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RE: 90q heater core --- symptoms and BTDT?

This is a bit of an easy way out, but what the heck it worked for me.  I
had a similar problem with my '91 90Q 20V.  Humidity in the defrost air
and the smell of antifreeze.  Before I went through the time and expense
of digging into the heater core, I invested in a $3 can of Barr's Leak
(the stuff you dump in your radiator when you spring a leak).  It
worked!  Worked so well I never had the problem again for the next two
winters that I owned the car.  I never did actually inspect the core for
the leak, so it possibly could have been leaking elsewhere.  But the
quick-fix worked that time.  I figured I had nothing to lose other than
$3 -- which ended up saving me a lot.  Good luck.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Andrei Kogan [SMTP:abk@phy.duke.edu]
> Sent:	Friday, November 06, 1998 2:28 PM
> To:	quattro@coimbra.ans.net
> Subject:	90q heater core --- symptoms and BTDT?
> Hello,
> I think we got a leaky heater core, or something in there. I would
> like to
> order it and do the work next weekend, and have a couple of questions.
> 1. Is my diagnosis right? When I turn on the heat, I can smell
> antifreeze
> and the windshield fogs up. The problem is, I don't see any physical
> leaks,
> and the level doesn't drop noticeably. Maybe, it's a very small leak.
> 2. I would kinda like to get the core before I start, so I don't have
> to
> wait for it with the car disassembled. However, I wonder if there are
> other
> parts in there that are likely to leak coolant. Connecting hoses, for
> example. Can I be pretty sure that the core itself is the problem or
> should
> I take the dash apart first and see what is wrong?
> 3. What else should I replace along the way ? Foam, gaskets, o-rings,
> or
> some such items? I have no idea what it looks like inside, any
> suggestions?
> I heard many people experienced problems with rotten foam which either
> allowed heat to escape from the vents before delivering it to the
> passenger
> compartment, or allowed the hot and cold air to mix. 
> 4. How do I wash off the nasty stuff that ended up on the inside of
> the
> windshield while we ran the heater for a little while? I am presuming
> its
> the antifreeze vapor deposits, nasty, nasty greasy stuff which make
> the car
> inoperable at night because of glare. I tried windex with no luck. 
> 5. It seems that the 80/90 heater is a weak point, compared to the 4k.
> I
> haven't seen any posts regarding the 4k core leaks, yet for 80/90
> there are
> plenty, and those are newer cars. 
> 6. Anyone who worked on the heater core in the 80/90 (ours has A/C)
> please
> let me know if there are any special things to watch out for. If
> anyone has
> a step-by-step procedure, that would be great!
> Many,many thanks.
> Andrei