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Its an a/c box so there is a lot more in that box than just the heater core. You're probably gonna have to pull the dash. Other option is to delete the core by looping the hoses. But I'm sure you probably want things to work the way they are suppose to.
 

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1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Its an a/c box so there is a lot more in that box than just the heater core. You're probably gonna have to pull the dash. Other option is to delete the core by looping the hoses. But I'm sure you probably want things to work the way they are suppose to.
Yep. I started taking the dash out yesterday, gonna take my time with it so I don’t mess anything up. My biggest issue will be cracking that box and not getting rusty “coolant” everywhere.
In the meantime I discovered my alternator is probably roached. I think it didn’t like the tension on the V-belt after doing the motor mounts/timing
 

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You could try flushing the heater core with water first. A few minutes with the garden hose. Once that is done, most of the rust will be out of there. When you do remove it, water will be the only thing spilled.
 

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1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
You could try flushing the heater core with water first. A few minutes with the garden hose. Once that is done, most of the rust will be out of there. When you do remove it, water will be the only thing spilled.
That’s a good idea, but I think there’s a good amount of rusty water sitting in the heater box after leaking out. Some ended up coming out of the A/C drain, but there’s a probably a good bit in the box.
 

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I always flush the core, prior to removal. Even if it’s not rusty, I don’t want coolant in the carpet. Pull the resistor pack and flush the box...

Some people cut the box to pull the core, then make a trim plate to cover the access hole. I pull the dash.

-Todd
 

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Thinking about it, you realize you need to split the box on the bench, right? There’s a bunch of stuff in the box, that’ll fall apart, once the box is split. Getting to the front clips, will be impossible. Getting the box back together in the car, would be a nightmare.

Unless your box halves are leaking, there should be no reason why rusty coolant would be draining out. Cap the nipple and get the box out of the car.

This is why some choose to cut the box. The way I do it, is lot more work... the advantage is you get to thoroughly clean the box, refoam your dampers, mod the box for side vent heat, etc..

-Todd
 

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1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thinking about it, you realize you need to split the box on the bench, right? There’s a bunch of stuff in the box, that’ll fall apart, once the box is split. Getting to the front clips, will be impossible. Getting the box back together in the car, would be a nightmare.

Unless your box halves are leaking, there should be no reason why rusty coolant would be draining out. Cap the nipple and get the box out of the car.

This is why some choose to cut the box. The way I do it, is lot more work... the advantage is you get to thoroughly clean the box, refoam your dampers, mod the box for side vent heat, etc..

-Todd
I’m thinking more and more of cutting it and catching the liquid that drains out in some sort of tub. Some plastic on the carpet ought to help channel it in.

Secondly - any tips on getting the pivot bolt out that hooks up to the AC bracket?
Every problem I’m having seems to be revolved around this garbage AC that doesn’t work.
 

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Scared you off, that quickly, lol?

If you want to go the cut route, I’d still flush the box. Get as much garbage out, as you can, then cut. Maybe some plastic sheeting under the box splaying into the foot wells, and some old towels. You should be able to contain any residual water in the box.

I forget how that York setup was... I vaguely recall a hidden hex socket nut... been decades.

Your attitude towards the non-working AC system was how I felt, decades ago. I didn’t understand it, never learned how it worked, and was always sweating in the summer. I’d try and find out what’s wrong with it... could be something as stupid as a bad binary switch, leaking hose, wrong coil air gap, etc..

-Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Scared you off, that quickly, lol?

If you want to go the cut route, I’d still flush the box. Get as much garbage out, as you can, then cut. Maybe some plastic sheeting under the box splaying into the foot wells, and some old towels. You should be able to contain any residual water in the box.

I forget how that York setup was... I vaguely recall a hidden hex socket nut... been decades.

Your attitude towards the non-working AC system was how I felt, decades ago. I didn’t understand it, never learned how it worked, and was always sweating in the summer. I’d try and find out what’s wrong with it... could be something as stupid as a bad binary switch, leaking hose, wrong coil air gap, etc..

-Todd
There’s a hidden 6mm hex under the bracket that is a mother to get to. I just found the 9mm hex on the outside that I think I’ll be able to get better leverage on.
I plan on reviving the AC somehow! The only way I’ll get my wife in the car in the Sacramento summers!
 

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Iirc, the 6mm should be on the battery side and will pull from that side. It’s just a long socket cap.

My first GTI had working AC that leaked. I didn’t know how to find the leak, so I pulled the system...

I remember when buying GTIs and standard Rabbits.... pulling the AC system was the first thing I’d do.... probably worked fine, but didn’t work at the time.

I rationalized it as a handling improvement, since the York compressor and bracket weighed close to 50lbs....

Ah, to be young again.... I was almost clueless...

-Todd
 

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Iirc, the 6mm should be on the battery side and will pull from that side. It’s just a long socket cap.

My first GTI had working AC that leaked. I didn’t know how to find the leak, so I pulled the system...

I remember when buying GTIs and standard Rabbits.... pulling the AC system was the first thing I’d do.... probably worked fine, but didn’t work at the time.

I rationalized it as a handling improvement, since the York compressor and bracket weighed close to 50lbs....

Ah, to be young again.... I was almost clueless...

-Todd
The leaks are usually the Crappy gasket on the "Snorkel" on the rain tray. My Diesel P.U. leaked until I pulled the snorkel to do some work found the foam gasket was a little bit of powdert. I used some good closed cell foam gasket material to replace it & no more leaks during the usual PNW Rainy season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
As the wife is sweating and complaining, remind her of the handling improvement....

is that everything in the box? The crank pulley and all brackets?

-Todd
Missing the crank pulley, and both of the condensor bits.
She’s due with a baby in 2 days. She ain’t going near that death trap, haha.
 

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There are two that I see semi regularly around downtown; a brown early Westy and a... blue? series 1. And if you drive through East Sac at the right time you might see my brown turd lurking in the garage. There are more than you'd think, and also way more Vortex lurkers than I ever realized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Completed the heater core replacement and gave a good cleaning to the heater box.
Removed the AC condenser in the box.
Flushed the rusty coolant and changed out the water pump (Urö) and expansion tank (Dorman unit sucks, by the way). Treated with Thermocure to get the rust out of the cooling system.
Hoping to replace with Zerex G05 this weekend and have a much healthier cooling system.
 
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