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Old 7th December 2013, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
blitzer_bhoy is working on an R35 GTR
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Glasgow
Cars owned: Civic Coupe, Toyota Supra, Honda Prelude Motegi 2.2vti, R33 GTST Type M Stage 1, R33 GTR VSpec Stage 1, Civic Type R, R32 GTR
Posts: 1,123
R32 GTR Heater Matrix Radiator Core Replacement

I thought id right a quick note on the symptoms and how to sort it.

Firstly, if you have steam in your windows or your passenger side carpet is wet and loosing coolant. Chances are your Heater Matrix radiator core is gubbed...

Dont panic, you have a bodge that is a temp fix, but you wont have any warm air in the blowers, allows you to drive the car around. I just took the two coolant pipes that connect into the firewall, passenger side, and bought a 90 elbow from a plumbers merchants and connected them together. Allowed me to drive the car without loosing coolant!

Firstly there are many people selling these second hand cores, that will be almost as old as your current one, if not older, for silly rip off money, you know who you are!!!! rip off merchants!!!! ...

What I found out is Conceptua Tuning have asked a company to manufacture new ones for the R32 (As far as I am aware they are the same for the R33 's but not 100% sure) for around £99. Which honestly in my view is a much better way of replacing with a new one and believe me you DONT want to replacing this thing any time soon! its an awkward fidly job but not that hard when you know how.

So all in all, either get your arse felt for a second hand one thats about £10 quid cheaper from the rip off merchants out there and take a gamble that it will start leaking again, or spend a few more quid and get a new one..no brainer.

Right, now to dispel some myths:

Myth Number 1: You need to remove the dash. Complete bollocks

Myth Number 2: You need to take the fan blower and A/C condenser core out. Nope, you ONLY need to take the AC Condenser out to access the Heater Radiator Matrix core.

Myth Number 3: R32 GTST and R32 GTR Radiator matrix cores are different. They are NOT, they are same. Likely that R33 ones are same too, but not 100% sure.

How to:

Step 1: Remove the glovebox (be careful there is a small guide cable I think it controls the light?) and kick plate (housing the ECU). Theres just screws and they are easily visible.

Step 2: On the left hand side of where the glove box is and where it meets the door remove the bottom section of what forms part of the dash, small plastic trim.

Step 3: Behind the glove box there is a metal support bar, unscrew 4 screws, get it out of the way.

Step 4: on the top side of where glove box was there is a plastic cover that is worth removing it clips onto the metal tubing that runs along the length of the dash. Few screws and its off.

Step 5: Now youre looking at the Blower, AC/condenser. The blower is on the left and AC condenser thingy is the big black box.

Step 6: Now head into the engine bay and disconnect the AC Pipes, top and bottom. Obviously get it professionally de-gassed first.

Step 7: Disconnect the water pipes top and bottom that connect to the Heater Matrix Rad, that are at the back of the engine bay passenger side to the left of the AC pipes.

Step 8: Now back in the cabin, you will see a connecter right infront of you on the AC condenser black box disconnect and have a look around there is around 4 screws that keep the AC condenser box in place. Once you unscrewed them start jimmying the box towards you, dont be too harsh as there is a couple of connectors on top that need to be unclipped. But dont be a fairy touch either! It needs some persuasion and will come out.

Step 9: once out you will now see the two plastic pipes that connect to the radiator matrix. Upper right hand side almost in line with the Gear stick. This is where the fun begins, there are 4 small screws that keep each of pipes connected through the firewall onto the radiator matrix core, bottom one is a piece of piss.
Unscrew and pull the plastic pipe out from through the firewall and gives you more room.

Top one be a little careful as there is a metal rod valve connected, that controls hot coolant in and out, unscrew it and gently move it out of the way enough to be able to get access to the wee radiator.

Step 9: Slide the old Rad out.

Step 10: Refit the new one, just slides in screw on the small inlet and outlet coolant pipes with the gaskets that come with the new kit.

Step 11: Connect the water pipes back in the engine bay.

Step 12: This is where i wanted to test for any leaks, so i decide to run the car up to temperature without the AC box all connected back up in place, i just connected the cables to the AC condenser box with connectors all plugged in and checked for no leaks on the radiator core. Once youre satisfied that the rad is getting warm and no leaks. Just refit everything backwards and connect it all back up.

Took me around 3 hours, if i had to do it again, god forbid, it would take around 2 hours now.

You will need to bleed your coolant as you will have lost some and there will be some air in there too.

I will post some pics to aid the above when i get round to taking them off my phone!

Last edited by blitzer_bhoy; 7th December 2013 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 7th December 2013, 03:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
Natbrat300 is wondering if any other car can live up to theR32GTR! The answer is no :-(
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Surrey
Cars owned: R32 GTR & Qashqai+2.
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Excellent post and very informative.
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