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  #1  
Old 03-27-2002, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Posts: 47
heater core r&r

Hi, i am new to this forum so i am not sure if this has been discussed before. I have a 87 190E2.6 and the heater core went out. I was wondering what the best way is to replace it. I have already gotten another one from the dealer, just looking for tricks of the trade or short cuts other than having to remove the dash as the hayne manual for the 2.3 suggests. Also, if the dash removal is the only way, how do you remove the airbag in the steering wheel? or is the steering wheel removal not necessary. thanks Ken.
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87 190E2.6
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2002, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 485
First I would ask who diagnosed the heater core as bad? I have had alot of (bad heater cores ) end up being heater valves. If it is bad I would first make the decision that if you have alot of time on your hands , a clean place to work and alot of patience, then maybe you should do the job. If you dont feel confident then have a professional do it . It is not that hard of a job to do if you are familiar with the vehicles. Have you got a quote from an independant or dealer? If so you may want to go that route.
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Mercedes Technician 7 Years (retired to Hyundai)
2000 Dodge Durango
98 Mazda truck
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2002, 11:35 AM
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Euro 287, I assume its a heater core cause about 6 months ago as i was heading to work i felt my pant leg get wet, then the car started to steam up. THe only other thing it could be would be the hose connection, changed the hoses to the heater core about a year before that happened. These are the signs i thought of a bad heater core, what would be the signs of a bad heater valve? I am a fairly decent mechanic, having worked on all my cars in the past, hardest thing was a engine rebuild on a 73 911S. I haven't removed dash boards before but it didn't look like it was going to be that hard. I have a bay in my garage for working on it and have a spare car that i can use while working on this one. So i assume from your questions that i will have to remove the dash. how do you remove the airbag on the steering wheel? I did check with several shops in the area that work on MBs and they all quote approx 7 to 10 hours at $70/per shop rates. since its a old car and its my commuter i decided to work on it myself. any info would be much appreciated. Ken
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2002, 12:26 PM
Dirty Ern
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I did my daughters '90 190E 2.6 about a year ago. It blew out on her and burned both of her ankles. To make sure it is the heater core, disconnect both of the hoses where they connect to the tubes coming through the firewall (those tubes connect directly to the core itself). Then plug one tube and connect a source of air pressure to the other one. If it dosen't hold pressure, its either the core, a tube or the connection of a tube to the core. I wouldn't use too much pressure, I used a tire pump.
The air bag is held on to the wheel with screws from the back. Seems like they may be Torx head screws. I couldn't imagine taking the dash out with the wheel inplace. The rest of it is all by the numbers, just follow the Haynes 2.3 manual. There may be one ot two things different between the two cars but not enough throw you. I didn't get in any hurry and I think it took me one day to take it all apart and another to get it all back together. I don't remember any one thing that was too difficult. I'd just love to know how they design all that stuff to fit together like it does! Amazing! Give a whistle if I can help in any way.
Ernie

p.s. I did the engine on my '60 356 Roadster
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2002, 12:42 PM
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Location: Issaquah, Washington
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thanks for the encouraging email. Is she okay from the burns? Luckily for me it wasn't that hot in the year yet and I had jeans on. thanks for the info and the removal of the airbag. I think its the core but will do your test just to make sure. I will let you know how it goes and you'll probably hear from me earlier if it doesn't go like the manual says. thanks Ken
60 356, nice. my buddy has a 59 convertible D and a 65 C.
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Old 03-28-2002, 01:20 PM
Dirty Ern
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Thanks for your concern. It was the Firday before Christmas a year ago, she was on Highway 101 South leaving San Jose bumper to bumper along with the rest of the Bay Area. That car runs on the warm side even in the winter. By the time it was all said and done, she had the full compliment of the CHP, Fire Dept, Ambulance and tow truck. They took her to the hospital and treated her for the burns. One ankle was just slightly blistered and the other got a big blister about the size of a hard boiled egg cut in half. It wasn't really too bad, she pulled out of it quickly. In fact she moved from Fresno to Santa Clara that same weekend. I went and got the car out of the tow yard and bypassed the heater to get it to my place. It seemed like the end of the trail for that car. We really didn't want to pay what a dealer wanted to replace the core, and knew it wouldn't bring any thing in thw winter without a heater..especially no defroster around here! When I went to the dealer to get the core, I talked to the shop foreman about the job of replacing the core, he didn't think it was the core, he said he couldn't ever remember replacing one in that model. When I had it out I took it to show him where it failed, it had a hole in one of the side tanks, right in the middle, where you wouldn't expect it.
Good luck, take your time and make a few notes and drawings, you'll do just fine.
Ernie
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2002, 01:49 PM
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Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
Posts: 1,427
Lightbulb Dash Removal!

Hey this thread may not have anything to do with your heater issue but check it out as it relates to doing as much diagnosis as you can before diving in to your dash! One thing for sure about these cars there is always something new and interesting to learn and this forum can be the difference between learning the hard way versus the easier way, Good luck!

126 Windshield Defroster Heat Exchanger ?

P. S. on my 126 on the passenger side towards the firewall is a plastic kick panel, behind the panel are a couple of electro boxes, there is one with red connector plugs that you can disconnect to safety the air bag before you play with it, you car may be similar.

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  #8  
Old 03-28-2002, 06:51 PM
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Billybob, Thanks for the input but unfortunately the situation that Dirty Ern described as what happened to his daughter sounds exactly want happened to me, except the burned part. So I will try the pressure test but am not holding my breathe that its going to be a easier fix like yours. Did you get fluid going into the car or was it just dripping from the outside of the car? Ken
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2002, 09:34 PM
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Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
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Wink Test! Test! Test!

In my situation the fluid was actually leaking outside the car but directly in front of the fresh air intake so the odor and steam was drawn into the cabin.

Yeah it sounds as though your core may have failed and I offered my circumstance as an example of checking every thing you can as thoroughly as you can before plunging into the deep end. I had removed my center console and most of the under dash panels and was set to start removing the dash when I got side tracked and accidently discovered the true problem and luckily avoided ripping every thing apart only to find nothing wrong with the heater core. You should be able to see any leaking coolant coming out of the heater box drain that is probably up above the tranny in the hump to verify a heater core leak, the pressure test in-place sounds like a good strategy at this point, good luck!
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2002, 11:52 PM
Dirty Ern
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A point that should be heeded to the hilt! Gee, why would I ever say a thing like that? We took a full days trip to Bodega Bay in the Vette and on the way home stopped to have dinner and when we came out, there was a huge puddle of antifreeze under it. I looked underneath to see where it was leaking, and said it had to be the heater core. I bypassed the core to get home. When I finally got around to it, I tore the dash out, only to find out that it must have been a loose hose, cause the core was perfectly O.K. You can't assume anything. A guy (or gal) really needs to develop a system for trouble shooting. The greatest asset that everyone here has is this forum. My motto, even back in my old HVAC days was "If you don't know, say you don't know". I think we can go one better here..."If you don't know, just ask"
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2002, 05:39 PM
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Location: Issaquah, Washington
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GUys, I very much appreciate any info you have given me and will check all possible causes before jumping into removing the dash, trust me, i appreciate any and inputs. thanks again for the info and will keep you posted.
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