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ghaskett

1956 Buick Special Heater Core R & R

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Keep in mind that you may not have to remove the fender. The core cover is attached with bolts that are accessed behind the kick panel inside the car. And if you remove the fan motor from the vent housing under the hood, you may be able to lift the entire heater core package up and out of the fender well from under the hood. I was able to do so with plenty of room on my Super. I do not know if there is sufficient room on the smaller body car.

To reinstall, I filled the area below the core package with a old blanket so that the core package could rest on that in close proximity to its mounting area. That held it close enough and I could then manuver the unit to get the bolts started. I did remove the blanket before tightening everything up just to be sure I could get it out.

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It ain't that bad. That picture shows it is in the same location as my 55. So unbolt it from the inside, leave the hoses on (and replace before installation) to aid in maneuvering. I remove the rear portholes to help on the 55...maybe no help on a 56, but you don't have the big hood hinge spring in the way like a 55. Just start doing it...it ain't that bad.

Willie

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I replaced mine with the fender on. Just like Willie said, it's not that bad of a project. What will suck, as in my case, is if I it leaks. I trusted the seller and did not pressure test mine... "If it was leaking I wouldn't be selling it" he said. It was leaking. I ended up buying an aftermarket core for $32, life time warranty, same length, two inches narrower. Look under my name and you will see my post.

http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=344613

Edited by VickyBlue (see edit history)

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Spectra 94531. Checks as 1966 Buick Special, $34 plus tax.

That is good info to know, thanks VickyBlue. The alternative to this is having a craftsman solder in a new core and reuse your tanks -- which I had done for this same project at a cost of $300. Had I known about an aftermarket substitute, the decision would be a no brainer to go with the aftermarket core. After all, as long as this particular part functions normally -- no one will ever see it. The inlet/outlet tubes seem to be in different locations though ?

post-31677-143142386225_thumb.jpg

Budd

Edited by Budd (see edit history)

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Yes, the outlets are not in the same location. Still, who is gonna see that? What may be of minor importance is the thickness of the core, and not so much for cold weather driving but for auxiliary engine cooling during the hot days of the year.

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Not sure how a 56 operates, but wouldn't the cooling effect only work if the heater was on? Something you wouldn't necessarily want in the summer.

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Perhaps I didn't express it right. To be more direct, when using the heater to temporarily increase engine cooling in the summer, the more narrow heater core may not be as efficient as the original, thicker , core. Yes, I don't want to run the heater in the summer. But it does work to help cool an engine in an overheating situation.

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Not sure how a 56 operates, but wouldn't the cooling effect only work if the heater was on? Something you wouldn't necessarily want in the summer.

I think John was talking about an old suggestion to turn the heater and fans on high if the car is overheating...at this point you are in deep dung and it has never worked for me :D.

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Might be a function of location. It has worked for me several times. Then again, I still use the dashboard temp guage where the red zone is engaging at roughly 200 * in my car, at which point I am tempted to think about strategy

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On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2014 at 7:42 AM, JohnD1956 said:

Keep in mind that you may not have to remove the fender. The core cover is attached with bolts that are accessed behind the kick panel inside the car. And if you remove the fan motor from the vent housing under the hood, you may be able to lift the entire heater core package up and out of the fender well from under the hood. I was able to do so with plenty of room on my Super. I do not know if there is sufficient room on the smaller body car.

To reinstall, I filled the area below the core package with a old blanket so that the core package could rest on that in close proximity to its mounting area. That held it close enough and I could then manuver the unit to get the bolts started. I did remove the blanket before tightening everything up just to be sure I could get it out.

John, do I need to remove the heater/defroster inner housing with the ducts in order to the bolts holding the core housing?  Thanks.

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3 hours ago, ghaskett said:

John, do I need to remove the heater/defroster inner housing with the ducts in order to the bolts holding the core housing?  Thanks

 

Yes.  Although if the canvass duct tubes stay in place, I'd leave them alone in order to avoid damaging them.  But the HVAC distribution housing has to come off.

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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

 

Yes.  Although if the canvass duct tubes stay in place, I'd leave them alone in order to avoid damaging them.  But the HVAC distribution housing has to come off.

I do have a question. Are there more screws/bolts to deal with after removing the inner cover? Thanks.

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3 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Yes. there are several bolts under the inner cover which actually hold the heater core unit to the cowl. 

Thanks again. Got her out. Your photos helped too.

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