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Old 09-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #1
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REQUEST/NEED- 2004 JOURNEY front cap removal instructions.

Please Help!! Have had this unit since new and added a ground wire to the heater core and never experienced a heater core leak. Now however, I have oil dripping from the heater core/evaporator housing and now have to assume it is airconditioning compressor oil since the amount is to great for grease from blower bearings etc.

Understand Battchief posted step by step instruction for cap removal on 4/9/06 but I can't find that post.
Anyone please help!

Also is SCS Fridgette still in business or where is best to go for Evaporator part? Also while in there, what do I look for concerning all the heater core failures many of you have had?
Thanks.
keithg
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithg View Post
Please Help!! Have had this unit since new and added a ground wire to the heater core and never experienced a heater core leak. Now however, I have oil dripping from the heater core/evaporator housing and now have to assume it is airconditioning compressor oil since the amount is to great for grease from blower bearings etc.

Understand Battchief posted step by step instruction for cap removal on 4/9/06 but I can't find that post.
Anyone please help!

Also is SCS Fridgette still in business or where is best to go for Evaporator part? Also while in there, what do I look for concerning all the heater core failures many of you have had?
Thanks.
keithg
Go to search and type in R & R Journey Heater core.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithg View Post
Please Help!! Have had this unit since new and added a ground wire to the heater core and never experienced a heater core leak. Now however, I have oil dripping from the heater core/evaporator housing and now have to assume it is airconditioning compressor oil since the amount is to great for grease from blower bearings etc.

Understand Battchief posted step by step instruction for cap removal on 4/9/06 but I can't find that post.
Anyone please help!

Also is SCS Fridgette still in business or where is best to go for Evaporator part? Also while in there, what do I look for concerning all the heater core failures many of you have had?
Thanks.
keithg
Here it is..................
Here's a step by step (best I can remember!) on how to replace your heater core in a 2001 Itasca Horizon. I'm sure the steps would be the same for most of the same body style coaches, 2000 and up, but some things could be different. I did try to replace the nipples on the old one, but that didn't stop the leak. It appears to me my leak in my old core was at a tank on the nipple end, but haven't had it tested yet. The new one is in, and no leaks yet!

A little caveat, I didn't remove the front end completely. I think it probably save quite a bit of time, because it wasn't necessary to disconnect all the lights and most other things. I did take the front end and tilt it down, resting it on a trim stool I use to use doing woodwork. In the end, I think I could have loosened the main frame bolts and just tilted it a little and had plenty of room to remove the core. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.....

I began by removing the windshield trim pieces on the side. It's necessary to do this to get to the screw holding the bottom piece of trim of the windshield on each side. I then removed the black trim at the bottom of the windshield. It is presses into a grooved piece, and is held on with glue strips on the windshield and the body. I had a piece left over from when they replaced my windshield, and used it as the glue strips on the old one was bad.

I then removed the trim pieces on the sides. There is a screw at the top and bottom holding a rubber piece of trim, which is also held on with double stick tape. Remove the rubber strip, and there are several screws about 4" apart holding the trim on. The trim also has a rubbery caulk holding it on. Carefully pry the trim off, taking extra care not to bend it. It is aluminum, and will bend easily. Once the trim is off, there is one screw on each side holding the fiberglass to a metal piece underneath. On the driver's side, open the compartment door and remove the 4 screws at the L brackets holding the bottom of the front end.

Next, remove the passenger side mirror. From the generator compartment door, disconnect the wire from the mirror. There is a harness just behind the mirror which has pinch clip to keep it together. Pinch these together and disconnect the plug. Remove the 4 plugs on the front of the mirror base. They just snap in. Using a T40 torx driver ( I used one on a 3/8 ratchet.) remove the 4 screws holding the mirror on. On mine, it was necessary to pull gently on the mirror to remove, because the gasket was stuck. It came off without tearing the gasket. Once the mirror is off, use a 3/8 socket to remove the self tapping screws holding the mirror brackets to the frame. Mine had 4 screws.

Removing the windshield wipers is optional. I didn't remove mine, and broke one. If you choose not to remove them, be sure to put them in the up position before tilting the front end. Be patient, because we're not quite there yet!

Now time to open the generator door and begin inside. Disconnect the wiper linkage from the wiper motor. It is directly above the generator door inside. I used a large crescent wrench to hold the arm and a " wrench to remove the nut. The linkage is easier to remove and reinstall if the wipers are in the down position (away from the windshield).

Directly above the generator door are several Phillips head screws holding the top of the front clip brackets to a square tubing frame just below the windshield. Remove these screws. Mine had four screws, but it appears there could be more, depending on who put them in. They are self tapping screws.

At this point decide whether you are going to remove the front clip, tilt it all the way down, or just partially tilt it. If I have to do this operation again, I will try to just partially tilt it, using the main connection bolts to support it. If you need to tilt it all the way, you need to disconnect the windshield washer fluid bottle and plug the bottom of it at this time. You will also need to disconnect the wire to the washer pump. If you are going to partially tilt it, make sure there is enough slack in the wire and tubing to allow it to move about a foot.

It's now time to loosen the 4 bolts holding the front clip to the frame using a " wrench and ratchet. Don't loosen them much, as you don't want too much play in them when you tilt the front clip down. It's best at this point if you have someone to watch the lower corners on each side to make sure they don't get against the sides when you tilt it down. Gently tug on the front from the top of the generator door opening until the front starts tilting forward. Once you begin tilting it, be aware the slots in the main frame connection could allow the front clip to drop several inches. The top slot goes front to back, and the bottom slot goes top to bottom to allow adjustment of the front clip. Looking at the top slot leads me to believe the front clip will tilt far enough to remove the heater core. If not, remove the top bolts and lower the front clip forward and rest it on a step ladder or something a couple of feet tall. I placed my trim stool below the generator door, as I felt it was the strongest area.

Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core. I'm not sure it makes any difference, but the directions indicate flow direction in the core, so make sure you know which line comes from the motor, and which goes back. The intake to the heater core is the back nipple. Either plug the lines, or using a heater hose splice, connect the two together until you're ready to place them on the new core.

It's now time to remove the clips around the heater core box. There are sixteen clips, four on each side. Although the directions say it is necessary to disconnect the A/C lines, it is not necessary. The box will now just pry apart. The box is kind of brittle, so be gentle taking it apart. Once apart, the heater core will come right out with a little bit of coaxing.

Putting the new core in is another story. I had quite a time trying to get the new core in the box. The core now comes with the nipples on it, and they say it is not necessary to remove them before putting it in. It is definitely a tight fit. I used an old framing hammer and a wooden shim to spread the box. Placing the head of the hammer against the left side of the box, I used the shim to make the hammer just long enough to spread the box so I could get the new core in. Cutting a wooden stick a little longer than the width of the box would do the same thing.

Now it's time to go back together with everything. It's not bad, just the opposite of how you took it apart. The clips can be kind of a pain to get back on, but be patient, and you can do it! You're just about to get over the hump! Going back together, make sure you get all the perimeter screws in before tightening the main frame bolts. It will be necessary to get them a little snug so things don't move too much while going back together, but getting them too tight initially could create problems getting the perimeter screws back in. Also, don't forget the wiper linkage goes on easiest if the wipers are in the down position. Wish I could give you some tricks to the caulking and double stick tape on the trim pieces, but can't. Just be diligent and make sure they are completely clean before putting them back together. Don't know what type of caulking to use, but I used the same that I use on the roof joints.

By not removing the front end completely, my guess is I save at least an hour. I might be wrong on that, because I didn't work on it straight through. The race was on, and I had to watch it! I had the front end tilted and the heater core ready to come out in two hours, including getting the tools together, figuring out how it all came apart, and two trips to the parts store to get the right torx driver. All in all, if I have to do it again, I think I'll have it apart in an hour or less.

Good luck with your experience if you find you need to do this. I think anybody with just basic tools (other than the T40 torx driver) and a mechanical aptitude can do this easily in a day. It wasn't nearly as tough a job as I had envisioned, and wish I had tackled it sooner.

I think I got it all, but no guarantees!
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Today I began the process of removing the leaking heater core on my Journey. Thanks to the excellent instructions posted by BattChief in April, I was able to tilt the lower front cap and remove the core in about 2 1/4 hours. I was able to do this without assistance by carefully following the instructions. The only problem I anticipate during the install of new core is those pesky clamps on the box. I may use wire ties instead as suggested by someone else on the forum.

I posted some photos of the project in the photo section....awaiting approval.
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Today I began the process of removing the leaking heater core on my Journey. Thanks to the excellent instructions posted by BattChief in April, I was able to tilt the lower front cap and remove the core in about 2 1/4 hours. I was able to do this without assistance by carefully following the instructions. The only problem I anticipate during the install of new core is those pesky clamps on the box. I may use wire ties instead as suggested by someone else on the forum.

I posted some photos of the project in the photo section....awaiting approval.
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Your wish Sir....

























Great job on taking the pictures. They go along well with the instructions we've seem previously.

Once you complete the project we'll have a complete thread on the process.
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Gary....glad to hear you got the new heater core in with major issues...Did you get anOEM replacement of did you have a heay duty one made...I got the OEM from Fridgette as I need it installed prior to a scheduled trip....I also spray painted my clips orange so I could find them when they flew off....only lost 2 that way...I also put a bead of silicone along the joint in case the case didn't close up tight.. like you I would do it again if needed myself....Also don't forget to ground a nipple on the core with a hose clamp and wire to the frame per Fridgerette recommendation....believe it, there is .5 volts flowing along with the coolant....this will limit electrolysis...good luck....RKL








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10-09-2006, 04:03 PM #8
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I ordered the OEM core today from SCS. Two local radiator shops gave me prices on a new core but both were double what SCS wanted. I will make sure I ground one of the inlets. My old core developed a small high pressure leak right in the middle of the core.
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10-11-2006, 12:22 AM #9
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Thanks for the post, great job, and by the way would you be willing to replace mine for me??
Seriously, I would be gratefull if you could give me the contact info for SCS as I guess I'm
next in line for a new core!
Thanks
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10-11-2006, 09:19 AM #10
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ACE:

SCS Fridgette, 800-433-2910.
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10-14-2006, 02:46 PM #11
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Well I got the new core and replaced it today. Almost lost my religion but finally got the job done.

A few follow-up hints/suggestions for anyone who might find the need to do this job:

1. Read BattChief's directions...they are great!

2. The SCS core comes with foam on both ends and, as BattChief suggested, it is a very tight fit in that enclosure. If you remove the gold (lower, inlet) fitting before you insert the core and spray both ends of the core with some silicone, that baby slides in the enclosure fairly easily.

3. While I was able to lower the front cap and remove the core without assistance, I was not able to hoist the box with the new core, hold it in postion and get clips on it without assistance. I tried several times to figure a way to do it to no avail. I needed help from a neighbor and suspect a second set of hands will be needed for this step.

Otherwise, all went will and my Journey now has its face back on .
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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When I redid mine I made a bracket that would suspend the heater Hoses So there was No weight on the core Tubes; It seems the leaks were a result of viberation form the lines to the core.. Nice pictures.. Thanks
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Thank you to all that sent information and the great pictures.
Has anyone else had an evaporator leak failure in the Journey family of MHs?? Most have indicated heater core leaks. While I have the front cap tilted or removed should I replace both since now only my evaporator has a problem.
Again, thanks to all for your help,
Keithg
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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Well done, thanks for the instruction and pictures..
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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If your core is not leaking in a 2004, you are lucky. As you can see from the post and pics, I replaced the leaking core in 2006. Exactly three years later in 2009, the second core started leaking at a rest stop on I-80 somewhere in Iowa. I by-passed it and have not missed it yet. If I decide to replace it yet again, I will have someone help me lift the cap off and away from the coach. It is just so much more easy to work in that space with the cap removed.

IMO, if you have to pull that thing apart to R&R the evaporator, I would go ahead and put a new heater core in it. I would not use another OEM core but take your old core to a good radiator shop and have them build a better core for you.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Wow, can I relate to your troubles with the heater core! I owned an SOB (some other brand) for 10 years. During that time, I had to dive into the heater core leak problem three times. Two times for repair then finally for replacement. It involved tearing the interior dash apart to access the top fasteners, then lying on my back for hours underneath to remove the balance of the fasteners. Of course, dealing with leaking antifreeze made it even more challenging.

I know from my automobile experience that heater cores are a pain, even in passenger cars and trucks. It's time somebody came up with a "zipper" idea for these beasts. Either that or this novel idea: How about using higher quality materials so they would last longer than three or four years?
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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TO smlranger: Thanks about replacing the heater core at the same time. ? Most of the failure seem to be 2001-2005. Did Winnebago change suppliers or parts after that for the heater cores? Do you think that the core grounding I did when coach was new prologed the life or just luck? I have decided I will remove the cap completely so I can recharge the air and run it to make sure all is OK. Any additional thoughts please pass m way.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by keithg View Post
TO smlranger: Thanks about replacing the heater core at the same time. ? Most of the failure seem to be 2001-2005. Did Winnebago change suppliers or parts after that for the heater cores? Do you think that the core grounding I did when coach was new prologed the life or just luck? I have decided I will remove the cap completely so I can recharge the air and run it to make sure all is OK. Any additional thoughts please pass m way.
keithg
When I replaced the OEM core in 2006, I grounded the new core at the suggestion of folks at SCS. That core still only lasted 3 years.

When we travel in cooler weather, we've found that the coach heats up fine using the LP furnace so I've not been in any hurry to replace the second core.
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