Sunday, October 11, 2009

Heater core replaced

I spent over an hour to find out how this small radiator installed inside the automobile, used for heating the interior is called. ;)

Yesterday it took me almost 8 hours to replace the heater core in my camper, with a bit of help from Tomek, the guy I mentioned here a lot. The old heater core needed to be replaced, because I believed it was leaking cooling liquid. Because of that, the fan blew some steam to the inside of the camper when the heating was turned on, and the liquid dripped to the interior, as shown on this photo...
There was another reason to replace the heater core, I mean the broken Bowden cable that was attached to the valve that supplied hot liquid to the heater core. Because the cable was broken, I could easily turn the heating on (pulling the cable), but turning it off (by pushing the cable) was very difficult. It doesn't matter in winter, when the heating is permanently turned on, but in autumn when you want to use it only in the morning, and not in the afternoon, it does.

We started with removing the dashboard from the camper. As I removed the dashboard from the red multivan, I knew exactly how to do it -- especially that I have great VW T3 factory repair manual, that shows all the required steps as well. The steps are:

  • remove the glove compartment (in my case, only a shelf, not a locked compartment) unscrewing 4 bolts,
  • unscrew 4 bolts that hold the dashboard to the body, located in pairs next to the front doors,
  • remove 5 bolts below the windscreen,
  • remove the plastic panels that cover the steering wheel column (2 bolts),
  • remove the speedometer cover,
  • pull the connectors from the speedometer, lights switch and hazard lights switch,
  • remove the speedometer (4 screws),
  • drill through the 2 sheer bolts that hold the steering column,
  • remove the levers from the heating control panel, as well as the knob that turns the fan on,
  • disconnect the air ducts,
  • remove the steering wheel (one nut) and the turning signals / wipers levers,
  • take the dashboard off.
The heater core is located in the middle of the space below the dashboard, so at this point most of the work is already done. You only need to:
  • remove the 4 bolts that connect the heater core to the chassis,
  • remove the water hoses, making sure the interior is not flooded with cooling liquid,
  • disconnect the Bowden cable from the valve located below the floor, under the camper.
Initially I wanted to replace that valve as well, but finally didn't. I don't think the valve itself is leaking, so I didn't touch it at all (besides removing the Bowden cable).  If I wanted to remove the valve, I would probably lose a lot more cooling liquid (as the valve is located below the radiator and engine as well) than I did.

When the dashboard was removed, I thought of replacing the radio antenna. The one I had installed was broken and didn't work properly. So we went to Media Markt and bought a new (and cheap) car antenna, and installed it within 5 minutes. ;)

On the photo below you can see the new heating core. The only difference between this one and the old one is that this one has four levers to control the heating and ventillation. And the fan does work in all the three positions of the switch, the last one worked only in the third position (fastest).

Od Volkswagen Transporter T3

We lifted the camper on a cool lift, taking advantage of it I changed the right rear wheel to the one with winter tire. The left one was already with winter tire, as I changed it about 2 weeks ago after the summer tire was damaged.

The new dashboard is taken from the multivan. As it is brown, its color fits to the upholstery. ;)

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