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Old 04-13-2013, 11:19 PM
 
89 posts, read 116,814 times
Reputation: 41

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Hello everyone,
I have a '96 Ford Club Wagon (passenger van) and I recently noticed coolant leaking from the left rear tire. The leak is exactly behind the tire and it seems to be coming out of a hole. I have also noticed that the rear ac/heater does not work, and the van overheats after driving it for some time (probably because there's no coolant due to the leak). It seems like I will need to replace the rear heater core and wanted to ask how much should I expect to pay to have it fixed, and whether it would be cheaper to order the part (how much do they go for?) and take it to a mechanic to have it installed. Also, is there a way to "patch" it or another way to go about fixing it? Thanks
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: The Brat Stop
8,358 posts, read 2,277,844 times
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I found this link based on your vehicle information you provided. I would say yes, you could order the part {heater core assembly} and have it installed by someone you trust.

Ford E-350 Econoline Club Wagon Heater Core - Free Shipping - Spectra, ProRad, Vista-Pro Automotive

The only problem I can see with the information you provided, is how can you be sure it is the heater core itself that's causing the coolant leak? Could it not be a defective hose or a loose hose clamp causing the leak?

If the heater core is leaking, what you could go if you don't have the dinero $$$$ to have it fixed right now, you could take it to a local garage and ask a mechanic to bypass the heater core, and top off the coolant for you.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:01 PM
 
89 posts, read 116,814 times
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I was talking to a friend of mine today and he said the same thing, that I can bypass it. I went to two mechanics and they both said that it's the heater core (they didn't take a look at it though, they were closing). They didn't mention anything about bypassing probably bc they want to make money off me. I will go have it checked out tomorrow and fix it the easy way. thank you for the reply
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:16 AM
 
2,060 posts, read 3,549,854 times
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You mentioned th van overheats? If so, you might want to make sure you haven't blown the head gasket.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:52 PM
 
89 posts, read 116,814 times
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I'm pretty sure the reason it overheats is due to the leakage. It's loosing coolant while I drive (and I drive quite a bit, 2-3hrs daily). It starts to overheat after the radiator is near empty, then I add 2 gallons of water (i started putting water to save $) and it's fine. It didn't overheat before the leak.

I went to a shop across the street to do the bypass and I will take it back tomorrow to get it done. I'm also going to do the smog. I have two more questions:

1. The rear ac/heater does not work, it started not working when the leak occurred. The mechanic told me the heater core has nothing to do with the AC, so it is just coincidence that AC stopped working when it started to leak? If I do the bypass will the rear ac/heater work again?
2. My ABS light is on. I know it has nothing to do with emissions but will I be able to pass smog because I have the light on? And why is the ABS on? I had an "amateur" put brake pads on long time ago and since then it's been on, brakes work fine and pads don't need to be replaced.

I appreciate your help
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:56 AM
 
Location: The Brat Stop
8,358 posts, read 2,277,844 times
Reputation: 2279
Quote:
Originally Posted by nas-gr View Post
I'm pretty sure the reason it overheats is due to the leakage. It's loosing coolant while I drive (and I drive quite a bit, 2-3hrs daily). It starts to overheat after the radiator is near empty, then I add 2 gallons of water (i started putting water to save $) and it's fine. It didn't overheat before the leak.

I went to a shop across the street to do the bypass and I will take it back tomorrow to get it done. I'm also going to do the smog. I have two more questions:

1. The rear ac/heater does not work, it started not working when the leak occurred. The mechanic told me the heater core has nothing to do with the AC, so it is just coincidence that AC stopped working when it started to leak? If I do the bypass will the rear ac/heater work again?
2. My ABS light is on. I know it has nothing to do with emissions but will I be able to pass smog because I have the light on? And why is the ABS on? I had an "amateur" put brake pads on long time ago and since then it's been on, brakes work fine and pads don't need to be replaced.

I appreciate your help
Good.

Exactly correct, heat is separate from a/c.

In the diagram, typical of rear heat and a/c box on Ford Econoline vans, #6 is the a/c evaporator and #12 is the heater core.
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ri..._108933027.gif


If your van is properly tuned, and all is working properly emissions wise, the ABS light will have absolutely nothing to do with passing/failing the emissions inspection.

Get those brakes reinspected though.

After the heater bypass is done, pay close attention to the temperature gauge if so equipped.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,819 posts, read 32,633,756 times
Reputation: 11883
Get the head gasket tested before you replace the heater core. Overheating the car can blow the head gasket or warp the head. If the HG is blown, you may not want to bother replacing the heater core.

Whether to DIY or not depends on the car. On our Volvo we were quoted almost $900 to replace the heater core. They wanted $300+ just for the official Volvo part. We found the part for something like $68 and replaced the heater core in about two hours 9we were not working diligently and could have done it must faster). there were other costs: Coolant, O- rings, and I had to buy a special screwdriver. However all in all it cost less than $200. It could have been less than $100, I do not remember anymore. I remember doing it on another car, (cannot remember which car) where we had to pull the whole car apart and even ended up removing the dash to get to the thing.

Oh and stop driving the car if it is overheating, you are going to destroy the engine if you have not already.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,864 posts, read 29,391,005 times
Reputation: 15709
Do not attempt to used any stop leak or similar. That just plugs everything. BTW - I hate changing radiator cores.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: 35 yrs CO, 3 yrs CT
1,809 posts, read 1,902,802 times
Reputation: 2103
Default ABS issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by nas-gr View Post
2. My ABS light is on. I know it has nothing to do with emissions but will I be able to pass smog because I have the light on? And why is the ABS on? I had an "amateur" put brake pads on long time ago and since then it's been on, brakes work fine and pads don't need to be replaced.

I appreciate your help
Did the "amateur" break/mis-adjust an ABS sensor or wire at one of the wheels ?? Call local AutoZone and see if they can/will pull ABS codes like they do ECM/SES codes. Also, and this is a long shot, check your 3rd / hi-mount brake light. Had a 94 Olds that ABS came on because *both* bulbs in lamp were burned out. All other brake bulbs were OK.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
5,965 posts, read 6,555,554 times
Reputation: 6265
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Do not attempt to used any stop leak or similar. That just plugs everything. BTW - I hate changing radiator cores.
Do you mean heater cores? Most people do. Changing radiator cores really isn't a DIY operation.
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