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Heater Core Replacement - Orange 1976 Jeep CJ5
(04/05/11) After a long time of putting it off, the heater core finally was leaking too much coolant onto my passenger legs for them to take it anymore, so we had to remove it and replace it. Also, the heater wasn't working, so we had to figure that out as well. What I will say here is figure out how long it will take to remove all the pieces to get the dash out to get to your heater box.

I had a cage in the way, but the cage bolts interfered with the rocker protection, so I had to remove them first, and then I had fenderwell speaker boxes that were in the way of the cage, and then the softop rails were in the way, the bikini top, dash pad, and finally battery and battery tray all had to come out to make way for getting the heater box out. It took almost 4 hours with the snapped cage bolts, drilling and tapping, and other miscellaneous mishaps! And... I am still only half way done!
I have to wait for the heater blower motor to come in and I didn't really snap any pictures of the heater core installation, but basically you take the old one out, you put the new one in and before you do that, you wrap it with weather stripping to form a nice tight seal. Right now the wait is on until the end of the week for the heater blower motor, some new bolts for the cage that I broke taking it out, and then an O2 sensor that I also have to rectify for the fuel injection.
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
So, my lessons learned here would have to be that you really need to take a step back and take a look at your Jeep and figure out how much time it is going to take to rip it apart. In this case, my "onion" definitely took longer than I thought it was going to do, and when I needed the blower motor, they aren't exactly off the shelf items, which really sucks the big one!
This is a pretty easy thing to do in your Jeep. Udating the heating system will give you a bit more heat and you will be slightly warmer in the Jeep after it is done as they weren't that great from the factory to begin with. As I said in my wife's write-up when we did hers, "do yourself a favor and do this when you have the dash apart so you don't have to take it apart later on when everything is back together." Yeah, no kidding, great advice! I just wish I followed my own advice!

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