Anyone who has actually tackled heater main point replacement will certainly tell friend they’d rather have an all-night root canal than need to perform this dreaded task. Heater core leakage starts with the subtle aroma the antifreeze and evolves right into a little wet point out on the driveway. By the time you have actually coolant ~ above the pavement there is no method around it. You’re walk to have to replace the heater main point or pack up on protect against Leak.

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Back in the day, on larger Ford F-Series trucks, heater core placement associated going up under the dashboard and removing the heating and air-conditioning unit. In the ’70s, Ford started installing HVAC systems before dashboards were bolted right into the vehicle. Dashboards, which to be preassembled on rotisseries, were set up in the automobile via an installation fixture and a pair of assembly workers. This approach made auto assembly easier and quicker. However, it likewise meant extensive labor for the technician faced with heater core and/or air-conditioning evaporator replacement.


We’re working v a ’98 Ford F-150 with almost 267,000 miles on the odometer after 18 years of service. That’s pretty good, considering most F-Series trucks have actually experienced chronic heater core failure earlier in their company lives. Heater cores have constantly been a weak spot in Ford vehicles for assorted reasons, including extreme cooling device pressure and also volume, which has been improved in manufacturing via the usage of heater water tap restrictors between the engine and also heater core.


Heater core replacement in the F-Series, Expedition, and also Lincoln Navigator requires removal the the dashboard to wherein it have the right to be disconnected and also swung far from the HVAC unit bolted to the firewall. Part technicians have managed to unbolt the dashboard and also swing it out far sufficient to gain accessibility to the HVAC unit. Rather disconnect the steering column and also remove the whole dashboard for less complicated access. It is suggested you use genuine Motorcraft components where possible, i m sorry are accessible from rock Auto, in your heater main point replacement, including cooling device hoses, which have actually the factory-style quick connections at the firewall. Motorcraft heater hoses additionally have the flow-restrictor in the “in” hose designed to stop heater main point failure from pressure and excessive flow. Not all aftermarket instead of heater hoses have this restrictor. Heater water tap quick-connects space anything yet “quick” disconnect. You’re walking to require the quick-disconnect tool available at any kind of auto parts store or Summit racing Equipment. If you’re replacing the heater hoses, girlfriend can reduced the quick-connect tabs and also pull the connectors.


Although we’re working through a ’97-to-’03-generation F-Series truck, straightforward principles the replacement space the very same from for ’97-to-’17 models. Let’s get started.


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See every 27 photosIn the attention of safety, the an initial order of business is to disconnect the battery prior to performing any kind of disassembly. Drainpipe the cooling system and also properly dispose of any kind of coolant. Seat and jack bracket remove is suggested for improved access to the dashboard and HVAC assembly. A Torx wrench is required to eliminate seats and seatbelts. It is a great idea to have actually the cooling device flushed prior to heater main point replacement.
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See every 27 photosRocker sill molding removal is easy. It pops in and out through no tools required. Absent panel removal, which mr in and out, is next to gain accessibility to wiring and also modules, which need to be disconnected from the dashboard.
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See all 27 photosWe gotten rid of the A-pillar panel and handhold for improved access and photographic purposes, but you won’t need to do this.
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See every 27 photosThis versatile dash cap on top has to be removed carefully. If you acquire aggressive with this piece, it will crack—especially when you take into consideration how old these trucks space today. Plastic parts become very brittle and can crack over time. Retaining tabs were initially coated through white grease for simple installation and also removal.
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See all 27 photosAirbag remove is performed through the remove of 3 bolts (two bottom and one top), utilizing a 10mm socket. We have actually removed the glove compartment door for picture purposes, but you won’t have to. Tabs in ~ the height of the glovebox door have the right to be closely bent to each side, which enables you to lower the door far sufficient to accessibility airbag bolts and dash screws.
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See all 27 photosWith the three bolts eliminated top and also bottom, the airbag assembly comes ideal out. A two-pin plug connect the airbag. We caution you need to be an extremely careful v airbags during service. Keep them facedown in a defended location. Also static electrical energy can cause an airbag come fire.
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See every 27 photosAirbag bolt places on ’97-to-’03 F-150s space in three areas (arrows).
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See every 27 photosPassenger-side airbag looks prefer this indigenous behind. There’s a two-pin connector tied come the canister within the module. Exercise extreme caution v airbags: keep them on their faces, far from people, to minimization the danger of inadvertently deployment.
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See all 27 photosWe’re dropping the steering obelisk for lull of access. The steering pillar cover pops the end without tools.
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See all 27 photosThe bezel above the instrument cluster is attached with 3 screws making use of a 7mm socket. When these screws space removed, the bezel pops appropriate out.
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See all 27 photosYou will uncover the dashboard is tied come the body via watch dozens of these sheetmetal screws (dozens!), i m sorry are eliminated with a 7mm socket. Follow these screws about the perimeter of the dashboard. Castle secure the dashboard to the body. The F-150 dashboard is composed of the shell you see, backed by a plastic inner frame/ductwork assembly tied to a steel framework at the cowl. Gold cad-plated dash screws are coarse thread for threading right into plastic. Black or organic cad-plated fine-thread screws are located at copper-plated (metal) inserts.
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See all 27 photosThe instrument cluster is eliminated for improved access. Some technicians remove the entire dashboard to make it easier to acquire to the HVAC assembly, yet you don’t have to do that. The target is come remove enough of the perimeter screws for this reason you can swing the dashboard the end of the way. Be very careful v the key wiring loom and its connectors.
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See every 27 photosThe steering column is secured with 4 flange nuts. This removable structure is component of the dash structure and also is removed as displayed to autumn the steering column.
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See all 27 photosThere are four steering pillar support studs. This is an integral part of the collapsible steering column.
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See all 27 photosThe dash pad “bubble” is removed next. Although this looks choose a padded dash, the is little more than a removable shell. Use a 7mm socket to remove these black color cad screws.
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See all 27 photosDisconnect the dashboard indigenous this cluster of harnesses and modules behind the right-hand absent panel.
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See every 27 photosOnce the dashboard has been moved out that the way, heater core accessibility becomes easy. A series of screws secure the optimal of the HVAC plenum, i m sorry is removed for heater core and air-conditioning evaporator access. You will require a 10mm socket because that this purpose.
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See every 27 photosWhile you’re performing heater main point replacement, it is a great idea to examine blower motor and variable resistor status. Both are easy to accessibility with the dashboard installed, which means you don’t need to replace them in ~ this time. We’ve opted because that a Motorcraft heater core. However, the manufacturing facility heat blend door has a weak spot at its pivot and should it is in replaced. The pivot point at the blend door actuator often tends to crack and also break, i beg your pardon is why we’re saying the Dorman warm blend door kit (#902220 or #902207) for her F-150 heater core service. The aluminum pivot top top the Dorman replacement is solid and also will not fail. The is likewise suggested you change the mix door actuator.
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See all 27 photosThe change resistor package is what affects pan speed, no the pan switch. Fan strength is routed through this resistor package to manage fan speed.
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See all 27 photosWe’ve preferred the Motorcraft heater core mainly for factors of guaranteed fitment. The aftermarket likewise offers replacement heater cores for F-150s.

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See all 27 photosThe original manufacturing facility heater blend door assembly, i beg your pardon pops out without tools, is removed and replaced with the boosted Dorman mix door assembly.
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See all 27 photosThe installed Motorcraft heater main point is fitted with new foam around its perimeter. The arrow indicates whereby the heater mix door splines right into the electric actuator below. It is difficult to install the blend door any way but the appropriate way. The HVAC cap is reinstalled using a 10mm socket.
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See every 27 photosThe brand-new Dorman heater mix door is installed as shown. Reinstall the HVAC cap and also dashboard/steering column.
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