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My 78 Z just started leaking coolant from under the dash. I checked for the location and it seems to be dripping from the duct joint that connects the defrost vent to the bottom of the heater core on the passenger side. Is this going to be the heater core leaking or possibly something else? If it is the core, is there a fix besides core replacement? Any advise will be helpful.
 

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hey dwain sorry to hear cuz this one is no fun. mine pulled the same funny business on me but actually turned out it wasnt the heater core at all. theres a little valve on the outside of the core which sprung a leak.. but it was almost impossible to tell because the water just kinda ran down the hoses and got all over the place.. my uncle ended up putting in a new o-ring in the valve for me and didnt cost a cent.. been high and dry ever since. gl man hope its quick and painless
 

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Big Dan's fix will avoid fixing the heater core, and will essentially return the coolant back to the engine. If you don't mind doing without heat for the rest of the winter, do that.

If on the other hand you need/want heat, then you must address the problem and fix it right.

From what you are saying, coolant coming out from INSIDE the heater box, it points at the heater core having developed a leak. Since the hoses hook up to the core OUTSIDE the heater box, and the valve is also outside, those items being the ones that failed would have demonstrated the leak outside the box.

Short of removing the heater box and getting to the heater core, I can think of no "right" way of fixing it. I've heard of radiator "stop-leaks" that might do the job, but at best they are stop-gap remedies and work by plugging the hole from inside the core with either metal shavings, solder, or tar / plastic / goop.

Unfortunately, to get the heater box completely out, you're going to have to remove the dash. Maybe somebody else has figured out how to get it out without doing that, but I don't know of it.

You can get heater cores from the dealer, Motorsports and Victoria British, (don't know haven't checked). You might also give Z-Barn and Z-Parts a check see. Last case, check your local boneyard, or ask others on here if they would check the boneyard for you. A lot of people will argue against the boneyard, but many of the cars in there are there because of accidents that rendered the car unsalvageable through regular repair methods. The rest of the car may be in pristine condition. The last windshield I got for a Z came from a boneyard. Cost? $30.00 (in the late 80's) compared to over $200 then.

For what it's worth.
 

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The heater core is extremely easy to change out.. You do not remove the dash!! Simply remove the entire box that holds the blower motor . There should be 2 screws that hold the box to the firewall, and 1 screw that holds the box at the top front. It may be easier to remove the glove box first, with that out of the way you can see everything. Don't forget to disconnect the two plugs to the blower assembly.Once the blower assembly is out of the way, you can see the side of the heater core. Remove the two hoses that are attached to it. Next remove the plastic cover with the heater vent attached. Don't forget to disconnect the lever to the vent. With all this removed simply grab the heater core and carefully slide it out sideways. Piece of cake. "installation is a reverse of the removal process." You might have to remove the heater valve to get enough clearance to slide out the heater core. I can't quite remember, when I did mine my heater valve was already removed.
 

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On my 78 it was a hose leaking. I pulled just the fan & moter [ leave it up to you ]
The core slides out of the side of the heater box.
I replaced all hoses, and used the valve, but if I had to do over I would try to find a cabel opperated inline velve, and do away with the short formed hoses.

Good luck, it's tight, I pulled the seat too, but I'm 6ft. & 200lb.

Lee
 
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