heater core swap ? / FJ60 1986 version

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Jul 20, 2006
well I've gotten myself a little motivated and I'm about to attack this pain in the @$$ project. One question has come to mind and I've pondered this thing recently, or should I say two questions.

(1) are those clasps that hold the heater pipes to the heater core easy to break, and if they do break what are solutions if any to replacing them?

(2) can you leave the two heater pipes that run through the firewall in place and not remove them, when you do the heater core swap. In my "mind" it would seem that you could or it would make sense to.

Give me some feedback if you've done this before. Thanks.
I am no expert, but I just did this job. You havve to take the pipe extensions out with the heater box. I do not see an easy way of getting them apart in place, maybe someone has done it, not me that's for sure.

Some basics to make your life easier. Remove the passenger front seat and center console. This will give you room for, well, you. It is tight in there otherwise. I had the dash pad off anyway so I do not know how hard it would be without removing it. I imagine it is worth removing.

Take your time removing all the duct work. This is OLD plastic and can be damaged without a lot of effort. Pay attention to the top of both the AC and heater boxes where they attach to the studs on the fire wall. Lots of tension there when trying to wiggle the boxes out. I was able to get a small pinch bar in behind the flanges on the boxes and lightly pry them out from the studs while wiggling the units.

This is not really a very hard job, just tedious. When in doubt, walk away and come back to it. It will certainly test your nerve if you let it.

Edit: Oh yeah, the "While Your In There" factor is here. Do all you can because the odds are you will not want to do this again.
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I just did this job also yes pipes stay with the heater core and box. I didn't break the metal clips that hold the pipes to the core i do believe the o rings are still available the clips are not. I did away with both and sweated the pipes to the core if you do go that route or any route you may want to pressure test with a water hose be careful house water pressure is greater than the pressure of the system. I pulled everything out dash pad and the whole metal dash you will need to drop the steering column to get to two nuts this a pain in the butt job and definitely walk away when needed as @NCFJ stated. If you haven't replaced your evaporator coil and expansion valve now would be a good time.
Good luck
ok, I've gotten the dash partially disassembled and I can see the top of the heater core. Yeah my patience is less the older I've gotten and I"m just hoping some of the these brittle plastic things don't break. I was thinking those clasps on the heater pipes might come off rather easy but I've not gotten the rest of the dash components out of the way to test that line of logic. Appreciate the feedback. I've had the heater core and the o rings for some time, but rather than prolong the problem I need to get this done.
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Not a bad job, take lots of pictures. Take the whole heater box out with the core and tubes as one. See image.

Also, make sure you're using the proper Toyota o-rings. Generic rubber o-rings will not work.


And another picture for inspiration! Just kidding....

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thanks everyone for the tips and pics. I've put this off for a long time, mainly for a while I did not have a place where I could work on this, because I knew it might take a while or I might have to stop and start for various reasons. Well so finally the time has come and I'm tired of looking at it.
I learned I need to address some crappy wiring on some things I did before, and I learned the alpine amp control cable is crap...the connector to the radio simply broke in my hands. and I don't have a clue where the keys are to get the alpine radio to unlock from the mount. Well I'll screw with all that later. On to more fun with the dash.... column is dropped and I'm ready to take that main cross piece off where the a/c controls are. Guessing I'll need to see about taking the shift levers out too. I see now, based on the above pics..that yes there is no way in hell the heater pipes come off the heater core until you get the entire thing out, pipes plus heater core.
You're well on your way! You probably don't need to drop the metal part of the dash; I did mine as I had other things to do.
ok...I started on this thing a while back and had removed some pieces and stopped. So some things might come off now that may not be required but I'm there already. I sure hope this is the first and last time I have to screw with this. The good is now I can take my time on it, if I need to stop I can or if I have to round up some crazy part or parts that too. Will be good to have heat & ac back....and I need to do some other things too, so this is the bonus round on the big gorilla project for the interior, so I can then deal with some other things too. Some of these are layered projects...one thing feeds another and you have to start at the bottom so as not to redo something else. Ive got the time and space to get some things done right....or at least right in my view. I need to re-think some approaches on the wiring of various things, make it more modular and better suited for HD / life in the 4wd.
Ok, well it sounds like you have your hands full.

One thing I did "while I was in there" (aside from the A/C parts) was to re-foam all the flaps in the fan box, and heater box. A bit tedious, but well worth it I think. The old stuff just crumbled to the touch. There are a few threads on the topic, let me know if you want me to link to them. And I have a ton of pictures of that process too, so I'm happy to post up anything you need...

Oh, and anything you think you might want to bolt to the firewall (such as extended diff/transfer breather), now is the time.
Ok, well it sounds like you have your hands full.

One thing I did "while I was in there" (aside from the A/C parts) was to re-foam all the flaps in the fan box, and heater box. A bit tedious, but well worth it I think. The old stuff just crumbled to the touch. There are a few threads on the topic, let me know if you want me to link to them. And I have a ton of pictures of that process too, so I'm happy to post up anything you need...

Oh, and anything you think you might want to bolt to the firewall (such as extended diff/transfer breather), now is the time.

Yeah..thanks. How aobout linking the threads you mentioned. I noticed the foam crumbles like dust and its useless. If you want to shoot some pics by email that's fine too...elbertclarke@bellsouth.net
Well I got the core out this afternoon. Pretty hot and I may work on this at night moving forward. I'll answer a few questions I've always had, given the approach I took. (1) shifters don't have to come out, (2) heater core comes out without having to take the evap core out or having to disconnect the a/c. (3) I took about the entire dash out...leaving the evap core and fan assembly intact, but just about every bolt is loose so I could get some flex. (4) Yes it will be a long time dealing with getting everything back together. I'm no expert but I just pulled this sucker out today. Foam on the vent and temp doors is crap and crumbles / disenagrates to the touch. (5) get some good lighting so you can see (6) I took out the center console and passenger seat upon advice...good choice.
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The pictures are bright and clear.....I bought a twin LED shop light that on a stand and its shining in from the tailgate with the rear seat down. So in general light is good. I plan to replace (heater control valve, heater pipe gromment, and the metric heater hose that runs from the heater control valve to the core, it they are still available.

Two more questions.

(1) when going back together do you install the heater pipe grommet from the outside (firewall side)?

(2) Since my truck runs a v8, I don't recall the OEM setup...does it matter which side of the heater core is the input and which is the output?

Seems to be near impossible to get leverage on that grommet for install purposes from inside the cab.

I'll probably replace all the hoses associated with the heater circuit under the hood too.

If anyone needs some pics of anything....post up requests and I'll take them for you and post. It will be slow going putting stuff back together, but I can take my time and get some parts and deal with other things while this sits. I hope to get the main part complete next month.

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1 i put a new grommet in from the outside then slide the heater core tubes through it.
2 the input is the top tube that is also hoked to the heatercontrol valve the bottom is tge return if you have a vortec ls engine the 5/8 is the supply and 3/4 is the return at the water pump.
And definitely refoam everything
while I'm at it..something has come to mind... Anyone have any good ideas of something to use to insulate for noise there with the dual transfer case shifters. I'm running dual shifters and only have the small top thin rubber boot on the transfer case shifters. Too much road noise is comeing through...ideas? I don't remember what happened with the stock components, once we took the single OEM shifter off, but I need to do something about this.
Here are a couple links, there are good pics in the threads:

Heater and AC system re-foam
Hygge's Sawdust FJ62

ok thanks. I'll look through those threads. I know I need to clean up these components and the OEM foam is "toast". I've got to have a medical procedure on Wed, so I might be down for a few days but after that I'm going to keep at it. I want to get the heater core fully installed, all the dash, new hoses and heater control valve for the circuit under the hood, and verify everything is working. I noticed at breif glance that one of the clasps on the heater piper has more corrosion than the other. I've never dealt with these before so I guess I may try to soak in a rust preservative prior to re-install (hoping they don't break). I recall reading in another thread or maybe its just my memory from somewhere....to use dielectric grease on the o rings, pior to install. Any thoughts on the grease?
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Great thread! Can someone elaborate on what part (s) (metal hoses I assume) can be soldered? Would soldering the pipes now eliminate future headaches? Can rubber hose be used and eliminate the metal pipes totally?
I seem to remember soldering the pipes once, and when I replaced the core found it had been a bad idea.
Try to keep the clips and o rings if you can.
I broke the little plastic clips that the slider adjustment rods are held on to the top of the heater box.
IF you have it all apart could you take a picture and post please so I know what they look like again.
I think I need one or two again, they seem to be really fragile. I just replaced the heater valve on the firewall
and it's not working right now and I think I broke the little clip.

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