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Heater Core Lesson Learned

This is a discussion on Heater Core Lesson Learned within the Bullet Birds [1961-1963] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Hi everyone. I just wanted to pass along a frustrating lesson I just learned. For those of you who haven't ...

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Old 07-17-2015, 10:56 AM
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Heater Core Lesson Learned

Hi everyone. I just wanted to pass along a frustrating lesson I just learned. For those of you who haven't accomplished this task, the heater core for a '63 (and probably earlier models) has one welded tube for the input and a slot where the return mechanism, with the control valve, mounts to it. Although I can appreciate the forward-thinking of the temperature sensitive control valve on the original design, I replaced the heater core with what they sell as a "fix" to the system where the manual control valve is installed in the engine compartment. The return for the heater core is just a 90-degree pipe that is held to the core with 3 small nuts and a seal between them. I wasn't happy with the seal at the time and used some silicone gasket maker to improve the situation. Since I had rebuilt the engine and replaced the radiator, water pump, and hoses, I chose to fill the system with Evan's waterless coolant. At about $50 per gallon, it's not cheap, but won't corrode the system. After the first engine run, I noticed a considerable leak of the coolant into the passenger foot well. Taking a chance, I ordered another new heater core, this time for a '64 with AC, which I knew had two welded pipes. After receiving it yesterday, I'm happy to report they are identical in size and mounting holes. The lesson learned is that if you replace the core on a Bullet Bird, be sure to get the new control valve and cable, but use the core from a '64 to avoid a potential (or probable) leak and the subsequent time to do the job twice. I hope this info is helpful for some of you out there!
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Last edited by waltreiss; 07-17-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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