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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:01   #1
Dave_D
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Question Alternatives to replacing heater core

I have a leaking heater core and am told it is a long and tedious job to replace it, as the entire dash area must be removed to replace it. This leads me to wonder if there are any acceptable alternatives to heater core replacement.

I know there are sealants of various kinds available, but I would not want to use one throughout the coolant system as it might also cause problems in the smaller passages in the engine or in the radiator. Would it be possible to isolate the heater core, by disconnecting and clamping/plugging the hoses to the core, and then circulating heated coolant/sealant through the core with a coolant heater until the leaks are sealed?

Of course I have no idea how long this would take and I would certainly need to flush/replace the coolant/sealant prior to reconnecting the core and then bleeding any air that managed to get into the system during the disconnect/reconnect process. Has anyone attempted anything like this? Does it seem worth trying? Any particular recommendations for sealants that would be compatible with our G12 coolant?


PS: I just did a google search and it appears that someone else has already patented this!

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/50...scription.html

Dave
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Last edited by Dave_D; April 3rd, 2010 at 08:13.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:21   #2
VeeDubTDI
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The only alternative is to completely bypass the heater core and loop the supply and return lines together. Obviously, this will result

DON'T put sealant in your cooling system. It will cause damage to other components in the cooling system, including the radiator, water pump, water passages, the EGR cooler, and the oil cooler.

If you need guidance on how to replace the heater core, there are write-ups on VWvortex with pictures and excellent descriptions.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 19:32   #3
meetis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI
The only alternative is to completely bypass the heater core and loop the supply and return lines together. Obviously, this will result

DON'T put sealant in your cooling system. It will cause damage to other components in the cooling system, including the radiator, water pump, water passages, the EGR cooler, and the oil cooler.

If you need guidance on how to replace the heater core, there are write-ups on VWvortex with pictures and excellent descriptions.
agreed in a vw there are a lot of little places that the coolant must flow through i have never heard good things from trying to use a sealant of any type. I would also be curious if there are any sealants actually made to work with VW coolant its quite a bit different than the traditional green stuff that can be found nearly anywhere. It would be best to get the heater core taken care of sooner than later also if it is leaking behind the dash there are several problems that it can cause.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 21:13   #4
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Well the consensus seems to be:

Alternative 1: replace the core
Alternative 2: bypass the core and move to Florida
Alternative 3: do nothing and put up with the leakage.

Yeah, I know. But really, in any real analysis, doing nothing is an alternative. It might be one nobody likes, but it is still an alternative.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 06:40   #5
Dave_D
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I have no plans to put a sealant in the cooling system. As I noted in the original post in this thread, what I am considering is a process that puts a sealant in an isolated heater core. After sealing is complete the heater core is flushed to remove any remaining sealant prior to restoring the cooling system to normal operation.

This is at this point still an academic exercise, as I am unaware of anyone offering such a system. Given someone has already patented this approach it is possible it is out there and I don't know about it. There is also the question of what sealant will work given our G12 coolant.

At present I am simply living without using the heat, as there is no leakage I am aware of with the heat turned off. I am reluctant to undertake the replacement myself without experienced supervision, as I am good at managing to break off brittle parts and making the job even bigger. This is our only vehicle, so I can't risk taking it out of service for an extended period.

Dave
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