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EMRSR, Master Certified Service Manager
Category: Ford
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Experience:  20 years with Ford, Master Certified
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How to replace the heater core in a 2003 Ford Ranger?

This answer was rated:

How to replace the heater core in a 2003 Ford Ranger?

This is about a 6 hour job, and requires dropping the dash carrier.

 

Service and Repair
Notes

REMOVAL

  1. Remove the evaporator core housing. NOTE: If a heater core leak is suspected, the heater core must be leak tested before it is removed from the vehicle.
  2. Remove the instrument panel. Refer to: Body and Frame, Interior Trim, Dashboard/Instrument Panel, Service and Repair, See: Body and Frame\Interior Moulding / Trim\Dashboard / Instrument Panel\Service and Repair
  3. Remove the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) .

  1. Remove the PCM heat sink.
1Remove the ground strap screw.
2Remove the heat sink.

  1. Remove the four nuts from the engine side of the dash panel. Position the plenum chamber on the vehicle floor.

  1. Remove the heater core cover.
1Remove the screws.
2Remove the heater core cover.

  1. Remove the heater core.

INSTALLATION

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedure.
    • During installation, be sure to install a new oval foam seal around the heater core inlet and outlet tubes.
Service and Repair
Notes

INSTRUMENT PANEL

REMOVAL

CAUTION: Electronic modules are sensitive to static electrical charges. If exposed to these charges, damage may result.

  1. Remove the steering column.

  1. Remove the screws and position the parking brake release handle aside.

  1. Disconnect the brake pedal position (BPP) switch electrical connector.

  1. If equipped, disconnect the clutch pedal position (CPP) switch electrical connector.

  1. Remove the RH and LH scuff plates.
1Remove the eight screws.
2Remove the RH and LH scuff plates.

  1. Remove the LH and RH A-pillar lower trim panels.
    • Remove the pin-type retainer on the LH cowl trim panel.

  1. Remove the LH and RH windshield side garnish mouldings.

  1. Remove the instrument panel side finish panel.

  1. Disconnect the battery junction box from the bracket and position it aside.

  1. Remove the bulkhead wiring harness from inside the engine compartment.
1Loosen the bolts.
2Disconnect the electrical connectors.

  1. Remove the bulkhead connector insulator.

  1. Unclip the bulkhead electrical connectors from the dash panel.
  2. Remove the instrument panel valance panel.

  1. Disconnect the restraint control module (RCM) electrical connector.
1Release the locking tab.
2Disconnect the RCM electrical connector.
  1. Remove the passenger side air bag module.

  1. Disconnect the blend door actuator electrical connector.

  1. Disconnect the climate control vacuum harness connector.

  1. Disconnect the radio antenna cable in-line connector.

  1. Raise and secure the glove compartment.
    • Press the release tabs inward while raising the glove compartment.

  1. Disconnect the electrical connectors and the ground wires on the RH cowl panel.

  1. Remove the instrument panel defroster opening grille.

  1. Remove the instrument panel cowl top bolts.

  1. Remove the instrument panel brace bolt under the steering column.

  1. Remove the RH instrument panel cowl side bolt.

  1. Remove the LH instrument panel cowl side bolts.
  2. Position the instrument panel away from the dash panel.

  1. Disconnect the instrument panel to body harness.
1Loosen the bolt.
2Disconnect the harness.
  1. NOTE: Two technicians are required to perform this step. Remove the instrument panel.
    • If necessary, transfer the components to the new instrument panel.

INSTALLATION

CAUTION: Electronic modules are sensitive to static electrical charges. If exposed to these charges, damage may result.

  1. NOTE: Two technicians are required to perform this step. Position the instrument panel.

  1. Connect the instrument panel to body harness.
1Connect the harness.
2Install the bolt.
  1. Align and install the instrument panel.

  1. Install the LH instrument panel cowl side bolts.

  1. Install the RH instrument panel cowl side bolt.

  1. Install the instrument panel cowl top bolts.

  1. Install the instrument panel defroster opening grille.

  1. Install the instrument panel brace bolt.

  1. Connect the electrical connectors and the ground wires on the RH cowl panel.

  1. Lower the glove compartment.
    • Press the glove compartment release tabs inward while pulling downward on the glove compartment.

  1. Connect the radio antenna cable in-line connector.

  1. Connect the climate control vacuum harness connector.

  1. Connect the blend door actuator electrical connector.
  2. Install the passenger side air bag module.

  1. Connect the RCM electrical connector.
1Install the RCM electrical connector.
2Engage the locking clip.
  1. Install the instrument panel valance panel.

  1. Position the bulkhead electrical connector handle.

  1. Connect the BPP switch electrical connector.

  1. Connect the CPP switch electrical connector.

  1. Install the bulkhead connector insulator.

  1. Install the bulkhead wiring harness connectors.
1Connect the electrical connectors.
2Install the bolts.

  1. Install the battery junction box onto the bracket.

  1. Install the LH and RH A-pillar lower trim panels.
    • Install the pin-type retainer on the LH cowl trim panel.

  1. Install the LH and RH windshield side garnish mouldings.

  1. Install the RH and LH scuff plates.
1Position the scuff plates.
2Install the eight screws.

  1. Install the instrument panel side finish panel.

  1. Install the parking brake release handle.
1Position the handle.
2Install the screws.
  1. Install the steering column
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
This is cool! Thank you. I was quoted $650 to replace the heater core. Is this a fair price?
Yes, $650 is realistic.
Please don't forget to hit accept.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I work on all my cars. It looks straight forward. Is there any special tools need to take out the dash or better tackle this job? Any addition tips is greatly appreciated.
Pretty much straight on stuff.
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