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Author Topic: Heater core - rebuild or buy new ???  (Read 1629 times)
DAVEN1256
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« on: October 22, 2013, 10:33:48 AM »

I haven't read up on this recently but when I did, people seemed to have problems with reproduction heater cores and recommended rebuilding an original one if possible.

I am wondering if this is still the same general opinion out there?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Are there good reproduction heater cores out there? ....and if so, where are they available from?

If not, where does one take or send an original heater core to be rebuilt?

And what does it usually cost to do that?

Thanks.....Dave
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Hans L
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 01:06:20 PM »

I took my original heater core to a local radiator shop in San Diego this summer.   They pressure tested it and noted a potential leak area around the inlet/outlets.  They added some solder to those areas and re-tested confirming no leaks.  Not the prettiest looking, but completely hidden within the heater box so not too concerned.  Cost was like $75.   

Interestingly, the heater core date code is like 6-7 months before the build date of the car (68J vs 04B build date for car).   I thought I might have mixed it up with my Chevelle's core, but the heater cores are different, so virtually certain it is original to the car.

 

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'69 Camaro RS Z/28 Van Nuys Built
BillOhio
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 05:39:10 PM »

I got 1 from ricks that was junk. 2nd from heartbeat city was nice heavy piece
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1969 Z28, Burgandy, numbers matching, 12,900 miles
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68camaroz28
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »

As most know or should know changing out a heater core is one terrible job! Heartbeat does sell an American made heater core that seems to be of a high quality. If you go the new route still have it pressure checked prior to installation. Any radiator repair shop should be able to give you a re-core price.
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DAVEN1256
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 10:04:38 PM »

I just got started on my heater box today. Wow, what a mess inside. I already knew my heater core leaked. I bypassed it years ago.

Do people who repair their original cores, have them boiled out to make sure the is no crud inside?

I like the idea of fixing my original but I have to wonder, even if the leak is fixed, it's still 45 years olds, and will it spring a leak in a different place soon after it is installed?

The date code on my original is 68C. Is this March of '68? My build date is 03C. Are these dates too close together?

Thanks.....Dave










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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 10:51:47 PM »

Treat it just like a 'small' radiator..  Take it to a radiator shop, have it pressure checked and cleaned.. . repair if necessary.    When I did mine, it was found to be good (no repair needed), so they cleaned it and returned it.    68C is March of '68, and is perfect for your March car.  My 09C (Sept '69 car had a '69J' in it... same month as production, so that may have been the 'norm'??
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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DAVEN1256
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 09:20:17 PM »

I know I have one leak. What concerns me is if they fix that leak, how do you know there is not a weak joint somewhere else ready to go in the near future after it installed?

I never knew too much about radiators and just watched a couple of videos on how they are constructed. Will a radiator shop re-solder all the joints, freshening them up and making them as strong as new again?

When they re-core a radiator, what do they actually replace? Are only the tanks re-used and everything else new?

Thanks.....Dave
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Sauron327
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 10:58:48 PM »



If the core is leaking and those areas are repaired, there is no guarantee it won't leak in other spots. Not a big deal on radiators as opposed to concealed heater cores.

We had a radiator shop at the old bodyshop. It's  just a matter of ordering a new unit or just a core and reusing the tanks.

Saving original parts is great but a heater core depends on the owner.

Vendor consisntency varies. I have 24K miles and 9 years on a repro heater core with no issues. The same vendor's radiator leaked at 3K miles. Radiator shops and repro vendors do not operate the same. Radiator shops are not as common as they once were. And few understand restoration as opposed to simple repair and function.





I know I have one leak. What concerns me is if they fix that leak, how do you know there is not a weak joint somewhere else ready to go in the near future after it installed?

I never knew too much about radiators and just watched a couple of videos on how they are constructed. Will a radiator shop re-solder all the joints, freshening them up and making them as strong as new again?

When they re-core a radiator, what do they actually replace? Are only the tanks re-used and everything else new?

Thanks.....Dave
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JJs 67 Camaro
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 10:24:32 AM »

I have an L48 factory A/C car.  None of the reproduction heatercore inlets would fit through the firewall. I went through 3 different ones. They were all .5 to 1" too narrow. I had to have a radiator shop remove the inlet side off my original Harrision and put it on a new heatercore. Not a problem.
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copo
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 02:25:54 PM »

I would have the original heater core re-corded using the original tanks. I have had a old time radiator repair man tell me that the original tank with 5/8'' outlet pipe with the water restrictor was put in there to slow the water flow down though the heater core to prevent electrolyses of the tubes. The after market heater cores don't have restrictor on the tube so you get alot more electrolyses of the tubes.
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