September 11, 2015
This article walks you through replacing a heater core in your Turbo Regal or same era G-Body car.
About one hour
A new heater core can range from $25 to $100 depending on whether it is aftermarket or NOS (new old stock)
- 7mm, 10mm, 12mm and 1/4 sockets
- socket wrench and screwdriver
- a fine punch or something similar (to remove windshield wiper arms)
- 3M strip caulk or Metro “Super soft” ribbon sealer (this is to seal the box back up)
- A heater core. The best fitting one seems to be at gbodyparts.com
- Disconnect underhood light.
- Remove the rubber seal that runs across the top of the firewall. This should come off easily.
- Remove A/C solenoid from top section of heater box cover.
- Disconnect electrical connector on A/C drier.
- Disconnect 3 electrical connections on the blower motor and remove the rubber tube.
- Remove wiper arms. To do this, take a punch and pry the clip up at the base of the arm where it attaches. Once you swing the clip up, the arm will lift off the mount.
- Remove the windshield trim piece and plastic wiper rests. (5) 7mm screws
- Remove blower motor. (5) 1/4″ screws and (1) 7mm screw for ground tab.
- Remove cowl vent. This is the part with the screen on it that sits on top of the heater box cover (6-7mm screws)
- Remove lower trim supports. (4) 12mm nuts. Be careful not to lose these.
- Remove upper heater box cover. (4) 10mm screws and (10) 1/4 screws. Be very careful to make sure you have all screws out. Some will be hiding under the sealant goo. If you try to pry the heater box cover off, it will break and they are expensive to replace since they are turbo Regal specific. Also, there is a metal shield to the right of the heater core that must be moved toward the driver’s side to get the heater box out. Be patient.
- If the sealant against the firewall has hardened, you will want to chip it loose with a screwdriver or similar tool to break it free.
- The heater core is now easy to remove. Disconnect the ground wire to it as well as the inlet and outlet hoses. The core should lift right out.
- Drop in the new heater core and connect the ground wire.
- Connect the heater hoses.
- If desired, use rope caulk to seal the box in place as you set the cover back in. You might have to push the metal shield to the right of the heater core out of the way to get the box to drop back in.
- Attach the rest of the screws and mounts in reverse of the Removal instructions.
- Before attaching the windshield trim, use 3m Rope Caulk to seal the top of the heater box to the firewall. If you don’t do this, rain water will leak into the car.
Do NOT use adhesive sealant to seal the box in place. I guarantee you or the next owner of the car will break the heater box cover trying to get it out. They are Turbo Regal specific and very hard to come by. If you do try and get one from another G-Body car, it will fit with slight modification. You will have to drill screw holes here and there to get it to fit. You will also need to get the proper emissions and AC sticker since both are specific to the Turbo Regal. They can be found at Russell Selkirk’s website.
Mine is a Canadian model, so I had to have Russell make a custom sticker for me.
You can get 3M rope caulk or Metro ribbon sealer in the body section of your auto parts store.
Thanks to 87NASHIONAL on turbobuick.com for selling me a replacement cover. Did I mention mine broke while removing it? Darn adhesive sealant. 🙂
Credit to Scott Keller at gnttype.org for providing base instructions.