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Thread: Testing heater core

  1. #1
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    Default Testing heater core

    Turns out the Wagon I just got has the heater core bypassed. It was in Nevada and Florida for over 20yrs, so it might have been bypassed to avoid heat leakage in the cab, but that seems too easy.
    Has anyone had luck with pressure testing the heater core in the car? What pressure do you test to?
    Finally, what areas should I watch for the first signs of leakage if I am able to just hook it back up?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I doubt anyone bypassed a working heater core especially since you live in a state that gets cold.

    You can pressure test your cooling system to the rated pressure on your cap make sure it holds pressure, connect the heater core top off the cooling system then do the pressure test again if it leaks down with the heater lines connected you have a bad core, if it does leak down with the lines connected you can pinch off the heater hoses to see if it holds pressure again. if it does you will know for sure the heater core is shot.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply. The car originally came from Nevada, then Florida as a series of snowbirds car which is why I wasn't sure. And they looped a short line at the heater core pipes instead of leaving it empty.
    I'll pressure test this weekend and get the verdict.

  4. #4
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    definitely pressure test the cooling system with it bypassed first to make sure you don't have any leaks. Then hook up the core and see if that changes. Need to isolate your variables.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  5. #5
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    Tested the heater core before hooking anything back up to the full cooling circuit. It didn't hold any air, we could hear the air escaping from the footwell.
    Any recommendations on brand for the replacement? Spectra seems to be the best available, but I have had mixed luck with their stuff in the past.

  6. #6
    fomoco panthers !
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    I have used Spectra without problems. I always take the new heater core to a radiator shop to have a pressure test done. You dont want to do all that work to find that the new one leaks.

  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I bought a genuine Ford one, put it in, and it was bad. Replaced it with another Ford, pressure tested it first, and that one is OK. whatever you install, I suggest pressure testing it with about 15 psi of air first. I used a regulator and some hose to feed the input side, stuck my finger in the outlet and dunked it in a 5 gallon bucket.


    if you can hear the air coming out, it must be pretty blown. Usually its just a pinhole leak. Enough to stink, but not enough to actually hear.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  8. #8
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    Couldn't find a Motorcraft core, ended up getting the Spectra core and all new hoses for the cooling system. Will definitely be checking the core when it shows up before installing. Now I need to study up on the blend door hinges so I can do those preemptively while the dash is out.

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    blend door hinges usually aren't an issue, its the air door ones in the plenum. The air door pivots on a steel rod, the ones in the plenum use what is basically a rectangle of plastic with a thin spot cut through the middle so it bends. Eventually it just cracks off at the thin spot. Fixing it isn't real hard, basically you find some small metal hinges at the hardware store and adapt them to work. Usually seems to end up using the original hinge pieces as spacers to make it fit.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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