98 Dakota heater core

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  #1  
Old 06-20-09, 02:18 PM
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98 Dakota heater core

Hi been here before. My 98 Dakota has a small heater core leak. No major coolant loss nor coolant in the interior. I can smell it and I sometimes get a little whiff of steam through vents so I am pretty sure. Everything outside is good. It has actually been this way for a couple of years. I have the chassis manual for the truck and basically I am going to just about jump off a cliff before I want to put a heater core in this thing. Truck practically has to be disassembled to step 1 on the assembly line.Mostly I don't have the patience or some of the equipment (AC needs to be released and recharged) I haven't even got an estimate yet. It is by no means a junker although it has 183,000 miles. Any suggestions as to a brand of "stop leak" to use on this thing. I don't want to completely "clog" up the heater core so as to not have heat
 
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Old 06-20-09, 02:48 PM
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Sorry not much advice for ya..I had the same thing happen to mine..drove it 2 yrs with no heat. Think it may have been a design flaw? Duhh...POS Dodges. I tried a couple of stop leak things and none worked. $500 is what it cost me 4 yrs ago. Think it was $80 for the core and the rest was labor.

Finally sold it with no A/C (since the evap coil apparently also failed) and a cracked head (second one) for $1400 in 2006.
 
  #3  
Old 06-20-09, 02:49 PM
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I don't trust coolant sealers cause they're not "smart" and can seal things one may not WANT sealed........Radiator/Heater Core

Dash on Chrysler products aten't as bad as you make them sound .........SSSOOOOO............Man up and replace the core.........and the evaporator core too........that way you only have to do the job once
 
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Old 06-20-09, 03:00 PM
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Dakota and Durango are Identical....when I started Working for Chrysler, We had a Fleet service company that we did work for..... One of their resident mechanics recharged the A/C and added "SEALER" on 28 Trucks.........Needless to say, they all needed Evap Cores..... I spent my first two weeks on the job with these 28 trucks.... Dash folds down and pulls up off a hinge...3.5 hours from start to finish, Including recharge.....

A novice with hand tools could concievably perform this on a Sunday afternoon, with a break for BBQ and a few beers.... It is definitely not as intimidating as it seems, Because the Chassis manual breaks it down to individual bolts......Most of it wioll be common sense once you actually start disassembly.
 
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Old 06-20-09, 04:03 PM
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It's leaked like this for 2 years? and yet no real visible signs?, and you have not added any stop leak to it yet in those 2 years? Really?

I have theorized that if the stop leak approach does not work, that the leak is at the bottom where the core is full of gook and the sealant cannot get thru it to the hole. Yet the coolant gets absorbed in the gook and gradually seeps out extremely slowly - barely at all. Just enough to maybe to smell it in the cabin, and have it show up as vapor on the windshield.

If so, maybe one needs to first flush out the heater core and THEN add the stop leak. I called a stop leak tech who claims that their product does indeed work to stop such leaks. He was very adamant that it should stop such a leak, and does not want bad PR to the contrary, since he knows for a fact that it can stop such leaks.
 
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Old 06-20-09, 04:34 PM
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heater core

yea no real signs except yes my windshield will fog up once in a while. I have actually went months with no signs at all. I do think that a year or so ago I did add some kind of leak stuff but I really am not sure. Memory must be failing
 
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Old 06-20-09, 05:18 PM
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I bet you did (add).

I currently have 1 1/2 bottles in my '91 Dodge, to stop an identical leak you speak of. It may finally be working. It took like 2 weeks for it to stop my windshield from fogging. I probably should have flushed my heater core first. Too busy on other projects + I have gotten a little lazy about doing things on cars compared to how I'd do things with cars when I was learning and younger. As an example, years ago, I prided myself in doing invisible (rust and rust-thru)auto body repairs. Today I just go and shoot rust convertor and primer on the rust scale and spray paint over the rust and rubber trim, and then later clean off the overspray off the glass and rubber.
 
  #8  
Old 07-19-09, 09:56 AM
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98 Dakota heater core

I'm back. Well the heater core started to get worse so I ponied up some cash and had it done. Heater core AND evap coil. No more smell or steam bath. Everything seems good. I do have some kind of automotive background but I simply didn't have the know-how or more importantly the equipment (AC was never one of my high points) One small problem however...as soon as I got up to speed my ABS and Brake light came on. If I shut off the lights are out but come on again as soon as get near 40 or so MPH. No driveability problems whatsoever. I talked to the guy and he thinks maybe with everything disconnected it may have thrown a code which stays in system for 50 or so starts. Does this make sense? (Disconnecting battery doesn't do it). I see him tomorrow and he will scan it (I can't scan brake codes) and either fix or just clear them. Either way I don't think it is a big deal. P.S. antilock is rear only and rear sensor is somewhat new. No speedo problems either. I know I am really in the wrong forum but I am continuing a previous post. Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 07-19-09, 10:51 AM
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Do your Brake lamps Stay on?????

When you "Hinge" the dash out, the Brake lamp switch can get dislodged from its bracket... And trip an ABS warning....It "Mistakenly " sees the brakes applied for an extended period of time at road speed , and gets confused.
 
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Old 07-19-09, 11:06 AM
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brake lamps

just found out I have NO brake lights. Am going to check it out...fuses, etc.
 
  #11  
Old 07-19-09, 11:46 AM
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Get the brake lamps fixed and Your ABS issue will be resolved......I can "ALMOST" promise.
 
  #12  
Old 07-19-09, 12:14 PM
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dakota fixed

Thanks Unclidiezel problem solved. I didn't have any brake lights (Not Good) which I didn't realize. Anyway got under there and found brake light switch must have blown up on inside...plunger was basically frozen. He could possible have hit it when doing dash. Snapped in new switch and presto... brake lights work and NO ABS or BRAKE lights on dashBeer 4U2
 
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