If you notice the smell of antifreeze in the interior of your 1997 Ford Thunderbird or your windows become foggy even when your defrost is on, it may be a sign that your heater core has worn out and needs to be replaced–preferably before the heater core starts to leak antifreeze inside the vehicle. Replacing the heater core in a 1997 T-Bird can be time consuming, but it’s not impossible.
Tools Used: Tools, Safety glasses, Screwdriver, Socket set
Replace Heater Core
Disconnect the battery cables under the hood and remove the dash panel inside for easy access to the heater core. Discharge the air conditioning system at the service ports, then take the pressure hoses off. You may want to seal the ends of the hoses to prevent debris from settling inside the hoses. Drain part of the cooling system and remove the heater hoses from the heater core tubes. Plug the ends of these tubes also.
Unscrew the screw holding the air inlet duct and blower support bracket underneath the dash. Remove the vacuum supply hose from the inline vacuum check valve under the hood. Disconnect the wiring connector for the blower. Under the hood are two nuts that hold the evaporator case to the firewall; remove both nuts and set aside.