opt to put the cheap heater core in, as the copper one was a bit more expensive.

I also found out that this system has quick disconnect hoses, so this could be the weak point as well.

As far as the radiator cap, this truck has no conventional radiator cap, I access the radiator through the overflow.

The truck has well over 200 thousand miles on it, but still has plenty of power, and runs like a champ, with A very smooth idle.

My brother and I looked at it last night and considered splicing the in/out heater hoses to bypass the heatercore, but the hose are genuine formed Ford hoses, and the kit to replace these are like 100 dollars.

My family has used this mechanic for a long time, and he is very trusted according to them.

Thanks for all the help so far. Keep it coming.

"I just don't Listen" "

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04-11-2010 02:36 PM  8 years agoPost 8
BeltFedBrowning

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Kansas City

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Did he warn you about putting in a cheap heater core? I always advise against it. If the customer wants a cheap heater core they just get a parts warranty. Your mechanic is off the hook here. See if your mechanic still has the old heater core. Cut the inlet and outlet pipes off it and use them to bypass the new leakey heater core.

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04-11-2010 02:46 PM  8 years agoPost 9
Flying Brian

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St. Clairsville, Ohio

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I was not warned by the mechanic to use top quality product, but my brother was all over the copper core. The copper core was so damm expensive though.

"I just don't Listen" "

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04-11-2010 08:20 PM  8 years agoPost 10
nitrojunkie

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N.C

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The quick disconect hoses are not that easy to get apart however they can be a source of leaks.On A/C systems anyway.

I love the smell of nitro in the morning..

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04-11-2010 10:22 PM  8 years agoPost 11
Toadster25

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Iowa

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Even your cap on the overflow/surge tank will let the pressure off if it builds up too much pressure. I would say you probably just got a defective heater core and labor usually isn't covered by aftermarket parts warranty.

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04-12-2010 12:07 AM  8 years agoPost 12
LONEWOLF2440

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MYRTLE BEACH S.C

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Being a Ase certified Master tech it is at least a 7 hour job on that truck ya have to pull the dash to get the heator box out ask me been there on the older fords u could access the heate Its under warranryr core behind the glove box. Hes yanking your chain if the head gaskets were gone youd be over heating and would be spewing coolant out your radiato cap as it has a tension spring. Now did he say were the heator core came from? Ive gotten bad ones before. It sucks to have to do a job twice but why should the customer eat it

MIKADO LOGO 600 TREX 550

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04-12-2010 01:25 AM  8 years agoPost 13
Flying Brian

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St. Clairsville, Ohio

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Being a Ase certified Master tech it is at least a 7 hour job on that truck ya have to pull the dash to get the heator box out ask me been there on the older fords u could access the heate Its under warranryr core behind the glove box. Hes yanking your chain if the head gaskets were gone youd be over heating and would be spewing coolant out your radiato cap as it has a tension spring. Now did he say were the heator core came from? Ive gotten bad ones before. It sucks to have to do a job twice but why should the customer eat it
That really makes me feel better hearing from a certified mechanic. I really seem to think I have a defective/damaged part, and nothing more.

"I just don't Listen" "

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04-12-2010 02:22 PM  8 years agoPost 14
BeltFedBrowning

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Kansas City

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Did I forget to mention that I am a ASE L1 advanced master mechanic? Had mine since 1993. So now you have 2!

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04-12-2010 02:39 PM  8 years agoPost 15
T Koffler

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Cayuga, NY 13034

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I learned a while ago not to use heater cores from a discount autoparts store.. For things like that I get OEM parts..

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04-12-2010 05:23 PM  8 years agoPost 16
shawmcky

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Isle of Wight,United Kingdom

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^^^Too true
and it,s usually such a horrible job you would certainly would not want to do it again in a hurry

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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04-12-2010 05:27 PM  8 years agoPost 17
shawmcky

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Isle of Wight,United Kingdom

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And that is
if your back is still good

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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04-12-2010 09:29 PM  8 years agoPost 18
LONEWOLF2440

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MYRTLE BEACH S.C

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If u sell a customer the parts how can u not warranty them. I can understand cheap brake pads that if u use u get the noise free but things like heater cores evaporators and ect. If a bussiness sold u the job they should warranty it for a specific amount of time. Parts for a certain time and parts and labor for a certain time to. How ya gona keep your customers after u sell them a big job then tell ya tuff luck when something goes wrong with the work you just did. MY opinion and ive been doing this stuff for 31 years. Take care of your customers cause in this day and time the guy down the street is willing to take your bussiness away. No the mechanic is not off the hook and No you shouldnt have to bypass the heater core. Make thenm fix it.

MIKADO LOGO 600 TREX 550

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04-12-2010 09:33 PM  8 years agoPost 19
MaxAdventure

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Northern CO

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Some coolants are not compatible and can cause a sludge. Sludge and/or other debris can build up causing a flow restriction between the core and the radiator that will allow a pressure differential higher at the heater core than what the pressure relieve valve/cap sees.

I'm not familiar with Ford trucks, but I've worked on cooling systems where the above is valid and can result in what was experienced.

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04-12-2010 09:48 PM  8 years agoPost 20
BeltFedBrowning

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Kansas City

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The parts supplier usually will pay the labor to replace a new defective part. We have had pretty good luck with getting our labor claims paid.

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