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Unread 06-18-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
matt1980
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Leaking Heater Core

I have installed my 3rd heater core from Auto Zone and all of them have begun leaking within three months, get what you pay for. After the first new one leaked I found a thread on rebuilding the heater box and replaced all of the foam, stripped and repainted everything, thought I was good to go. All three of the new cores have leaked from the body of the core. There is no contact between the heater box or firewall and the heater core pipes in or out. I took great care installing the last two heater cores ensuring I did not force anything. Both times the heater box went right in, everything lined up and as far as I can tell there was nothing wrong with the installation process. Has anyone else had problems with these aluminum heater cores? Does anyone have a recommendation as to where I might find a good heater core that I will only have to install once. Thank you for your replies!

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Unread 06-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
numbersix
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You might have better luck with a copper core.
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Unread 06-18-2015, 12:32 PM   #3
Redmanchew
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my first 2 AZ ones leaked around the solder of the tubes.... went to NAPA.... much better quality, no leaks...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoleos617 View Post
To reiterate for the 1,067th time, when towing...
remove rear axle, xfer in N, trans in 5th, remove neg batt cable, key to Run and go??
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Unread 06-18-2015, 12:32 PM   #4
Ken4444
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This came up a few months ago and many of the replies indicated that the copper cores are not available from the usual parts suppliers. I suspect that the rising cost of copper has caused them to be phased out in favor of aluminum ones. Although it would be expensive, it might be worth taking a copper core to a radiator shop for repair.
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Unread 06-18-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
matt1980
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Have looked online and haven't found any copper cores, to ken, I believe you are correct and I no longer have the original core that was copper, nothing I can do about that now. Keeps in junk yards are pretty scarce around here, are there other vehicles that used the same heater core? To Redmanchew, I checked the Napa site and they had the same spectra core that auto zone stocks, is there a difference in the cores that Napa gets, if so I will pick one up, getting pretty good at removing the heater box so doesn't take long to replace
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Unread 06-18-2015, 01:21 PM   #6
Redmanchew
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I don't remember what the Brand was from NAPA (that was 6 years ago) but when I get home I can check my receipts and see if it says. if that is the same brand that AZ posts up then they more then likely ran out of the good ones. The main visual difference between the two was the amount of solder around the tube fittings to the core. the AZ ones had a very light braze at best and the NAPA one it was fairly well pooled up where they attached.
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1982 CJ-7 2003 4.3 chevy vortec, 4L60E, Clocked Dana 300 35 x 12.5 x 15 KM2 on Cragar 399's. Vanco Brake Booster. Power steering conversion. Warn front and rear bumpers with swing away. Moser 1 piece rears. Rear OX.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoleos617 View Post
To reiterate for the 1,067th time, when towing...
remove rear axle, xfer in N, trans in 5th, remove neg batt cable, key to Run and go??
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Unread 06-18-2015, 01:39 PM   #7
matt1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmanchew View Post
I don't remember what the Brand was from NAPA (that was 6 years ago) but when I get home I can check my receipts and see if it says. if that is the same brand that AZ posts up then they more then likely ran out of the good ones. The main visual difference between the two was the amount of solder around the tube fittings to the core. the AZ ones had a very light braze at best and the NAPA one it was fairly well pooled up where they attached.
appreciate the help and I looked very closely at the last two I got from AZ and that was a concern for me, very little material around the tubes, funny thing is none of them have leaked around the tubes, all three leaked where the fins connect to the top of the core.
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