Heater core advice --> Where to buy? - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Heater core advice --> Where to buy?

My heater core went out a couple years ago and I've finally pulled it apart to replace it. It has been bypassed for about 1.5 years or so. I bought a typical lifetime warranty model from Advance or Autozone (can't remember) with the intent to use it, but now that I've gotten the original one out and compared them, the new one is like a toy in comparison and I'm concerned it is too flimsy to last. I'd like to not do this job again for a while, which is why I'm going to flush, make sure grounds are all sufficient, voltage from coolant to body is 0.2 volts or less and probably replace the radiator as well since it also has a tiny leak. The opinions seem mixed about whether to ground the core, and it seems that the consensus is that if the voltage is 0.2 volts or less it is unnecessary and the strap may be bad. Thoughts on any of these items are welcome.

Anyway, my real question is this: Where should I get the core from if not from the typical aftermarket places like Autozone or Advance? I *assume* Ford no longer makes this part, but haven't contacted them yet to see. I only came to this realization late on Saturday and they won't be open again until at least tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 06:45 PM
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There are still oem ones for the 3.8l engine in stock; those could be used with some creative rerouting, but that's it.

RockAuto is good to deal with, but there's not much range in quality among the ones they have either.

As far as a radiator goes, if you plan to upgrade the engine later, you might want a better radiator than stock.

If not, find one at a JY, they're cheap.


I'm stuffing one of these in my PI swap car:
https://www.summitracing.com/search/...rder=Ascending

There's also this option:
https://forums.tccoa.com/20-parts-sa...available.html

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:40 PM
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The heater core I bought from Rockauto looked almost the same as the original. To ground it I ran a few wraps of wire around it, than attached that to a ground point behind the dash. From the factory it has no ground at all, I have heard is why they fail. Mine was fine so I kept the original heater core as a spare, I just replaced it since I had the dash out.

I have seen people attach a hose clamp and ground wire on one of the ports in the engine compartment. That is probably an easier way to do it but I didn't like the way it looked

96 Cougar Sport - T45 Swapped
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 07:56 PM
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As long as the heater core, the engine, and the radiator are all grounded, there won't be any problems.

You also need to change it every three years.


If you want to know if there's a problem, Use a coolant tester (with the floating balls) to pull some coolant out and check it with a ph test strip.

People with pools or mad scientists all have ph test strips; you can buy them on the internet.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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For the 3.8L variants you are mentioning that are still available, are the ports for the hoses in more of a Y configuration? If so, are you suggesting to remove one of the ports and braze it back on to the heater core so that both ports would point toward the passenger side of the vehicle? Or are you suggesting something else? I'd have to get back under the hood, but if one of them points the wrong direction, it would basically run into the EGR valve on the back of the engine if I'm not mistaken...

Thanks for the idea either way though!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenz View Post
The heater core I bought from Rockauto looked almost the same as the original. To ground it I ran a few wraps of wire around it, than attached that to a ground point behind the dash. From the factory it has no ground at all, I have heard is why they fail. Mine was fine so I kept the original heater core as a spare, I just replaced it since I had the dash out.

I have seen people attach a hose clamp and ground wire on one of the ports in the engine compartment. That is probably an easier way to do it but I didn't like the way it looked
Can you tell me what brand of heater core you purchased from RockAuto? There seems to be a Spectra, OSC, APDI/PRO, and a TYC model. The OSC and TYC models look close in the pictures, but the Spectra does online as well, but I can say for sure that it is the same outside dimensions but not close to actual core sizes/volume. The actual internal core volume is about 2/3 of the original and the plates on the long sides are made to take up the difference in the air box. I may pull it back out of the car before reassembly to take a picture.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:51 PM
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Don’t modify the core at all, just reroute the hoses a bit. I actually like the 3.8’s Y shape better if you use it with a PI valley tube, then you can use the intake hose on the right inlet port and run a length of generic straight hose directly from the left outlet port to the valley tube.


On mine I clamped the ground wire to one of the tubes and ran it to an unused boss on the cylinder head.

-Matt
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