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heater core question


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30 replies to this topic

#1 86subaru

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:19 PM

it is a 86 spfi fwd a/t sedan 75,000mi , the whole floor on the drivers side is wet with antifreeze and some on the passanger side , is this the heater core gone bad ? or could it be a loose hose around the firewall ? any help ? thanks :eek:

#2 the_bard

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:32 PM

Every heater core I've had to deal with consisted of a radiator type deal with metal pipes leading through the firewall to be connected to the hoses outside the firewall... hence nothing to be connected on the passenger compartment side of the firewall (awful hard to get in there to replace the heater core, much less tightening hose clamps).

I imagine Sube's are the same, so I'd guess the heater core's deep sixed.

#3 86subaru

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 10:02 PM

would bars keep stop the leak ?

#4 baccaruda

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 10:43 PM

not for long.


i know the heater core has been explained well. there are some pictures floating around somewhere too. try a search.

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:04 AM

jim, you could try some bar's leak (the aluminum powder kind) maybe 2 of them.

should that work it will get you by till we can come and fix it. it will at least keep you from "standing in hot water"

and since its your other legal car, in case you need to drive it

Jim asked me if the heater core from an XT would fit. i think it would. any one else have an idea?

#6 speedbump

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:08 AM

just bypass the core at the two hoses that run to the firewall,you will need about 8" of 5/8 hose ithink to do this.If the floor dries up ,then you know!:boohoo:

#7 MilesFox

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:45 AM

you can try that too jim, if you have to drive everyday, since the weather is warmer, its bearable

JUST DONT PULL THE SPEEDO CABLE WITH IT!!! (code 33)

#8 Wrench Princess

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:04 AM

I know how much it sucks to have a heatercore pee all over you! I have had it happen to me several times before and I don't drive. In Chevys (that is what I am used to) the heater core is on the passanger side. The easiest thing to do is bypass the heater core until you get another one. To do that just connect your two hoses that go from the engine to the firewall to eachother so it is a big loop. The heater core also helps cool your engine too though so watch your temp until you get a new heater core installed. I have never taken a heater core out of an EA82 but if it is the same as an EA81 they are a pain in the rump roast to get to and you need to take the dash apart to even get to it.

#9 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:15 AM

hmm.. thats odd... i happened to have a heater core from a 86 GL-10 FWD AT sedan! lol!

i think its good.. but I would have to check.. (I removed the assembly as a whole, and left the core in there)

but yes, it is difficult to repair, but DONT use stop leak, it will just plug up your radiator and mess up your engine ( i know from experience!!)
the best thing to do is bypass the core at the firewall like previously suggested

#10 86subaru

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 07:10 AM

will do , i will by pass it ,and i will not use bars keep , thanks

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:37 AM

jim, i like the hose idea better myself

#12 bbbs53

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 11:31 PM

Go to the front page and read how to swap the core without removing the heater. It works perfectly. The part that really sucks, is the valve is probably toast as well. No problem, OEM only, at least you can get one. 110.00 US dollars. MORE THAN THE CORE!!!!! The cores are pretty much the same number except in the first half of 1980 Brat's. Even though the book lists them as the same, the early ones are smaller by a bunch. The fact that your leak persists with the valve in the off or cold position, only re-enforces it's demise. You might as well look at a new radiator while you are at it, because what ever plugged up the heater core has or will plug up the radiator as well. They are less than the darned valve as well. I have a propane soldering iron. I used it to "cut" the plastic surrounding the core, remove the computer module from under the dash and slide the new one in the hole. Simple, no disassembly of the heater and re-adjustment of all the rods and doors. The core can be had online for under 70.00 bucks. Napa wanted about 90.00. However with shipping, it will be about a wash. All together with all new hoses, thermo, valve, core and radiator, it was right at 300.00 and change. Less than 4 hours to swap it all. Now the '82 runs cool as a cucumber and the heater will run you out of it, which makes it so you can open the t-tops when it is freezing and the heat flows past you and out the top and the other drivers look at you like, well, you know. Not to mention the sheer luxury of a defroster that kicks the air on once in a while and actually clears your windshield in a few mins., not days. Go for it, it is one of the best upgrades you can treat your self to. I did mine in September and this entire, bad winter, with the help of the aggressive Goodyear studded snows, has been a pleasure. :D

#13 archemitis

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 12:01 AM

ford festiva heater core duct taped to blower motor, with hoses rerouted, of course. i'll post a pic tomorrow, got me through the last few bouts of below 0 weather.

#14 86subaru

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 08:51 AM

thanks for all the help. will it hurt to by pass the core until i can fix it ?

#15 XTcollector

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 02:55 PM

actually bypassing the H Core will not effect your engine at all. there really isn't much heat drawn off there in relation to cooling the engine. I will admit there is some, but if there is an overheating problem point the finger at the radiator. if you think about it you don't use the heat in the summer, infact if you are lucky you crank up the A/C. this would adversly effect the engine heat if it were relying on the core for cooling purposes. in the event of running hot you can draw some heat off the engine with the heater, but not really enough to help for a very long time. also I agree, do NOT use a leak stop to try to repair a leaky H Core, you would need an enormouse ammount to plug the hole and the cores in the radiator are only about as big as the hole in the H core, you will plug up the rad. and risk damage to engine. These engins are becoming too rare to risk. Good Luck and plan on a day or two to change the core.

#16 archemitis

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 04:02 PM

the spfi is becoming too rare to risc? i cant throw a cv at a junkyard and not hit a spfi subaru.
stopleak works great alot of the time, and i have used it in about 10 cars, and never had any radiator plugging problems. thats an old wives tale, from the 70s.

#17 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 10:51 PM

hmm... i dont think its a wives tale, considering I have lost 2 radiators to that stuff.... and it DIDNT plug the heater core (the heater core just kept pissing)

just what i have seen anyways....

the soldering idea sounds good, as long as you dont care about keeping it all original (but i guess you could just hide it with gluing the plastic back in there :D

#18 asavage

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 01:30 AM

BarsLeak works: it does seal a lot of small leaks.

Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where the cure is worse than the disease.

BarsLeak greatly reduces the heat-shedding ability of the cooling system. It coats -- everything. It will plug holes in fine passages. In non-Subaru engines, I've seen it occlude multiple head gasket steam holes, which are there for a reason!

I've seen it plug up portions of a radiator core.

And, because it's almost all solids, it's hell on the water pump seal (as are, to a much lesser extent the silicates in green coolant). Which is why the John Crane Co. doesn't like it. Who's the John Crane Company? They're the folks that mfgr something like 70% of the worlds water pump seals.

BarsLeak is like putting sticky sandpaper in your cooling system.

But it works. For a while. How long do you want to drive your car? BarsLeak is great if you want to sell it next week. I bet used car lots keep Bar's in business.

#19 bbbs53

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 01:30 AM

If you look at the drivers side of the heater box, there is a duct that carries the air to the defroster and with the plastic that hides the computer in place, you can't see the side of the heater box. You can't tell it has been done without taking off that duct and the bottom cover. The core is wrapped in foam, and seals the hole nicely. You can glue the piece back on and it is cast into the box around the core, so it is really easy to make out where the core is. I am very concerned about the stockness, is that a word, of my rig. It is not a hillbilly method at all and does less damage than trying to remove the unit they seem to have built the car around. When I first looked at it in the repair section, I was dubious. Then when I actually crawled in and looked, I realized how easy and hidden it is. The defroster duct hides it beautifully. I would do it again in a min. I don't like stop leak except to get me from the place I put it in to home. The radiators and heater cores on these cars is one of their weaker components. Adding junk to it will only in the long run cause more problems than it fixes. Besides, I would bet the valve is leaking and not the core, so hook the hoses together until you can fix it right and hope the weather gets warmer. It the valve were working, you would have no water in the core since it bypasses when turned to cold. If it is working.

#20 86subaru

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 07:30 AM

ok, thanks will do

#21 Skip

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:03 AM

Doubtful BB BS53 will read this,
but he is talking about an EA81 vehicle.

The EA82 in question has no control valve
and is a much different beast under the dash.
Just thought you might want to know this
before you go looking for this "valve"


#22 86subaru

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:34 AM

ok, thanks skip , it is leaking so bad that it is leaking fron the floor board onto the garage floor , the whole drivers side carpet is soaked

#23 asavage

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 01:50 PM

Originally posted by Skip
The EA82 in question has no control valve and is a much different beast under the dash.


Damn!
My Loyale had been giving me a brief coolant smell on warmup every morning on my drive to work. I know what that means: seepage from the core overnight, and as it warms up, the one or two drops vapourizing lets me know.

I was hoping for a valve fix rather than the 4.3 hours flat-rate to R&R the core.

This Loyale has really turned into a pile of work.

#24 86subaru

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 04:26 PM

i bypassed the core with about 8in of hose , did not seem to over heat , thanks for all the help , and did a search and know just about what to do

#25 bbbs53

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:24 AM

Now why would you say that Skip? I was indeed talking about an EA-81. In 86 they were EA-82's? If that is so, they are different, but still have a control valve for the hotwater, just a different location, principal is the same. Wouldn't read this, sheesh.




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