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Heater Core Replacement 97 Grand Am


johndavidrichards
11-28-2004, 12:22 AM
Noticed several posts asking if this is something that you can do in your garage or should you have a mechanic do it. First of all go ahead and buy the manual at your local suto suply shop. It details exactly what to do.

The whole dash does not have to be removed on a 97 grand am. On newer cars like this with air bags I tend to leave messing with the dash to the pros. Since the dash did not have to be removed, I plunged forward.

There are several bolts that hold the center console in place that one removed with the shift lever pulled back allows you to slide the whole console backward without removing it.

There is a trim piece arount the dash and radio that is removed with a couple of recessed screws in the cubby under the radio and two over the speedometer.

The driver and passenger sides both have removabe covers under the dash that swing down afer you twist a couple of thumb screws. Swing these down and remove if you can.

There is a vent/ductwork part under the dash that diverts air into a vent in the floor that I believe feeds air to the vents under the front seat for the feet of those in back seat. Remove it.

You should then be able to remove all the screws that hold the lower portion of the heater core drip pan. The pan has a drain that exits through the firewall. This will drop down to expose the heater core. It makes install alot easier if you just go ahead and remove this.

Words of advise. Try not to break anything but you will have to pull hard to remove some of these pieces. Sometimes a tab here or there may break off but mine went back together fine.

The heater core exits the fire wall in two places and connects to the heater hoses under the engine. You must disconnect these hoses but when you do the engine coolent will run out. Be ready with a big pail to catch it.

Also remember when working on the car to always chuck the wheels and use jack stands.

More words of advise. Buy a good quality heater core and buy the heater hoses from the auto parts store. I tried to just buy the bulk hose and make it work but these hoses take some stange bends. Get the pre fab hoses. Great opportunity to replace the upper and lower rad hoses too.


With the hoses detached from the heater core disconnect the two band that hold it in place and pull it out.

Installation is the oposite.

Remember when you intall the new heater core not to install it upside down or else the drip pan will not snap back in place.

If you are a home mechanic that has done brakes, alternators, radiators, hoses, belt and that sort of thing then if you take your time and buy the $17 book you can do it in about 4 hours.

It took me longer but now that I have done it, I bet I could do it in 2 hours if I had the parts handy and not trips to the store.

Hope this helps a little.

deb789
11-28-2004, 01:22 PM
I have a 98 Pontiac Grandam Se with a heater core messed up. Does this 98 Pontiac the whole dash has to be removed, or Does it apply only on the 97? If so, What tools did you have to use to remove partial dashboard? Please help!!!

johndavidrichards
11-28-2004, 08:08 PM
I have a 98 Pontiac Grandam Se with a heater core messed up. Does this 98 Pontiac the whole dash has to be removed, or Does it apply only on the 97? If so, What tools did you have to use to remove partial dashboard? Please help!!!

Dude,

First of all buy Haynes Repair Manual at your local major auto parts supplier. About $17US. Tell you just how to do it. If you intend on doing some of your own repairs on your car you need this book anyway.

My manual says it is good up to 1998 model years so I assume the process is the same as it was for the one I did.

Tools used were a small set of sockets. various sized screw drivers and a lot of patience.

If you look just in front of your center console under the dash there is a black colored plasic housing. That is what you are going to disasemble.


Good luck....just take your time and most of all make sure the car is properly supported when you are under it. Let me tell you what.....once you are under it looking up you will feel a lot safer.

kboogie
12-06-2004, 11:19 PM
Noticed several posts asking if this is something that you can do in your garage or should you have a mechanic do it. First of all go ahead and buy the manual at your local suto suply shop. It details exactly what to do.

The whole dash does not have to be removed on a 97 grand am. On newer cars like this with air bags I tend to leave messing with the dash to the pros. Since the dash did not have to be removed, I plunged forward.

There are several bolts that hold the center console in place that one removed with the shift lever pulled back allows you to slide the whole console backward without removing it.

There is a trim piece arount the dash and radio that is removed with a couple of recessed screws in the cubby under the radio and two over the speedometer.

The driver and passenger sides both have removabe covers under the dash that swing down afer you twist a couple of thumb screws. Swing these down and remove if you can.

There is a vent/ductwork part under the dash that diverts air into a vent in the floor that I believe feeds air to the vents under the front seat for the feet of those in back seat. Remove it.

You should then be able to remove all the screws that hold the lower portion of the heater core drip pan. The pan has a drain that exits through the firewall. This will drop down to expose the heater core. It makes install alot easier if you just go ahead and remove this.

Words of advise. Try not to break anything but you will have to pull hard to remove some of these pieces. Sometimes a tab here or there may break off but mine went back together fine.

The heater core exits the fire wall in two places and connects to the heater hoses under the engine. You must disconnect these hoses but when you do the engine coolent will run out. Be ready with a big pail to catch it.

Also remember when working on the car to always chuck the wheels and use jack stands.

More words of advise. Buy a good quality heater core and buy the heater hoses from the auto parts store. I tried to just buy the bulk hose and make it work but these hoses take some stange bends. Get the pre fab hoses. Great opportunity to replace the upper and lower rad hoses too.


With the hoses detached from the heater core disconnect the two band that hold it in place and pull it out.

Installation is the oposite.

Remember when you intall the new heater core not to install it upside down or else the drip pan will not snap back in place.

If you are a home mechanic that has done brakes, alternators, radiators, hoses, belt and that sort of thing then if you take your time and buy the $17 book you can do it in about 4 hours.

It took me longer but now that I have done it, I bet I could do it in 2 hours if I had the parts handy and not trips to the store.

Hope this helps a little.

I tried using a book but it was very general. What book did you use? I got it installed but there were no hoses to disconnect. So you do need to go under the car to remove the hoses? Thanks

johndavidrichards
12-07-2004, 09:51 AM
I tried using a book but it was very general. What book did you use? I got it installed but there were no hoses to disconnect. So you do need to go under the car to remove the hoses? Thanks


The heater core should have two hoses that allows the hot coolant from the engine to enter the core and then exit back into the cooling system. This is how you get heat. If you installed it and there were no hoses to disconnect then its probably because the heater core had been bypassed prior to installation of the new one. This bypass hose is just a curved piece of hose that removes the heater core from the loop usually due to leaking problems "failure".

You need to remove the bypass hose if this is the case...buy the two hoses that come off the heater core and install them so that you have coolant flowing through the core.

The heater core pokes through really low on the firewall so yes you do have to jack up and support the car properly so that it will not fall. Use jackstands. Once under the car find the firewall behind the engine and look for the tubes coming out of the core.

There should be two tubes coming off the core and there should be two tubes off the engine. The tubes off the engine may have that bypass hose connecting the two ends together. This needs to be removed and intall the 2 heater hoses. One from engine to core. One coming from core back to engine.

Most of the books are kind of general in detail. They are intended to assist someone that has some basic knowledge of how the core works. You should just go to a nice bookstore and buy a book on how engines work in general and study up on each componet before you work on it.

Before you can repair something... you really need to understand how its supposed to work in the first place or you can do more damage then good.

Good luck and have fun. If the car is a project figuring out how things work is half the fun. I've done most things wrong before I did them right myself.

John

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