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1997 f150 heater core replacement

If you have had your 1997 f150 any length of time you have probably heard about the heater cores.  Some people that have had to go through the pain of replacing their heater core multiple times because of low grade replacement parts.

Common Symptoms

Loss of heat

Smell of antifreeze in the cab

Antifreeze on the ground under the truck (passenger side near the firewall)

Antifreeze on the passenger floor board.


The most common sign of any heater core failure is the smell of antifreeze.  After that you may or may not notice some of the other symptoms.


Now on to the problems

When my heater core went out I knew this wasn’t a job I wanted to tackle if I could help it.  I called around and got prices from $700-$900.  Since the heater core is somewhere between $30-$60 I decided that was a lot of labor and tackled the project.


Replacing 97 f150 heater core

I did my research and found that although this was a time consuming job, it wasn’t particularly difficult.   Most of the time is spent removing the dash (well setting the dash on the seat).

My advise

-Buy a quality heater core replacement.  This job is mostly labor you don’t want to do again.  Spring for a brand with positive reviews.  This isn’t something you want to do again in 6 months.

Ready-Aire 0398343 Heater Core

-Get the heater hose disconnect tool Like this one on Amazon

-I used f150 heater core replacement guide and it took all the guess work out of the heater core replacement.  I found it years ago on a truck forum. I would like to give proper credit, but there isn’t a name on it and it is next to impossible to see who started passing it around first.

I think I spent about 8-10 hrs doing this, if I had to do it again I could shave a good couple hours off that time.

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