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Since: Apr 07

United States

#1 Apr 26, 2007
I've had nothing but problems with this Durango for the last 8 yrs!!! In 2000 I had to replace the transmission. Had ball joints replaced,water pump,timing chain/casing,fan belt,radiator fluid hose. my transmission gets stuck in 1st gear...The list goes on.
Now...
The 98 Durango all winter has been blowing warm heat, not hot enough to defog the windshield. In the rain the windows fog up.
A month ago I've had smoke/steam blowing in from the vents, a sweet antifreeze smell, it fogs up my windshield which prevents me to see. Yesterday I found the passenger side floor wet with oil which is coming from the vent under the dash board.The rug is saturated! I added more antifreeze. I'm afraid and I'm told it could be the heater core. Today I added a leak seal, let the engine run for 15 min came out to the garage...antifreeze all over my garage floor,dripping in the passenger side from the vent and white smoke inside. Heater Core isn't it? I found out taking out the dashboard to get to the heater Core is what makes this repair costly.
I was wondering can I have a mechanic bypass the heater core and deal with no heat till I can afford to get it replaced before winter?

Since: May 07

Columbus, OH

#2 May 30, 2007
Yes, the only real reason to have a heater core is so that you have heat in the car. I had to get my AC Evaporator core replaced but they quoted me $1400, prolly about the same that you got. I ended up spending about 12 hours doing it my self for under $200. It was a real pain in the A$$ though.
Josh

AOL

#3 Jun 8, 2007
CStradling24 wrote:
Yes, the only real reason to have a heater core is so that you have heat in the car. I had to get my AC Evaporator core replaced but they quoted me $1400, prolly about the same that you got. I ended up spending about 12 hours doing it my self for under $200. It was a real pain in the A$$ though.
Could you explain what all u had to do to replace your evaporator, i have a 99 durango thats leaking freon, i think its the evap. email skyblaster99@aol.com
Mike

Paoli, OK

#4 Jun 25, 2007
Pull the dash and then the air box.be careful of the heater core lines and ac lines. air box unbolts from under the hood.
Josh wrote:
<quoted text>
Could you explain what all u had to do to replace your evaporator, i have a 99 durango thats leaking freon, i think its the evap. email skyblaster99@aol.com
Dan the Dodge Tech

Orono, ME

#5 Dec 19, 2007
Replacing the heater core is no way the same as the A/C. The heater core gives you the heat to your car, to replace the heater core is simple. Without "proper" knowledge it can be done in a few hours by yourrself. No real knowledge is needed. As you may or may not know, the heater core i located on back of the firewall of your car which is approximately on the other side of the glovebox. Unfortunately, in the 'recent' years they didnt make it so easy to get to, my brother has an 86 F-150 and all he had to do was remove the glovebox and remove the panel to replace it! So easy! You have to remove your dash (do it carefully), you may or may not have to remove some of the knobs for radio/heat/etc - if not just take it off and behind the glove box will be a panel thing. Look at the heater core which looks like a little radiator. There should be lines coming in and out of it. Carefully unmount the lines from the heater core and cap them for a few mins as you replace the heater core and replace the lines to the new heater core. Replace / rescrew it back it in and replace the dash as you found it. Run the engine with heat on (make sure youre thermostat is still good!) and run all the air out of it incase any got in which will make the air run a little cooler for a bit until its all gone. Should be pretty self explainatory from there. Make it a day project cause the dash isnt that fun to take apart! Good luck!!!
Jim

Peoria, IL

#6 Jan 1, 2008
Replacing the heater core is a pain in the butt. You have to remove the entire dash..drop the steering column..etc..disconect the air. After you take off the dash..you need to remove the heater core box..which is a bit of a pain. This is not like replacing the core of an f150..or any other car that I have worked on. I think the labor books out at 4.5 hours. I managed to do the job in about 6 hours...You can buy a cheap core at Autozone for about 40 bucks..or Dodge has the oem for 225.00. The cheap cores are larger in size than the oem..and you need to do some modification to the box to make it fit. While you have this box off...it would be a good time to replace the evaporator for the ac. Its in the same box. Take your time..its pain in the butt.
Shane

Niceville, FL

#7 Jan 18, 2009
My Duarngo is a 98 4x4 Im in the process of replacing my heater core. Im stuck getting the dash off it seems like every little section of the dash must be taken apart to get under neeth it. Is there a faster way to take it off and replace the part?
1999 Dodge Durango

Fredericksburg, VA

#8 Mar 5, 2009
Shane wrote:
My Duarngo is a 98 4x4 Im in the process of replacing my heater core. Im stuck getting the dash off it seems like every little section of the dash must be taken apart to get under neeth it. Is there a faster way to take it off and replace the part?
I have a same problem man. Im taking it off, and it just seem like it never ends. I have a 1 lb bag of screws and parts every were. im at the point to were im getting ready to put it back together and live with the stream/smoke comming from the vents :( Dodge Dealership quoted 1049.00 Goodyear 790.00. Im not paying those prices for a $65 part. I replaced my Transmission for $850.00 (Used Part) and did the labor myself, I'd all most rather do the trans than the heater core. With the trans i know what bolts and part need to come off. The haynes book doesnt help with this part. It says remove the dash, like its something easy. they need to go step by step. But good luck I'll need it.
MCSniper

Conshohocken, PA

#9 Oct 8, 2009
Im in the middle of replacing my heater core in my 2001 Durango. And yes what a pain. The haynes book is what Im going from. Its helpful but isnt thorough. There are some additional things that need taken apart that are not mentioned. I have my dash out (last night). and am about to take the heater box out. I believe that there are nuts on the engine firewall that I have to remove. Then take out the box & replace heater core. I took my total time and carefully labeled the wires with numbers and wrote in a notepad what each number does and goes. Putting it back together should be easy now that I know how the s&!t came apart. Seems like they could get it together and make the same kinda snaps on ALL plugs though...just different shape. I'm saving 600 bucks!! hahaha
PHILL

Stevensville, MD

#10 Jan 9, 2010
i have dodge durango no heat in rear blower works ok
PHILL

Stevensville, MD

#11 Jan 9, 2010
no heat in rear dodge durago but blower ok
durango heater cores

Riceville, IA

#12 Jan 11, 2010
If you have ever done one of these heater cores, you would never say these are simple!There are hidden bolts coming in from under the hood and under t he dash. It is a HUGE job. That's why is costs so much for a repair shop to do. Please do not underestimate this particular Durango project!
Dan the Dodge Tech wrote:
Replacing the heater core is no way the same as the A/C. The heater core gives you the heat to your car, to replace the heater core is simple. Without "proper" knowledge it can be done in a few hours by yourrself. No real knowledge is needed. As you may or may not know, the heater core i located on back of the firewall of your car which is approximately on the other side of the glovebox. Unfortunately, in the 'recent' years they didnt make it so easy to get to, my brother has an 86 F-150 and all he had to do was remove the glovebox and remove the panel to replace it! So easy! You have to remove your dash (do it carefully), you may or may not have to remove some of the knobs for radio/heat/etc - if not just take it off and behind the glove box will be a panel thing. Look at the heater core which looks like a little radiator. There should be lines coming in and out of it. Carefully unmount the lines from the heater core and cap them for a few mins as you replace the heater core and replace the lines to the new heater core. Replace / rescrew it back it in and replace the dash as you found it. Run the engine with heat on (make sure youre thermostat is still good!) and run all the air out of it incase any got in which will make the air run a little cooler for a bit until its all gone. Should be pretty self explainatory from there. Make it a day project cause the dash isnt that fun to take apart! Good luck!!!
Russell

New Bedford, MA

#13 Feb 1, 2010
I am a mechanic i have done 3 of these heater cores and it its a huge pain in the ass. The heater core and a/c condenser are located in the same unit behind the dash board.`You must move the entire dash board about 2 feet away from its original position. Also the a/c must be evacuated, most of the center console must be removed, and the air bags have to be disconnected. And after you have finally removed the heater core/ a/c unit There are still about 20 more screws and clips you must remove to take the unit itself apart. Oh and if you do it you better change both the heater core and a/c condenser because they both corrode and leak. Worst design ever.
jeff

Bronx, NY

#14 Sep 25, 2010
is the EVAPORATOR and the DRYER and the CONDENSER and the HEATER CORE 4 seperate components?
Dan

Barstow, CA

#15 Oct 31, 2010
I just replace my core about 6 months ago, now my windows are foging up again with anti freez, Same simptoms leaking on the passagers side floor. I flushed out the core lines and heater hose and coolant came straight out so no blockage. ANY OTHER IDEAS THAT MAY CAUSE IT ? i don't really want to go in there again. I have never seen anything so stupid having to take the whole dash out and diconect a/c lines danbalue@yahoo.com Thanks
Dan

Barstow, CA

#16 Oct 31, 2010
that would be A 2000 dodge durango 5.9
william

Elkland, PA

#17 Nov 23, 2010
i just put a new heater core in my 1998 dodge durango and now the controls won't turn on.how can i fix this problem?
Dan

Barstow, CA

#18 Nov 24, 2010
OK I did due my 2cd heater core in a year on my 2000 durango, I bought the cheap one at Pep boys I wont do that again even when times are hard I don't know if the dealer sells the brass ones but didn't they all used to be brass for that reason.
Russell above if right on It is all in one unit or box if you can afford to re4place the AC condenser at the same time you really should,(it looks like the heater core but bigger)
William your saying control wont turn on need more info! here is a couple Ideas there are two vent doors in or on the heat and a/c box with vacuum valves, if you put the box together wrong clamping down on the vent door or pinched one of the vacuum lines that go from the box to the dash controls. try taking off the front of the dash again check and make sure ur vac lines r not pinched and secure with no holes, then check the cables routing. The Cable controls the vent operation (floor, windshield, or middle) vacuum controls temp. Also double check all ur connectors, there is only one way they'll hook up so u might have missed something. Good luck everone but you tooo will be an expert after removing it a couple of times
walt dodge machanic

United States

#19 Dec 19, 2010
william wrote:
i just put a new heater core in my 1998 dodge durango and now the controls won't turn on.how can i fix this problem?
there is several ground wires make sure u didn't miss 1 expecially the one on passenger side behind kick plate
Dan

Barstow, CA

#20 Dec 19, 2010
Dan the dodge man a/c and heater core are in the same box in the 2000 Durango , seperated by partisions or vents, you do have to diconnect the A/C lines and for and one else doing this 1 of4 bolts under hood is behind the dipstick holder. You also don't have to pull the steering colum just drop it diconnect all grounds and most wires conections they only go together one way , loosen dash, hang it down it is on hinges at the bottom, disconected wire harness/ plastic assembly behind dash and any other remaining wires see my other comment for the rest .

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