It's a big job, no two ways about it, so allow about 3 full days. Here are a few things that may make it go faster:
- All the plugs don't have to come off the SJB
. Undo only the bottom big one and the two rust-colored ones farther up in the dash. The SJB
doesn't have to come out, but it makes getting to that upper connector easier and it's not hard to do.
- The shift cable is released from it's bracket by prying a little tab up with a knife. The tab faces forward and pries to port side if you're a sailor, near side if you're a horseman. Took me an hour and my daughter finally figured that out.
- Take the intake manifold off the engine. It's nearly impossible to get the hoses off the heater core with it on. You won't regret it, but take a picture where all those vacuum hoses go.
- Put all your little hardware in baggies and label them. I'm serious.
- Unbolt the driver's seat and undo the electric connectore, slide it as far in the back seat as it will go. This is the easy way.
- Unhook the heater core first, unbolt the bracket and move the hoses out of the way. If the steel tubing in the heater manifold looks like it may rust through, now's the time to replace it.
- You may have to cut the plastic clip off the lower evap
line connector. Wire cutters.
- The lower connector may be frozen in. Don't pry on it against the EGR
tube, you'll bend it. Try lots of WD-40, can't hurt. You will probably have to get a hacksaw in there and cut the liquid line aft of the connector. That will ruin the connector so you will have to replace it. New line $63. You can undo the orifice connector and just replace the part from the orifice to the evap
since the rest of it's a PIA. You get the new orifice with that part. Don't forget to take off the old O-ring.
- The upper connector comes off easier. I had to cut down the plastic collar tool that releases the spring in the connector in order to use it. The tools only come in inch sizes and everything in the last 30 years is metric. Go figure.
- Take the radio out. Get the little tools at Auto Zone. It's easy and there's a vacuum connector on the climate control that has to come off. The book doesn't say that.
- The speedo doesn't have to come out, Thank God.
- The big black box comes out easy. Goes in hard. Have a helper.
- You will break the little plastic arms that hold the aluminum slider thingy on it's stobs on the blend door arms. To put it back on, drill a tiny hole in the lower stob and put in a tiny cotter pin through it. Drill a tiny hole down into the upper one and mount a piece of thin sheet metal to it with a tiny screw. Don't use hot glue, it softens in the summer and drops off.
- The factory never puts in all the screws that hold the box together. Don't worry about it.
- Open the actuator motor and reapply some of the grease to the gear teeth. Clean the resistance tracks with a dry Q-tip.
- Replace the heater core anyway. It's not that expensive and it's just a matter of time. Buy some sticky-back pipe insulation for the new core. The foam doesn't come with the new one and won't come off the old one. Try not putting it on the back of the core first, you may not need it there.
- Have help putting the box back in. Plug the core openings with paper towels.
- Hook up the evap
first. Lower one first. Use PAG oil. No, use PAG oil like the book says. No, DC4 or grease or anti-seize won't work. Use LOTS of PAG oil. Just the plain stuff, $8 at O'reillys. Soak it. Twisting and rocking helps it go in. Then hook up the orifice connection on the liquid line. Don't over-tighten it.
- If it looks like the EGR
tube somehow got longer or shorter and won't mate up with the EGR
valve, remember the little steel stabilizer bar that runs from the engine block to a bolt thread on the back of the intake manifold near the throttle body. It has to come off and go back on last.
- Hang the instrument panel (dash) by an upper bolt on each side until you have everything hooked up. If you're wondering why the ends of the bolts look weird, they're one-time robotic insertion bolts and may not start back in the holes. Go buy some regular bolts and you won't have a problem getting them in. Ditto the three bolts across the top of the dash just under the windshield.
- No, you didn't lose the thing that holds the parking brake release cable on it's bracket. The little spring-steel thingy that holds the little ball thingy on the cable hides behind the bracket where you can't see it. Lost an hour looking for it.
It's a lot of work but you'll be really happy with the really cold air and really hot air you get now.