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Re: [oletrucks] The Great Heater Core Massacre

To: "tcape" <tcape@weblnk.net>
Subject: Re: [oletrucks] The Great Heater Core Massacre
From: Bill Bailey <billb@gamewood.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 19:14:06 -0500
Hi Tom

>1.  Does this mean my heater core is gone?

Maybe but maybe not. It seems strange to me that it only started leaking
after you tried to replace the hoses. Are you sure you had it clamped
tightly? I had mine out one time and when I put it back it I didn't get the
clamp tight. As a result it started leaking and running back into the
heater box and into the cab floor.

>2.  How do I check it out.....take the front of the heater off?

Ok..I'm not sure on the AD trucks but on the TF the heater is held onto the
firewall by three or four screws depending on what style of heater you
have. Take the whole thing off so you have good access to it.

>3.  How do I get the heater apart?

Again it varies but they are not that complicated. Probably a handful of
screws to take out of the heater box and then you will be at the core.

>4.  What do I look for to tell me if my heater is a total loss?

If it was leaking for a long time you usually see some corrosion where the
anti-freeze was leaking out or, if you are lucky, you might see the
break..but most of the time you don't see anything. The only sure way to
tell is to pressure test it. I did this one time by creatively engineering
a pressure tester from a bicycle inner tube, two hose clamps, a air
pressure gage and a bike pump.
ok..don't laugh..it worked
I took the inner tube and cut out the section where the air nozzle is
located and clamped it to the two ends of the heater core so that it
completed the circuit so to speak. I then hooked the bike pump up to the
air nozzle and pumped up the core to about 10PSI (as I recall). I then
stuck the pressurerized core in a tub of water and looked for bubbles. If
you see them it's leaking, if you don't you are probably ok. Maybe this
isn't the  most accurate way to test it but it worked for me.

>5.  If I need a new heater core, where's the best place to get one?   Cost??

Good question. I have never been able to get anyone here to work on a core
for me. As a result I am using a junkyard core which is holding up so far.
Maybe some of the repro houses have them but all the radiator shops here
haven't been of any help.

>6.  Right now, I have a piece of heater hose looped from the two places
>where the original hose was connected to the engine.  (Took the two heater
>hoses off the engine and put on a "U" shaped piece of hose.)  Can I drive
>the truck OK with this set-up?

I drove mine like that for probably a year or more...should be no problem.

Hope this helps

Bill Bailey
57 Chevy 3100
Danville, Virginia
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959

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