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 Post subject: Broken heater matrix
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:52 am
Posts: 2
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Hi.
I am new to this forum so still looking through all the information here. Did a search but couldn't find what I wanted.
I have a heater matrix gone in my car (92 GTi). I have bypassed it for now so I can still use the car but it is getting to Autumn here (England) now so need to fix it. Has anyone done one of these that can offer some advice. Is it a big job i.e. dash out or is it more straight forward? I can see the outer box ok. I need to know if it is going to require taking the car off the road for a while or if it can be done in stages whilst still using the car. i.e. remove, get it fixed/new one, replace. Any info greatly received.
Thanks.
Keith.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken heater matrix
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:07 pm 
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Location: London, ON
This is the process that I went through to replace my heater core (matrix to you, I assume):

1. See coolant on the floor mats.

2. Purchase a new heater core from a parts store. (You can get a used one as well, no big difference. I needed it right away and couldn't wait.)

3. Pull dash out including crossmember, making sure to disconnect any cables and wires that interfere. Label the wires and cables in case you're worried you won't remember where they go when you're done. No need to take the dash out of the passenger's compartment, since you'd have to take the steering column out to do that... too much work.

4. Disconnect heater core from cooling system.

5. Unbolt the ventilation ducting that sits under the middle of the dash, pull it out.

6. Take apart the ventilation chunk that you unbolted and removed, might as well clean it while it's out. Get rid of all the dirt and leaves. Pull the heater core out of it's cradle.

7. Put the new heater core in where the old core was. Put the ventilation assembly back together and reverse the steps above.

In all, this shouldn't take more than a day. Perhaps a weekend if you want to take your time or if any of the dash screws are seized and you end up stripping them. It's not entirely essential to remove the metal crossmember, but you'd be doing yourself a HUGE favour if you can at least move it out of the way while you're trying to remove and replace the ventilation assembly. Might be impossible to do if you can't even get one side of the crossmember unattached. Then it's time to get out the drill, the tap and die set and new screws.

Don't worry too much though. If your car has been well taken care of and doesn't have a whole pile of body rust, there's a good chance those screws will come out with a minimum of hassle.


Chris

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:43 am 
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Having recently helped a friend swap in a replacement heater core in his GTi, here's some tips I discovered:
• Drain your coolant before you start
• In addition to the horizontal crossbrace, MK3 dashes also have two vertical metal supports that must be disconnected in order for the dash to be removed
• All the electrical connectors have unique plugs, labelling shouldn't be neccesary
• Remove the steering wheel and disconnect the combo switches if you want to remove the dashboard
• Some wiring is clipped onto the inside of the dash, undo these before trying to pull the dash out
• MK3 sedan heater cores are not quite a direct fit for MK2 hatch heater housings, the fittings are in slightly different places requiring some plastic to be chopped from the housing to accomodate it (we got our core from the wreckers :wink:)

While you have things apart:
• if you have your heater core lines off, it would be a good time to install a coolant purge fitting
• if your coolant is drained, it would also be easy to install a new thermostat
• clean old leaves, pine needles and other debris from the heater housing
• clean all the old dust and residue from the air ducts
• take off the ventilation fan, reach into the cowl vent and remove all the slimy muck that has accumulated there
• if your car is bleeding gear oil out the speedo cable, clean up the mess that will be inside your dashboard, steering column, etc.
• if you're obsessive about removing dead weight, you can now finally get at the large sheet of matting, and that small piece of tar soundproofing glued to the firewall

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:52 am
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Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Ok thanks for that.
Sounds like a fairly big job.
One thing. Chris said:
Quote:
Pull dash out including crossmember

Then:
Quote:
No need to take the dash out of the passenger's compartment

I didn't quite get this. Do you or do you not take the dash out? The whole dash or just a bit of it (glove box for eg.). I guess I will find out when I get to do the job.
I assume you guys have LHD cars, I wonder if it makes any difference with a RHD car.
Thanks.
Keith.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:11 am 
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You might be able to wiggle out the heater core with the dash hanging from the steering column, but it would be much simpler to just remove it entirely so it's not in your way. The only thing that will get in your way of removing the dash after you've taken the screws out is some wiring, the steering wheel and the combo switches. The heater core definately will NOT come out unless the crossbrace comes out too. One thing I forgot to add:
• disconnect your throttle cable from the gas pedal (probably only applies to LHD)

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:36 pm 
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Keith Scarfe wrote:
Ok thanks for that.
Sounds like a fairly big job.
One thing. Chris said:
Quote:
Pull dash out including crossmember

Then:
Quote:
No need to take the dash out of the passenger's compartment

I didn't quite get this. Do you or do you not take the dash out? The whole dash or just a bit of it (glove box for eg.). I guess I will find out when I get to do the job.


Sorry about that... I was wondering if I should've reworded my post before sending it in. :oops:

What I meant to say is that you can just pull the dash forward rather than taking it completely out, if you want to avoid taking the steering column out.


Chris

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:41 pm 
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Lihtan wrote:
The heater core definately will NOT come out unless the crossbrace comes out too.


Oh, it will. You'll likely be cursing and swearing at it, but it'll come out without removing the crossmember. I didn't have the option to remove since the screws on the passenger's side were locked in with corrosion. Luckily I could unscrew the driver's side and budge the crossmember enough to squeak everything by. Lots of bandaids were required after dealing with the sharp metal edges in the way of the ventilation assembly though.

Hopefully you won't have to do what I had to! :roll:


Chris

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 2:31 am 
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CJDavE wrote:
Oh, it will. You'll likely be cursing and swearing at it, but it'll come out without removing the crossmember. I didn't have the option to remove since the screws on the passenger's side were locked in with corrosion. Luckily I could unscrew the driver's side and budge the crossmember enough to squeak everything by. Lots of bandaids were required after dealing with the sharp metal edges in the way of the ventilation assembly though.

Hopefully you won't have to do what I had to! :roll:


Chris

In the three dashes I've pulled out recently (mine - weight reduction, my friends - leaking heater core, wrecking yard parts car - donor of new heater core) none of them had seized screws on the cross brace, even my car with its new and oh so wonderful discoveries of rust, came out without a problem.

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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