Anyone who has tackled heater main point replacement will certainly tell you they’d rather have an all-night root canal than have to perform this dreaded task. Heater core leakage starts with the ethereal aroma that antifreeze and evolves into a tiny wet point out on the driveway. By the moment you have coolant ~ above the pavement there is no means around it. You’re walking to have to replace the heater core or pack up on avoid Leak.

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Back in the day, on older Ford F-Series trucks, heater core placement affiliated going increase under the dashboard and also removing the heating and also air-conditioning unit. In the ’70s, Ford started installing HVAC systems prior to dashboards were bolted into the vehicle. Dashboards, which were preassembled top top rotisseries, were set up in the vehicle via an installation fixture and a couple of assembly workers. This technique made auto assembly easier and also quicker. However, it likewise meant substantial labor because that the technician faced with heater main point and/or air-conditioning evaporator replacement.


We’re working with a ’98 Ford F-150 with almost 267,000 mile on the odometer after ~ 18 year of service. It is pretty good, considering many F-Series trucks have experienced chronic heater main point failure earlier in their service lives. Heater cores have always been a weak spot in Ford vehicles for miscellaneous reasons, including excessive cooling mechanism pressure and volume, which has been improved in production via the usage of heater water tap restrictors between the engine and heater core.


Heater main point replacement in the F-Series, Expedition, and also Lincoln Navigator entails removal of the dashboard to wherein it can be disconnected and also swung away from the HVAC unit bolted come the firewall. Some technicians have managed to unbolt the dashboard and swing it the end far sufficient to gain access to the HVAC unit. Others disconnect the steering column and also remove the entire dashboard for much easier access. The is suggested you use actual Motorcraft parts where possible, i beg your pardon are obtainable from rock Auto, in your heater main point replacement, including cooling mechanism hoses, which have the factory-style quick connections at the firewall. Motorcraft heater hoses likewise have the flow-restrictor in the “in” hose designed to avoid heater core failure indigenous pressure and excessive flow. Not all aftermarket instead of heater hoses have this restrictor. Heater water tap quick-connects are anything yet “quick” disconnect. You’re walking to need the quick-disconnect tool accessible at any auto components store or Summit gyeongju Equipment. If you’re instead of the heater hoses, you can reduced the quick-connect tabs and also pull the connectors.


Although we’re working through a ’97-to-’03-generation F-Series truck, basic principles of replacement are the same from for ’97-to-’17 models. Let’s gain started.


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See all 27 photos
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See all 27 photosIn the interest of safety, the first order of business is come disconnect the battery before performing any kind of disassembly. Drain the cooling system and also properly dispose of any kind of coolant. Seat and also jack bracket removed is argued for improved access to the dashboard and HVAC assembly. A Torx wrench is forced to remove seats and also seatbelts. It is a great idea to have actually the cooling system flushed before heater core replacement.
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See every 27 photosRocker sill molding removal is easy. It pops in and also out v no tools required. Absent panel removal, which pops in and out, is next to gain access to wiring and also modules, which have to be disconnected indigenous the dashboard.
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See all 27 photosWe removed the A-pillar panel and handhold because that improved access and photographic purposes, however you won’t have to do this.
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See every 27 photosThis flexible dash lid on top has to be eliminated carefully. If you gain aggressive through this piece, it will crack—especially once you consider how old this trucks space today. Plastic components become an extremely brittle and can crack over time. Retaining tabs were initially coated with white grease for straightforward installation and removal.
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See every 27 photosAirbag removed is performed with the removal of 3 bolts (two bottom and one top), making use of a 10mm socket. We have removed the glove compartment door for photograph purposes, however you won’t have actually to. Tabs at the optimal of the glovebox door deserve to be closely bent to every side, which permits you to reduced the door far enough to access airbag bolts and also dash screws.
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See all 27 photosWith the 3 bolts gotten rid of top and also bottom, the airbag assembly comes appropriate out. A two-pin plug connects the airbag. We caution you must be really careful v airbags throughout service. Save them facedown in a defended location. Also static power can reason an airbag to fire.
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See every 27 photosAirbag bolt areas on ’97-to-’03 F-150s space in three places (arrows).
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See all 27 photosPassenger-side airbag looks like this from behind. Yes a two-pin connector tied come the canister inside the module. Exercise extreme caution v airbags: save them on their faces, away from people, to minimization the danger of inadvertently deployment.
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See all 27 photosWe’re dropping the steering tower for lull of access. The steering column cover pops out without tools.
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See every 27 photosThe bezel over the instrument swarm is enclosed with three screws making use of a 7mm socket. As soon as these screws space removed, the bezel pops best out.
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See every 27 photosYou will uncover the dashboard is tied come the body via seemingly dozens of these sheetmetal screws (dozens!), which are removed with a 7mm socket. Follow this screws around the perimeter of the dashboard. Lock secure the dashboard come the body. The F-150 dashboard consists of the covering you see, backed by a plastic within frame/ductwork assembly tied come a steel framework at the cowl. Gold cad-plated dash screws are coarse thread because that threading right into plastic. Black or herbal cad-plated fine-thread screws are located at copper-plated (metal) inserts.
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See every 27 photosThe instrument cluster is eliminated for enhanced access. Some technicians remove the whole dashboard to do it less complicated to get to the HVAC assembly, but you don’t need to do that. The target is come remove enough of the perimeter screws therefore you deserve to swing the dashboard out of the way. Be an extremely careful through the main wiring loom and its connectors.
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See all 27 photosThe steering column is secured with 4 flange nuts. This removable frame is component of the dash structure and also is eliminated as displayed to fall the steering column.
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See all 27 photosThere are 4 steering shaft support studs. This is an integral component of the collapsible steering column.
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See all 27 photosThe dash pad “bubble” is removed next. Return this looks like a padded dash, that is little much more than a removable shell. Usage a 7mm socket to eliminate these black cad screws.
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See every 27 photosDisconnect the dashboard from this swarm of harnesses and modules behind the right-hand absent panel.
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See every 27 photosOnce the dashboard has actually been relocated out that the way, heater core access becomes easy. A series of screws for sure the height of the HVAC plenum, which is gotten rid of for heater core and also air-conditioning evaporator access. Girlfriend will need a 10mm socket for this purpose.
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See every 27 photosWhile she performing heater main point replacement, that is a good idea to examine blower motor and also variable resistor status. Both are simple to access with the dashboard installed, which method you don’t have to replace them in ~ this time. We’ve opted because that a Motorcraft heater core. However, the manufacturing facility heat blend door has a weak spot in ~ its pivot and also should it is in replaced. The pivot allude at the blend door actuator tends to crack and also break, i beg your pardon is why we’re suggesting the Dorman heat blend door kit (#902220 or #902207) for her F-150 heater main point service. The aluminum pivot top top the Dorman instead of is solid and will not fail. It is additionally suggested you change the blend door actuator.
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See every 27 photosThe variable resistor parcel is what affects fan speed, not the pan switch. Fan power is routed through this resistor package to manage fan speed.
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See all 27 photosWe’ve liked the Motorcraft heater core largely for factors of guaranteed fitment. The aftermarket also offers replacement heater cores because that F-150s.

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See all 27 photosThe original factory heater blend door assembly, i m sorry pops out without tools, is removed and also replaced v the enhanced Dorman blend door assembly.
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See all 27 photosThe installed Motorcraft heater main point is fitted with brand-new foam around its perimeter. The arrow indicates wherein the heater mix door splines right into the electric actuator below. The is impossible to download the blend door any way but the appropriate way. The HVAC cap is reinstalled making use of a 10mm socket.
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See all 27 photosThe brand-new Dorman heater blend door is mounted as shown. Reinstall the HVAC cap and dashboard/steering column.
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