2006 TJ remove heater - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-29-2014, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
timh141
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2006 TJ remove heater

We took my son's 2006 TJ to the dealership because of rainwater on the floor boards. They suggested replacing all the seals between the heater box and the firewall. The cost estimate was $784. We bought the seal kit for $26 from the dealer and did this ourselves. Dry so far.

Let me say we were kind of dreading this, but it really isn't that bad. It just takes time...which we have more of than money.

You can find the steps to complete this on youtube and other places on the web, but we DID NOT have to remove the steering column, the seats or the dash. We did not have to disconnect any of the electrical connectors near the steering column. The dash was unbolted and pulled away from the firewall on the passenger side, and we were able to remove the HVAC unit from there.

Here are the steps as I recall, we did this over a twelve hour period in one day:
1.) Remove driver and passenger doors
2.) Disconnect and remove battery (air bag hazard if you don't disconnect)
3.) Remove air filter
4.) Remove glove box
5.) Disconnect dash as follows:
  • pull the vent cover off the top of the dash by windshield
  • remove dash panel from below steering column, two screws
  • remove gauge cluster surround, two screws on the bottom, 3 on top
  • remove three torx bolts from each side of dash near door jams
  • remove the two nuts on the firewall just above the HVAC unit
  • the dash is hanging from four studs just below the windshield. The two outer studs have nuts on them, the inner two do not.
  • disconnect the electrical connector from the HVAC, disconnect the vaccum connector from the HVAC, disconnect the radio antenna lead, all through the glove box opening.
6.) Lift the dash out, be ready to support the passenger side, we did this by tying a line from the rollbar to the dash grab handle.
7.) Unbolt the HVAC unit:
  • there is one bolt inside, accessible through the glove box opening
  • one vacuum line that comes out near the heater hoses
  • drain the engine coolant
  • disconnect the heater hoses
  • de-pressurize the A/C through the refill valve
  • disconnect the A/C lines, this requires a special tool, but commonly available at the auto parts stores.
  • disconnect the vacuum line that comes through above the heater hoses
  • there are 5 studs through the firewall. Two behind the engine, these are the hardest to get to. Two below the heater hoses, one behind the battery. Part of the wiring loom is supported by this stud which makes it a little hard to see. One thing to watch for here, the cowl drain is hooked to a stud behind the engine, once you remove the first nut, there is a second nut hiding behind the cowl drain mounting tab. You will have to remove the cowl drain to see this nut.
8.) Have a buddy pull the dash (gently) away at the passenger side and you will be able to wrestle the HVAC unit out.
9.) We also replaced a perfectly good 8 year old heater core, just to avoid doing this again any time soon.
10.) If you need to split the HVAC case, two clips and most of the bolts are on one side, but there is one pesky bolt you have to flip it over to see. There are some vacuum lines that will need to be disconnected if you take this apart.
11.) There are seven seals to install where the HVAC connections breach the firewall. The five studs each have a seal, there is one around the a/c and heater lines and one for the drain. The picture is showing the old seals
12.) When you reinstall the HVAC unit, be watchful of that little vaccum line that comes through by the heater hoses.


After it was all back together we refilled the coolant, started the rig and then recharged the A/C

Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by timh141; 12-29-2014 at 12:03 PM. Reason: add pics
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-29-2014, 12:14 PM
ops5
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Nice, but are you saying you dumped your AC refrigerant into the atmosphere? You should have it evacuated at a shop before starting the tear down
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 07:45 AM
mjp83
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Thank you for the great write up! I unfortunately have an antifreeze leak in my heater core. Ordering a mopar replacement now.

As far as releasing the 134a, yes it is illegal to knowingly release the refrigerant. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/faq.html

However, 134a is not considered ozone depleting like R12. But it still may add to the green house effect, and as Jeep owners, we care about our environment, and to keep with tread lightly, I will have my AC evacuated. I am not stepping on anyone's toes here, just asking everyone to be considered.
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 08:18 AM
mjp83
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If anyone else has the leaking heater core, I just ordered a Mopar replacement for $86 from wholesale mopar! Called them up, and got a very friendly parts guy!! (Sorry, this is on an 06, I realize that earlier models still have to pay $300 plus for their cores!)
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
timh141
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We bought an aftermarket heater core for under $50. It didn't come with the foam pad, so we put some weather stripping on it. I believe the foam is to keep it snug inside the case as there are no mounting screws, its just "compartmented" inside the case. The factory heater core was of plastic/aluminum construction as was the aftermarket replacement.
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
timh141
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If you want the factory weather seal kit....act fast. The dealership told me there were only 10 left in the country, all in a depot in Chicago. I got one, so that left only 9 available....
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-06-2015, 02:11 PM
mjp83
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Timh141,

Thank you for a great write up! I just did the heater core replacement, and had the unit out in about 1.5 hours! My core had a small leak, but I noticed the newer heater case is a one piece bottom unit, and the drain design would keep coolant from weeping onto the passenger floorboard, so be aware! My Mopar replacement was the exact same part as the old one.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-06-2015, 02:13 PM
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Also, while you are in there, the cowl drain, right behind the engine block, had a bunch of solid dirt in it, take the time to clean it out! It will collect at the bottom of the rubber neck.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-06-2015, 05:19 PM
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I don't understand why you wouldn't spend the extra 15 mins to drop the column and disconnect the connectors. Then flopping the dash onto the seats. Gives you more room to work on the heater box and don't run the risk of stretching wiring and causing major electrical issues.

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post #10 of 22 Old 01-08-2015, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
timh141
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mjp83: Good job! Thanks for the post and pictures
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-09-2015, 12:49 PM
mjp83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timh141
mjp83: Good job! Thanks for the post and pictures
No, thank you for the to the point and accurate instructions! Definitely made the job a breeze!
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-28-2015, 06:31 PM
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Just did mine today. Pulled doors, seats, battery, and a few trim pieces the night before.
Replaced heater core and had everything back together in about 9 hours (with another person helping). Still need to recharge AC.
Wasted one hour troubleshooting no floor heat. Had a pinched air line behind the HVAC bolt (see OP third picture).

A couple of notes to help others. Although, if you're the type to try this, then you can probably figure things out for yourself.
Some of the steps are definitely easier with two people.
Removing the seats gives you more room to work, but with no where to sit, dealing with all the dash screws was a pain.
You do not need to drain very much coolant (unless you're planning to do a flush). Probably less than 2 inches in my bucket and hoses came off without any mess.
I also did not pull the steering column. I unbolted everything and then tied the passenger side to the roll bar. It might have been easier if it was removed, but removing the column to do so not only adds time (way more than 15 minutes) but then adds more things to go wrong.
Lay a towel over the column so the metal frame doesn't scratch the plastic. The only thing I disconnected on the drivers side was the satellite module (antennae wire was stretched tight). Its directly under the steering column.
Also, the shifter (for automatics) can scratch the dash when it's pulled back. Assuming you removed the t-handle to remove the floor console.
The OP said he only had two nuts holding the top of the dash. I had all four. In fact the middle two hold a metal bar which holds up the rear of the stock radio.
One problem I had was when I pulled the HVAC air lines from the back of the HVAC control panel, I separated the two black parts instead of just pulling the white part that holds the air lines. This became a concern later when we couldn't get the floor heat to work.
I'm thinking you might not need to remove any of the items from the center of the dash since there are disconnects for the HVAC box on the passenger side. It would depend on if the wire harnesses for the radio, HVAC, and switch panel are long enough for dash to be pulled out. I had already removed those items and disconnected all the associated plugs.
No tips on the AC lnes. My helper did that part while I was working on the inside. We did cover/cap them while they were disconnected.
For the two studs behind the engine (lower one is double nutted); after you get the lower stud top nut off and remove the cowl drain, the second nut and upper nut are more easily removed from the drivers side with a wrench.
Removing the fuse box screws gave a little more wiggle room for the HVAC box to go in and out.
Remove any wire ties that you may have added if they're attached to part of the HVAC box or any of its wiring.
Guide AC tubes in and out through firewall. Nicking the aluminum tubes could affect the seal.
Remember there's one screw on the bottom of box, and you will have to remove or cut the foam seal to split the case.
After you split the case, put a little white grease on door pivots.
After reassembly, check door operation manually. There's four of them.
Remember to reattach things like heater duct hoses, rearview mirror harness, radio antennae, vacuum line above battery, etc.


I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Life is short. Play hard.

1979 CJ5, 1982 CJ8, 2004 WJ, 2006 LJ Rubicon
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-26-2015, 10:19 PM
TJ04BLACK
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Thanks a lot for the write up and all the advice that y'all have shared. How did people do anything without the internet? I'm replacing my heater core in April so I will keep you posted. But in the mean time, I think I'm going to practice this job on a jeep in the junk yard before I start messing with my own. Oh and I might make a video. This job could really use one.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-27-2015, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp83 View Post
Thank you for the great write up! I unfortunately have an antifreeze leak in my heater core. Ordering a mopar replacement now.

As far as releasing the 134a, yes it is illegal to knowingly release the refrigerant. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/faq.html

However, 134a is not considered ozone depleting like R12. But it still may add to the green house effect, and as Jeep owners, we care about our environment, and to keep with tread lightly, I will have my AC evacuated. I am not stepping on anyone's toes here, just asking everyone to be considered.
So what happens when your condenser is compromised in a accident?

JEEP THE AR-15 OF THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-27-2015, 06:43 AM
Spyder05
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accidents happen...doesn't mean you can go around dumping your fluids all over the place.

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