Heating/heater core issue

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Heating/heater core issue

Postby 92lover » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:20 am

good day to all!

i'm going to wear out my welcome here with all the issues im having with my 92, but heeeeerrrrreeeee weeeee gooooooooooo. driving home from work(1:30 AM) the other night, turn on the heater to clear the winshield........no heat, next day while working on TV cable adjustment (thank you for that info too) i see that there are no hoses going to the heater core!!!!!! sooooo doing a lil detective work, i see that the hoses have been connected together with a piece of steel tube and a couple clamps near the firewall ( i can only assume the heater core went bad and the previous owner didnt want it to leak inside the car......its SoCal, who needs heat?) My question is, whats the "sensor" looking thing connected to one of the lines? it has a plug/wire coming from it, but it goes into the harness and i cant tell where it goes from there. Second, how big a hassle is it to change the core if its bad?? and could this "rigged" system affect my temp gage, cause it barely climbs into the normal range, even after driving for nearly an hour.

Thanks again and again......
Rob
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby K MANIAC » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:04 am

Hi Rob, great to hear from you again. :D
92lover wrote:i'm going to wear out my welcome here...

NEVER!
92lover wrote:...its SoCal, who needs heat?

Hey, I used to live in SoCal. It does get cold there. :shock: :o
92lover wrote:Whats the "sensor" looking thing connected to one of the lines?

That sensor monitors the temperature of the coolant passing through the heater hose and heater core (when connected). Our cars are equipped with Automatic Climate Control. When the climate control is set to "Auto" and the passenger compartment is colder than the temperature set on the control panel, the system opens the temperature control valve to allow coolant into the heater core to provide heat. The sensor measures the temperature of the coolant and disables the Climate Control System fans inside the car until the coolant temperature reaches a preset minimum. This prevents the system from working until the engine reaches operating temperature. On the other hand, on a hot day, when you want colder temperatures inside the car, the system will work immediately without delay. It doesn't need warm coolant to operate the air conditioning.
92lover wrote: Second, how big a hassle is it to change the core if its bad??

I once downloaded a link showing a step-by-step with pictures on how to replace a heater core in a Mark VII. This link has since been disabled. Lets just say that heater core replacement involves unbolting and and swinging out of the way the passenger of the dashboard. I need to replace the heater core in my Mark, too, but don't look forward to it.
92lover wrote:...and could this "rigged" system affect my temp gage, cause it barely climbs into the normal range, even after driving for nearly an hour.

This would have no effect on the temperature reading on your gauge. Given what you have described, I would replace your thermostat. It is either stuck open or someone removed it. These cars NEED to run at a specific minimum coolant temperature or else the emission controls don't work right and we definitely need these controls to work properly to pass the California Smog Test.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby phoenix » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:39 am

Now, this is where I must chime in. Mine warms up within 5-10 minutes, then the needle goes to N in NORMAL, then backs off a bit, then during the rest of the driving (granted lately it's been mostly in the 40s and occasionally in the 50s outside) stays just next to N, so right in front of NORMAL, between N and the blue edge, maybe occasionally climbing in and out of the N. The normal position for my coolant needle before I replaced the thermostat housing gasket and the thermostat was on O in NORMAL - it was never since I had the car in the middle of the word - the only times it crossed into R it wouldn't stop and would want to go the other end (especially when idling), that's when I knew to replace the fan clutch last August which sure enough has fixed it. Later last fall I put in a failsafe thermostat when I did the housing gasket.

Then again, I have not completely flushed and replaced the coolant since last summer. It's been partly drained twice, both times when I did (and redid) the thermostat housing gasket, then I'd just top it off with fresh 50/50 and let it burp itself out each time. This summer when I'm at Scott's we're getting the engine out so needless to say the current coolant mix is gonna get replaced. That's four months away though. You guys think this is something that I should tear into in the meantime?
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby gadget73 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:19 pm

There is no flow control to the heater core. It gets full coolant flow all the time. Temperature regulation is via a blend door. It moves the air source from hot to cold depending on demands. That sensor in the heater core line is actually a simple on/off switch. I forget whether its normally closed or normally open but it switches somewhere around 120F to tell the ATC controller that the engine is warmed up enough to provide heat to the interior. All it really ends up doing is keeping the system from turning the blower on before the engine is warm enough to supply heat if thats what the temperature settings are calling for.

Replacing the heater core is a significant job. by the book, it involves full discharge of the AC system and removal of the evaporator from inside the car. When the AC system is opened, you're supposed to replace the drier and thanks to someone's wonderful design, the drier is part of a hose assembly thats some $150. There is a reason why my OEM heater core has been sitting in it's box for 2 years now. I've heard of people shortcutting this by cutting a hole in the box to slide the heater core out without removing the evaportator, and then taping it back together but I absolutely refuse to do it that way.


phoenix: you're fine. As long as its not straight water, straight coolant, or full of mud it ought to do the job without causing any harm.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby phoenix » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:42 pm

gadget73 wrote: and thanks to someone's wonderful design, the drier is part of a hose assembly thats some $150. There is a reason why my OEM heater core has been sitting in it's box for 2 years now. I've heard of people shortcutting this by cutting a hole in the box to slide the heater core out without removing the evaportator, and then taping it back together but I absolutely refuse to do it that way.


Ah, so that's the guy that swings across the engine block? And it includes the AC "muffler" thing and the other hose that swings across the front of the engine to the air box! You got one of those puppies boxed up new? I'm jealous...

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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby gadget73 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:16 pm

yeah, on the later ones (89 or 90+) its the drier and both lines actually. There are 3 separate lines on earlier models (one still had the drier in it), but on later ones its one line and one assembly that includes both lines to the compressor, the muffler and the drier. The other line is the liquid line from condensor to evaporator, and it has the orifice tube built into it so you can't replace it without replacing the line, or cutting it apart and splicing it back together with some repair kit thing that they sell. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the plumbing of the Mark VII AC system. Its not exactly the most service-friendly thing.


I don't have the AC parts. I have the heater core. I actually did buy an evaporator, but I messed up and ended up with an 84-87 part, which apparently does not fit my 91. I've been meaning to list it for sale and acquire the proper evaporator. My heater core is slightly leaky, but as long as I don't get into the throttle a huge amount, it doesn't smell. The plan is to leave it alone as long as possible because quite frankly I don't feel like tearing it all apart unless I have to.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby artbaileyjr » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:42 pm

I held the heater core at bay on my '84 F-150 for more than 10 years with Alumiseal. I finely decided to replace it and found out that it takes about 6 screws and 20 minutes... <headslap> No such luck with our Marks.

My blue '88s gives a little odor and steams up the windshield a tad when parked, so it's due, but there hasn't been any noticeable puddles or loss of coolant. I'll Alumaseal that one too if I ever get to the point where it gets driven much, and replace it someday when I have absolutely NOTHING else to do. :lol:

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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby CDW6212R » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:50 pm

I concur about using Alumiseal, that product is very good, low cost too.

Is there a best heater core brand to use? I'll have my cracked dash out this year to replace it, so doing the heater core would be easy then. Night,
Don
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby jud149 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:43 am

I replaced my heater core on my '91 LSC last year along with the a/c evaporator core. Both were leaking. It is quite a job but it's not rocket science to do so. It's just time consuming. I replaced the heater core with a Motorcraft unit as they are still available at about $100 full retail from your local Ford stealer. I would not use an aftermarket one unless absolutely necessary. Motorcraft evaporator cores are no longer in production but I did see one on Ebay, it still may be there, for $75 as I recall. I went with a Four Seasons unit.
If you do the heater core, I would definitely replace the evaporator unless it's fairly new. It's not that much more work and removing the dash is not something you want to do again. R12 freon is readily available on Ebay for about $20 a can which is not that much more than R134a if that is what you are set up for.
Here's a step by step procedure for the h/c replacement. There are others available and can be found by Googling the subject. If your dash is already out, it's a piece of cake job.

http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00272.html
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby mikeceli » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:35 am

I nursed my weeping heater core, for over a year, w/ "Bars_Leak".

Last year I installed a new Ford heater core (made by Vaelo) and AC dryer. Yikes! It took 2 full days, as I recall. Recharged w/ R12. VII climate control is FANTASTIC, when it is in good condition.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby CDW6212R » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:58 am

That's good. Most places don't carry R12 any longer, good find.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby mikeceli » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:29 am

R12 E-Bay CL
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby CDW6212R » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:49 am

Excellent, I have some Freeze 12 here somewhere I hadn't used yet.
Don
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby metalriff » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:17 am

Where is the sensor located that tells the fans to work when its up to temp? Engine is up to temp and both hoses warm but no fans will come on. Anyway to jump it or ground it out to bypass it? My kid is stranded with no heater fans and no tools. Thanks
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby CDW6212R » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:19 pm

metalriff wrote:Where is the sensor located that tells the fans to work when its up to temp? Engine is up to temp and both hoses warm but no fans will come on. Anyway to jump it or ground it out to bypass it? My kid is stranded with no heater fans and no tools. Thanks


There is a sensor in one of the heater hoses, and that is used by the EATC to decide when to start the blower motor operation when it's really cold.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:45 pm

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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby thunderjet » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:23 am

You can override the auto control by just hitting hi, med, or low on the face of the unit. It will turn the blower on at any engine temp.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby YVRHotRodLincoln » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:08 am

...I know this is an old post but it answered a question I was just going to ask (new member and rel. new to Mk VII's though I've owned lots of Mustangs...). My temp gauge runs right at the N in NORMAL as well and I thought maybe it had had a lower temp. thermostat installed previous to me owning it (only got it in Aug...), like maybe a 180 degree. I thought it was running cool and I was wondering if that was a tell-tale sign of that w/o removing the t'stat to find out. And on that note, anyone recommend installing a 180 degree unit? All the research I've done indicates that it's about the optimum temp for these SEFI engines to run at (I think they actually run in the low 190's F. with a 180 t'stat but the 'stat opens at 180 instead of 192, when the engine runs @ over 200 F I think...). I know the factory set the running temps higher in the 80's engines due to NoX emissions as the higher running temps would burn them off better. I've run 160's in older carbureted 302's but they were very different engines with low pressure cooling systems. I've got a 180 but just haven't gotten around to installing it yet (and it's also winter...!) But if the 192 runs at the N then I guess the needle will hardly register if I run a 180...! :idea:

Anybody have any prescient thoughts???
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby White Lincoln » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:26 pm

Most Mark owners t-stat runs at the O or R of NORMAL on the gauge. If it's running higher, I would look at the radiator being plugged somewhat and time for a flush/replacement, the T-Stat is the wrong one, the pump is not working correctly or you have a build up in the flow somewhere.

Also make sure the fan clutch is in good working order. After this long (20+ years), I would suspect the radiator is clogged. If it starts overheating, I would suspect pump/t-stat or fan.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby CDW6212R » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:03 pm

Mine shows around the "N" with a 180 T-stat. I prefer the 180 as it heats fine and cooler makes more power. The late model cars have a temperature level where the computer changes to closed loop. Due to that you need to keep a running temp above that, say 160 or higher. I'm not sure what the level is for the PCM but it's likely you cannot get it to run too cold and keep it in open loop(bad gas mileage etc).

Most people who think about it select one that gives plenty of heat in Winter. Where I am anything above about 140 makes plenty of heat unless the temps get below say 20-30. Some cars heat better than others, and it's common to see less heat with older heater cores etc. My LSC needs a new one actually.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby YVRHotRodLincoln » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:40 am

...interesting...guess I'll open 'er up in the spring and see what 'stat is in there. If it's a 192 I'll prob. install the 180 just to see if I notice anything (like a bit more power maybe???). The "experts" also say that every 10 degrees less of heat helps a lot with engine wear...I'm also going to add a tranny cooler and a shift kit.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby jcurry » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:33 pm

Try
lincolnsonline.com/tech/tech.html and go to the mark vii section it has instructions for heater core replacement.
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby YVRHotRodLincoln » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:29 am

...got it, thanks.. ;)
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby swede » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:21 pm

After reading this post I checked my car and found disturbing issues left from previous owner ( nitwit de luxe )
Heater core inlet was connected to back of intake manifold, no restrictor.
Heater core outlet was connected to the waterpump, no restrictor.
A hose from the front of the intake manifold at the temperature sensor was just laying around pointing towards the heater area but plugged! :shock: Hows that for a restrictor? So, where is it supposed to go? Car is a -85 LSC 5.0 with CFI
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Re: Heating/heater core issue

Postby tomnh » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:19 am

Hi Swede, just curious of where you are in Sweden. Stop in to the welcome section and tell us a bit about you and your ride.
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