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I bought a set of stainless steel heater tubes from a vendor who strongly recommended that I replace the steel tubes. After removing the shifter linkage and shifter box, I can now see into the tunnel and I'm having second thoughts about trying to remove the heater tubes.

The tubes run through two sets of brackets which seem to be solidly welded to the tunnel. To try and remove them looks to be a nightmare of a job that once started, there's no turning back.

It bugs me not being able to replace the tubes as I have a freshly built engine and will be installing a new aluminum radiator, new aluminum pressure and overflow tanks as well as new stainless steel water tubes.

My heater tubes have some corrosion at the ends on the outside and inside, but they look pretty intact. When hooking up a hose they seem to flow water freely.

I was wondering if there was any type of material that I could run through them to remove the corrosion inside and prevent them from further corrosion. Since I'm on the east coast, I definately want to be able to use the heater. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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I assume you are talking about coolant tubes that run under the car not heater tubes that run inside the center console on later cars (those should be jsut hose)?

The original long coolant tube can only be removed with the engie out, that is if you wnat to reuse it. As you don't the esaiest method is to run a sawzall through it and remnove in two pieces. The vendor kit should have a two piece replacement for that one long tube which are joined with a straight section of hose making it a relatively simple task. IMO it's worth doing now you have the kit in hand.

Julian, I believe DW is talking about the tubes that run coolant from the engine to the heater core under the dash. Those tubes were seriously corroded on my car and a real bear to remove and replace. They are routed thru the tunnel next to the shift rod. I made a pair from some stainless steel tubing. DW is correct very difficult. I imagine rubber hoses would be just as effective.
I'm referring to the steel tubes (a little larger than 5/8" diameter) that run through the tunnel that the heater hoses connect to. I have the engine out and will be using the long one piece coolant tubes under the car. This would also be the best time to access the heater tubes, but this job may be over my head.
Originally posted by DW:
I was wondering if there was any type of material that I could run through them to remove the corrosion inside and prevent them from further corrosion. ......

If you elect to not replace them, then keeping the coolant mix at a 50/50 level, and using deionized or even distilled water will arrest any corrosion that has started.

I was in a similar position a month ago, and realized that it wasn't worth the hassle. The previous owner neglected the coolant system, and caused the corrosion.

I wouldn't try and acid flush and coat the tubes with something, similar to reconditioning a fuel tank, because that may cause more problems than it solves.
Once you make the difficult decision to R & R the heater pipes in the car, it's advisable to begin using some sort of anti-corrosion fluid in your cooling system. One East Coast owner DISSOLVED two new aluminum radiators in 1 yr with his local water. Luckily, Fluidyne warrantied both assembles... They now include a bottle of No-Rosion with every radiator sold, and recommend its use.
Once you decide to replace the old pipes with ss, remember you need not actually remove the old mild steel pipes. You can run new ones alongside the old with less trouble than digging the old ones out. They do not need to be bracketed as substantially as the stockers. You can also replace the two short, failure-prone rubber heater hoses with compression fittings or ANs at the same time, to eliminate yet another potential problem down the line.
Dave2811, I will probably follow your lead and hopefully will be leaving well enough alone. My system was also neglected and the car had shut off valves installed that were corroded shut, so more than likely the heater may have never been used. I mix my antifreeze 50/50 with distilled water. That with using the No-rosion additive may be all that I need to do.

Bosswrench, agreed that there is plenty of room inside the tunnel without removing the old tubes. But, the rear tunnel opening is pretty small, how would the new pipes be able to exit there with the old tubes in place? Your idea is intriguing, but I'm not sure how I would be able to pull it off. How I wish you were here to give me a hand with this.


The Ford era cars have the heater matrix feed pipes welded in brackets within the tunnel. No fun to get out -- major surgery to actually get them out. Good option to just leave them alone and install something else alongside.

I am ripping mine out and installing stainless ones though. I can't stand having those rusty things in my car.

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