Just to make sure; if I have antifreeze in the passenger floor, it is the heater core right? If so how hard is it to take the dash out and replace it with my semi-mechanical brain? Can some one with some experience give me some instructions & tips? Thanks
Hi twigz-------------Before you invest in a new heater core, check the hoses and the heater control valve. Many times one or both of these parts will be the problem instead of the core.
The best way, IMHO, to do this job is to approach it from the passenger's side. You'll have to pull the glove box insert and the fan motor and housing to access the control valve and hoses and the core, but it's not too difficult if you can work on your back.
When I did this last year on my 240, I also pulled the heater box with the core and cleaned it and renewed the foam insulation on the fresh air door. This will make a big difference in the way your heater performs. It's good to clean and oil any cable hookups and moving parts at this time, too.
I just replaced the heater core on my 78Z (saw water on my floor/smelled it)...after I replaced the heater core, there was still a leak from the heater valve. I think the hardest part is getting the old hoses off the valve/heater core...once you get the valve off, the heater core's not too hard to get out...at least on my 78. just let the car run, get on your back on the passenger floor, get a flashlight, and see where the water's coming from....pretty easy to tell if it's the core or the valve.
Both Roadman and Vegacharger have given you good advice.
Check the Heater Water Control Valve. This is a simple piston valve that has a plunger type piston to redirect / stop the flow of coolant through the heater core. Sometimes the nylon gasket that the piston stem pushes through gets worn and will allow coolant to escape. The only solution here is to replace the valve.
Also, with 20-30 year old hoses, it's very possible that you have one or both starting to crack and hence leak. If you still have the original hose clamps, (the ones that look like someone made out of wire) you might see if they need tightening or replacing. If one of the wires rusts through, the whole clamp is compromised and a leak will ensue.
If it's the heater core that's leaking, you'll most likely detect the water flowing from the bottom of the main heater box, or out through the "room" vents.
By the way, a couple weeks ago, I posted how to remove the dash from the 240's. You might do a search on escanlon as author and read it, if you need to pull your dash.
I hope you are referring to condensation and not STEAM.
If it's true blue STEAM, you got a SERIOUS problem, not only do you have a hole in the heat exchanger core, but you also are seriously overheating!
If it's condensation, then the problem may be that the leak has permeated the matting under the heater box, carpet, or vynil on the tunnel, and is now evaporating and condensing on the first cool surface that it finds, your windshield.
Since I'm guessing that it is just humidity inside the car that is condensing on your windshield, here's what I would do.
First determine WHERE it's leaking, this could still be either the heater core or the valve or the hoses. SOMETHING is leaking and providing the water for evaporation to occur.
Once you've found the leak, fix the item accordingly. That is, Heater Control Valve: don't waste your time and get frustrated trying to fix the old, get a new one and replace it.
Hoses: Ditto, it's cheaper in the long run to replace worn or cracked hoses with new ones than to be continually patching.
Heater Core: Remove from the car, take to a radiator shop and see if they can fix it, but check the price of a replacement one whether from a reputable boneyard (i.e. some sort of warranty) or a new one from Motorsports, Victoria British, or Nissan if they have it. It might be that it's cheaper to replace than to fix.
Next, you need to dry out the carpet and anything else that got wet. Since you probably have anti-freeze in your radiator coolant, I would recommend you remove the item from the car and rinse it first. Yes, get it further wet, but with CLEAN water. That's because today's anti-freeze liquids aren't just ethylene glycol, they also include lubricants and preservatives and other stuff that will NOT evaporate. If you leave the carpet pad or vinyl to air dry, it WILL take WEEKS, and never really dry out.
By rinsing, you'll get the bulk of those other items out. Then carefully squeeze out as much water as possible, and either hang or lay flat to dry.
Recently I had to dry out the passenger side carpet on my car. Since I'm getting it replaced eventually, I wasn't worried about how to dry it. I came upon this method and it worked very well, after soaking the carpet and backing, I carefully rolled the carpet up like if it were a sleeping bag, squeezing out all the water as I went up. Once I had all the water squeezed out I could, I then clamped them to a sawhorse I had, so that they hung down. Within a few minutes the last of the water was dripping off the carpet. As it dried, it straightened the carpet back into shape. You can also use a room fan to blow and quicken the process. I wouldn't use a heat source unless you're real careful.