Heater Core replacement for 3 vent - 2003 Malibu

hemlockhemlock Posts: 126 Baller
My heater core finally bit the bullet and leaks.
Yanked it out, and now looking online, it appears heatercraft makes a new core (for 3 vent - 300h) and it requires a new box and blower. Anyone know if there is an automotive equivalent? or do you think some dealers still may carry the old style?
Here's a pic, from bakesonline, I have the older one.
I'm really hoping I don't have to buy a whole new system.


  • eyepeelereyepeeler Posts: 160 Baller
    To me, the heater is an important part of your boat, especially if you ski year-round. My wife used to like the heater even on July evenings in Tennessee. I would update to the new core, box and blower if you can't find an old style core anywhere. October will be here before you know it.
    Matt Dillon
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 411 Crazy Baller
    I used a local radiator shop, simply took the old heater core to them and they matched it to a new one. Works great, cost $50.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,064 Mega Baller
    Seem to recall there's a Napa model that fits. Does Heatercraft not sell just the core anymore? I've replaced a few cores in the past and never needed entire new box.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 203 Baller
    Last time I did it I took it to a local radiator shop. They can repair or replace it
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,476 Mega Baller
    @UWSkier, HeaterCraft redesigned their core a while back. Older models cannot take the new replacement core. That is why they are recommending a new box and blower. I just replaced mine this year, but I was lucky enough to have the new design and just needed the core.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • DekeDeke Posts: 374 Baller
    My 99 RLX went through several cores in it's first few years which were replaced by HC. The last one was the whole new box and all due to the new design, which was to supposed to correct those issues. It worked! Haven't had one go bad since.
  • BongoBongo Posts: 32 Baller
    Common replacements were the heater cores from mid-1970's Ford vehicles; F-100, Vans or maybe a Thunderbird. NAPA 660-3100 is one that looks closest; $30.

    I know in my case when I did this a few years ago, I had to slightly trim the tin on the box where the inlet goes.
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 202 Baller
    I thought I heard that they used to use normal automotive cores (like the old ford one above), but switched to stainless or something non corrosive so it lasts longer. Maybe that’s the “new” one.
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 126 Baller
    Thanks, I have a local rad shop near my place. I will try that and see if they can either repair it or fabricate one for me.
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 411 Crazy Baller
    My shop has been able to locate a new replacement each time I have used them. I've had 2 replacements in the past 10 years. They said it was likely due to the jarring of the tubes incurred from the wakes. Our lake water is pure and clean so that made sense to me.
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