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Old 01-11-2012, 03:32 PM   #1
judgethis
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Location: maryland
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Default 98 camry heater core replacement

I might need to replace a heater core in a 98 camry and was looking in the chilton labor guide and it list 1.8 hours. Every year before and after lists up to 6.6 hours. Is this one really that easy or is it a typo. I figured the dash would need to come out. Anybody ever do one of have any tips.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
t1snwbrdr12
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

sounds pretty simple and as if there is no major dash disassembly. according to alldata the procedures as well as book time is all the same from 97-up to 2001 (1.4 hours). it must just be a change they made to the interior that gains you access without major headaches like most heater cores. not that alldata is always right, but its usually pretty reliable. labor notes that it doesn't include time to recover and recharge the freon, but instructions don't mention any need to at the same time...so it seems a bit unclear as to how involved it is or not.

REMOVAL


DRAIN ENGINE COOLANT FROM RADIATOR
HINT: It is not necessary to drain out all the coolant.



2. REMOVE THESE PARTS:

No. 1 lower instrument panel
LH instrument lower panel
3. REMOVE HEATER RADIATOR








Release the 3 claws and pull out the heater protector.







Remove the 3 screws and 3 plates.
Remove the 2 clips and disconnect heater radiator pipes.
Remove 2 O-rings from heater radiator pipes.
HINT: Do not reuse 2 O-rings.








Pull out the heater radiator.
INSTALLATION
Installation is in the reverse order of removal.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
bgott
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Isn't that one under the center of the dash?

You can clamp the heater hoses with a couple of pairs of needle nosed Vise-Grips and then disconnect your heater hoses. No need to drain the cooling system.
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
Drew_flux
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Unless LHD vehicles are very different, you can get the heater core out without removing the crash pad.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
judgethis
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Thanks for the help. I was really dreading doing this if the dash came out. Im kinda stuck with this car and feel a little better about it. The guy complained about no heat. He also had a check engine light on for engine warm uo tkaing too long(thermostat stuck open) and B1S1 O2 sensor heater not working. Changed out the t-stat and flushed out the heater core. It had some junk in it. He called a few days later and said he didnt think it was hot enough and had fogging of the windshield. He thinks I should do it no charge but I told him I changed the t-stat for the check engine light not the heater problem. Anyway thanks for the help.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
mrmox
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Yes thanks for the info, when I learned it was a 2 hour job I decided
to try it myself.

I was able to replace a heater core in the 1998 Camry LE
without removing the dash.

It had symptoms of bad smell with heater and defroster, only
when using them (no smell if the fan was not running so it must
be related to heater/defroster). Also greasy residue builds up
on the windshield! Other reading led me to believe the heater
core was leaking.

First I tried stop-leak (Bars-Leaks?) for $1.62 (powder)
at the Walmart. Sitll had the bad smell after a few weeks so
I ordered a replacement heater core.

When I got the core I began to pull out the carpeting to get at
the heater core. Saw a bunch of radiator coolant had leaked into the
driver's side carpet. But, the trickle path from the heater core was
by then dry! This makes me believe that the stop leak had worked, but
there had been no reduction in the smell.





Great tip about squeezing off the heater hoses! Saved me draining
the radiator.

I removed a plate that holds the pipes at the firewall (1 screw).
And removed 2 screws that hold in the core.

I was not familiar with the clips that hold the pipes of the core
to the pipes that go through the firewall. I found I could remove
them by hand using leather gloves, which hooked the three-pointed
forks at the ends of the rings. You need to snag both ends at the
same time then pull.

clip_rings.jpg

I removed the old core.

It had quite a bit of residue from dried coolant that had leaked.
Also some residue in the bottom of the plastic box that holds the
core in the car. Pictures are looking straight in to the box that holds
the heater core.
residue.jpg
I cleaned out the residue from the box thoroughly as I was hoping it
must be the source of the bad smell.
no_residue.jpg

I caught the small amount of coolant that pours out after separating
the pipes from the core in a plastic dish (like a pie dish).
Be prepared for this! I had an old towel under it as backup.

Slide out the old core, slide in the new one. Re-attach the pipes
before pushing the new core all the way in. Replaced the screws
that hold in the core. And the plate at the firewall.

For me it was not possible to use new o-rings, the ones that came with
the core were too fat and there was no way I could find to get enough
pressure on the pipes to push the flared ends together close enough so
the ring clips could be replaced. I put back the old o-rings and then
I could replace the ring clips.

Replace the rest of the parts holding the core and the pipes at the
firewall (3 screws all together).


After all that: the heater and defroster still stink just as badly
when they are running!

Smell is kind of a cross between burning cardboard and pancake syrup.

But, there seems to no longer be the greasy residue build up on the
windshield.



Is there anything else in there that can stink like that?

Thanks and Good luck to others!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:24 AM   #7
unslow1
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Mr Mox does it have kind of a burnt carmel smell? Circuit boards smell like that. I wonder what kind of resistor package it has.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
BigE
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Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

When the heater is on, its heating up the carpet where coolant has leaked before. Clean or replace the carpet and anything underneath it. I'm betting the smell will disappear.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:38 PM   #9
mrmox
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Posts: 2
Default Re: 98 camry heater core replacement

Postscript on my heater core leak repair: a year later the smell when the defroster is on is gone! I assume wherever the leaked coolant had accumulated it just took a long time for it all to evaporate. Good riddance! And thanks to other contributors.

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