North American Turbocoupe Organization



Heater Core: Can I Leave the A/C Charged?
BIG VAM Offline
Member
#1
I am getting the stuff ready to R&R my heater core in the '88.

Has anyone had any success in somehow unbolting the evaporator case from the firewall without actually discharging the A/C system? Can I undo the clamshell case from the side, or are the bolts hidden on the back of the case? Ford says that I have to disconnect the evaporator lines and pull the fittings through the firewall into the passenger compartment.

I just want to know b/c I have a perfectly fine and good A/C system, and I hate to monkey with it unless I have to...

Anyone have experience in doing this? Thanks in advance...

Mike
No trees were harmed in the posting of this message, but several hundred thousand electrons were terribly inconvenienced...
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#2
To do the job as the Ford manual describes. the A/C has to be evacuated. Best bet is to go to a good A/C shop, have them evacuate and store the refrigerant for you and put it back after the heater core job. You have to disconnect the A/C lines at the firewall and you still have to pull the dash.

There are two ways around the above. You can cut the fire wall and remove/install the heater core that way and not have to touch the A/C lines ( and not have to remove the dash). You have to fabrcate a cover for the hole in the firewall (not a large hole)
Or you can move the dash somewhat and cut into the heater/AC box under the dash and take out the core that way. Then reattach the panel you cut. This way you only have to remove the lines from the heater core at the firewall.

Those are the choices.

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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.

[This message has been edited by Pete D (edited 09-10-2001).]
Pete Dunham


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BIG VAM Offline
Member
#3
Thanks, Pete. I have found it is better to ask about problems, especially if someone knows about them.....

Sometimes good enough is good enough, but I really HATE goofed up repairs. I'm going to do it right.

Mike
No trees were harmed in the posting of this message, but several hundred thousand electrons were terribly inconvenienced...
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Noname
Guest
#4
I think you can get enough slack between the fire wall and the heater box to do it without taking the A/C fittings loose. I just did my 88 cougar and in a couple of week I plan on tackleing my son's 86 TC. Here's what I did.

I pulled the dash (time consuming but not hard). Removed the three bolts that hold the heater box to the firewall. There are two nuts under the hood. They are the ones that hold the accumulator in place. Remove the nut off the accumulator bracket, they you will have to bend the bracket to get to the two nuts underneath the bracket. After you remove those last two nuts you can pull the evaporator/heater case out away from the firewall just enough to get to the top screws that hold the cover for the heater core. At least I hope the TC is the same, That's what I'm planning on doing with it. It will probably be weekend after next before I can get to it.

ddw

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1986 Turbo Coupe, basically stock at this time/ 1988 Cougar LX 5.0/ 1990 Bronco II / 1991 F150 ex cab 4X4
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Mr.T Offline
Senior Member
#5
Is it officially heater core season? Seems like everyone has to replace their core this year. I have to replace the original in my '86 V6 AKA The Beater. When it failed, I did not have a leak, but I started feeling REALLY sick when I drove the car. Turns out it was lightly steaming into the passenger compartment. I've changed one in a '88 Mustang, I hope this is just as much fun.

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1985 Tbird TC, 5Spd, Black (The Project)
1985 Tbird TC, 5Spd, Black (The Project II)
1986 Tbird TC, 5Spd, Black (The Show Car)
1986 Tbird 3.8L, Auto, Canyon Red (The Beater)
1986 T-bird TC, 5Spd, Black (The Project Car)
1986 T-bird TC, 5Spd, Black (The Show Car)
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Noname
Guest
#6
I've put off changing my heater core all summer due to having to open the ac system.I have the equipment and r12 at my disposal to recharge but was too busy repairing the other problems to get to it.I guess that will be a priority before long(yeah, it tis the season).I've practiced the dash removal on my parts car so It won't be a totally new experience.
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Mark_R Offline
Member
#7
I you get it off without disconnecting the a/c let me know. I just pulled a dash from the junkyard and was going to replace the heater core while I had everything apart.

If you decide to disconnect the a/c then you might consider changing to the new freon.
88TC 5spd, bypassed BCS, 18 psi, ram air, Jacobs ignition
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Noname
Guest
#8
If anyone still has r12 in their system keep it. It is very expensive, a lot more then you could imagine. Do not release it in to the air. Have a shop evacuate the system make sure you keep the r12 yourself that stuff grows legs if you know what I mean. They might try to talk you in to refilling your system with 134a or some type of blend, but don’t let them there only doing it because r12 is much better and they want it.

For those of you who have 134a which is probably just about everyone, it is legal to release it in to the air and cheap enough to go to the store and buy to replace it. But since you have the system open I strongly recommend not just putting it back in yourself. Bring it to a repair shop and let them take care of it. They will or at least should pull the system down into a vacuum before adding any refrigerant. If they have to fix any leaks that were not there before don’t be surprised. It is common for leaks to accrue after a system has been open.

I hope this helps some of you
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1988Turboman Offline
Member
#9
Read "How did you get your first tc" in the posts.

THat message was ariganally for you BIG VAM!!-jason
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1988Turboman Offline
Member
#10
Read "How did you get your first tc" in the posts.

THat message was ariganally for you BIG VAM!!-jason
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