Originally Posted by jjsjjsva
I need to replace the heater core in a 1986 2WD SR5 X-Cab. Anyone done this? Do you have to remove the whole dash or can you just remove the front center stack (if that is even possible).
Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Yes, the dash has to come out. I'd take the seat(s) out also. It makes it much easier. I've done mine twice ('86). Mine didn't have AC. The core is encased. The ducting connects to the case. I took the complete dash out including the dash pad. This gave me an opportunity to replace all of the foam gaskets that seal the ductwork where ever it connects. I cleaned off the original foam with alcohol, or what was left of it as it had disintegrated. I used a roll of 3/4 by 1/4 foam from Home Depot. I had much better air pressure afterward. That really helped with defrosting.
*Hint: to remove the dash pad you'll need to remove the far right vent. You have to pop out the vane and depress the four metal clips in order to remove the vent. This is the only way to access the 10mm nut that holds the dash pad to the body.
When you do a new heater core, you'll also need to replace two O rings that connect the core flanges to the two lead out pipes that go through the firewall. There are also two circular clips that clinch the pipes to the core flanges that should be repalced also. Those are dealer items. Give your VIN to the parts counter at Toyota and they'll give you the correct clips and O rings.
There are a number of cables that connect to the core case. They're held in place by a toothed clip. Before you unclip them, mark them with a Sharpie so that they can be put back in the exact position. If you don't, you'll be dicking around with them in order to get the duct doors to open or close properly or in coordination. It's a headache you don't need when you think that you've finished.
It's a bitch to do the first time. Expect to spend a good 6 hours. Take some digital phots as you dis-assemble. It helps for re-assembly. There are a shitload of screws holding the whole joint together. Have a few different containers for different screws.