Anyone who has tackled heater main point replacement will certainly tell girlfriend they’d rather have actually an all-night source canal than have to perform this dreaded task. Heater main point leakage starts with the ethereal aroma that antifreeze and evolves right into a little wet clues on the driveway. By the moment you have coolant on the pavement there is no means around it. You’re walk to need to replace the heater core or pack up on stop Leak.

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Back in the day, on enlarge Ford F-Series trucks, heater main point placement involved going up under the dashboard and also removing the heating and air-conditioning unit. In the ’70s, Ford began installing HVAC systems prior to dashboards to be bolted into the vehicle. Dashboards, which to be preassembled ~ above rotisseries, were installed in the car via an installation fixture and also a couple of assembly workers. This method made car assembly easier and also quicker. However, it additionally meant extensive labor for the technician challenged with heater core and/or air-conditioning evaporator replacement.


We’re working v a ’98 Ford F-150 with virtually 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 always been a weak spot in Ford vehicles for assorted reasons, including excessive cooling device pressure and also volume, which has actually been boosted in production via the use of heater hose restrictors between the engine and also heater core.


Heater main point replacement in the F-Series, Expedition, and also Lincoln Navigator entails removal of the dashboard to wherein it have the right to be disconnected and also swung away from the HVAC unit bolted to the firewall. Some technicians have controlled to unbolt the dashboard and also swing it out far enough to gain accessibility to the HVAC unit. Rather disconnect the steering column and remove the entire dashboard for simpler access. That is said you use actual Motorcraft parts where possible, which are available from rock Auto, in your heater main point replacement, consisting of cooling device hoses, which have actually the factory-style fast connections at the firewall. Motorcraft heater hoses additionally have the flow-restrictor in the “in” hose designed to stop heater main point failure native pressure and also excessive flow. No all aftermarket instead of heater hoses have actually this restrictor. Heater hose quick-connects room anything yet “quick” disconnect. You’re walk to need the quick-disconnect tool obtainable at any auto parts store or Summit racing Equipment. If you’re instead of the heater hoses, you can reduced the quick-connect tabs and pull the connectors.


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


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See every 27 photosIn the attention of safety, the an initial order of company is come disconnect the battery prior to performing any kind of disassembly. Drain the cooling system and also properly dispose of any type of coolant. Seat and also jack bracket removed is argued for improved accessibility to the dashboard and HVAC assembly. A Torx wrench is forced to eliminate seats and seatbelts. It is a an excellent idea to have actually the cooling system flushed prior to heater main point replacement.
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See every 27 photosRocker sill molding removal is easy. It pops in and also out v no devices required. Absent panel removal, which mr in and also out, is alongside gain access to wiring and modules, which have to be disconnected indigenous the dashboard.
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See every 27 photosWe eliminated the A-pillar panel and also handhold for improved accessibility and photographic purposes, but you won’t need to do this.
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See all 27 photosThis functional dash lid on top needs to be eliminated carefully. If you get aggressive with this piece, it will crack—especially once you think about how old this trucks space today. Plastic parts become an extremely brittle and also can crack over time. Retaining tabs were initially coated v white grease for simple installation and removal.
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See every 27 photosAirbag remove is performed through the removal of three bolts (two bottom and one top), using a 10mm socket. We have actually removed the glove compartment door for photo purposes, yet you won’t have to. Tabs in ~ the peak of the glovebox door have the right to be closely bent to every side, which allows you to reduced the door far sufficient to accessibility airbag bolts and dash screws.
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See every 27 photosWith the three bolts eliminated top and bottom, the airbag assembly comes right out. A two-pin plug connect the airbag. Us caution you must be really careful v airbags during service. Store them facedown in a defended location. Also static power can reason an airbag to fire.
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See all 27 photosAirbag bolt locations on ’97-to-’03 F-150s are in three areas (arrows).
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See all 27 photosPassenger-side airbag looks prefer this from behind. Yes a two-pin connector tied to the canister inside the module. Exercise extreme caution with airbags: store them on your faces, far from people, to minimize the hazard of accidental deployment.
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See every 27 photosWe’re dropping the steering pillar for lull of access. The steering tower cover pops the end without tools.
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See all 27 photosThe bezel over the instrument swarm is enclosed with 3 screws utilizing a 7mm socket. As soon as these screws room removed, the bezel pops best out.
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See every 27 photosYou will find the dashboard is tied to the body via watch dozens of these sheetmetal screws (dozens!), i m sorry are eliminated with a 7mm socket. Follow this screws about the perimeter of the dashboard. Lock secure the dashboard to the body. The F-150 dashboard consists of the covering you see, backed by a plastic inner frame/ductwork assembly tied to a steel frame at the cowl. Yellow cad-plated dash screws space 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 every 27 photosThe instrument cluster is eliminated for boosted access. Some technicians eliminate the entire dashboard to do it easier to acquire to the HVAC assembly, however you don’t need to do that. The objective is come remove sufficient of the perimeter screws so you deserve to swing the dashboard the end of the way. Be really careful with the key wiring loom and also its connectors.
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See all 27 photosThe steering column is secured with four flange nuts. This removable framework is part of the dash structure and also is gotten rid of as displayed to fall the steering column.
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See every 27 photosThere are 4 steering obelisk support studs. This is an integral component of the collapsible steering column.
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See every 27 photosThe dash pad “bubble” is removed next. Return this looks like a padded dash, the is little more than a removable shell. Usage 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 also modules behind the right-hand kick panel.
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See all 27 photosOnce the dashboard has actually been relocated out of the way, heater core access becomes easy. A series of screws certain the optimal of the HVAC plenum, i m sorry is eliminated 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 she performing heater main point replacement, that is a good idea to check blower motor and variable resistor status. Both are simple to access with the dashboard installed, which way you don’t have to replace them in ~ this time. We’ve opted because that a Motorcraft heater core. However, the factory heat blend door has a weak spot in ~ its pivot and also should be replaced. The pivot point at the mix door actuator tends to crack and also break, i m sorry is why we’re arguing the Dorman warmth blend door kit (#902220 or #902207) for your F-150 heater core service. The aluminum pivot top top the Dorman replacement is solid and also will no fail. That is likewise suggested you change the mix door actuator.
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See every 27 photosThe change resistor package is what affects pan speed, no the pan switch. Fan strength is routed through this resistor package to control fan speed.
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See every 27 photosWe’ve preferred the Motorcraft heater core mostly for reasons of guarantee fitment. The aftermarket likewise offers replacement heater cores for F-150s.

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See every 27 photosThe original manufacturing facility heater blend door assembly, i beg your pardon pops the end without tools, is removed and also replaced v the boosted Dorman blend door assembly.
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See all 27 photosThe mounted Motorcraft heater core is fitted with new foam about its perimeter. The arrow indicates whereby the heater blend door splines right into the electric actuator below. It is impossible to download the mix door any method but the ideal way. The HVAC cap is reinstalled making use of a 10mm socket.
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See all 27 photosThe new Dorman heater mix door is set up as shown. Reinstall the HVAC cap and dashboard/steering column.
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