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Leaking Heater Core?

 
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Mitragorz  



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Manorville, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:19 am    Post subject: Leaking Heater Core? Reply with quote

Hey all,

The car has been parked in the driveway, under a cover all winter. I hopped in it today for the first tim thinking I could cruise to the office with the sunroof out, itís a beautiful day.

First thing I notice when I get in is a musty smell. Iím used to it, I had a leaky rear hatch for a long time, but had it fixed last fall. But itís a 40 year old, original car. Bad seals, whatever. Iíll just park it in the sun with the windows down and let it dry.

I pull to the end of the driveway, park it, and hop out to check her parking spot for puddles. Sure enough, thereís a small puddle, maybe two inches across... watery with a slight orange tint. Pretty much dead center, nearly underneath where the engine wouldíve been. Great. Iíll deal with it later.

Hop back in the car, and now I happen to catch a drop fall from under the dash, all the way on the far passenger side. I give it a good look. Itís orangeish.

I put it back in its spot and reluctantly took my pickup to work.

Iím thinking hearer core. Thoughts? And if it is, how involved is it to change?











EDIT: Sorry about the giant pics... Not sure how to resize them.
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Last edited by Mitragorz on Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:40 pm; edited 19 times in total
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
Posts: 8324
Location: Royal Oak, MI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very possible; common problem.

The tough part can be finding a replacement. I ended up buying a 944 heater core and swapping out the end tank to fit my car!
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Vaughan Scott
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Harm  



Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 1357
Location: Holland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

924RACR wrote:
Very possible; common problem.

The tough part can be finding a replacement. Ö


The later HVAC uses the VW Golf Mk1/Rabbit(none A/C) part 171819031D.
These Heat Exchangers new sell for less then Ä50 (the last couple of years).
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Mitragorz  



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Manorville, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The car is a 1980 with AC, though the AC is... well, pretty shot. Blower doesn't work, but I think it's a bad rotary switch. Previous owner also said that the system discharged itself of R12. Lack of AC doesn't bother me.

Anyway, found this guy at AutoAtlanta: http://www.autoatlanta.com/Porsche-Heater-Core-Parts-PN-R171819031E.html

$30 if pretty reasonable, I think.

Now... How involved is replacing this thing?
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D Hook  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
Posts: 3112
Location: Omaha, NE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you checked your battery box lately? The orange-looking color could be rust rather than antifreeze. It leaks into the cabin, makes the AC components on that side rust (blower motor, screen) and then onto the carpet. I would investigate that before the heater core.
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MikeJinCO  



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 913
Location: Maysville, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would look closely at the battery first as getting to the heating coil is not a lot of fun. In the "Technical" section under bodywork their is a good write up on removing the dash. Having removed the dash on both a non AC car and tan AC car, the cooling coil makes it a bit uglier.

Be careful when disconnecting the heater hose from the coil as that is a plastic fitting and pretty fragile and not very available.
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D Hook  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
Posts: 3112
Location: Omaha, NE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mitragorz wrote:
The car is a 1980 with AC, though the AC is... well, pretty shot. Blower doesn't work, but I think it's a bad rotary switch. Previous owner also said that the system discharged itself of R12. Lack of AC doesn't bother me.

Anyway, found this guy at AutoAtlanta: http://www.autoatlanta.com/Porsche-Heater-Core-Parts-PN-R171819031E.html

$30 if pretty reasonable, I think.

Now... How involved is replacing this thing?


It will be easier to replace than getting the correct, functioning part from AA. I would avoid them completely for anything. Lots of members on this board have had terrible experiences with them.
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Mitragorz  



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Manorville, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D Hook wrote:
Have you checked your battery box lately? The orange-looking color could be rust rather than antifreeze. It leaks into the cabin, makes the AC components on that side rust (blower motor, screen) and then onto the carpet. I would investigate that before the heater core.


MikeJinCO wrote:
I would look closely at the battery first as getting to the heating coil is not a lot of fun. In the "Technical" section under bodywork their is a good write up on removing the dash. Having removed the dash on both a non AC car and tan AC car, the cooling coil makes it a bit uglier.

Be careful when disconnecting the heater hose from the coil as that is a plastic fitting and pretty fragile and not very available.


I dunno guys, the battery box looks pretty good...








I even poured a cup of water in the box, and it all drained out the bottom of the car as normal... Nothing ran into the cabin.



D Hook wrote:
It will be easier to replace than getting the correct, functioning part from AA. I would avoid them completely for anything. Lots of members on this board have had terrible experiences with them.


Huh... I've had good luck with them, but I've mostly only ordered minor stuff from them. Bigger stuff I get from Pelican Parts, but they don't seem to have any.

There's a bunch on eBay, but the only one that "fits" a 1980 model is a used part... I'd rather buy new. Was there a change around '82 that makes the parts for later years incompatible?[/img]
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D Hook  



Joined: 02 Nov 2002
Posts: 3112
Location: Omaha, NE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only way to know for sure is to either pull the batter out and check under that and have someone pour a couple cups of water into the battery box while you're laying under the dash and watch for leaks. It may take some time to work it's way through the A/C stuff that's crammed in there. Might have to bounce the car a little.

Problem with getting moisture into the cabin is that it starts to corrode everything like ground terminals, fuse/relay box, seat rails, etc.

Sealing the battery box area is pretty easy. Maybe some of that new Flex Paste that's being advertised would do it.
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Mitragorz  



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Manorville, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D Hook wrote:
Only way to know for sure is to either pull the batter out and check under that and have someone pour a couple cups of water into the battery box while you're laying under the dash and watch for leaks. It may take some time to work it's way through the A/C stuff that's crammed in there. Might have to bounce the car a little.

Problem with getting moisture into the cabin is that it starts to corrode everything like ground terminals, fuse/relay box, seat rails, etc.

Sealing the battery box area is pretty easy. Maybe some of that new Flex Paste that's being advertised would do it.


I didnít pull the battery out, but I did pour a cup of water into the battery box this morning and it ran out the drain quickly and ran out the bottom of the engine compartment as it should. With that drain clear, I just canít see how so much water would back up in there.

Iíll pull the battery and check underneath, but thatís a sunny day job. Itís supposed to rain here the next two days.

I replaced the battery in the fall and didnít notice anything funky going on... but who knows what couldíve happened over the winter.
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924RACR  



Joined: 29 Jul 2001
Posts: 8324
Location: Royal Oak, MI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucky bastard.

Coolant leaking from the heater core usually ends up soaked into the carpet on the RHS, and won't smell the same as plain water. Easy test.
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Vaughan Scott
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