Heater Core Options for a 93 in 2020 (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 17, 2019
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137
Location
Georgia
I know this has been beat up before, but it seems the situation has gotten even worse. Wondering what real world options there are today, and if anyone has experience with them. I have the dash out of my 93 for various reasons, and am replacing what I can "while I'm in there". A Denso evap core and expansion valve is on the way, and while the heater core is actually not leaking the steel plates are rusty, it seems delicate, and I would just rather not put the 27 year old core back in when the dash has to come out to replace it if it fails in a year or two. I had read that the OEM has been NLA for a while now, and I had planned to just have mine re-cored. When I found a radiator shop about 40 minutes away that has excellent reviews, mentions re-cores as a service, and has been in business since the 50's, I figured I was set. I was shocked when I called. He told me the business has totally dried up, no one is willing to pay for a re-core, so he no longer keeps the parts to do it. He said he could do it, but it would start at over $300 and take at least a week. He even said if it was his, he would just stick an aftermarket core in it. They are all made by three companies now, regardless of who puts their sticker on the box, and the brand doesn't mean much. He said the Spectra Premium I see at Rock Auto is fine, probably generic and will take a little work to fit, but far cheaper than him building one. He wasn't too encouraging when I asked how long I could expect one of these to last, "probably get a few years out of it". When I look at the Rock Auto listings, they actually only have ADPI/Pro in stock for the front, and I am sure it is generic as they show one core as fitting from 91 - 97. The images don't show the pipes at all. Are these things so generic you have to have the old pipes soldered to the new core ? Is there any such thing as a quality aftermarket direct fit heater core any more ? Running through options, I'm thinking just bite the bullet and have them build one. Another thing I thought of was to convert the heater box to the newer style, assuming I can find one, and buy a still available OEM heater core and be happy for another 20+ years.

Sorry for the long rambling question, but... Any options out there ? Buy OEM for a Camry and bend the lines ? A secret awesome aftermarket heater core company I don't know about ? Convert to a Vinage Air system ?

Jason
 

slow95z

Always parting 80s
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Joined
Jul 27, 2008
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3,194
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Dublin GA
move farther south in GA so you dont need heat??

i would just got with the cheap one from rock auto. last time i looked into the factory option it was around 700 bucks for everything needed.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
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10,557
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
It's a crapshoot.

Not enough documented cases yet for or against the aftermarket versions. Not sure what mods have to be done to fit certain years.

The $300 is not out of line. I had to do my Studebaker heater core that way and it was $330 for a core that was 10"*10".......
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
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Location
Israel
I got my rig in 97 I have no problems with my H C but read the dreadful @Onur discontinued announcements, so I decided to put an H C on the shelf for just in case there was no logic to put 400$ on the shelf that will accumulate dust so I got a direct fit aftermarket 97 core.
The mod needed - using the old brass pipes from the dead core if I cannot find a shop that will recore my old unit with a brass core allot of the old radiators masters that work since the 1940s are closing shops

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Last edited:
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
137
Location
Georgia
I got my rig in 97 I have no problems with my H C but read the dreadful @Onur discontinued announcements, so I decided to put an H C on the shelf for just in case there was no logic to put 400$ on the shelf that will accumulate dust so I got a direct fit aftermarket 97 core.
The mod needed - using the old brass pipes from the dead core if I cannot find a shop that will recore my old unit with a brass core allot of the old radiators masters that work since the 1940s are closing shops

View attachment 2388123View attachment 2388124View attachment 2388125View attachment 2388126

Thanks for the info and pics, that's what I was wondering. Looks exactly like the vendor pictures, but better angles. So no pipes, and I guess we are expected to reuse or remake them. Since the 93 is brass and they are soldered, that does not seem like a great option.

Jason
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
39
Location
Chattanooga, TN, USA
Just pulled my leaking heater core and took it to a local shop to see if it can be salvaged. In the meantime, I do have the aluminum replacement, but I'm wondering what folks have used to replace the formed pipes. Does anyone have experience using the aluminum replacement? Did you use silicone hose to replace the pipes?
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
1,180
Location
Los Santos
I actually bought one of the last OEM heater cores a year or two ago now sitting in my storage unit. IIRC, for the 1997s, there are two pipes you need to buy and at the time of purchase 1 of 2 was NLA.

So I've got one new OEM pipe and one new OEM heater core collecting dust. I always hesitate a bit to move that slider to the right into the red zone in my truck. :D

My Utopian wish list for quality aftermarket replacement solutions because OEM NLA off top of head 1/26/21 morning coffee style:

-Complete power antenna kit
-Full headlight replacements that look period correct while throwing out more modern times kelvin and lumens
-Front door lock actuators
-AC condenser unit
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
137
Location
Georgia
I actually bought one of the last OEM heater cores a year or two ago now sitting in my storage unit. IIRC, for the 1997s, there are two pipes you need to buy and at the time of purchase 1 of 2 was NLA.

So I've got one new OEM pipe and one new OEM heater core collecting dust. I always hesitate a bit to move that slider to the right into the red zone in my truck. :D

My Utopian wish list for quality aftermarket replacement solutions because OEM NLA off top of head 1/26/21 morning coffee style:

-Complete power antenna kit
-Full headlight replacements that look period correct while throwing out more modern times kelvin and lumens
-Front door lock actuators
-AC condenser unit
For the AC condenser, Denso is available. Looks exactly like what came out. Just be careful if you have a 93, their listing assumes all 93's are R12.

Jason

Jason
 

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