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Replacing ST185 heater core - Anybody done this ?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:08 pm
by BoostedBlueToyotas
As subject states, I am in middle of replacing my heater core.
This is not even remotely covered in the BGB and now that I am
started looks like the most hideous job I have undertaken on this car
(and I have done everything to this car but rebuild the tranny).

Has anyone done this and have any hints. Removing the box containing
the heater core appears to be a bear. I have all the trim removed, the
metal side supports removed, airbag computer and dashpad are still
in and I am hoping that I dont have to remove them ....


PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:17 pm
by daveryan
Could have sworn there was a write-up on celicatech, but I can't find it. Here's a little outline I found on google groups from an Alltrac owner that might be of some help...

The secret is this, if it (heater matrix box) dosn't come out EASILY then
you havn't undone enought bolts n nuts. I did the following.

Removed Gear knob.
Removed Gaiter covers.
removed stereo facia/cupholder/ashtray thingy.
removed arm box thingy in middle (screws actually under tape holder)
removed centre column.
removed door trims that says celica
removed panel below steering wheel
removed glove box
remove middle vent with clock (just pops out)
You do not have to remove the climate control panel.

Now you will see 3 white boxes on passenger side to remove two of these you
will have to unfortunatly ungas aircon and then undo pipes from engine bay,
there are two pipes for heater matrix and two pipes for aircon.

When pipes from engine bay undone i then removed the two metal brakets that
the stereo screwed into they also act as supports for dash.
Remove ECU also.
Now you have to remove the middle white box (air con unit) and the right
hand white box (heater matrix). these are held in by about 9 bolts and there
is one behind the clock holding in the heater matrix which is a BITCH to get
to, its not exactly behind clock but its to the right behind the cable that
turns the tempreture up. You also have to detach a small rod that is on a
control wheel on the right hand side of the right box by uncliping it. These
white boxes WILL come out VERY easily if you have undone all the bolts and
nuts, if they DO NOT come out you have not undone all the bolts OR the pipes
are having trouble going through the firewall.
You do not have to open the white boxes ever so don't undo the little screws
that hold them togheter or the clips, leave them on.
Remove air con box first then the heater matrix one. You will see when you
have heater matrix box that you undo a holding screw on top of the pipes and
it slides right out.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:24 pm
by daveryan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:53 pm
by BoostedBlueToyotas
Thanks, Looks like this is going to be fun (not). I will attempt to
take pictures of bolt locations if I can. Wasnt planning on pulling
the AC system, but it is empty so no biggie ...

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:18 pm
by BoostedBlueToyotas
Well I got it out. Some caveats on the copied text from other list,
I didnt have to remove any levers (unless I broke one off but I
dont think so). The hardest nut to get is NOT on the heater core box,
but is on the AC box hidden by a wire loom. You need to unbolt the
AC and fan motor (middle) box and remove them together. When you
remove the heater core box you slide it over to space that was vacated
by blower motor and AC boxes. I removed the computer and unhooked
the airbag computer (but left connections alone) because I tried to pull
it straight out rather then slide it over. I think you could leave both alone
The heater core wont hang up on them if you slide it over first. This thing
is going to be a real bitch to put back in without screwing up the copper
tubes threw the firewall. Had to unhook about 7-8 connectors also, slide
3 connectors off the boxes, etc ....

I took about 15 pictures of the entire thing so if in future someone gets hung
up I can send some pics :D

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:45 pm
by rightrac
a good write up on this would be great. when i was relocating my battery to the trunk i wanted to remove the AC tubes that go through the firewall( i removed my AC) and run my cable through that gromet. i took one look at removing that whole mess and deciding against it. nice job getting it out and good luck going back in.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:47 pm
by cmonteiro1
I know i'm late, but This is prob. one of the biggest pains in the ass I've ever had to do on my ST185...

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:03 pm
by 2of81
This job sucked big time on my 88 toyota pickup, I can't imagine it being any easier on the All-Trac. You should post a pic of everything all the way apart!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:55 pm
by BoostedBlueToyotas
If you want to post them I can send them, I have about 15 pictures
of it. I couldnt believe how much space the 3 boxes take, they are
huge. I do have a picture of under the dash with all the boxes out.

And yes, this was a huge PITA to get them out. I have the entire interior
out and I was still hanging my legs out the doors, etc ... It is one of the
crappiest alltrac jobs, at least it didnt have rusted bolts that snapped.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:48 pm
by NemesisGT-2
Would you mind sending those pics my way? My heater has been very weak all winter, and I am finally going to get some time here soon to pull the core and replace it. It would be a great help to see some pics of what has to be done in addition to the instructions posted above.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:56 am
by BoostedBlueToyotas
PM me with your email addy

Bear with me, my comcast internet has been going out every night
for the last week :shoots:

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:41 pm
by 2of81
I just wanted to see the total mess of everything out. This is a job that is very scarry to me, if the wrong person does it and everything doesn't go back together 100% the dash will be viberating like a Ford product.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:32 pm
by BoostedBlueToyotas
Justin, I do have pictures of it out, could take pictures of
individual boxes also.

I didnt take out any of the boxes to the vents so hopefully it will
fit back together the way it came out ! Guess I will have to concentrate
on getting my stereo to work so I dont hear the dash rattles :D

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:45 am
by wannabe toms racer
holy SHIT

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:33 am
by shoteh
I would also like to see pix. Anything would be helpful because I might have to do this as well because I've been getting nasty mildew type smells coming from the vents and I assume it's my heater core being old :shrug: what are other symptoms of HC going out?

After reading that list of instructions, I think I might need a good rest and a few aspirins before I would ever start that project. Any ideas how much a local shop would do it for?

-where did you buy your new one?