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16 September 2003
Columbus, Ohio
A sort-of HONDA related heater core story – 1968 still in high school working as a night mechanic/gas pumper at a US PURE gas station. I was riding to work on a Honda 305 scrambler and a customer with a 60-something mustang 289 wanted to race me, or maybe my big mouth was an issue(?) After about an 8th mile I was ahead just about one car length(he would have certainly passed me shortly), but I looked over and his entire cabin was filled with WHITE SMOKE as he had blown his heater core netting him ZERO visibility. The poor guy was able to safely stop but I’m sure his lungs took a beating. Decades later I still cannot stop myself from laughing (I was a chevy /honda guy). Now to business - I developed a small leak in my 92 R-12 evaporator and decided I should also do the heater core although it was NOT bad. I talked to Christian at ATR-Racing and he told me he did not know if the available newer alum heater cores would fit. I told him to get me whatever he could and that i “would make it work” (famous last words). After doing Joe G’s excellent foam kit to rebuild the HVAC unit seals, I realized that the newer core was a bit different. The core portion looks identical and the piping location thru the front firewall is located the same, but the piping in and out of the core is very different. It comes out of the side and not at the top like OE. Bottom line it does just barely fit although it requires a good bit of plastic trimming (see pics). I wouldn’t expect your local parts replacer mechanic to handle this. A “recoreing” of the OE core is a possibility. I’m thinking that this post only applies to a 91/92 as an OE 134 car likely has an HVAC unit designed for the newer core. A huge bonus for me is the newer alum core is 1 ¾ lbs lighter than the OE copper- whoopee! Now back to the “pleasure” of putting all this back together.


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