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Old 08-26-2009, 4:04 PM   #1
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Leaking Heater Core

I would appreciate any input on the subject:
My 96 3.2 TL got a leaking heater core. This happened back in April. Since then I had the heater bypassed so I don't get coolant leaking on the carpet anymore . Now as the summer is almost over, soon I will need the heat. I want to try and replace the heater core myself, I am pretty skilled mechanically so I don't worry about it, but then I read in a old thread that I might need to evacuate the AC to remove the evaporator while replacing the heater core. I don't have the equipment to do this and if this is so, I'll have to let a mechanic do it for me . So does anyone know if I can leave the AC system intact while replacing the heater core? I have the pdf manual, and also ALLDATA, neither says anything about AC removal, but you never know... Also, say I remove the dash to do all this, can I drive the car like that for some time? This way if i have to give the car to the mechanic, I can at least save on the dashboard removal/install labor.
Thanks guys, I appreciate your help!
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Old 08-26-2009, 8:37 PM   #2
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I looked at the 3.2 Manual and it looks like the equivalent of open-heart surgery. If you want the pdf file of the procedure, pm your email address and I'll forward.

good luck
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:06 PM   #3
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Thanks TexasHonda, pm sent, anyway do you think the car will be drivable if I pull the dash off, along with everything that goes with it (speedo, etc.)? The reason I am asking is because I a might not be able to finish the job in 1 day, and I don't have another car...
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Old 08-28-2009, 2:48 PM   #4
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^ you wont be able to drive your car with everything all ripped apart/
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Old 08-28-2009, 5:07 PM   #5
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Yes, that was wishful thinking on my part...
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Old 08-28-2009, 8:17 PM   #6
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Since the steering wheel has to come off, I would strongly advise against driving.

good luck
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Old 08-31-2009, 4:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
Since the steering wheel has to come off, I would strongly advise against driving.

good luck
This really made my day!!!!

LOL!!!!!!
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Old 08-31-2009, 4:21 PM   #8
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Wink

I can not stop laughing!!!!

Thanks for breaking a dull day!
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Old 09-01-2009, 7:48 AM   #9
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i mean you can get all ghetto and drive it with vise grips if your feeling lucky hah
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Old 09-01-2009, 9:01 AM   #10
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^ Hahaha. You guys are too funny...
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #11
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I know for fact that a vigor's dash will come out without removing the steering wheel.

But with the steering wheel removed, it will just make the job less painful.
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Old 09-01-2009, 7:41 PM   #12
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'i mean you can get all ghetto and drive it with vise grips if your feeling lucky hah'

Seriously? Thanks !
I know the "steering wheel has to come off", but what actually happens is that you drop the steering column to the floor , so the dash can be pulled out, and then, it can be bolted back on pretty quickly. My question really should have been:

"If I pull the dash out and bolt the steering back on and also bolt back in the drivers seat(also comes out during dash removal, for ease of "operating") will the lack of the dashboard and namely the various electronics attached to it prevent me from driving 8 miles to work for a few days? "
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Old 09-01-2009, 7:43 PM   #13
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Anyway, I'll figure it out when it comes down to it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 1:07 PM   #14
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OK, this is what it looks like:


And this is where it has been leaking from:




Are these little hoses replaceable, or should I just tighten them?
Anyone has any Ideas?
Thanks
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Old 09-11-2009, 2:13 PM   #15
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^ if they are rubber i would replace them if they look worn.

i now understand your question. i would say you CAN drive your car with the dash all taken out. as long as you re-connect the steering wheel/ column and connect anything you unplugged
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Old 09-11-2009, 3:37 PM   #16
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If and when you decide to drive the car bare nekkid....bring a blanket...the car is exposed...naughty.
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Old 09-11-2009, 9:12 PM   #17
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I must commend you for such a tedious undertaking.
How long did it take you for the dismantlement of the dash? was it really difficult?


Post some more pics and write up a diy.
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Old 09-12-2009, 6:46 AM   #18
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If I understand the pics, those are the hose ends from the engine side of the firewall. I remembered those clamps being on the engine side of the firewall, but in your case were the inside the cabin? That's how it's depicted in the shop manual I have. Those hose ends should not penetrate the firewall.

The two brass nipples from the heater core should extend through the firewall to engage the hoses in the engine compartment. Perhaps heater core housing was not mounted correctly and slipped rearward pulling the hoses inside? There are rubber grommets that seal the firewall penetration to the heater core nipples and prevent hot engine air from entering pax compartment.

If you don't have a Acura shop manual, I would buy one.

good luck
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Old 09-12-2009, 6:54 AM   #19
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Ignore above, I forgot you had the 3.2TL and I forwarded file of heater core replacement to your.

I looked at the 3.2TL manual and it appears those hoses extend from heater core through the firewall. Not really clear, but if that's the arrangement absolutely replace them. Don't overtighten as you can crush the brass nipples w/ too much clamp tension. They are fragile. That may be why they are leaking. If so, you may need to replace the heater core. I'm not sure I wouldn't replace anyway, given how much work is necessary to access.

good luck
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:37 AM   #20
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It wasn't really a big deal, took me about an hour and a half to get here from fully assembled, but it was raining off and on, so i didn't have much opportunity to get out and take photos along the disassemble as I have no garage and work in the driveway.... It was pretty straightforward and easy.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
Ignore above, I forgot you had the 3.2TL and I forwarded file of heater core replacement to your.

I looked at the 3.2TL manual and it appears those hoses extend from heater core through the firewall. Not really clear, but if that's the arrangement absolutely replace them. Don't overtighten as you can crush the brass nipples w/ too much clamp tension. They are fragile. That may be why they are leaking. If so, you may need to replace the heater core. I'm not sure I wouldn't replace anyway, given how much work is necessary to access.

good luck
<a href="http://img6.imageshack.us/i/dashboard004.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/2568/dashboard004.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>


OK, the hoses are really short, they are about 2.5" and connect the heater core to the pipes that go through the firewall and into the engine compartment. The only way for me to replace them would be to cut them to remove, but they do not appear damaged or cracked and I don't won't to cut them only to find out that I will need to remove even more to finish the job, my theory is is that over time the clamps loosened frome the constant exposure to heat untill they were loose enought to allow a leak, after all this is a 14 yr old car with 162k, a think plenty of time for such a thing to occur. Also as I searched, there was another member with the exact same problem, probably a small design fault in our TLs? Anyway I will tighten tha clamps and proceed to assemble, only I am extremely pissed right now because back in May I had a local shop do the bypass for me and now after all this work I did, I looked at the heater core ports on the engine side and one was totaly mangled and smashed when they disconected it, frekin' douchebags, I'll never let anyone work on my car anymore!!! I can do anything, but usually don't have the time, so for small things I'd rather have someone else do it. assuming they'll do it right, but as they say: ASSUMING makes an ASS of U and ME....
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:51 AM   #22
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #23
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If possible it would be good to restart the engine while you can view the connections and inspect them for leak integrity, before closing.

good luck
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Old 09-12-2009, 7:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
If possible it would be good to restart the engine while you can view the connections and inspect them for leak integrity, before closing.

good luck
Yes, I thought of that, I will try, the only thing that I am concerned is the driver's airbag, but I disconnected everything as the manual says, so I'll give it a shot, probably tomorrow. I am just worried now how am I going to reshape that mangled pipe, I think I'll be able to get it close, but will it seal? Maybe someone can recommend a good type of sealant to apply to the pipe so it wont leak?
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Old 09-12-2009, 7:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evotronix View Post
Yes, I thought of that, I will try, the only thing that I am concerned is the driver's airbag, but I disconnected everything as the manual says, so I'll give it a shot, probably tomorrow. I am just worried now how am I going to reshape that mangled pipe, I think I'll be able to get it close, but will it seal? Maybe someone can recommend a good type of sealant to apply to the pipe so it wont leak?
You might try reshaping from inside the tube w/ needle nose pliers and open them to force the crushed section outwards. If there's a crease, it's very likely to leak.

good luck
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:23 PM   #26
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Sorry if I reiterate but Iím tired and too lazy to read all the posts.

My blower motor went out on my climate control last year. They had to pull the whole dash out, and discharge the AC. Labor was almost $1000 alone. I had them replace the heater core while they were in there.

I would suggest two things:

1: If someone else is to do the work, make sure you trust them. The dealer did mine and but scratches in my leather, all over the dash, a rip in the dash, chips in my wood grain steering wheel, etc. They gave me a í07 TL to drive for a month while they fixed it all, so that was nice.

2: Pay to have your blower replaced while itís all taken apart.
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Old 09-15-2009, 7:52 AM   #27
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^^ if you read, he's doing this DIY fix for his leaking blower motor.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #28
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OK, everyone, to sum it up - I got heat ! It has never worked so well ever since I bought the car! What fixed the leak was tightening the two clamps on these hoses, there was no other leak:


Here they are closer:




And the moral of the story is, now I think it is possible to access the clamps from underneath the dashboard without removing it. There is a plastic cover, right above the gas pedal, in the manual it is called the "pipe cover" , if you manage to remove it, and maybe the knee bolster and lower dash cover you can get to the clamps with a ratchet or something and tighten them and that did it for me.
As I work too much lately, didn't really have time to take pics and write up a DIY, it was raining outside most of the time and I was rushing to finish everything, sorry.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:56 AM   #29
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I had the same problem and came to the same conclusion you did (tighten the clamps). I think its starting to leak again almost 1 year later, but at a very very slow rate. I don't plan to do anything about it until it starts leaking more.

I also took the exact same picture you took and posted in a post thread named HEATER CORE on 11-29-2008. The difference for me is that it took me about 4 or 5 hours to disassemble and another 3 hours to reassemble.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #30
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Man i see why the dealer wants 1500+ to replace my heater core. The hell with that! I can do without. It don't get that cold here in Texas.
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Old 09-28-2009, 7:45 PM   #31
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I had the same problem and came to the same conclusion you did (tighten the clamps). I think its starting to leak again almost 1 year later, but at a very very slow rate. I don't plan to do anything about it until it starts leaking more.

I also took the exact same picture you took and posted in a post thread named HEATER CORE on 11-29-2008. The difference for me is that it took me about 4 or 5 hours to disassemble and another 3 hours to reassemble.
I read your thread, and thanks to it I got mine fixed, in the beginning I didn't think I'd get away just with clamp tightening but wanted to give it a shot. I studied the manual for a few days just to get a broad idea of what exactly is involved, so when I counted how many bolts I had to undo to get everything off it wasn't many, then when I actually got to work on the dash, I bolted every screw or bolt to where it came from, so I didn't have to worry about misplacing or losing any of them, it worked out great and saved me a lot of time.
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Old 09-29-2009, 4:53 PM   #32
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Man, kudos to you, you had the heart to do this crap! But problem solved! Very good!
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Old 09-30-2009, 8:48 AM   #33
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^^ if you read, he's doing this DIY fix for his leaking blower motor.
Oh...What's the BLOWER MOTOR leaking?
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:49 PM   #34
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Quote:
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^^ if you read, he's doing this DIY fix for his leaking blower motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfingScotty View Post
Oh...What's the BLOWER MOTOR leaking?
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Old 10-01-2009, 3:05 PM   #35
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Oh-oh..here we go again...did it taste like chlorine?
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Old 10-12-2009, 1:34 PM   #36
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Hi, I'm a new member and I was reading this thread about replacing the heater core. I was wondering if anyone could answer a question related to this topic. I have a 96 3.2tl and I have been having problems with my heat not blowing hot until I start driving even though the temp gauge is warm. I flushed the coolant and replaced the thermostat because that was sticking but im still having the same problem. I also saw a little coolant by the heater hoses on the firewall. I was just curious if anyone experienced similar problems and if it is related to the heater core. Thanks
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Old 11-30-2009, 4:33 PM   #37
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hey bro do u think u can email me that info on the 00 tl for replacing the heater core.thanks. bloodytaylor81@yahoo.com
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Old 12-05-2009, 9:06 PM   #38
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
I looked at the 3.2 Manual and it looks like the equivalent of open-heart surgery. If you want the pdf file of the procedure, pm your email address and I'll forward.

good luck

hi,

I just signed up and this website refuses to let me use most features..

we have a 1992 Honda Accura Legend with a leaking heater core and are bypassing it until we replace it.. maybe you could send that pdf to me..

thanx..

retiredat44(at)hotmail.com


btw, we also have a problem witht he srs and sbs (airbag and brake lights on the dash will not go out,, any hints on what to do.. the other person I am helping took it to someone to check it with a computer, and they could not help.. the brakes are in fine shape.

Last edited by retiredat44; 12-05-2009 at 9:10 PM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:17 PM   #39
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I'll send along, but I have no idea how similar Acura Legend and Acura TL heater core arrangements are.

good luck
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Old 12-06-2009, 7:34 PM   #40
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Wow that was some hell of a job. Many kudos! And looking at the all the stuff inside the dash like that is quite interesting.
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Old 12-06-2009, 7:34 PM
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