North American Turbocoupe Organization



Heater Core And Cutting The Firewall
wwwtbirdforumcom Offline
Senior Member
#1
I have been reading the threads on all the heater core stuff and I for one would not rip the car apart when there is an option of cutting the firewall and removing the heater core. I would fabricate some type of seal and screw back in the cut piece and the replaced heater core. Does anyone have a picture of their cut firewall and can you share with us really how difficult and time consuming cutting the firewall open really it.

Thanks in advance.
NATO Member
Here is my 1987 TC, Mean look - Glad to be here...
[email protected]
[Image: Cumberland.gif]
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Blade1433 Offline
Senior Member
#2
Umm, if you're looking for someone to suggest that you cut up your fire wall, I don't think you'd find any here. Most of us are trying to preserve these cars in anyway possible which doesn't condone cutting them up. However, the owner before the last did it to change the heater core and I don't like it. But... instead of paying for Fords godawfully high price you can stick in a $17 autozone one and when it busts in a year you can change it in ten minutes like we did. I just think cutting a hole in the firewall makes the person look lazy.


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Blade

"Drive it like you stole it"

88 bone stock TC with 138k, 5spd, burgundy, almost all options with new U-joints, tranny Xmember, front end, FULL tune-up with select MSD products, new horizontal axle shock thingies, custom interior, white face guages. Coming soon: boost guage and air fuel ratio guage on the pillar, Gillis valve, K&N, gutted upper, knife edged lower, gutted E6, T3, and steam cleaned engine bay.
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wwwtbirdforumcom Offline
Senior Member
#3
I can pretty much agree with the preservation aspect - but really - how 'terrible' is it to cut the firewall to make accessing a horrible job a really simple one?
NATO Member
Here is my 1987 TC, Mean look - Glad to be here...
[email protected]
[Image: Cumberland.gif]
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
If you are going to do a hatchet job going thru the firewall, and cover up the hole with a piece of cardboard, I say no. However, if you do a careful job, and make a nice metal fill plate, and attach it with something other than Elmers glue, I say go for it.

As far as "preserving" these cars, it depends on your definition. I dont think any of us are into numbers matching restorations. Personally, I am into improving my car. Does the fact that I have a T3, custom intake with fenderwell mounted K&N, custom exhaust, cam, water injection, subframes, Cobra Rs, custom paint job, aftermarket stereo, etc, etc, mean I am not preserving my car? Not in my mind, anyway. If you can go in thru the firewall, and make the end result look OK, or maybe even trick (how about a nice polished stainless plate), go for it. What is the difference between this "mod" and a mod to gain HP, handling, or looks? I dont see any difference.

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Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 20 psi, forced air intercooler, water injection, bypass valve, Ranger roller cam, subframes, etc., etc.. // 86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP nitrous, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.... // 91 Escort: Bone stock winter car // 00 Windstar (wifes vehicle)

[This message has been edited by Jeff K (edited 12-17-2001).]
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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wwwtbirdforumcom Offline
Senior Member
#5
you got that right - I wanted to see some pics of people that may have cut the firewall. I don't need to do a heater core right now (thank god) but I wanted to get a leg up on the concept. Of course - I would make a nice stainless steel door that would be dressy and easy to remove in the future...
NATO Member
Here is my 1987 TC, Mean look - Glad to be here...
[email protected]
[Image: Cumberland.gif]
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#6
I've seen two cars that had it done, Blades was one. The other had a pretty nice plate made to cover the hole. I haven't had to do that job yet so I can't tell you much about it. From what I remember the hole wasn't very large, maybe about 9-10" wide, starting at the bung tubes and going toward the middle of the firewall by about 2" high. When you have the new core in hand you can figure out where to cut. Don't have any pictures. Maybe Blade can get one.

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NATO Member
88 TC X 2, 86 SVO, Main TC with K&N, 3"DP to 2.5"duals through Dynamax, Ric valve at 17+ and disconnected KS.
Elite Bodega 16" chrome wheels. Autometer pod w/ A/F and Vac/boost gauges.140 mph Motorsports Speedo New engine: Total Seal rings and TRW pistons, ported and polished head w/ cc'd chambers,1.59"exhausts, SS valves, gutted upper, knife edged lower, A-230 cam, Race Engineering Adj Cam Sprocket, Crowlers, ARP head studs, and rod bolts. Walbro 255 HP pump and Kirban adj FPR, T-3. Centerforce II, KB subs and jack rails.
Pete Dunham


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sctur601 Offline
Member
#7
I'm really considering cutting the firewall on my car, and I have the rarest of the TCs! Wahoo whatever that is worth [Image: smile.gif]. Heck I think it could be made better looking than factory if you do a nice cut, put some sheet metal on with some factory type seam sealer. This way you could drill the heater core hole and get rid of the ugly factory hole that is in the fire wall. Just paint it body color.
So what all to you have to cut through to make it work, just the fire wall?

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My vehicle
1983 Turbo Coupe with a GN intercooler, dawes device set at 22psi of boost,K&N cone,fully ported e-6 manifold,gutted and ported intake, ported stock valve head, Ranger cam set -2 deg, and Full 3" exhaust with 3" magnaflow, 190 pump, a TRI AX shifter,Madhatter clutch quadrant,Racer walsh adjusatble cam pulley large VAM, LA3, brown tops, and 88 TC wheels. Next mods, boxed control arms, Subframe connectors, 3.73 8.8 rear,Larger front brakes, and poly bushings. Then i have no ideaSmile
has run a best of 14.71 at 92mph on drag radials. New times with GN intercooler, LA3, brown tops!!!! 14.9 at 96mph on my street tires.
New times with head ,e6 and ported intake, 100 race fuel, and 28psi 13.83 at 103mph!
My vehicle
1983 Turbo Coupe-
13.83 at 103mph!
273rwhp and 342ftlb at 24 psi with a slipping clutch!
And it still feels slow!
Thanks
Shawn

I also do port work, if you need something ported email me at [email protected]
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Blade1433 Offline
Senior Member
#8
Well... The person who did it to my car just used wax paper glued down. When Les bought the car he noticed it was starting to turned brown from the heat from the turbo and said, "I'll be damned if my car will catch on fire because of some idiot." And took it off. When we replaced it, the old one just slid out, we slid the new one in, measured the hole and cut a plate from spare sheet metal we had laying around. Then we just bolted it in and caulked around the edge. Personnaly, I wouldn't do it to a car that's still okay, but since it's done, I'll leave it that way.


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Blade

"Drive it like you stole it"

88 bone stock TC with 138k, 5spd, burgundy, almost all options with new U-joints, tranny Xmember, front end, FULL tune-up with select MSD products, new horizontal axle shock thingies, custom interior, white face guages. Coming soon: boost guage and air fuel ratio guage on the pillar, Gillis valve, K&N, gutted upper, knife edged lower, gutted E6, T3, and steam cleaned engine bay.
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Walsted Offline
Posting Freak
#9
What about the body-strength issue? Isn't the firewall a load-bearing part of the body construction? If it is, won't cutting a hole through it of that size weaken the firewall a significant amount?

(By the way, I amd really starting to wish I had taken engineering courses instead of business courses. Not only would that have made me more eligible for one of the future local job openings at Lockheed, but I would be able to answer the above questions myself.)

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Mike Walsted - Nato member
1986 5-speed TurboCoupe .
Mike Walsted - Sold my 1986 5-speed TurboCoupe
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wwwtbirdforumcom Offline
Senior Member
#10
I can't see a body integrity issue at all. Look at your house - there are pipes holes cut in your joists all the time. The size of the firewall vs the size of the cutout would be imo insignificant.
NATO Member
Here is my 1987 TC, Mean look - Glad to be here...
[email protected]
[Image: Cumberland.gif]
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