C3 Tech/Performance V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

Heater Core Replace Cost $$$$$$

 
Old 05-28-2016, 12:53 PM
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news2me
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Default Heater Core Replace Cost $$$$$$

The heater core is leaking on my 77' and needs to be replaced. Its going to be a big job. Reading on the Forum Half the dash has to come out and takes a lot of time. I bypassed it for now, until I find a shop to do the job... Does anyone have any idea how much a job like that cost. $$$$$.

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Old 05-28-2016, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by news2me View Post
The heater core is leaking on my 77' and needs to be replaced. Its going to be a big job. Reading on the Forum Half the dash has to come out and takes a lot of time. I bypassed it for now, until I find a shop to do the job... Does anyone have any idea how much a job like that cost. $$$$$.
Actually, the bottom half of the dash meaning ductwork, console panels, the heater box, passenger seat. I did my 78 and I did it over a couple of days but probably took 8 hours. Figure shop rate and I don't have a clue but figure $65 an hour = $520 plus parts $100. I'm sure others can offer a closer estimate.

But why not take it on yourself. Requires some technical guidance, patience and a six pack! It's basically a nuts and bolt job, unless of course time is limited.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by news2me View Post
The heater core is leaking on my 77' and needs to be replaced. Its going to be a big job. Reading on the Forum Half the dash has to come out and takes a lot of time. I bypassed it for now, until I find a shop to do the job... Does anyone have any idea how much a job like that cost. $$$$$.
So glad the dash is apart in the '76 I just bought. I'll be replacing the heater core before everything goes back together again - just to play it safe.

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Old 05-28-2016, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hunt4cleanair View Post
Actually, the bottom half of the dash meaning ductwork, console panels, the heater box, passenger seat. I did my 78 and I did it over a couple of days but probably took 8 hours. Figure shop rate and I don't have a clue but figure $65 an hour = $520 plus parts $100. I'm sure others can offer a closer estimate.

But why not take it on yourself. Requires some technical guidance, patience and a six pack! It's basically a nuts and bolt job, unless of course time is limited.
That's what was thinking about $500 plus parts...
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:19 PM
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The heater core on my 67 started leaking several years ago. I figured I never drive it in the winter so I just took the hose from the core and attached it back to the other core outlet and did the same with the water pump hose and all is good for me. I had other jobs with more priority.
Sorry for giving you the lazy mans fix.
Originally Posted by 76C3forme View Post
So glad the dash is apart in the '76 I just bought. I'll be replacing the heater core before everything goes back together again - just to play it safe.
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:23 PM
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If you decide to do this job yourself, take the heater core to a radiator shop and have them pressure test it before you install it. Also, have them reinforce the solder joints where the tubes go into the core.

I purchased 2 heater cores, on from the local Chevy dealer and one from Pep Boys. They were identical, made in Mexico but Pep Boys was less expensive. They both leaked. Took them to a local radiator shop and pressure tested them. The cores were fine - leaks on both were at the tube joint at the core.

You don't want to do this job twice!!!
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:36 PM
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If your car has A/C, then it is a big job and involves removal of interior parts to get to the core. If you don't have A/C, then it's an easier job and is done from the engine bay. I did mine in a little over an hour, no A/C. Not fun, but I'd rather do it myself and know it's done right than trust it to a shop and have to leave my car there. If you have the ability. do it yourself.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:36 PM
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Yep, the car has A/C. So its going to be a big job. I need to find a good shop, that knows what there doing. It has a go to a guy that knows Vette's, not the local guy on the corner. If any one knows a shop in New Jersey, please let me know.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:25 PM
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It will be more than 500 labor. Most shops just don't want this kind of work. It ties their bay up too long. I did it 8 years ago. It's not hard, just requires keeping parts in order.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mortgageguy View Post
It's not hard, just requires keeping parts in order.
+1 to that. Just removed my entire system.

Take you time, do it stages and you'll save a lot of money.
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Old 05-29-2016, 06:10 PM
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I did mine a couple of months ago. It took me 4 evenings as I staged it out
1) remove the system,
2) rebuild the heater box and install the core
3) install the heater box and install the A/C vacuum lines etc
4) put the dash, console, back together and fire her up.

I was intimidated at first, but now that it is over it was not all that bad.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:12 AM
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I would have never attempted mine myself without this forum. I found an awesome write up for my 79. I realize your 77 has a different dash, but I'd spend some time searching around here and see what you can dig up for help. As others said, it was not a hard job, just time consuming. I took a month because i did a lot of "while I'm there" stuff, and it was over winter, so I wasn't going to be driving the car anyway.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:00 PM
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I took a month because i did a lot of "while I'm there" stuff, and it was over winter, so I wasn't going to be driving the car anyway.[/QUOTE]

So, while you are "in there"....

Replace all the vacuum lines
Consider a new control module
Test and retest the cables and vacuum actuators
Get a new water control valve (my new one failed and gave me diagnosis fits and my second one worked)

I used the service manual as a guide and it helped. All the vacuum lines look like a spaghetti mess at first, but a once at a time trace makes it simple.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:44 PM
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I have done several and one thing that have found...because I do this for a living and I have found short cuts...along with some areas that need to be checked or you may be sorry when it is done

Some times wasting time trying to save the molded curved heater hoses is pointless when it is faster to cut the clamps and slice the hoses...BECAUSE....you can get it all back together and the car comes back in on a roll-back and I had to replace the heater hoses a month or so later. That and along with some other things that need to be done in order NOT to damage any of the plastic shifter console, etc.

AS stated...it is not that bad of a job....but there is a 'method to the madness'.

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Old 05-30-2016, 09:06 PM
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This IS the most MISERABLE! job to do of any on the C3 Vette in my opinion.....talking C-60 equipped C3 Vettes.....
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Go Vette Go View Post
If you decide to do this job yourself, take the heater core to a radiator shop and have them pressure test it before you install it. Also, have them reinforce the solder joints where the tubes go into the core.

I purchased 2 heater cores, on from the local Chevy dealer and one from Pep Boys. They were identical, made in Mexico but Pep Boys was less expensive. They both leaked. Took them to a local radiator shop and pressure tested them. The cores were fine - leaks on both were at the tube joint at the core.

You don't want to do this job twice!!!
this X3....you don't want to know how many heater cores I have replaced a second time from leaks at the elbow. even if they don't leak out of the box, the way they are currently soldered (automated process) uses so little solder that even a slight amount of pressure putting the hose back on can cause a leak.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:51 PM
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IMHO use the Evans coolant to eliminate corrosion. Most of my cars are 30 plus years old and I tired of heater cores rusting through and replacing them. Evans is a lifetime coolant and eliminates corrosion.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Solid LT1 View Post
This IS the most MISERABLE! job to do of any on the C3 Vette in my opinion.....talking C-60 equipped C3 Vettes.....
I know we all have our limits to what we consider being MISERABLE..I get that and respect that!....but honestly...in my opinion...I would rather do several heater cores in 1968-1982 Corvette A/C cars instead of having to replace an evaporator core, VIR , POA or accumulator, A/C hoses in the car. And do not get me started on the nightmares on the 1984-1996 Corvettes that can occur when replacing some parts. They make changing out this heater core ...literally...a walk in the park.

Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
this X3....you don't want to know how many heater cores I have replaced a second time from leaks at the elbow. even if they don't leak out of the box, the way they are currently soldered (automated process) uses so little solder that even a slight amount of pressure putting the hose back on can cause a leak.
...not so much on having to do it twice...I only did that once (and that was enough for me)...BUT..I can 'say' that I got brand new heater cores where the tubes had NO solder where they went into the tank and they PASSED inspection....AND I take mine over to the radiator shop I use and they solder the crap out of them and in many cases they will also solder the two tubes together where they touch when replacing a heater core for an A/C car.

Originally Posted by lurch59 View Post
IMHO use the Evans coolant to eliminate corrosion. Most of my cars are 30 plus years old and I tired of heater cores rusting through and replacing them. Evans is a lifetime coolant and eliminates corrosion.
with using the EVANS coolant...

And with all due respect...and I know what you meant....but some may not...but I think the correct term of a heater core failing would be corroding and not rusting...because it can not create rust due to being non ferrous.

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Old 05-31-2016, 06:51 PM
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You are correct. Solder joints often are the points of failure, so sometimes it's not the metal corroding through. Lots of rusty bits from cast iron and precipitated residue from coolant additives floating around in the coolant in the engine though. If you've ever run a coolant filter, you'd be surprised at all the stuff in there!
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lurch59 View Post
You are correct. Solder joints often are the points of failure, so sometimes it's not the metal corroding through. Lots of rusty bits from cast iron and precipitated residue from coolant additives floating around in the coolant in the engine though. If you've ever run a coolant filter, you'd be surprised at all the stuff in there!
I can not say that I have ever installed a coolant filter for a customer...but I have drained enough engine blocks and captured the coolant coming out of the block drain and see what was laying on the bottom of the engine block area....people would be AMAZED!....AND when I see that the crap coming out of the engine block is so abrasive...I then remove the thermostat housing and look at the inside of it where the coolant flows through the thermostat and I can see how this abrasive crap is slowly sandblast and destroying the aluminum thermostat housing from the inside. It does not always happen....but it has.

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