How hard is it to replace a heater core on a 97 Pontiac Grand Am SE?

it is not that hard you must split the bottom of the heater case. you will not have to remove the dash . You may have to remove floor console. Then its just clips and screws. remove hoses on outside at firewall.

So far it is a royal pain.. I removed all the screws I can see from the lower half,and it will openup to see the core, but I can't remove the lower half. I loosened up the trim around the radio and speedometer to see if it would help, it didn't. I can't see any reason to dislodge the console - plenty of clearance in front of it. I tried prying on the right side and broke some plastic. After about 5 hrs, I'll try again tomorrow. I wish I hadn't tried to do a friend a favor....

I had to replace the heater core in my wifes 1997 grandam. It is really not that hard. It took me just under three hours. Drain the coolant,jack up the car (use jack stands) Remove the two heater hoses at the fire wall, be sure and remove the rubber turn down drain adapter that is to the right of the heater hoses. Remove the left and right under dash panels, I can not remmeber how many screw ther are but there are a few,There is 8 3 on ether side and two hidden from vue one near the middle and one between the lines near the firewall be sure and find and remove all of them. You should not have to pry very hard to remove the case. Hold the heater core in the upper case up in it's place and wiggle the lower case out. It is kind of a tight fit but not that hard to get out. Once the lower case is out remove the heater core by pulling it to the rear to clear the fire wall and remove the assembly. Replace in reverse order. .

Just changed the heater core and followed the previous answer directions, worked good just wanted to add a few things to anyone else. Make sure that you get all the screws out of the bottom case portion there are two screws that are in an indentation that you wont see. You can feel them though with your fingers. You will also have to remove a small electrical component and its bracket on the passenger side. When removing the lower case you have to pry the portion against the fire wall down in order to allow two tabs that extend up behind the upper portion. Or you can pry hard enough away from the firewall and break the tab off as I did. One other thing is the drain boot that you need to remove is next to the ac lines that extend through the fire wall. There are two screws that are next to the heater hoses on the engine side of the fire wall you do not have to remove these.

It took 5 hours to get the core out. I had to bust it out. I don't know what hooks you were referring to, but it did not come out easy. I can't believe they used plastic for piping coming of the core. What a mess. I wish you luck..