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900spg
Dodge Dakota
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10/06/2005
21:13:14

Subject: Flushing Heater Core
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The heater in my 1998 Dakota CC 3.9L is very poor at best. After searching the archives it seems that I need to flush my heater core. Do I need to remove the heater core from the truck to do this and if so do I need to remove the dashboard to remove the heater core? The heater does produce weak heat after a long time. The fan is strong and the the engine coolant is in normal range. Thanks for any help.



GB2000
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10/06/2005
21:49:11

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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Backflush it...

The original post about it from Dan:

Here is an answer to the original question about the posters heater core. It is plugged. I had the same exact problem. I had flushed out my coolant system several times, but still no real heat coming from the heater. I then finally thought about it and realized the the convential way of flushing out a coolant system does not really flush out the heater core. The problem is that when you flush the coolant system out you normally connect the flushing water to the inlet side of the heater core hose and then backflush the system out through the radiator cap. This works fine for the engine and the radiator, but does not backflush the heater core. But for less than 99 cents and about 15 minutes you can easily backflush your heater core yourself. There was a suggestion on an earlier post to just reverse your inlet and outlet hose on the heater core and that would backflush it. This is true, but the gunk that is clogging up the heater core will just get flushed into you engine and will probably end up right back in your heater core. What you have to do is get a 5/8 inch female garden hose adapter. This can be purchased at just about any hardware store. Make sure it is the kind that slips inside the garden hose. Then with the engine cool you need to disconnect the outlet hose of the heater core from the engine. You need to do this at the water pump connection, which should be on the driver's side of the engine. Then insert the garden hose adapter into the end of the hose. Then disconnect the heater core inlet hose from the engine connection. On my Dakota this is easily done at the splice that is on the passengers side of the engine. This splice is where you normally connect to flush out the coolant system. Then hook a garden hose up to the outlet hose and turn on the water. Have someone help you turn on and off the water as you flush out the heater core. Try and collect atleast the first 2 gallons of stuff you flush out and dispose of this according to your local laws. After the first 2 gallons all you should get out of your heater core is dirty water. This should be ok to just dump on the ground but make sure first. You will probably have to flush the core for a good 5 minutes to fully clean it out. Then reconnect your heater hoses as they were and enjoy the heat.




Josh Blackshire - Owner, Ohio Dakotas .NET
Red 98 Dakota Sport - Check it out!

900spg
Dodge Dakota
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10/08/2005
18:08:58

RE: Flushing Heater Core- waterpump leak
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Well, I completed back flushing the heater core and my heater now works great. After the test drive I noticed anti freeze dripping to the ground and it now appears that my waterpump is leaking. Not sure how the backflushing of the heater core would hae any effect on this but maybe it is just coincidence. Not postive that it is the waterpump but looking through the wheel well I see it running along the top of the oilpan and can only imagine that it is coming from the waterpump. Does it sound like it would be the waterpump?



Slim
Dodge Dakota
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10/08/2005
19:40:08

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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really can only be a couple of things....

water pump
timing chain cover
thermostat housing(easiest fix)
or frost plugs



GB2000
GenIII
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10/08/2005
19:44:15

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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Are you sure it isn't leaking from one of the fittings you had removed when you backflushed it?




Josh Blackshire - Owner, Ohio Dakotas .NET
Red 98 Dakota Sport - Check it out!

900spg
Dodge Dakota
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10/08/2005
20:29:38

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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Are you sure it isn't leaking from one of the fittings you had removed when you backflushed it?

I'm positive as both connections are clearly visible. It appears to be coming from the waterpump but I'm unable to get a clear view of the precise source.



Slim
Dodge Dakota
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10/09/2005
12:40:36

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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Take it apart and replace the gasket. only costs 12 bucks. might wanna replace the bypass hose too, costs 8 bucks.



900spg
Dodge Dakota
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10/12/2005
21:14:43

RE: Flushing Heater Core
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So the truck is still under a 3 month/3000 mile warranty as I just bought it last month. I took it to the dealer and they say it is the timing chain cover seal and the warranty does not cover gaskets and seals. They want $625 to repair. That seams steep to me. I figured the timing chain could be replaced for less than that. What do others think?



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