1991 Ford Escort Replace Heater Core

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The 1991 Ford Escort's heater core, which generates warm air to heat the car's interior, is located behind the center console. You can tell when it is time to replace your Escort's heater core when you notice that the air from the heating vents is no longer warm. The heater core can fail over time, due to clogged tubes or leaks, which impede the distribution of fluid. Replacing your own heater core requires removal of the vehicle´s dashboard, instrument panel and control panel. The entire process takes four hours to complete.

[edit] Tools Used

Tools
Socket wrench
Screwdriver
Drain pan
Antifreeze container
Heater core
Antifreeze

[edit] Replace Heater Core

  • Locate the car battery's negative terminal -- use a socket wrench to disconnect the cable from the terminal. This will disable any electrical circuits while you replace the heater core.
  • Locate the two heater hoses behind the engine compartment under the hood (they are connected to the heater core through the vehicle`s firewall). Position a drain pan directly underneath the heater hoses (slide underneath the car to do this) -- this will catch the antifreeze that leaks from the heater hoses when you disconnect them. Disconnect these hoses with a socket wrench. Store the used antifreeze in a closed container; take the used antifreeze to a local garage, where it can be properly recycled.
  • Remove the left and right lower dash trim panels (use a socket wrench to remove the bolts that hold both panels) and then remove the four bolts that secure the steering column to the instrument panel. Lower the steering column and then remove the bolts that hold the instrument panel bezel to the instrument panel -- this will allow you to pull the instrument panel bezel off. Remove the instrument panel´s retaining bolts and then pull the instrument panel out. Disconnect the wiring from the back of the instrument panel and then set it aside.
  • Detach the hood release cable and then remove both dash side panels (use a socket wrench to remove the bolts that hold both panels). Remove the four retaining bolts that hold the control panel and then pull the control panel out from the center console and detach the electrical connectors from the back.
  • Remove the ashtray assembly by detaching the seven screws that line the center accessory console. Pull the accessory console out from the center console and then remove the electrical connectors from the back.
  • Locate the heater core, which is located just under the center heating vents and is attached to the center console with mounting bolts. Use a socket wrench to remove the heater core´s mounting bolts and pull the heater core out of the center console. Install the new heater core into the center console and reattach the mounting bolts.
  • Reassemble the accessory console, ashtray assembly and control panel and reattach them to the center console. Reattach the hood release cable and reassemble both dash side panels and both dash trim panels. Raise the column and then reassemble the instrument panel and bezel.
  • Reattach the two heater hoses through the firewall, using a socket wrench, and then reconnect the cable to the battery`s negative terminal. Refill antifreeze as needed.
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