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How to Change the Heater Core on a 1989 Ford Mustang GT

The heater core of the 1989 Ford Mustang GT is the device that warms the air for heating use. The heater core is critical to heating the car during cold weather. If the Mustang's heater core is malfunctioning, this could be an issue during winter months when comfort is considered a priority. Replacing the heater core is fairly simple and can be accomplished in under 2 hours. Since the heater core is contained under the dash, part of the dash will need to be disassembled.

Tools Used: Socket wrench, Phillips screwdriver, Slotted screwdriver

Change Heater Core

Turn the Mustang's engine off. Lift up the hood and use a socket wrench to remove the negative cable from the battery.

Remove the center console by removing its access covers from the rear of the console with a socket wrench. Remove the two bolts underneath the slots with a socket wrench. Remove the two top panel console screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

Use a slotted screwdriver to pry out the four spring clips holding the shifter bezel to the vehicle. Pull up on the bezel to remove it.

Remove the two screws from the front of the central dash plate and pull it off. Disconnect the two wiring connectors by removing the central dash plate.

Remove the lower bolts from the central dashboard. Remove the screws securing the radio and A/C unit. Pull both devices out of the Mustang and disconnect their electrical connectors.

Remove the screws securing the glove compartment to the dashboard and pull the glove compartment off the dash.

Remove the bolts along the edge of the dashboard with a socket wrench. Once all eight bolts are removed, pry up on the dashboard to lift it off the Mustang. This will allow access to the heater core.

Remove the nuts securing the heater core to the firewall. Do not remove the dryer or its hoses as the lines are pressurized due to the A/C refrigerant. Serious damage can occur to the A/C system if the dryer or hoses are removed.

Disconnect the two bolts securing the heater hoses to the heater core and pull them off. Remove the four bolts securing the heater core.

Pull the heater core out of the Mustang and install a replacement heater core. Reinstall the four bolts to secure the heater core.

Reattach nuts to the heater core and reinstall the dashboard. Reconnect the negative cable to the battery and close the hood.

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