Well, as many of you know last winter the heater core in my Ram took a crap.. Not wanting to spend a small fortune at a shop, nor wanting to pull the dash out of my truck I put up with the cold for the rest of the winter, and a few winter trips this winter. Now that I am married, I sometimes choose to do what I"m asked (told) to do and after the last snow trip i was asked many times to replace the heater core, so.. I did. I got started about 930am and by 1030am the dash was pretty much lose and ready to come out. Just start by removing all the obvious stuff, light switch, glove box, etc.. If your dash is as rotten as mine, which it probably is you will most likely have to buy a replacement top, or if you are like me just put as much back in as you can and cover it with a dash mat. The airbag comes out super easy, but make sure you disconnect the battery first. After the glove box is out there is a small trim panel with two screws that will come out revealing several screws and three 10mm bolts. Remove all of that, and look underneath where the glove box was and there will be two more 10mm bolts. Then carefully slide the airbag out, and disconnect the one plug and your golden. The only other "big" item you need to move is the steering column. Once all the plastic pieces are off, there will be two nuts holding the column up, just take those off and make sure you're hanging onto the wheel. Let it down gently and it'll be fine just chillin there. There is one large bolt on each side of the dash, underneath. Start with removing the plastic floor trim pieces along the kick panel, then remove the pieces that go up underneath the dash. You'll see a 13mm bolt with a metal bracket hooked around it, just loosen the bolt a bit on each side and the dash will slide up from the bolt. The main trick with this project is just go slow, and don't force it. It will practically fall off the fire wall once you have removed all the bolts/screws.
As you can see here, Lucy tried giving me a helping hand, but we both soon realized that Lucy does not have any hands..
At this point, I was really thinking it'd be super easy with another person to just take the dash clear out of the truck, but I didn't have another person with me so I phoned a Bob and he was there within seconds. Now with two people trying to remove it we realized that there are far to many wires attached to the backside to make it worth removing, so we tied it up to the grab handle and did it that way. \
This, is the heatercore, the bronze looking thing with the pipes going into the firewall.
Before I realized how to do it the right way, I cut the pips off the old core with a hacksaw to get it out, but I still couldn't get the pipes out of the firewall.
After doing some research, as shown here..
We realized that there are four studs on the engine bay side of the firewall with nuts that need to be removed. One is behind the engine, one is behind the PCM that can be removed with 3 screws, and the other two are in line behind the A/C lines. There are also two studs on the inside of the firewall, one is right by the A pillar and faces towards the floor, the other has a ground strap attached to it right by the heater core with two nuts... do NOT forget to put the ground strap back on.
After the nuts are off, the two A/C lines that go through the firewall will need to be disconnected, make sure you drain the freon first. Then you will be able to pull/push the black box inside away from the firewall and lift the old core out, and put the new one in. From that point just put it all back the way you found it. If you don't have a good size handfull of screws left over, you did it wrong lol
Here is what my upper dash looked like after I tried removing it... it shattered like glass.
Should be able to keep warm now
Thankyou again Bob for your help!