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

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Back in the day, on larger Ford F-Series trucks, heater core placement involved going increase 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 top top rotisseries, were installed in the auto via an environment fixture and also a pair of assembly workers. This technique made car assembly easier and also quicker. However, it likewise meant considerable labor for the technician faced with heater core and/or air-conditioning evaporator replacement.


We’re working with a ’98 Ford F-150 with nearly 267,000 miles on the odometer after 18 year of service. That’s pretty good, considering many F-Series trucks have actually experienced chronic heater main point failure earlier in their service lives. Heater cores have constantly been a weak spot in Ford vehicles for miscellaneous reasons, including excessive cooling mechanism pressure and also volume, which has actually been enhanced in manufacturing via the usage of heater hose restrictors in between the engine and also heater core.


Heater core replacement in the F-Series, Expedition, and also Lincoln Navigator entails removal the the dashboard to whereby it have the right to be disconnected and swung away from the HVAC unit bolted come the firewall. Part technicians have controlled to unbolt the dashboard and swing it out far enough to gain access to the HVAC unit. Rather disconnect the steering column and remove the whole dashboard for less complicated access. The is argued you use actual Motorcraft components where possible, i m sorry are available from absent Auto, in your heater core replacement, consisting of cooling system hoses, which have actually the factory-style quick connections at the firewall. Motorcraft heater hoses likewise have the flow-restrictor in the “in” hose designed to prevent heater main point failure indigenous pressure and excessive flow. Not all aftermarket instead of heater hoses have this restrictor. Heater hose quick-connects are anything however “quick” disconnect. You’re walking to require the quick-disconnect tool accessible at any auto parts store or Summit racing Equipment. If you’re instead of the heater hoses, you can cut the quick-connect tabs and also pull the connectors.


Although we’re working through a ’97-to-’03-generation F-Series truck, straightforward principles that replacement room the exact same from because that ’97-to-’17 models. Let’s acquire started.


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See every 27 photos
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See all 27 photosIn the attention of safety, the an initial order of company is come disconnect the battery prior to performing any type of disassembly. Drainpipe the cooling system and properly dispose of any kind of coolant. Seat and jack bracket removal is argued for improved accessibility to the dashboard and also HVAC assembly. A Torx wrench is compelled to remove seats and also seatbelts. That is a great idea to have the cooling system flushed before heater main point replacement.
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See all 27 photosRocker sill molding remove is easy. That pops in and also out v no tools required. Kick panel removal, which pops in and out, is next to gain accessibility to wiring and modules, which need to be disconnected indigenous the dashboard.
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See all 27 photosWe removed the A-pillar panel and handhold because that improved access and photographic purposes, however you won’t need to do this.
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See every 27 photosThis functional dash lid on top has to be gotten rid of carefully. If you obtain aggressive v this piece, it will crack—especially once you consider how old this trucks space today. Plastic components become very brittle and also can crack over time. Retaining tabs were originally coated through white grease for basic installation and also removal.
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See every 27 photosAirbag removal is performed with the remove of 3 bolts (two bottom and one top), using a 10mm socket. We have actually removed the glove compartment door for photo purposes, but you won’t have actually to. Tabs in ~ the top of the glovebox door can be carefully bent to every side, which allows you to reduced the door far sufficient to access airbag bolts and also dash screws.
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See every 27 photosWith the 3 bolts removed top and also bottom, the airbag assembly comes best out. A two-pin plug connects the airbag. We caution you must be really careful v airbags during service. Keep them facedown in a defended location. Even static electricity can cause an airbag to fire.
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See every 27 photosAirbag bolt locations on ’97-to-’03 F-150s are in three areas (arrows).
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See every 27 photosPassenger-side airbag looks choose this native behind. Yes sir a two-pin connector tied come the canister within the module. Exercise too much caution with airbags: save them on your faces, far from people, to minimization the hazard of inadvertently deployment.
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See every 27 photosWe’re dropping the steering tower for lull of access. The steering tower cover pops out without tools.
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See all 27 photosThe bezel above the instrument swarm is attached with three screws making use of a 7mm socket. Once these screws room removed, the bezel pops appropriate out.
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See all 27 photosYou will find the dashboard is tied come the human body via watch dozens of this sheetmetal screws (dozens!), which are removed with a 7mm socket. Follow these screws about the perimeter that the dashboard. Castle secure the dashboard to the body. The F-150 dashboard consists of the covering you see, backed by a plastic within frame/ductwork assembly tied to a steel structure at the cowl. Gold cad-plated dash screws are coarse thread because that threading right into plastic. Black or herbal cad-plated fine-thread screws are located at copper-plated (metal) inserts.
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See every 27 photosThe instrument cluster is gotten rid of for improved access. Some technicians remove the entire dashboard to do it much easier to obtain to the HVAC assembly, yet you don’t need to do that. The target is to remove sufficient of the perimeter screws for this reason you can swing the dashboard the end of the way. Be an extremely careful with the main wiring loom and its connectors.
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See every 27 photosThe steering pillar is secured with four flange nuts. This removable frame is part of the dash structure and is gotten rid of as displayed to drop the steering column.
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See every 27 photosThere are 4 steering tower support studs. This is one integral component of the collapsible steering column.
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See every 27 photosThe dash pad “bubble” is gotten rid of next. Return this looks choose a padded dash, it is little an ext than a removable shell. Usage a 7mm socket to eliminate these black color cad screws.
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See every 27 photosDisconnect the dashboard from this cluster of harnesses and modules behind the right-hand kick panel.
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See every 27 photosOnce the dashboard has actually been moved out the the way, heater core access becomes easy. A series of screws for sure the top of the HVAC plenum, i beg your pardon is gotten rid of for heater core and air-conditioning evaporator access. Friend will require a 10mm socket because that this purpose.
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See all 27 photosWhile you performing heater core replacement, it is a great idea to examine blower motor and also variable resistor status. Both are basic to accessibility with the dashboard installed, which method 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 be replaced. The pivot point at the mix door actuator often tends to crack and break, i m sorry is why we’re saying the Dorman warmth blend door kit (#902220 or #902207) for her F-150 heater core service. The aluminum pivot top top the Dorman replacement is solid and will not fail. That is also suggested you replace the mix door actuator.
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See all 27 photosThe variable resistor package is what affects pan speed, not the fan switch. Fan power is routed v this resistor package to manage fan speed.
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See all 27 photosWe’ve favored the Motorcraft heater core mainly for factors of guarantee fitment. The aftermarket additionally offers replacement heater cores because that F-150s.

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See every 27 photosThe original manufacturing facility heater blend door assembly, i beg your pardon pops out without tools, is removed and also replaced v the enhanced Dorman blend door assembly.
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See every 27 photosThe set up Motorcraft heater core is equipment with brand-new foam around its perimeter. The arrowhead indicates where the heater mix door splines right into the electric actuator below. The is impossible to download the mix door any means but the appropriate way. The HVAC lid is reinstalled utilizing a 10mm socket.
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See every 27 photosThe new Dorman heater blend door is installed as shown. Reinstall the HVAC cap and also dashboard/steering column.
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