View Full Version : is this the same thing? (oem vs aftermarket heater core)

01-16-2007, 07:33 PM
Yeah, it's yet another heater core question...

So I pulled my old heater core this weekend. Anyway, this is the oem core that came out of my car ('91 ST).


And here it is beside the replacement:


Is it me, or do these two look nothing alike? The replacement core is narrower and the pipe outlet doesn't even look the same. I'm scratching my head going, 'no way does this thing fit in my car.' Am I supposed to bend the pipes or cut them to fit or something?

The crazy thing is the part numbers match and this looks exactly like the pic on the website (I ordered it off partsamerica for $60), and it's the only one listed on NAPA. The other option for my car is the $150 brass/copper core which looks just like my oem one. So....what the crap. Am I missing something or is this the wrong part?

01-17-2007, 01:13 AM
Never mind, I can answer my own question. I looked up Toyota part numbers online:

5th gen heater core: #87107-20550.
88-89 heater core: #87101-20400

ReadyAire/Proliance site: "398295 can only be used to replace the following competitor's parts: Toyota #87107-20400"

I don't know why ReadyAire and all the online retailers market it as being for a 5th gen. I'm so pissed off right now.

So for future reference, if you have a 5th gen celi with a busted heater core, don't try to save money and buy the $60 aftermarket replacement. :duh:

01-17-2007, 01:15 AM
This is why you don't buy aftermarket parts......

I don't know about the narrower, but the pipes MIGHT work.
There are 2 pipes that attach to the 2 stock pipes on the original heater core.
What do they look like?
With them attached does it resemble the aftermarket one at all?

01-17-2007, 02:12 AM
The stock pipes stick out more or less horizontal and upward away from the core and through the firewall. The aftermarket pipes don't even point in the same direction...you'd have to have pipes that would loop around and make kind of a figure 8 to make them fit through the holes in the firewall, I think.

I'm probably going to take the oem core to a radiator shop and see if they can rebuild it or something.

01-17-2007, 04:10 PM
Radiator shop can refit it with the proper pipes, or you could do it yourself if you have a 4.oo mini pipe cutter, propaine tourch, solder,emery cloth and solder flux and know how to solder copper pipe.

Here is another idea that could work . Put 1/2 in or appropiate size black iron pipe nipples through holes in firewall and hook motor compartment side to heater hoses.
Cut off copper pipes about 3 inches fron core and attach rubber heater hose from
core to pipe nipples.

This could only work if you had enough room inside heater core box, but if you have the room , it should work. Secure all hose connections with worm gear clamps.

Radiator shop should do pipe for 30.oo to 60.oo, so that is about what you could save,less the cost of extra heater hose,nipples & clamps.

Oh--Oh , excuse me, please ! Ithought you were going to bring the new core to the radiator shop and have them cut & then solder on the correct piping.
If the could repair your old core, it might be cheaper 4 you if you can get a refund on
the new core.
The old core may be too corroded to repair, or not. Good luck & tell us how you made out.