Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Heater Core

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The heater core is contained within the heater case unit. The core and case are remove as a unit. Upon removal of the heater control box, the heater core is removable. Replace all gaskets and insulation in its proper place. When filling the cooling system, place the heater control to the maximum heat position to insure full water control valve opening. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature, stop the engine and carefully add more coolant if necessary.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1971-76 Models
  1. Open the radiator petcock and drain the coolant. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
  2.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Loosen the retaining screws at the bottom of the radio which are tightened together with the center cover.
  2.  
  3. Press down on the top center padding and pull it out.
  4.  
  5. Remove the three heater control knobs.
  6.  
  7. Remove the retaining screws at the bottom of the console cover which are tightened together with the ashtray.
  8.  
  9. Slide the console and radio out toward yourself.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the radio wiring and remove the console.
  12.  
  13. Remove the two heater control wires at the heater.
  14.  
  15. Remove the heater control assembly.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the two water hoses. Disconnect the two ducts at the heater.
  18.  
  19. Remove the heater unit.
  20.  
  21. Install the heater and attach all hoses and controls. Install the console and radio. Fill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.
  22.  

1974-81 Coupe, Sedan and Rear Wheel Drive Hatchback
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain the cooling system.
  4.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Place the water valve in the OFF position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the under tray, defroster nozzle and console box.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect each heater control wire and connectors at the heater assembly.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the water hoses, heater duct and wiring harness.
  8.  
  9. Remove the heater assembly.
  10.  
  11. Install the heater assembly Connect all hoses, ducts, wiring harness and controls. Install the console, defroster nozzle and under tray. Fill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.
  12.  

1974-83 Hardtop and Station Wagon


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Fig. Fig. 1 Control lever positioning and air flow-1976 Colt shown

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the cooling system.
  2.  
  3. Remove the glove box, instrument cluster and console assembly.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the heater control wires at the heater box.
  6.  
  7. Remove the heater control assembly.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect all heater hoses and air ducts.
  10.  
  11. Remove the heater assembly.
  12.  
  13. Install the heater assembly. Connect the hoses and ducts. Connect the control assembly. Install the console, instrument cluster and glove box. Fill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.
  14.  

1979-84 Front Wheel Drive Colt Models
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Place the water valve lever in the HOT position. Drain the coolant.
  4.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Remove the center console and parcel tray, if equipped.
  2.  
  3. Remove the center ventilation duct and the defroster duct. Disconnect the instrument trim panel and cluster hood.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect all control wires at the heater unit.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the heater hose from the engine. Remove the clamps from the hoses. Disconnect the heater wiring harness.
  8.  
  9. Remove the two top mounting bolts and the one lower nut. Remove the heater assembly.
  10.  
  11. Install the heater assembly. Be sure the grommets through which the heater hoses pass when entering the passenger compartment are secured when installing. Connect the controls and wiring. Install the ducts, cluster hood and trim panel. Install the console and parcel tray. Fill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.
  12.  

1985-89 Colt and Vista
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Set the heater control lever to WARM.
  4.  
  5. Drain the cooling system.
  6.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Remove the instrument panel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the duct from between the heater unit and the blower case.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the coolant hoses at the heater case.
  6.  
  7. Unbolt and remove the heater case.
  8.  
  9. Remove the hose and pipe clamps and remove the water valve.
  10.  
  11. Remove the core from the case.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Set the mixing damper to the closed position, and, with the damper in that position, install the rod so that the water valve is fully closed.
  2.  
  3. Place the damper lever in the VENT position, and adjust the linkage so that the FOOT/DEF damper opens to the DEF side and the VENT damper is level with the separator.
  4.  
  5. Install the hoses. They are marked for flow direction. Connect the ducts. Install the instrument panel. Fill the cooling system and connect the battery cable.
  6.  

Conquest
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Move the control lever to WARM.
  2.  
  3. Drain the coolant at the radiator.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the coolant hoses at the heater unit.
  6.  
  7. Remove the instrument panel and floor console.
  8.  
  9. Remove the center ventilation duct, defroster duct and lap heater duct.
  10.  
  11. Remove the center instrument panel brace.
  12.  
  13. Remove the heater control assembly.
  14.  
  15. Remove the three screws and lift out the heater case.
  16.  
  17. Check the core for leaks, clogging and bent fins. Replace or repair as necessary.
  18.  
  19. Replace any cracked hoses or damaged insulation. Install the heater assembly. Install the control assembly, ducts, instrument panel and floor console. Connect the hose and fill the cooling system. Connect the battery cable.
  20.  

1981 and Later Challenger
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering wheel horn pad attaching screws, from the back of the steering wheel. Remove the horn pad.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering wheel locknut and remove the steering wheel using a steering wheel puller tool.
  6.  

Do not apply impact to the column or wheel with a hammer to loosen the wheel from the column. Use the steering wheel puller tool.

  1. Loosen the tilt lock lever and lower the steering column fully.
  2.  
  3. Remove the meter (instrument cluster) hood. Remove the meter (instrument cluster) assembly and disconnect the electrical cable connectors.
  4.  
  5. Remove the inner box from the console accessory box. Press on the spring catch, to remove the remote control mirror switch from the accessory box.
  6.  
  7. Remove the accessory box assembly and disconnect the electrical wiring.
  8.  
  9. Pull off the heater control knob, pull out the control panel and take out the illumination harness.
  10.  
  11. Pull off the radio knobs and remove the radio to panel attaching nuts. Remove the radio panel.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cover assembly attaching screws from below the glove box and remove the cover assembly.
  14.  
  15. Remove the both console side covers.
  16.  
  17. Remove the shift knob on manual transmission vehicles and remove the center console.
  18.  
  19. Remove the instrument pad bolt covers at both ends of the instrument pad and remove the attaching nuts.
  20.  
  21. Take off the hood lock release knob and remove the release cable attaching screws. Remove the hood lock release assembly from the instrument pad.
  22.  
  23. Remove the defroster garnish.
  24.  
  25. Remove the screws attaching the glove compartment to the center dash reinforcement.
  26.  
  27. Remove all remaining instrument pad attaching bolts.
  28.  
  29. Disconnect the clock, glove box, chime and dimmer control and remove the instrument pad.
  30.  
  31. Disconnect the defogger switch, radio, chime driver, defogger relay connectors and the antenna feeder end.
  32.  
  33. Remove the center reinforcement.
  34.  
  35. Set the heater temperature control to WARM position and drain the coolant from the radiator.
  36.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. From the engine compartment, remove the heater hoses from the heater assembly.
  2.  
  3. From under the dash, remove the heater ducts from the heater assembly. To remove the rear seat heater duct, move the outlet control link to the VENT side, insert a finger into the outlet and remove the duct from inside heater.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the power relay wiring, remove three attaching bolts and remove the heater assembly. Remove the heat core.
  6.  
  7. Install the heater core and heater assembly. Connect the control harness and controls. Connect all dusts, accessories, panels, and moldings. Install the steering wheel assembly. Connect the hoses and fill the cooling system. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

Connect the heater hoses in a fully seated position on the inlet and outlet fittings of the heater core assembly, so they will not leak. Adjust the heater control cable by setting the control panel to COOL and heater unit lever on COOL and tighten the cable at that position.

 
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