When your heater core goes, you definitely know it. I started to smell antifreeze (which isn't good to begin with), then all of a sudden, my windows fogged up beyond belief. It also started to leak antifreeze inside on the passenger side of the car. I knew right away what it was. Now this job was no easy task. It involved not only taking apart just about the entire dashboard of the car, but I also had to dismantle the front of the car as well. I started by taking apart the glove compartment
which wasn't too bad. Six or eight screws and it was out. I also had to drop out the heating ducts which ran underneath the passenger side. Once again, pretty easy. The heater core is located in the heating unit which is bolted to the firewall. At first, all I saw was two screws holding this in, so I removed them, but it still didn't budge. I brought out the old trusted "Haynes" manual and read up on what I was doing. Little did I know that the unit was also bolted to the firewall from the engine side of the firewall as well. Now, to get to these bolts that hold it in, you have to take apart the front wheel well on the passenger side.
There are about 10 bolts holding this in place, some are located underneath the car as well. There are also two bolts in the wheel well that hold on the overflow for the radiator. Once these bolts are gone, you can gently pry the wheel well away from the car. Once this is opened up, you can get at the bolts
that hold the heating unit on from the engine compartment. You can now also get at both hoses that feed the heater core. Once all of this is disconnected, you can try to remove the heating unit from inside the car. As you notice, I said "try". It separates from the firewall pretty easy, but this unit runs all the way over to the drivers' side of the car. Now to be able to get this unit out, I needed to also dismantle the drivers side heating ducts which are only held in by a few screws. To make this a little easier, I moved the center console back and out of the way. Also mounted to the top of the unit are all of the cables that run the heater. These are of course connected to the heater controls in the dashboard. Now the manual says to disconnect all of the wires, but I found it easier to disconnect only enough to be able and slide the unit out somewhat and then rotate it so that I was able to get at the heater core.
The were only a couple of screws that held in the heater core to the main heating unit. Once I got those out, I was able to remove the old core and place the new one in its place. Then it was just a matter of putting everything back in its right place in the reverse order that I took everything apart. This project took me about 5 hours to complete with help from my Dad. It was a lot of work and I have a few cuts and scrapes, but it saved me a whole bunch of money. The garage wanted about $480 to do this job. I bought the parts myself for about $22. I think that it was worth the headache.