1987 T-Bird 5.0 Liter 60k: Need advice on driving with heater core leak.

Hi, My 87 Bird blew a heater core & I am going to have to bite the bullet and take it to the dealer to be replaced. I am 73 and just can't do work like I used to. My question is with the heater off and set to cool will core box still fill with anti-freeze or will it be diverted back to the cooling system. I do not plan on driving far, but don't want to tow it to the dealer. Reservoir is showing almost normal amount of fluid. I get a puddle, maybe a 1/4 cup of fluid after I turn off the engine from the core drain tube, guess this from the fluid left in the core?

I know this going to be about 1K to fix, but to me it is still worth it. I would try an independant,but don't know of any I would trust doing this, plus I am thinking it would still be $700 or so.

Thank You, Gary in Macomb,MI.
 

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Hey, Gary. You should be able to drive it to the dealer with no real issue. You answered your question already by stating you get 1/4 cup of coolant leaking from the core drain tube. That is what you should experience from a heater core leak. The drain tube (when working properly) keeps a puddle of coolant from soaking you carpet in your passenger footwell. So, place your settings on cool with the heat off and that should prevent ducting hot steamy antifreezze into the cabin and fogging up your windows, You may want to crack the windows also to allow some fresh air into the cabin.
 
Thanks for the reply 94 With the controls set as mentioned & If I can't get it into the dealer tomorrow can I still drive it, or is there still going to be some anti freeze going into the core and leaking causing damage. Not sure how the anti freeze is diverted with these settings.
 
Might just look for a new car. Dealer price is $1900.00 indpendant has not gotten back to me. I think I am going to have them put a Bypass Tee for now, if I can't find a car then I can take it back, depending on what the independent wants and have them replace it. Waiting for their estimate now
 
Might just look for a new car. Dealer price is $1900.00 indpendant has not gotten back to me. I think I am going to have them put a Bypass Tee for now, if I can't find a car then I can take it back, depending on what the independent wants and have them replace it. Waiting for their estimate now
Dealers will always rake you over the coals. Find an independent shop and maybe you have better luck (Labor is whats really going to kill you). Still if the tbird is anything like the Taurus of that era then the entire dashboard needs to be pulled forward to get to the heater core. Really got to love those engineers. Find a place for the part. Not find a way to take it out when it goes bad.
 
Hi, My 87 Bird blew a heater core & I am going to have to bite the bullet and take it to the dealer to be replaced. I am 73 and just can't do work like I used to. My question is with the heater off and set to cool will core box still fill with anti-freeze or will it be diverted back to the cooling system. I do not plan on driving far, but don't want to tow it to the dealer. Reservoir is showing almost normal amount of fluid. I get a puddle, maybe a 1/4 cup of fluid after I turn off the engine from the core drain tube, guess this from the fluid left in the core?

I know this going to be about 1K to fix, but to me it is still worth it. I would try an independant,but don't know of any I would trust doing this, plus I am thinking it would still be $700 or so.

Thank You, Gary in Macomb,MI.
Just a follow up. Dealer price was $1900 independant $1300. I ended up just giving to a kid as is who is very happy.

Thank you so much for your comments. Gary
 
Ive done a few of these, on my 83 and my 87, sorry to hear you had to give it away. If I was closer I’d have put it in for you. Yes its a job but can be done in a afternoon. Sounds like they gave you the man we don’t really want to do this price.
 
Ive done a few of these, on my 83 and my 87, sorry to hear you had to give it away. If I was closer I’d have put it in for you. Yes its a job but can be done in a afternoon. Sounds like they gave you the man we don’t really want to do this price.
Don't mind giving it away, it is going to a good friend. I agree the repair shop really did not want to do the job.

Thank You soooo much for saying you would fix it if you lived near me. Very kind of you.

Regards Gary
 
Next time if one of you has a bad or leaking heater core you can take both hoses off going to the heater core and run them together with a piece of pipe and a couple clamps until you get it fixed or fix it. Do it in the summer when it's warm because you won't have any heat coming inside the car just cold air
 
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