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Old 12-15-2005, 05:07 PM   #1
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The heater core on my 2001 Horizon has developed a leak in the heater core. I have bypassed it by connecting the two hoses together, but need to replace the core, as we use the coach in the winter. I called Winnebago about it, and they said the best thing was to remove the front cap. Anybody done this on this model of coach, and is it a big deal? Pretty mechanically inclined, but unsure about jumping into this without much help holding the front clip when removing it. The core is in front of the passenger seat, and probably very difficult to get out without removing the front end. Any suggestions?????

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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The heater core on my 2001 Horizon has developed a leak in the heater core. I have bypassed it by connecting the two hoses together, but need to replace the core, as we use the coach in the winter. I called Winnebago about it, and they said the best thing was to remove the front cap. Anybody done this on this model of coach, and is it a big deal? Pretty mechanically inclined, but unsure about jumping into this without much help holding the front clip when removing it. The core is in front of the passenger seat, and probably very difficult to get out without removing the front end. Any suggestions?????

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hope you can find someone to help. I have a 2004 Meridian and just discovered you can't remove the front shocks without completely removing the leveling jacks. The top shock bolt was installed from the rear and only has about 3/4 inch to move before it hits the jack - and the bolt is probably 3-4 inches long, which has to be pulled out most of the way before the shock will drop down. Had it been removed and put back in from the front when the jacks were installed it would have plenty of room to be removed. What should be a 30-40 minute job replacing the front shocks looks like it could take 1/2 day, IF you have a way to lift the front without using the jacks. I don't know what grade school the Winnebago engineers graduated from but they should be sent back. Like the sign says "6 months ago I culdn't evan spil ingeneare and now I air one". I can't even imagine having to pull the front cap just to replace something under the dash. Good luck on finding some smart individual.
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Old 12-16-2005, 02:12 AM   #4
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BattChief, this has been under discussion recently on other posts. Try clicking on the magnifying (Find) tab above and do an advanced search, keywords "heater core" for the past 6 months....
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:52 AM   #5
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Battchief....had the same problem on my 02 Journey..I did what you did and connected the 2 hoses together...I am not going to replace the core as several owners have told me that their replacement cores only lasted less than 10,000 miles and they began to leak....
In addition to the expense of removing the cap ($800-1200) quoted I am told you also need to evacuate the AC system to pull the heater core.....I will run the onan and use a space heater to warm us up or use the furnace.....I even had someone look at cutting an access in the dash and lower front console and they said it probably wouldn't work....Some say the cores and replacement cores are tissue then and eventually all will leak from cavatation and electrolysis...Best bet would be for a radiator shop to build you a strong new one...
I am also exproring a J.C. Whitney heater core and fan assembly unit to mount under the passenger seat and connected to the heater hoses thru extensions....good luck.....My 94 Vectra core is still not leaking after 185,000 miles I am told.....RKL
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:14 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wagonmaster2:
Hope you can find someone to help. I have a 2004 Meridian and just discovered you can't remove the front shocks without completely removing the leveling jacks. The top shock bolt was installed from the rear and only has about 3/4 inch to move before it hits the jack - and the bolt is probably 3-4 inches long, which has to be pulled out most of the way before the shock will drop down. Had it been removed and put back in from the front when the jacks were installed it would have plenty of room to be removed. What should be a 30-40 minute job replacing the front shocks looks like it could take 1/2 day, IF you have a way to lift the front without using the jacks. I don't know what grade school the Winnebago engineers graduated from but they should be sent back. Like the sign says "6 months ago I culdn't evan spil ingeneare and now I air one". I can't even imagine having to pull the front cap just to replace something under the dash. Good luck on finding some smart individual.
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Back bolt out about 1/2" and cut the head off. Then push out toward the front. Bolts do not cost much.
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:57 AM   #7
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RKL:

What about defrosting the windshield in colder weather? Without a heater core, it will be difficult to get any warm air on the glass.

I'm holding my breath until mine fails. I've looked behind the front cap and removal looks do-able but difficult. I seem to remember reading here that someone was able to R&R the core without removing the front cap.
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:59 AM   #8
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This is really a major problem that Winnebago needs to address. Even on units that are 3-4yrs old or more they should replace the heater cores as a public relations gesture. Winnebago is using defective materials on this part.
How many new coaches would they sell if the saleman told the customer that after 3-4 years the heater core will go bad.
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Old 12-17-2005, 04:55 AM   #9
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I'm guessing I will try this little task myself, but will wait until the weather warms. The reason I feel it is necessary is I use the coach quite often in cold weather, and a lot of cold air seems to seep in near the driver's compartment. Freezing temps and moisture are also a problem on the windshield from time to time, but I typically will use the fans to help keep the windshield clear. Takes a lot of heat from the furnace when driving in cold weather if you don't have the dash heat! Any tips on removing the front clip would be appreciated. Thanks for all the replys.
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:18 AM   #10
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I replaced my core about a month ago. It takes about 5 minutes to replace the core once you have the front cap off, and you do not need to purge the AC. The front cap is not hard to remove, took about 5 hours start to finish. It is not heavy just awkward to hold. I had my wife help me hold it in place while I bolted it back on. A lot of crawling under the coach and leaning thru the generator opening to disconnect and reconnect. I took my time and documented the wiring and made some repairs to factory goofs (stripped screws, wiring not secured to prevent rubbing, etc.) while I had the front off.
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Old 12-17-2005, 06:28 AM   #11
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Bob, do you have any pictures of the process of removing the front cap?
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:06 AM   #12
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Battchief,
As stated earlier, there has been a great deal of discussion on this topic here on this forum. As a veteran who did it myself I would urge you to consider the following:
1. Have a reputable radiator shop build you a new heavy duty heater core. Do not rebuild yours or you will be doing the same thing in less than a few years again.
2. There are two hose fittings coming out of the heater core. These fittings are a different metal than the heater core frame. Problem!!!! Have your guy use a metal that will not cause a galvanic reaction such as brass. You will thank yourself down the road for doing this. If you look at the one you take out, you will see what I am talking about. Lots of corrison.
3. Make sure when you refill it use the recommended manufacturers coolant and nothing else. Oh, I would use distilled water as well. Good luck. Been there and done this one.
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:13 PM   #13
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RLS....could you provide us with a step by step detail of how you removed the front cap....i.e. pulled side molding strips out to find screws etc...All of us with 02 36 GD's could use the help....thanks RKL
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:37 AM   #14
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CalTex
Sorry I did not take any pictures, I was short on time.
I think FUN TIME may be on to something with the dissimilar metals used in the construction of the core. My old core had a lot of corrosion where one of the hose fitting screws into the core. I think this is also where it was leaking.
It would be interesting to find out just where the leaks are occurring in all the failed cores we keep hearing about. Is it around the hose fittings, or the finned part of the core itself? If it is just a bad hose fitting, could just the fitting be replaced with a brass one? Just something to think about.
I have not had time to check out my bad core yet, but it is something I will do in the near future.
I will try to put together a step by step between holiday activites.
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