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Have you ever had a 4200 heater core issue & at what mileage

  • YES, 20K or less

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • YES, 20K-40K

    Votes: 14 21.2%
  • YES, 40K-60K

    Votes: 8 12.1%
  • YES, 60K-80K

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • YES, 80K-100K+

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • NO, 20K or less

    Votes: 8 12.1%
  • NO, 20K-40K

    Votes: 15 22.7%
  • NO, 40K-60K

    Votes: 7 10.6%
  • NO, 60K-80K

    Votes: 5 7.6%
  • NO, 80K-100K+

    Votes: 3 4.5%

  • Total voters
    66
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Has anyone just bypassed the heater core to avoid the potential damage without having an issue? I have a mint car, no signs or issues, but I live in Florida and never use my heat.

There are gradual signs right? No just a massive coolant explosion, that only happens in cars that people push it with a known issue right????

Losing sleep over this thing lol
 

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I’ve read (on these posts of it failing both ways). In our case it was not catastrophic ( and I don’t think that would common)
We had are car warmed up and about 2 mile from our house the windshield started fogging...even though the engine was warmed up, the humidity was low, And I think the A/C was on.
My wife said “ that’s funny why would the windshield start fogging up now”?
I noticed a small “fog” spot maybe 4x10”
And thought...oh crap
And then the whif of antifreeze as I leaned forward for a sniff.
And just to verify my suspicion further (so to know if we should turn around and go home)
I dragged my finger through the spot.
And it was confirmed.

When we got home a couple of minutes later I felt around behind the panel and felt/smelled the drips as well.

I don’t think they would normally fail spontaneously, because it would probably leak first and you would smell something wrong.

I ALSO feel they will ALL eventually fail. Unlike say a steel part, where if you kept it dry, it might take nearly forever to rust. (Say Arizona)... this design has plastic ends caps GLUED to the metal core.

This crappy design comes from the factory with antifreeze IN CONTACT with the glue, which holds it together. It’s in the core.
I think the only way you could keep the core from eventually failing is to DRAIN the core PREEMPTIVELY ( and do the bypass) .. but why would anyone do that if it hadn’t yet started to fail.
But I guess that wouldn’t be that crazy. If you don’t want to get antifreeze in your carpet or worse, the electronics, then a preemptive bypass might not be bad ( if you can live with no heat and only cold A/C defog (?). )
 

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What we did to prevent having issues with it in the future was:
  • buy a new one (alfa 166 part for like 25$)
  • send it to a workshop that builds custom spec radiators
  • have it replicated fully in aluminium
  • sweat for one day to install it
Here is a photo of it going in:
127608
 

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Mine started to show the signs a year ago and I did the bypass. Smelled the antifreeze, odd window fog. The bypass is easy, and preferable to removing the dash and/or having the gauges or electronics getting messed up.

Mileage and climate probably have nothing to do with if it fails, just more with when. I drive mine 80 miles a month, and baby it in the garage, yet it still happened.
 

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Just about to tackle this job, does the aircon need to be degassed as part of the process?

Thanks
 

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Just about to tackle this job, does the aircon need to be degassed as part of the process?

Thanks
the AC evap stays in placeso no need to remove refrigerant.
see below, heater box is out leaving the evaporator in place

128421
 

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Thanks, meant the dash out core replacement so thanks for confirmation that the evap stays in place and no need to degas. My AC is fantastically cold so glad don't have to mess with it.
 

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Mine started to show the signs a year ago and I did the bypass. Smelled the antifreeze, odd window fog. The bypass is easy, and preferable to removing the dash and/or having the gauges or electronics getting messed up.

Mileage and climate probably have nothing to do with if it fails, just more with when. I drive mine 80 miles a month, and baby it in the garage, yet it still happened.
Hi everyone, to reiterate what others are saying about bypassing... does that mean I can preemptively drain it to prevent the problem from ever happening? I live in Southern California so I don't need the heater.
Second question, if a second hand Gransport had it fixed, would they have remedied the problem from happening again?
 

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Hi everyone, to reiterate what others are saying about bypassing... does that mean I can preemptively drain it to prevent the problem from ever happening? I live in Southern California so I don't need the heater.
Second question, if a second hand Gransport had it fixed, would they have remedied the problem from happening again?
First question, when doing the bypass you are unplugging the coolant in and out hoses from the firewall inside the engine bay. When you unplug each of those a good portion of coolant will drain from the heater core at the time. Be aware the heatercore isn't a large device so there won't be a ton that comes out. It's not like draining the entire coolant system.

Second question, you have no idea without talking to who owned the car when it was done. It all depends on whether they did a factory oem replacement, or went with the more solid aftermarket design. You really won't know without taking the dash apart which you definitely want to avoid.
 

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heater shut down

I have now for a few months a 2002 spyder with 29K miles on it. I bought it in the US in 2018. The seller never told me the central door lock is not working. Now it is shown the heater box is leaking and the relais is dead because of the leak. I think it is sold with this problem to me and i have now to repair it. Not a happy camper now, the repair is not sheap. I think i will do it myself with de replacement of the Saab core. Oh, i live in Europe Neherlands and yes, there are not much spyders in Europe. Everybody knew that the build of this car was not the most perfect one, and ttha is a understatement. But who cares it got 400+ horse, i drove it already with almost 300 km per our on the start and running way in the Netherlands:smile2:
Just bypass the core, it'll take 10 minutes and cost $5. These cars are no fun to drive in weather which requires heat anyway.
 

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Many years ago I had trouble with my inlet manifold leaking on my Triumph Stag, a renowned model with a marginal cooling system to say the least, so I decided to order the gaskets to sort the problem out and decided to get the gaskets from what most people see as the number 1 Triumph Stag guru in the world, when I told him what problem I was intending to sort his reply was "Stick a bottle of Radweld in the cooling system" So this brings me on to the heater core problems with the Maserati 4200, touch wood mine has been ok so far but it did get me wondering whether something like RadWeld or Barrs would fix a leaky heater core?
 

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Many years ago I had trouble with my inlet manifold leaking on my Triumph Stag, a renowned model with a marginal cooling system to say the least, so I decided to order the gaskets to sort the problem out and decided to get the gaskets from what most people see as the number 1 Triumph Stag guru in the world, when I told him what problem I was intending to sort his reply was "Stick a bottle of Radweld in the cooling system" So this brings me on to the heater core problems with the Maserati 4200, touch wood mine has been ok so far but it did get me wondering whether something like RadWeld or Barrs would fix a leaky heater core?
Bars Leaks or Radweld and other such products work as a "get me home" fix. I have used these on older, simple basic iron block (not alu) engines with simple rad cooling and with cars that a heater (core) was an optional extra. These have even been cars taking part in international rallys, touring and some track races, in a pinch. With the advent of engine/cooling systems having mixed metal/material blocks, heads, rardiators, cores etc the flow and beahviour of such liquid products becomes far less predictible. I have been invloved with the engineering anaylsis of these and similar products for both the military and commerical aerospace industries, the results of which bore out my familys car expereince - they work on simple systems, with like metalic materials, in a pinch get me home event. I for one would NEVER EVER use them in my cars or airplanes unless I was very desperate - including the years I was bush piloting in Alaska, where there were events that were life threatening.
 
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