1971 Heater Core - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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1971 Heater Core

I need a heater core for my 71 Ranchero with factory ac. Some I have seen have 3 hoses. Mine only has 2 hoses. Also need the water valve.
How difficult is it to change the heater core ?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 11:11 PM
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Re: 1971 Heater Core

Here is a link to one
Auto Parts Giant - 1971 Ford Ranchero 500 8 Cyl 5.8L Heater Core

Even though the body style is different, I believe it installs the same as the 1972-1976 models which is not technically hard to do, but is quite demanding on your bodies flexibility. You have to remove the entire "heater box" evaporator housing which is under the dash on the passenger side. it bolts through the firewall and if I remember correctly there are four bolts that you have to unscrew from the firewall under the hood in order to pull out the evaporator housing from under the dash. The glove compartment will also have to come off.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 07:10 AM
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Re: 1971 Heater Core

Quite some time ago a local radiator shop person mentioned that the center core for a Ford heater was always the same up to some time in the 1970's. The heater core used different ends, but the center core was the same, and all they replaced. Later on found this to be true.

So began unsoldering a few extra old ones using a common Burnz torch. The endcaps were different looking but as mentioned the center was the same. Mine looked to have had poor soldering and leaked out seam in endcap. It also had a bunch of dirt and strips of blue gasket goo inside plugging things up. Installed replacement end caps, and reinstalled whole thing in to auto and it lasted maybe six years. I had thus saved $35 in fixing up older one. Costs about the same now, but replacement costs have gone up.

The removal and replacement of the box for the heater core in a Ranchero takes about four hours, provided you can obtain the tools. Fixing the old heater core takes about 45 minutes. Overall a whole weekend day. Is a section in the official manual on how to R&R the heater core.


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