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Old 02-11-2014, 07:02 PM   #1
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Heater Core Search

Need help locating a heater core for 1999 Winnebago 37G. Have searched forum and have seen where members have replaced their own, but I have been unable to locate a unit. Called local Winnebago dealer who claims it is a Ford chassis and need to call Ford. Ford dealer says it's a coach item and need to call dealer. Call to Winnebago claims too old to look up. Called Alliance Coach in Wildwood FL, they called their Ford supplier and Winnebago with same results. Claim I have to bring in so they can get measurements. Have had some part problems as some are 1999 year and others are 2000. Middle model change over I guess. Thanks for any help you may provide.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #2
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It is definitely not Ford. You'll either find it's an Evans Tempco or SCS/Frigette unit.
Both companies have websites, I just don't have them in front of me or I would have posted them for you.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:38 PM   #3
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I had the same problem with our 1990 Gulfstream with a Ford 460.
Went to a radiator shop they made me one.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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Mom's '99 had one from SCS Frigette. Got a replacement directly from them, not Winnebago, a few years ago. I believe they are out of business. As mentioned, a radiator shop might be your best bet.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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And "too old to look up" That's a good one. I can look it up at the Winnebago website.
Part #103930-01-703. Winnebagoparts.com has one on ebay, almost $200. Yeah, radiator shop.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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Call parts dept at Lichtsinn Motors in Forest City, IA. Give them your coach serial #. They can usually locate most any Winnebago part.

And yes, any good radiator shop can make you a new core if you take the old core to them.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:03 AM   #7
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Heater Core

Thanks all, I really appreciate all the help. The too old to look up excuse was probably "to lazy". I will try all the suggestions, but may end up finding a radiator shop as suggested.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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Thanks to all and the excellent info Twomed provided and smlranger, thanks for the lead. I did call and Lichtsinn Motors did have them in stock. Surprising Winnebago did not refer me to them. Now reading topics where others did the work themselves and see if I can under take that project. Thanks again

Jim
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:22 AM   #10
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2000 Journey heater core

I need a core as well, SCS Fridgette no longer deals in heater cores. Any suggestions other than paying outrageous from Winnebago?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnzuki View Post
I need a core as well, SCS Fridgette no longer deals in heater cores. Any suggestions other than paying outrageous from Winnebago?
A company in Texas bought out Fridgette. I talked to them when I last need a core for my 2002 Winnebago Journey. They would not sell me a core but did confirm what core they were making to replace mine. I believe their name was Victory Products..... or at least had Victory in their company name.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishchamp View Post
I had the same problem with our 1990 Gulfstream with a Ford 460.
Went to a radiator shop they made me one.
fishchamp
!
If he takes the original heater core to a good radiator shop they can make a completely new one, (or re-core his).
But he may "get lucky" and find they can easily repair the old one.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:56 PM   #13
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Caution!! Warning!! Don't Do It!!!!

Yet another failed Winnebago heater core merely adds to Winnebago's SCS/Frigette shame in shoddy engineering. On my 1999 Adv, I am already on my 5th Winnebago heater core!!

Our initial OEM Frigette core lasted for 5 years, somewhat longer than crappy recore units!

While the OEM heater only lasted about 5 years, local radiator shops were FAR worse, lasting only two or three years at best.

Speaking from the perspective of a licenced mechanic from times FAR past (1963):

Upon first failure of a heater core, I took my rig to the most prominent and respected large truck etal radiator facility in the region. While they consented to providing a new heater core, there was no way in hell, they would even for a moment consider installing the the core on a Winnebago motorhome!!

So . . . lacking the ability to take a hint from the pros, I was left with the option of doing it myself; the most horrific two days of my entire life!!

The first day was spent in agony, attemping to reinstall an out of spec heater core that would NEVER re-assemble because it was too big. Took it back next day to the radiator/heater pros; measuring it up with the old core, it was about 1/4 inch too big to fit the heater shell. So . . . in fine professional manner, they placed a 2X4 on top of the core and whacked it with a sledge hammer until it met specs. But that core only lasted about three years before it was time to repeat the procedure.

Next time around we went with the most prominent radiator/heater "specialists", who were prepared to reinstall a new heater core. For the new heater core, we specified the most heavy duty durable heater core they could provide!! This wonder of wonders only lasted for 1.5 years before it failed. Not only did the heater core fail, but we discovered that they had made no attempt to reinstall the heater clamshell body, but that it had been left merely dangling by the wires, not to mention the bogus uneccessary $85 charge for discharging and recharging the A/C system.

Fortunately, we have access to SICARD's here in Ontario, one of the world's VERY VERY best RV dealers, with something like 40 repair bays; Although they are three hours away from us, the extra journey is worth the effort. For a new core, we specified a new OEM core!!

Considering:

1. The first OEM heater core lasted 6 years;

2. Second aftermarket core lasted 3 years;

3 Third "heavy duty" aftermarket core lasted 1.5 years

4. Fourth core: with high hopes back to an OEM!!

There is a reason the original Frigette incurred bankrputcy, the products they manufactured were total crap!! Let's hope their successors do a somewhat better job!!

Yet another failed Winnebago heater core merely adds to Winnebago's shame in shoddy engineering. On my 1999 Adv, I am already on my 5th Winnebago heater core!!

The initial OEM core lasted for 5 years, somewhat longer than Frigette, the crappy manufacturer that created this flawed cheap crap for Winnebago.

While the OEM heater only lasted about 5 years, local radiator shops were FAR worse, lasting only two or three years at best.

Speaking from the perspective of a licenced mechanic from times FAR past (1963):

Upon first failure of a heater core, I took my rig to the most prominent and respected large truck etal radiator facility in the region. While they consented to providing a new heater core, there was no way in hell, they would even for a moment consider installing the the core on a Winnebago motorhome!!

So . . . lacking the ability to take a hint from the pros, I was left with the option of doing it myself; the most horrific two days of my entire life!!

The first day was spent in agony, attemping to reinstall an out of spec heater core that would NEVER re-assemble because it was too big. Took it back next day to the radiator/heater pros; measuring it up with the old core, it was about 1/4 inch too big to fit the heater shell. So . . . in fine professional manner, they placed a 2X4 on top of the core and whacked it with a sledge hammer until it met specs. But that core only lasted about three years before it was time to repeat the procedure.

Next time around we went with the most prominent radiator/heater "specialists", who were prepared to reinstall a new heater core. For the new heater core, we specified the most heavy duty durable heater core they could provide!! This wonder of wonders only lasted for 1.5 years before it failed. Not only did the heater core fail, but we discovered that they had made no attempt to reinstall the heater clamshell body, but that it had been left merely dangling by the wires, not to mention the bogus uneccessary $85 charge for discharging and recharging the A/C system.

Fortunately, we have access to SICARD's here in Ontario, one of the world's VERY VERY best RV dealers, with something like 40 repair bays; Although they are three hours away from us, the extra journey is worth the effort. For a new core, we specified a new OEM core!!

Considering:

1. The first OEM heater core lasted 6 years;

2. Second core lasted 3 years;

3 Third "heavy duty" core lasted 1.5 years

4. Fourth core: with high hopes back to an OEM, and at even less $$$ than local predators!!

There is a reason the original SCS Frigette earned bankrputcy: the products they manufactured were total crap!! Let's hope their successors do a somewhat better job!!
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:44 PM   #14
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Not sure how to blame SCS even when non-SCS replacements failed.

On the topic of repeated failures though...

I found in my Mom's '99 Adventurer that the core was plumbed wrong. There's a restrictor in the heater core circuit to limit the flow. In Mom's it was placed AFTER the core. Sure that restricts the flow, but it also raises the pressure before the restrictor (in the core) a bit. I redid Mom's so the restrictor was BEFORE the core. Only had to replace it once. The second one outlasted the first by quite a bit (sold it with 100,000 miles a few years ago).

Mom's was a Ford chassis, Ford Modulars are known to have very high water pressures, over 100 psi, at times, in parts of the system. Anything that would lower the working pressure of the core seemed like a good idea.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:06 PM   #15
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When I had my 2002 Winnebago Journey, the original core failed in 2006. I replaced it with another Fridgette core (it required removing the entire lower front clip of the coach). That second Fridgette core lasted only 3 years. At that point, I decided to just bypass the core and forget it.

However, in 2012 I removed the front fiberglass clip again to drop the Onan genset to do some major maintenance on it. Since I had the face off the coach, I decided to get one more heater core. While I purchased this third heater core from Lichtsinn Motors in Iowa, it was a different design than the first two cores. It was made by Victory Climate Systems in Fort Worth, Texas. In speaking with the folks at Victory, they acknowledged flaws with the original design and said they had faith in the newly designed core. It was basically one continuous copper tube with aluminum fins on the tube/s. There were no screw-on nipples as with the first two cores so less opportunity for leaks.

I put the thing in there and it worked fine. I traded the coach in 2013.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:23 AM   #16
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Well, I just finished my heater core project, took the old one out, had it repaired, and reinstalled. I pulled the front cap completely off for ease of access and also was able to check a few things out up there that way. Found several air leaks into coach, sealed those, cleaned up some wiring that was hanging, cleaned the evap core as well while the case was open. Failure of core (in my opinion) was that the hoses were hanging on the core, without any support. So, now they have their own little hanger support thingie, so the weight of hoses and valve are not on the end of the core any longer. $60 for repair versus $190 for new core, probably 8 hours labor but I could have done it in 4 without all the extra stuff I did. NOW, I am at the back, going to pull radiator for a good cleaning. Worked last night for 2 hours, about another hour and radiator will be out.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:59 AM   #17
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On my Gulfstream 37 ft RV 460 engine, I had failure on several heater cores. The bottom line was that heater core was fairly small in relationship to the size of the engine and RV. Therefore when it was hot outside and
if you are climbing hills the heat core is simply not meant to take the load.

This is problem with a lot of larger RV units. So what I did when I replaced
the last heater core I made a by-pass just before the two lines enter the heater core. One by pass switch on the water line going in and one by pass on the line coming out of the heater core. I also connected a hose line
connecting the intake water line to the waterline coming out the heater core, with a by pass switch on this line. These connections we placed
about 8 inches from the heater core. If I was using the heater the by pass switch would be opened going into the heater core and coming out of the heater core. The switch connecting the two lines would be in a closed position. However if it was hot outside and if I was climbing hills or driving with a heavy load I would close the line going into the heater core and coming out and I would open the switch on the line that connected the two water lines. Never had a problem any more.

Several of my friends had the problems with their heater cores as well. They did the same thing and never blew any more heater cores.

Nice advantage of doing this is if you ever had your heater core leak, you could disconnect the water going in and out by by-passing the heater core.
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