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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I have a 2011 1500 5.7L 211k. I recently bought the truck needing lifters and a camshaft. didnt really drive the truck at all before any repairs were done as the motor did not sound too great. now, after the repairs are finished (motor sounds and runs great!) I am having trouble bleeding the coolant to get heat inside the cab. here is what I have tried and tested:

  • vacuum bled it
  • tried bleeding it while parked on a steep hill
  • no HVAC codes
  • visually inspected all the door actuator's to see them moving from lock to lock when I adjust the heat (the only one I cant visually see is the passenger heat control as it sits on top of the heater box I believe. However, the passenger side actually seems to blow every so slightly warmer than the driver side, so I am not worried about the passenger side now - I can see the driver side go from fully open to fully closed when commanded, and cant get any good heat out driver or passenger)
  • I ran my hose through the heater core to flush it out (granted, I only did this momentarily, as I was trying to not make a huge coolant mess on my garage floor, I just wanted to check flow through the core and there was)
  • thermostat is working like clockwork. Heats right up to 210 and then drops to 195-200 and then right back up (thermostat and water pump and brand new, replaced during the cam/lifter job)
  • I can get a finger on the bottom corner of the heater core and it seems warm-hotish (tough to tell exactly how it should be. of course, if there were 'some' hot coolant falling into it then that would sit on the bottom of the core anyway)
  • my heater hoses get hot. but again, tough to know exactly how hot they should be, or what heat is rising up the hose from the motor side after its been running a while, but they do get more than warm

I usually get luke warm air out the vents. But then at times it drops off to no heat at all. no over heating issues at all, and the engine warms right up and quickly
My thoughts are still air in the core somehow. or a partially clogged heater core? How would I test that if I am getting good flow through the core?

My questions are:
  • any suggestions for bleeding it? haha
  • what is the correct routing of the heater hoses coming out of the core? right now I have it set up where the hose coming out of the top of the core is going to that front pipe that comes out of the front of the water pump - the longer pipe, that bolts onto the water pump. is this correct?
  • could I have a bad aftermarket water pump? I dont really know how this is possible, if its physically spinning, then then fins in the pump and spinning too. also like i said, no other over heating issues
  • one guy told me..."maybe a head gasket issue" But I dont see how that would be an issue (as they are brand new felpro gaskets and resurfaced heads - not my first head gasket jobs) because the heater core hoses come right out of the front of the pump, doesnt seem like flow through the gaskets should made any difference for the heater core heat

I know this was a lot. I really thank you guys for reading it and giving any thoughts. what has worked for you guys in the past? thoughts or suggestions? anything I have over looked or doing wrong? thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I want to inquire again about my head gasket concern. another guy thought that could be an issue too. if they are swapped around/on the wrong side, they will block the coolant passages. I am not arguing that I definitely did not make a mistake...but I am wondering that if that were the case would I not have other issues like over heating? and also, like I said before, the heater hoses both come right off the front of the water pump. So even if the gaskets were on backwards, wouldn't I still have heat in the cab since the flow for the heater core does not go right through there? Does anybody know the exact engineering of the flow for the heater core on the 5.7L
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I believe that I got the bottom of it.....finally!! messed with it for two more full days. I was ready to tear my heads back off!! anyways, I decided to run a loop with clear hose to make sure that it was flowing through the heater core. after I hooked all that up, I vacuum bled it, and topped it off with the burp funnel. started it up, it was flowing great! and then it quit after a minute...left a big air pocket in the loop and wouldnt flow. So i thought great its not flowing that way for some reason. but instead I just kept bleeding it/letting it run. as it started heating up and the coolant rose in the funnel, that was when i opened the bleeder on the top of the water pump, and all the coolant sucked in and burped, and then had great flow again in the clear hose!! So i took it apart and tried the same exact process with the core hooked up and it seemed to have great heat consistently!!

However, I am having another issue now, that I may start another thread for since its only indirectly related....and I think most have written off this post, haha! But I appreciate the time you all took in reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This problem actually persisted, and I was going to make another write up about it eventually. The heater core is plugged, and will need to be replaced, ultimately, I believe. I eventually figured this out after doing research about how the dual zone hvac works, and the driver side blows off the bottom of the heater core, and behold - my driver side kept losing heat. so I went through like 7 bottles of CLR. I would hose out the heater core, then drain it and blow air through to get as much fluid out. then pour the CLR in for at least an hour. at first I was pouring a full bottle. then realized then half would do each time, and would save money. then I would flush it out with the hose, aiming the exit hose into a catch bin each time so I could monitor the material coming out. each time, a lot of material! I started getting less and less, so decided enough was enough. put it back together and it worked great! 2 weeks later, started dropping off again at time :( however, with summer here now I wont worry about it. I will try flushing it a bunch more times before winter. but will probably just end up replacing it in the fall. I will do a write up with pics and stuff on the heater core replacement, as well as cut the heater core apart and see what was going on inside there!
 

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Great idea with the clear hose, this can save a bunch of people headaches. Thanks for sharing your experience, as this will help many.
 
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