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Old 09-07-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default Heater Core Repair??

My heater core has developed a moderate leak. I made a bypass for it with PVC pipe and fittings so I'm not dribbling antifreeze all over the roads. I've done some checking and let's just say replacing the core looks like a fair piece of work. I'm wondering if it's worth trying to fix it with one of the various stop leak products. I'm reluctant to have that stuff runnning through my engine and cooling system. So I was thinking of just adding it to boiling water and adding the water/stop leak mixture directly into the heater core. I could pressurize the heater core if needed. I could also pull the heater/AC fan, stick a hairdryer in the heater box, and heat the heater core to activate the stop leak. Then I'd drain the stop leak solution, flush the heater core, reconnect it, and top off with water and anitfreeze.

Has anyone tried something like this? What was your experience? What stop leak product did you use? If there is a reasonable chance this will work I may give it a go.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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I'm wondering if it's worth trying to fix it with one of the various stop leak products.
I'd say no. Even if you can plug it up and still get heat out, that crap will eventually find it's way to the engine. Just bite the bullet and do it.
Hey, look on the bright side: the part is only $39! LOL

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I'm reluctant to have that stuff runnning through my engine and cooling system.
You should be.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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Ditto. I bought a 01 Avant last winter that had that stuff in it. You have no idea what a mess it made in the motor/radiator.

I've done the heater core/dashboard job on two B5's. It's not hero mechanics. It's just time consuming work. But like everything else in life, it's no big deal if you just stop talking about it and do it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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But like everything else in life, it's no big deal if you just stop talking about it and do it.
Isn't that the truth!
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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It took me two days without rush.
And you dont have to remove aluminum frame completely from the car just move away as far as possible(just disconnect 4connectors at ecu box) and pull the heater core.

Its gonna look like this:

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A4 99.5 2.8 V6 QAuto AHA

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
DIY:
Upper arms and tie rods - 54k
A/T filter and oil changed - 60k 07/06, and 110k 09/12
Motor mounts / Fuel level repair - 68k
Timing Belt and two sensors replaced - 73k 9/07
Spark plugs@wires and Oxygen sensor(B1S1: Front pass. side) - 83K 4/09
Wheel bearing(rear, driver side, brand SNR oem) - 92k 08/10
LCD Instrument Cluster Pixel Repair - 92k 08/10
Timing Belt and Heater core replaced - 97k 01/11
Tires ContiExtremeContact DWS - 99k 7/11
Wheel bearing(rear, pass side, brand SNR oem) - 120k 06/13
Spark plugs (NGK BKR6EIX Iridium IX) - 120k 06/13
Next week - new Oxygen sensor(B2S1: Front driver side,Bosch 13842) - 120K 6/13
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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And you dont have to remove aluminum frame completely from the car just move away as far as possible(just disconnect 4connectors at ecu box) and pull the heater core.
That's how I did it both times, just move the frame enough to get access to the heater box. As long as you're there, you'll have to purge the AC system. Might as well do the evaporator too. When that leaks, you've got no AC till you do that whole job again.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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As long as you're there, you'll have to purge the AC system. Might as well do the evaporator too.
My heater core was fine. I had to replace the leaking evaporator core. $400 dealer only.
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1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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My heater core was fine. I had to replace the leaking evaporator core. $400 dealer only.
Really? What's wrong with this for $107?
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Do all B5's require the A/C purge to replace heater core or only certain years?? And what is the procedure for the A/C purge?
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:16 PM   #10
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Not available from my trusted parts source. For something buried so deeply in the dash, I won't go with a vendor I don't know.

BTW, the part in the picture is not the right core.
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Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2005 A6 Sedan Q 3.2 (wife's whip)
2003 S8 (Q Ship)
2000 A4 Avant Q 2.8 (daily driver)
1999 BMW M Coupe (clownshoe)
1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
2004 Dodge Dakota (hey, at least it's stick and 4x4)
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:05 PM   #11
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This looks like the mechanical equivalent of field dressing a moose. Thanks for the tip about not having to remove the aluminum frame. I've also read it's not necessary to remove the steering wheel. Has anyone found that to be the case? My ignition switch crapped out many years ago so I've already gone through removing the steering wheel. But if I don't have to do that it would save a little more time. By biggest concern is breaking some plastic fastener the dealer doesn't stock.

Do I need the Bentley manual for this or can I get by on Kris Hanson's write up and a Haynes manual?
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BikerBill View Post
I've also read it's not necessary to remove the steering wheel. Has anyone found that to be the case?
You do have to drop the steering collumn to the floor, but don't have to remove it from the steearing rack. I don't think you can drop that w/o removing the trim around the ignition, and the screws for that are behind the steering wheel. Removing the wheel is about 10 minutes in an all day job. Kind of not worth debating IMHO
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Originally Posted by BikerBill View Post
Do I need the Bentley manual for this or can I get by on Kris Hanson's write up and a Haynes manual?
No matter what you follow, they all leave out a lot of steps they assume you can figure out yourself. I used Bentley, but kept referring to Kris Hanson's more than Bentley. That one is done well.

Here's my 96 B5 in a heater core change. You can see the steering collum sitting on a water jug on the floor. Have to be careful you don't step on those expensive stalks.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:35 PM   #13
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I use Bentley, and Kris Hanson's write up and I think few more.
Dont forget before you pull aluminum frame, disconnect 4plugs(they are in different colors) at the driver side by the firewall.
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A4 99.5 2.8 V6 QAuto AHA

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
DIY:
Upper arms and tie rods - 54k
A/T filter and oil changed - 60k 07/06, and 110k 09/12
Motor mounts / Fuel level repair - 68k
Timing Belt and two sensors replaced - 73k 9/07
Spark plugs@wires and Oxygen sensor(B1S1: Front pass. side) - 83K 4/09
Wheel bearing(rear, driver side, brand SNR oem) - 92k 08/10
LCD Instrument Cluster Pixel Repair - 92k 08/10
Timing Belt and Heater core replaced - 97k 01/11
Tires ContiExtremeContact DWS - 99k 7/11
Wheel bearing(rear, pass side, brand SNR oem) - 120k 06/13
Spark plugs (NGK BKR6EIX Iridium IX) - 120k 06/13
Next week - new Oxygen sensor(B2S1: Front driver side,Bosch 13842) - 120K 6/13
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