AstroSafariVans.com

Tech info and how to guides for ASV users

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cover1.jpg
225 viewsThis is one of four bolts, there is another bolt above this one on this side, then these two bolts are in the same location on the other side as well.
heater_core_trim_piece.jpg
Removing trim429 views1989 Astro Heater Core Replacement.

The smell of antifreeze when I used the heater told me that it was past time to change the heater core in my 89 Astro. It's a job I dreaded due to previous experiences with other vehicles, but it wasn't too bad actually. In fact, disassembly is a snap, but I had to get a touch creative to get it back together.

I removed the engine cover first; don't know if it's necessary, but it always seems like I have to do it no matter what I'm up to. Hey, that's the mighty 305 all nestled in the engine bay, by the way.
Next, remove the four Phillips headed screws that hold the heater trim piece in place and then remove the trim piece. Actually, it will fall off when the last screw is removed. Lay it and the screws out of the way.
I failed to get a usable photo of the heater box cover removal, but it's the black object with the louvers you see behind my hand. Four 7mm hex headed screws hold it in place. You'll have to get at floor mat level to see them all, but they're not bad to get at. Unscrew those fasteners and remove the heater box cover. Once that's off, you still won't see the heater core, though. That's because it's behind the heater core cover, located on the right of the heater box, and is held in place by three screws, also 7mm headed. An upcoming photo will give more detail on the location.
hose_connections.jpg
Connections at firewall494 viewsUnder the hood, on the passenger side of the firewall, you'll see the heater core hose connections. Drain the radiator (it holds about 6 quarts) and remove the heater hoses. You will probably also have to remove the heater blower motor relay and fuel pump relay bracket to make the hose removal easier, as I've done here. By the way, the silver relay is for the blower motor; the back relay is for the fuel pump.
Another note: I drain the radiator by use of a small hand pump. I snake the suction line of the pump down past the transmission cooler in the radiator tank until the hose bottoms, then I pump the coolant into a container. Sure beats trying to catch the antifreeze in a basin of some type after opening the radiator drain. And I'm getting old, guys, so I don't care to wallow around on the ground searching for the radiator drain if I don't have to.
DCP6626.jpg
Looking for room to mount the pump3148 viewsAnother side view from the rear looking forward.

Last additions
trim.jpg
351 viewsJan 27, 2011
0706091721.jpg
480 viewsJust threw that in it got black interior three years ago.This was during its tranformation process.Jan 23, 2011
van_front_paint.jpg
425 viewsI just painted it and pulled off masking tape pulled it out front for photo op.Sent pic to mom she was worried about it.She bought it new.Jan 23, 2011
van_at_walmart.jpg
480 viewsGirly man tires I used to paint it and bumper put onJan 23, 2011