Heater core removal on a 1995 Ford Escort

Must I remove the top of the dash to remove the housing containing the heater core?

Their is no way around it. To access the heater box in an escort the entire dash and steering column must be removed. Once the heater box is removed the heater core can be replace.

Thank You Michael, I was afraid of that.

Your welcome I wish I could tell you a short cut but with the escort their isn’t one. Just did one a couple weeks ago.

Heater cores have always been one of my biggest irks. Cheap part and often a major nightmare to change, but I hate dashboard work anyway.
You would think they would simply design these things with a cover and 2 screws on the firewall somewhere to allow access and make it a 30 minute job at the maximum.

I went through the firewall on a Taurus one time to replace a heater core (LONG story) and believe me, I won’t do it again. Took a bit of eyeballing, marking, and cutting with a Dremel tool but it got done. NOT recommended.

Remember the old GM cars where you had to cut a hole in the inner fender to get the blower motor out? Some of the parts stores used to sell a kit that included a template, patch panel, adhesive, and screws for this job.

I have done more Taurus/Ranger/Explorer/Escort heater cores then I care to count. When I first went to work at the local Ford dealership I was low man on the totem pole. So every time a heater core job came in that you had to remove the dash on I got stuck with it. Since we were a flat rate shop I learned real fast how to get them done. Only one come back in 8 years.

I have never seen an auto assembly line but my vision of the process starts with a heater core suspended from a wire. The rest of the car is assembled around it.

Just an idea …not a recommendation: Since it’s an old car, and you may not be concerned too much about appearance, it could be a shortcut, literally, by judiciously cutting the center console and the dash with a hacksaw, knife, etc, to get the heater core out. The word “judicious” means to not cut wires, cables, or supports. Just use care. Here are the instructions for changing the heater core, in the “normal way”, from Auto Zone web site. EDIT: Go to www.autozone.com. Put in your car’s make, model, year, eng. Go “Shopping” for a heater core. Click on the heater core picture. Click on: View Repair Guide.

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