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Old 08-18-2005, 06:31 PM   #1
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1 have a 2002 Itasca Horizon (38,000 miles). Discovered a coolant leak in the heater core. Had the same thing happen last year. Cost big bucks for labor to repair and now it is leaking again. anyone else have this problem? How much should a new heater core cost?? How many hours of labor to repair?

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Old 08-18-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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1 have a 2002 Itasca Horizon (38,000 miles). Discovered a coolant leak in the heater core. Had the same thing happen last year. Cost big bucks for labor to repair and now it is leaking again. anyone else have this problem? How much should a new heater core cost?? How many hours of labor to repair?

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Old 08-18-2005, 06:59 PM   #3
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I had my 01 Journey heater core replaced this spring. Perhaps your coolant PH is way off. I can't believe that one year could take it out. Perhaps a fitting worked loose.
Good Luck.
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Old 08-18-2005, 07:46 PM   #4
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Don:
Sorry that this is happening. Those things can be a pain. Any chance of the folks who did the repair last year offering any sort of warranty? What was the cause of the original leak? I would doubt the coolant went sour (ph went acid) and attacked the core due to the age of your machine but is possible. I'd look at a mechanical cause, possible bad install allowing movement which in turn caused metal fatigue and failure. Poor workmanship on the repair?
Have no idea on how difficult it is to remove, repair and replace. Would probably consider a new one this time. A good radiator shop should be able to either repair it or order a new one. Not sure if I'd have them do the actual work, they'd have a tendancy to track in some dirt.
This is very important! If you do not find a mechanical reason for the failure, send a sample of the coolant off for analysis. If by some chance it has gone bad, it would be a good time to find out about it and take corrective action by draining, flushing and replacing the coolant before it ruins your radiator, oil cooler and other internal engine parts. I would go with the extended life coolant (red).
Hope it's as simple as loose hose clamp.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:57 PM   #5
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I have an appointment at Freightliner on Tues. I'll let you know what happens. It's not likely bad coolant. I had the coolant checked just recently at the Freihtliner Factory in Gaffeny,S.C. Unfortunately for the last repair was charged ~6 hours of labor @ $85/hour so even if its a loose connection it will still be expensive. As far as warranty, I was informed it was 60 days parts and labor. I'm way over that.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:38 PM   #6
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I replaced my seven year old core this year. Instead of replacing with with another flimsy paper-thin OEM core, I had a very reputatble local radiator repair shop rebuilt the unit with a heavy duty core. The difference between the new and old core pretty obvious. The rebuilt core weighs about twice that of the old one. Just hoping it's going to perform as well when the snow starts to fly.
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Old 08-20-2005, 05:58 PM   #7
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I have a 02 Journey DL. My heater core started to leak on my way home from the Grand National Rally. What did it cost to have it replaced? Was the front cap removed? I am trying to decide if I want to try to repair/replace or let the dealer do it.
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:35 PM   #8
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I'm sure that the location of the heater core is the in same place in your journey. I would say that it is a very difficult job to do at home. The front cap was not removed but I think they had an RV tech with small hands. Part of the air conditioning unit has to be removed which means the refrigerant must be removed. It cost me $575 for the repair. $525 for labor and $50 for shop materials. The original core was repiared and I was told it was as good as new. Apparently not! I new core cost ~$150.
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Old 08-21-2005, 11:15 AM   #9
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This is very ironic, I just back from a 2 week trip to find moisture dripping down through the vented material the on the passengers side of the dash and I see this post. Well its back to the dealer AGAIN monday morning with another problem right on schedule. This is after a 3 week service at the dealer for other problems. I just told the manager of the dealership when I picked up the coach from the last problem that I feel I should make a service appointment every time I leave for a trip for the day after I get back. You would think this terrific company(WINNEBAGO) would realize they are doing something wrong when the heater cores go bad after only 2-3 years its a shame the customers have to take the loss because of chronic problems the Winnie knows about and does not correct.
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Old 08-21-2005, 02:50 PM   #10
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Hearing about all these 02's with failing heater cores is not encouraging. My father operated an auto/heavy truck radiator shop for 30 years before he died. I worked there through high school. We repaired radiators but rarely tried to repair heater cores. Because of the difficulty removing them and the fact that they did not have tubes like a radiator, he usually recommended a new core.
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:56 AM   #11
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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 Don Renouf:
Part of the air conditioning unit has to be removed which means the refrigerant must be removed. It cost me $575 for the repair. $525 for labor and $50 for shop materials. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I replaced the heater core on my '99 Adventurer, and there was absolutely no need to do anything with the air conditioning system which is connected to the heater/A/C compartment with flex hoses.

The heater and A/C cores are enclosed within a fiberglass clam-shell configuration that opens up after removing about 10 spring clips. After removing the clips, the clamshell opens, allowing you to extract the heater core a the top of the enclosure with little effort. The A/C condenser, attached via flex hoses merely flexes when the clam-shell is opened without any need for disconnection.

The entire effort, at the very outside, takes a first time amateur about 2 to 3 hours.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:51 AM   #12
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I had my heater core replaced on my 2002 journey at the grand national in forest city and the factory service removed the lower front cap to get at it. They said it is a 6 hour job. With two men on the job it was done in 3 hours.
Cost about $600.00.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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Does anyone know if the original heater core installation was done by Winnebago or Freightliner? I know winnebago puts in the AC system parts except for the compressor which is installed by Freightliner....thanks RKL
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:08 PM   #14
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Freightliner told me it is a winnebago item. I checked with them first before going to Forest city
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