Dang nab Heater Core, Need some help concerning the dash removal please! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-30-2010
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Dang nab Heater Core, Need some help concerning the dash removal please!

So, last week my heater core went south on me - ordered up a rock-auto replacement and got it in.. got my tools out and prepped.. damn near 9 hours later and i STILL cant get the dash pulled off!

A few questions concerning the dash itself:

Should I remove the steering wheel? Is there some hidden bolts that you have to pry and wedge with your hands to remove?

I've pulled 'everything' that i can possibly lay my fingers on and it still stuck nice and tight, not wanting to budge along the top half area.. this is frustrating, really REALLY frustrating!

Anyone have any tips on an 01+ interior dash removal they can throw my way? I got a hold of a diagram but it honestly isn't helping for beans.. I'm not exactly in a huge rush to get this done, but i would like to hopefully at least be at the heater core by tomorrow!


Thanks ahead of time if you can help, this is so dang frustrating right now!



Edit:
For the curious on how far I am - I do have the passenger side airbag pulled, all the clusters, radio, temp gauges, light switches - quite literally its a barren landscape with just the frame of the dash everywhere; I popped off the defrost vent along the top as well, including all the trim on the side of the doors to see if there was some hidden screw somewhere on the side

Last edited by WowMike2001; 04-30-2010 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 05-01-2010
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You will need to pull the column. four bolts under it, and one more at the joint near the firewall. make sure that you don't turn the wheel once it is disconnected.

the main bolts are in the door jams, 2 in one side, 1 in the other. then there are 3 or 4 under the black defrost vent at the windshield.

one other thing i will suggest is disconnecting the wiring harness at the firewall. you will have to go in the engine back to hit the bolts, but it's a lot easier than trying to pull the wiring off the dash.

the first time i pulled mine took me about 6-7 hours. i can have it out now in less than an hour.
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Old 05-01-2010
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6-7 hours to replace a heater core? damn. i remember replacing the one in my 85 ranger in like 20 minutes. It was directly behind the glove compartment, underneath the dash. why are things so complicated now??
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Old 05-01-2010
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the 94 and olders from what i understand had an access panel to get to it. the 95+ don't and require pulling the dash.
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Old 05-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drppdyllwrngr View Post
You will need to pull the column. four bolts under it, and one more at the joint near the firewall. make sure that you don't turn the wheel once it is disconnected.

the main bolts are in the door jams, 2 in one side, 1 in the other. then there are 3 or 4 under the black defrost vent at the windshield.

one other thing i will suggest is disconnecting the wiring harness at the firewall. you will have to go in the engine back to hit the bolts, but it's a lot easier than trying to pull the wiring off the dash.

the first time i pulled mine took me about 6-7 hours. i can have it out now in less than an hour.
Perfect information there buddy! Thanks a ton! I'll be getting back out there in a minute to figure it out.. I had my Haye's guide somewhere but I cant find it, so I've been doing all of this with just bumping and feeling :-( lol


Thanks again! I'll let ya know how it goes once I'm all finished up, lol
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Old 05-01-2010
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from what i recall, the haynes doesn't really cover it. glad you got it out.
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Old 05-01-2010
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I got most of the dash off, just got access to the actual plastic covering to the area - I've been having to take breaks all day off and on and have only spent about a total hour so far.. get to figure this last part in, pull the old crap out, put the new crap in - and probably take another break till i get to it tomorrow.. exhausting day for me!
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Old 05-01-2010
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Hmmm... so im dead curious on this part - I'm at the "black box" surrounding everythign with the dash all out of the way, and for the life of me - I can't figure out how to get into it all - I removed all the visible screws and bolts on the inside, and even a coupel big bolts through the engine bay - but its still as firm as can be and nothing is popping loose yet. Do you have to remove the entire area from the engine bay to get it all loosened up?
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Old 05-02-2010
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from what i recall, you should be able to just the the inside part off. i think the bolts use a 10mm socket. have you disconnected the heater hoses from the engine bay side of the heater core?

EDIT: guess i was wrong. according to my haynes, there are 4 nuts and one stud in the engine bay that has to come off. not sure if they are behind the other box or not.



yellow is the nuts, green is the stud hope this helps.

Last edited by drppdyllwrngr; 05-02-2010 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 05-02-2010
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Coolness, that should work quite well actually.. Its rather hellacious trying to search up any sort of diagrams on our trucks for the dash/heater core area - Thanks a ton for that info man, I was peeking all over wedging a screwdriver all over seeing if it woudl pop lose.. that woudl explain why! I've got 3 of those 4 bolts, and that stud.. so I think I may have to pop the black box off in that area =) Ugh! -laughs-


Isn't it funny, how something that so commonly happens, happened to magically be put in the absolute hardest spot to reach? Its about akin to the first time pulling out that last spark plug with a non bodylited ranger


Thanks man, your a lifesaver - had to babysit both my nieces yesterday so I only had about an hour total time to work on my truck before they were done with there nap and i had to head up again.. a full day lost :-(

Last edited by WowMike2001; 05-02-2010 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010
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you may not have to take the outer box off. may be able to just unbolt it and the inside half may come loose. i've taken the outer one off, but not the inner half.
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Old 05-02-2010
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So - big update, THANK YOU Troy!!!


That little diagram helped tons - one of the bolts is behind the engine.. literally, gotta climb on top of the engine and pull back some sound deadening and its behind it - the 4 yellow circles marked "3" are 'double nuts' as in.. there is a nut against the firewall, the black box is slid over, and another nut is put on to secure that.

So - you MUSt take out all the inside engine bay stuff - including the windshieldwiper/overflow bottles, the heater blower, and then squirm around a bit and make room to loosen all of the rest of the stuff there.

Thank god for a 3" bodylift, if you dont have one - I dont know jsut how you plan on squeezing your hands behind teh engine block - even 3" higher then where it normally would be is a major PITA!

Pictures soon to come! I need to document this, I would be retarded not to, seeing as how there is no other guide or pictures on the site showing just how much work goes into fixing the newer heater cores!


Edit:
Tested the old heater core and it most definitely leaks! Filled it with just normal water, not under pressure.. sat it outside - came back 5 minutes later and it was surrounded by a puddle of water and half empty. This is the big lesson in why you -dont- ever try to patch it by putting some of that additive into your coolant to fix leaks. Fix it immediately, or you will really regret what happens when it decides to break that crap loose and you've got a full leak on your hands!

Last edited by WowMike2001; 05-02-2010 at 08:24 PM.
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