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  #1  
Old 04-08-2013, 04:33 PM
guitodd guitodd is offline
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Default 06 5.7 heater core replacement

Just did my heater core on my 06' 5.7L and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The Haynes and Chiltons manuals make it seem like you need to completely dissasemble the dash. YOU DON'T!!! Dissasemble and remove are two completely different things.

Here is my How-to.. hopefully it will help someone else.



As always, Disconnect the battery. It takes about 2-minutes for the airbag capacitior to bleed off (so they say).

You DO NOT need to drain the radiator. The heater hoses are well above the radiator and can be propped up with little mess.

You DO need to have your refrigerant pumped out by a qualified service center.
It should be fairly inexpensive since they are reclaiming your refrigerant and pumping it back in when you are done.

Start by disconnecting your radiator heater hoses from the upper engine compartment firewall.
Loosen both bolts on your AC accumulator (black cylinder thingy) to allow the accumulator to slide forward in it's bracket as you release the spring connector on the line.

You can purchase a set of AC line separator tools for about $4 at harbor freight. These are an assortment of colored plastic rings that fit around the line and has a flange that you can push into the connection to free the spring. There will still be some pressure and oil in the line. Eye protection and a closed mouth will be suggested here. The oil burns the eyes and while it smells good... it tastes terrible. Most of the time they snap apart easy and other times you'll have to fuss with it.

Remove the three screws on the ECM and move out of the way. You do not need to disconnect the ECMs connections.

There are three (maybe 4) 10mm nuts that need to be removed. Two are located behind the ECM the other(s) will be obvious.

Now for the inside

Start by removing the master electrical connection from under the drivers side dash. This is a large white plug that is held connected by a 10mm bolt. There is a smaller connector that is also attached.

Using trim sticks (Harbor freight has a 5-pc trim removal tool kit for $6.99. I recommend this.) Remove the interior cowl trim (against the windshield) Carefully pry the clips up from the front and the rear clips will disengage when you pull the cowl towards you. You will have three 10mm bolts that need to be removed and a few 8mm screws (three or four).

Remove your console (if you have one) or remove the four 6mm nuts holding in your folding cup holder. You will see that the lower part of the dash is attached to tabs on the trucks hump. Remove these screws.

Remove the side kick panel trims by prying the carpet strips up with your trim tools.

Remove the dash side panels with trim tools

On the drivers side, undo the three 13mm bolts holding the dash to the truck body. Unscrew the hood release (two long phillips screws and let it hang)

Unclip the e-brake release clip and slide the connecting bar loose. This will allow to pull the release up and remove it easily.

Undo the two 13mm bolts on the passenger side. There will be one more on the inside easily seen by looking under the dash. Release the electrical connectors under the side kick panel. One of these is for the heater box controls and motor.

Lower the steering column. Disconnect any electrical connections (I think there are two that I disconnected) and undo the four 10mm fasteners with a deep socket. Carefully let the steering wheel rest on the seat.

There are two 10mm bolts above the steering column that attach the brake assembly and steering supports to the round site impact crossbar. Take these out and the dash is free.

Go to the passenger side of the truck, lift up on the dash (as there is a hanger) and pivot it forward to the seat. You now have access to the heater box. There is a 10mm bolt on the bottom and top that will free the heater box. Remove from the passenger side.

If you have dual heater zone controls, you will need to remove the linkage bar as it runs in front of the core. I carefully pried mine loose with a screwdriver. You can now loosen the two screws and clip then slide the core out.

Reassemble in reverse, have the shop recharge your AC

You just saved a bunch of cash. By yourself a premium beer this time.

Last edited by guitodd; 04-08-2013 at 04:33 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:02 PM
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That is quite a write up & a job that i would not even begin to tackle

not long ago a friend had to replace his in a 2004 Ram with a 3.7 L engine & stick shift
He had a mechanic friend & himself to do the job, he told me how easy it was to do.
I also know him & his "tales"
I decided there & then, that i would not ever tackle it for myself
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:16 PM
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Holy s##T! I want a beer just reading about all that work.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:30 AM
guitodd guitodd is offline
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Default

It does seem like a lot but it really wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

I actually completely disassembled the dash assuming all of the wiring harnesses needed to be freed and was pretty upset that I did after I realized it was completely unnecessary!!

The hardest part was truly getting the AC lines and the water lines to give up their grip and, of course, having the hassle of running to a shop to pump out the refrigerant. This is a one person job with some music and some patience.
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