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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently noticed a few drops of green antifreeze seeping down the end seam of the heater core and decided to do a bit of preventative maintenance by replacing the two 'o' rings before the problem got worse. I used viton 22mm x 2.5mm 'o' rings and after searching on this forum for the technique I decided to have a bash at it. All went well and after fitting the 'o' rings I started the engine to test and of course the leak was worse than before. I took it all apart again and checked that I had the pipes correctly orientated and refitted. Same leak. Disheartened I left it overnight and decided to get the Land Rover 'o' rings, STC3262 and try those. I refitted the pipes with the LR part and no leak. Success. I then put it all back together and patted myself on the back for a job well done and moved the car out the garage to go for a test drive. Opened the door and there's green fluid dripping onto the carpet.
So it looks like a new heater core is going to have to be sourced and a change from the 'o' ring type of OE core seems the best solution. Looking through the site I can see that the Audi 100, 200, A6 part will physically fit but these are plastic end cap types whereas the Spectra 94652 is all copper. Not sure which way to go yet.
Before I go any further I do have a question about the location of the inlet/outlet pipes on the replacement Audi cores. Won't this design prevent the air from venting out of the cooling system and result in a permanent air lock in the top of the heater core?
 

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Nope, the Audi cores work well. I never noticed any change in heating performance. I defend most LR design choices the are different from the norm but the heater o-ring design is tough to come up with a reason why. If I had realized it was a disaster waiting to trash my carpet, I would have made the conversion before they failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that reply, sounds like there's no problem there and swimming in coolant is one of the things I'm also hoping to avoid... Just need to decide whether to go for copper or plastic end tank versions and then learn from here how to tackle this job.
 

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Please take pictures because I may be right behind you with this job....
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Please take pictures because I may be right behind you with this job....
Because there aren't enough already? Tried the search function?
I was the first one to do this back in 2010, and since then lots of folks have done it to both LHD and RHD P38's, so I can't believe there aren't detailed threads already.
OP, People have used both the plastic and copper. I prefer the copper ones myself, but I doubt it makes a difference at the end of the day.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm also coming around to either type will be ok just a matter of price really. I've searched through the site and there are lots of helpful photos and write ups on doing this job on left hand drive cars but not so much on RHD cars. One view is that the steering column has to come out and two other posters have said that you can do the job without removing the column. That's what I'm hoping to find out, how much of the dash must be removed and can I leave the steering column in place.

From this site tykes says the following:

The top of the steering column support is welded to the bulkhead but the bottom part is bolted. I undid the bolts and carefully bent the frame a little. I then removed the support frame from the front of the heater box which allowed me to swivel the heater box just enough to slide the matrix out. You will need to unclip the wiring loom to get that out of the way. The new matrix slid in perfectly and I started the re-assembly. First thing was to pull the steering column frame back to its original position and bolt in place. After that it was simply a case of putting everything back.

This is where I'm getting a bit confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I've done the audi core swap to many RHD P38's now - my own included...

I, personally wouldn't cut the metal dash support and then re-weld it - call me old fashioned, but messing with something structural for the dash isn't really my idea of a doing it 'properly'... On the ones I have worked on and swapped, every time I have removed the top of the dash, and then removed the actual heater box (you don't need to drain the A/C side as mentioned in the workshop manual as the front of the heater box with the core in it splits off) and swapped the core.

I do this for 2 reasons...
1) it's easier than cutting/re-joining dash structure.. I've worked on a few RR's where this has been done and I haven't seen one of them which has been re-welded up nicely - people have bodged it
2) whilst the heater box is out of the vehicle, you can check to make sure all the flaps for the driver/passenger temperature blend and the distribution of air are all free and moving smoothly. If any are stuck, then you can pull the heater box apart and then free the flaps up - which is likely worthwhile doing if you have it apart already!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice marty nz , I've decided to go with the plastic heater core you recommended in another post, the Nissens 70220.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just starting this job now and have decided to remove the dash and the heater box. I looked at the other method of removing the steering column and then cutting the metal frame but decided to remove the dashboard so I can also check out the blend motor operation at the same time.
One question I have is how do I avoid getting an SRS warning light while doing this job. I've removed the battery but will probably want to reconnect it with the dash out so I can test the blend motors and run up the engine and check for leaks in the heater core. Will I need to refit the air bag before I attach the battery?
Also do I need a special torque socket to get the airbag bolts out?
 

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Once you have removed the battery you could pull fuse 23 in the underbonnet fusebox, the SRS system won't be energised at all (but get a beep).
Just keep the dash connected or you will get a 'engine disabled' message and need the EKA code.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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I actually just did one on the weekend (well Sunday/Monday) so it's fresh in my mind...

Avoiding SRS light... if you go to power the system up then make sure the passenger air bag is resting back in place and plugged in, and likewise with the instrument cluster... rest this in place and plug both connector in. Then as far as the SRS system is concerned, it's all plugged in and working as it should.

I can't remember what year P38 you have, but this is the only way of doing it (unless you have Nanocom/other diagnostics to clear the code - in which case just leave passenger air bag unplugged and clear the code when you're finished). If you have a later P38 (post '99MY - generally with the under seat SRS connectors for the side air bags) then you can just leave the air bag unplugged, and when it's plugged back in again, it will self-clear the fault as the later system does it automatically if the fault has been rectified..

Sockets for the passenger airbag are special security ones yes. They are an 'E11' (almost like inverse torx head). E12 does fit and work, but it's a bit loose.

I use some plastic trim tools to prise the airbag out (when loose) past the wood trim above the glove box - as it is held in with some long pins, which are somehow attached to the metal backing of the trim strip. These have a habit of snapping off when you try and get the trim out - so a set of plastic trim tools to help get the airbag out around the trim is actually easier and potentially less damaging than trying to take the trim off.

One other word to note... on refitment, reconnect the glovebox release mechanism and TEST IT BEFORE screwing the glove box back in place... if it decided not to line up, or unlatch properly when you've got it all screwed back in, then it is a proper pain to try and get the glove box back out again!!

Hope this helps... if you need any other help/advice as you go, then message me... as I said, I did one last weekend - and that was about the 5th or 6th RHD heater core/heater box swap I've done now....

Cheers,
Marty
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Once you have removed the battery you could pull fuse 23 in the underbonnet fusebox, the SRS system won't be energised at all (but get a beep).
Just keep the dash connected or you will get a 'engine disabled' message and need the EKA code.
You shouldn't do... as long as the vehicle is unlocked when you are working on it. I do all mine with the battery connected, and the key will then stay synced throughout. The locking system isn't affected at all - and will still work as intended.
 

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Marty I thought the OP said he had removed the battery already and wanted to test the HEVAC, therefore connect it again and key in pos. II. I've read somewhere not to do this with the cluster out.
Correct me if I'm misinformed.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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You're right - I didn't see the bit where he said the battery was disconnected (FYI Kiwirover - you don't need to disconnect the battery!)

You shouldn't have to reconnect the battery in position II - if the vehicle was unlocked/disarmed when battery was disconnected, then reconnecting the battery should power it back up in the unlocked/disarmed state. You will need to resync the key - either in the ignition if that option is enabled, or in the drivers door.

My normal advice is to never reconnect the battery with the key in the ignition - especially if the doors are closed, as many an owner has done this, only for the vehicle to lock itself...with the key in the ignition.. then you are locked out, with the key on the wrong side of the door!

If you were wanting for any reason to reconnect the battery with the key in the ignition, leave a door open. In Kiwirover's case - plug the air bag and the dash back in temporarily (with both connectors plugged in).

My other reason for not liking the reconnect battery with key in ignition is because then you will have all the other ignition position II powered items coming straight back on -- like ABS pump, and plenty of things inside the vehicle.. the bigger the current draw off the battery when reconnected, the bigger the spark when you reconnect the terminal!
 

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First step is to open the drivers window nice & wide. . . then you can still access the interior even if the car locks itself !!

When I did my heater, I removed Fuses F23 and F7 which according to RAVE both feed the SRS ECU on pre-1999. Then removed the dash top section including drivers & passenger air-bags. Dash is easier to remove with steering wheel removed, although not 100% necessary !!

During testing & filling the coolant, I reconnected the instrument cluster, because otherwise the HEVAC doesn't light up !! Initial testing was done with ignition in first position, so no starting or sync issues so far. I started mine with the dash partially assembled, so I could check the heater core & new hoses for any leaks under pressure. (now I have pressure tester so could do this cold)

Then before refitting everything, make sure ignition off & key outside car. Airbags can be safely reconnected with fuses out. Once car is ready start as usual.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the great advice.
My car is a 97 without any side airbags so I think I need to be careful about not causing any problems with an SRS warning on the dash. I removed the battery with the key out of the car and I'm intending to plug the instrument panel and airbag back in place while the dashboard is removed so I can test the blend motors and also the heater core for leaks. I didn't realise that I need to resync the ignition key, is there a special procedure for that. I don't have any torx sockets so I'll be adding to my tool kit today! All I have to do then is to keep going with this job...can't say I'm looking forward to the next bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After a bit of a to do I got the dashboard and heater box out of the car.
dash16.jpg

dash12.jpg

Took a little longer than others have said but I was taking it easy and took me about 8 hours in total. I'm glad I took the advice offered to remove the dashboard as it gave me a chance to find a couple of problems with the heater box. The metal rod which supports the two outer flaps had become disengaged from the drive gear and neither were operating at all. Also the single the blend motor on the left side was making an odd noise and didn't seem to be working smoothly across the full range of movement. I've decided to change all three while the box is out of the car. If you look at the picture of the dashboard you can see that a large air distribution duct has separated from the main dash body and I'll need to glue it back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I took marty nz's advice again and replaced the heater core with the Nissens version of the Audi matrix, part number 70230. This one has 3/4" inlet/outlets.

dash20.jpg

dash18.jpg

You definitely need to trim the centre rib inside the heater box to get the new core to fit. It was quite easy with the box out of the car. I just used a hack saw blade to cut into the centre rib and used the blade to cut numerous 5mm slots along the length of the rib and then broke off the small sections by hand, finished up with a file to tidy the whole surface. The core then neatly slides into place and I secured it with a piece of tin cut to shape and sealed the end of the heater matrix with some rubber draft seal.
 

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I've found a large number of heater boxes (my own included) where that drive rod for the top flaps has become loose and worked it's way out, to the point where those flaps aren't being driven anymore.

Re trimming the inner rib - I use a sharp chisel, and a couple of taps with that usually does the trick aswell.

Good idea with the replacing of all the blend motors whilst it's out.. I would also make sure that all the flaps are moving easily, especially the blend ones driven by the big grey drive cog.
If any of them are really stiff, then it's worth pulling the heater box apart whilst it's out and freeing them up.

I haven't had one yet where that duct has come off - but glue will fix that!

One additional note, which I found on the weekend aswell, if the aspirator sensor (the one in the dash fascia with the fan on it) isn't plugged in when you power up the HEVAC system, then the controller will move all the motors a bunch of times, and then throw up faults... plug the sensor in and it all works properly.... this was on the latest JFC102550 version HEVAC controller. I'm not sure if that's the same as for the earlier versions.

On the bigger rubber hoses, the heater temp sensor won't clip up with the metal part - so I remove that, clip the sensor on (there's enough give on the plastic of the sensor to get around the pipe) and then wrap a cable tie around the whole thing to stop it from coming off.

Hope that helps on the reinstall!

Marty
 
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