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The valve, the cores themselves on a c900 are pretty damn stout/overbuilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to know!

I think I'll be calling the shop then. They told me 3hrs labor to replace a heater core, and a new core is about $230. I've got a spare valve, so if it's just a valve reseal/replace that's not too bad.
 

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I honestly don't think I've ever replaced a c900 heater core. That damn valve on the other hand......pretty sure I bought an 8 inch long 4mm allen socket with a swivel tip for just such occasions
 

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Heater control valve leaks are very common, heater core leaks are not. A shop likely is going to want to replace both - in there mind, this will be done to avoid a potential "comeback". Shame of it is, the new heater control valve it going to be a scan-tech... you might get 6 months out of it, that are total crap, and now the only option.
 

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Hey, this just happened to me and just had it replaced!
Of course like delorean said, with a scan-tech one. Eek.

But......after running the car (with nice heat now) I'm discovering coolant on my floor again, not half as much, and not in the amount, but what could it be?! This is after I've run the car 3 days, and now its coming on in.
 

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Hey, this just happened to me and just had it replaced!
Of course like delorean said, with a scan-tech one. Eek.

But......after running the car (with nice heat now) I'm discovering coolant on my floor again, not half as much, and not in the amount, but what could it be?! This is after I've run the car 3 days, and now its coming on in.
It could still be the new heater valve, the Scan-tech ones are horrible pieces of crap and unfortunately the only option for a new one now. I experienced a leaky heater core in an '84 900S years ago, one symptom was a mist of coolant coming out of the dash vents.
 

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Nothing sucks like having the valve take a shit on you and spew hot coolant on your feet!!! If you suspect failure, don't waste time!!! Get it replaced before it screws you!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nothing sucks like having the valve take a shit on you and spew hot coolant on your feet!!! If you suspect failure, don't waste time!!! Get it replaced before it screws you!!!
I bought the car with the coolant lines bypassing the heater core. The heater core currently does not have any coolant running through it.

Thus, I suspect it was bypassed for a reason, being it was leaking... but I don't know.

Are all of the plastic valves the scantech ones, or are there oem plastic ones? I have a spare (used) plastic heatercore valve in a box of random parts that I am assuming is still good...
 

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Are all of the plastic valves the scantech ones, or are there oem plastic ones? I have a spare (used) plastic heatercore valve in a box of random parts that I am assuming is still good...
All of the valves that you can buy new are Scantech, unfortunately, the OEM ones are NLA as of about a year ago. They were fairly expensive ($150 or so if I remember correctly) but far superior to the Scantech crap. About 8 years ago I tried to save some money by putting a Scantech valve in my '85 900S, it lasted a couple of months before it began leaking so I just had to end up going with an OEM valve and it still works great to this day (I sold the car this past Saturday).

I've actually got a couple of used OEM heater valves that I'm keeping on hand for my '89 900S, every time I see a C900 at the junkyard I'll grab the heater valve if it's still good. I recommend you do the same.

Someone needs to really come out with a seal kit to rebuild the OEM valves, I've taken them apart and they are pretty simple, it's just that not all of the seals aren't standard O-rings.
 

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The one that I had crack on me went right behind the rubber boot as it goes through the firewall. Might be a good place to start...
 

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You can grab the heater core & control valve as an assembly from the junk yard. If you need a heater control valve, it's really the way to go at this point. The scan-tech valves are not worth the paper they are made out of. It is reasonably easy to determine if a heater control valve is probably good at the junk yard.
 

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Someone needs to really come out with a seal kit to rebuild the OEM valves, I've taken them apart and they are pretty simple, it's just that not all of the seals aren't standard O-rings.
Whomever on Saabrally.com that figured out the rebuild parts list for the jackshaft waterpumps should be set to task on this.

It is reasonably easy to determine if a heater control valve is probably good at the junk yard.
Yep, pee in them and see if they leak.
 

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I have a spare valve, but it is plastic. Are ALL plastic valves scantech, or were there any OEM valves that were also plastic?
It's scantech. This job is kind of a pain, just because you're on your back the whole time and those 4 damn bolts are hard to reach unless you have maybe a flex driver or something similar. Also, it can be a pain to keep those o-rings in place and get seated right when putting it together. I suggest using some spray tack, which just makes the surfaces sticky enough to hold the rings in place while you put it together without actually gluing anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Woohoo! I got lucky!


When I bought the car, the heater core was bypassed. The upper hose which comes off the water pump was bent around and plugged into the return.

It's a 1987 900 S non-turbo. It has a turbo dash though.

I removed the lower center console, and noticed that the studs that go through the fenders into the lower dash were already removed (probably from when they swapped in the new dash/gauge cluster?).

I pulled out the lower dash/knee guard, and at that point, I said 'fuck-it'.... I hooked up the hoses to the heater core and started the car. I figured with the lower dash removed it would be very obvious if there was a leak.

Within 2-3 minutes the heater was blowing very hot air, and there are no leaks from what I can tell. Why the hoses were disconnected, I have no idea. I'm going to leave the lower dash apart for a couple weeks just to make sure there are no leaks.
 

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Frequently the failure is simply that you can't turn the heat off. In the winter it don't really matter, but if you turn it to cold and are still getting warm air blowing it is very annoying in the summer time.
 
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