Range Rover P38 Heater Core Replacement

Before purchasing a '95-'02 Range Rover ("P38") I read about all the problems and maintenance concerns that are well documented on RangeRovers.net, but I really liked the P38 as a compromise to the newer Range Rover ("L322") that I absolutely love but is WAAAY out of my budget. After acquiring the P38 that was right for me, I was only 2 weeks into ownership and one of the biggest known problems of the P38 reared it's ugly head: the heater core and it's o-rings leaking inside the cabin. Luckily, the task of changing out the o-rings on a Left Hand Drive (LHD) Range Rover is fairly easy using the shortcuts posted on the RangeRovers.net forum, but after sucessfully changing them I discovered that the coolant leak was actually coming from the heater core itself. After frantically searching RangeRovers.net and it's associated forums, I found a brief mention that the entire dash removal (along with the steering column) was NOT necessary for LHD vehicles if you "cut a bracket and bend something out of the way"... but... there were no detailed specifics or photos to elaborate the procedure further. So I decided to document my adventure of changing out the heater core without removing the dash to show the shortcuts involved with this task.

This is how far the passenger side interior needs to be disassembled. This includes cutting the rear passenger side duct in half and removing the lower half to access the heater core connections, as well as removing the passenger kick panel. Notice the plastic on the side of the center console has been cut out to give access to the upper duct screw and the heater core connection screw (with a long screw driver or extension).

One cut and a small notch needs to be made on a metal bracket under the dashboard so that the bottom of the dashboard can be bent out of the way slightly to slide the heater core out of it's compartment.

Three bolts at the bottom of the dashboard mounts need to be removed in the passenger footwell.

The bottom of the dash can now be pulled out just enough to slide the heater core out of it's compartment after the pipes have been disconnected and the lower distribution servo has been removed (two small screws).

Once the new heater core has been installed, the bracket that was cut is now braced with some aluminum flat stock and self tapping screws.

Brazeau Racing - Range Rover