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How do you remove the heater core of a 1982 VW Rabbit diesel truck with AC?

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Answered 2007-04-11 22:08:43

I just finished replacing mine in my 80 diesel rabbit w/ AC. You're suppose to take the entire dash out, but I did it the red-neck way... First I removed the heater box clips (I believe there are about 6 that you can get to around the front and back of the box). Then you'll have to break the glue that seals the heater box halves together.**Be Aware: if the core has been leaking for a while it's going to dump all that anti-freeze onto the floorboard, so have a bunch of newspaper down. Now the fun part!! You have to pry the heater box apart as far as you can without breaking it (just far enough to yank the old core out and, as carfully as possible, put the new one in). The core isn't faceted to anything in the heater box, so once I had the box spread to a descent gap (appx. 6-7 inches). I disconnected the radiator hoses in the engine compartment that go through the firewall to the heatercore. Then I disconnected them from the heater core itself (beware more spilling of anti-freeze will occure once you remove these 2 hoses). Finally, I yanked the old heater core out through the gap I made in the heater box and AS GENTLY AS POSSIBLE pushed the new one back in. Once I had the new heatercore in place, I had to push the 2 halves of the heater box back together while re-attaching the clips that hold them together (would have been much easier with 2 people). Then I re-attached the hoses to the heater core and to their counter parts in the engine compartment, and reattached any other peices of plastic that had to be cleared (e.g. the one that covers the hose connection to the heater core). If you did it right and didn't damage the new heater core (too badly) when you put it back in, you should be all set to go! But I warn this is not the textbook method, and you could damage the new core or other parts if you're not careful!!! The whole thing took me about 5-6 hours to complete, which was great compared to the 12 it would have taken me had I taken the whole dash out(not to mention the $400+ bucks it saved me). Hope it helps! -Patrick

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