View Full Version : golf mk3 1996 19d heater radiator. any help pls!!!!

19-09-2007, 03:23 PM
hello all,
i'm new to this forum but i need some help for my golf mk3 1996. i want to install a new radiator(the small one behind the dashboard) for the car heater to heat the inside of the car. the local vw shops said that i have to remove all the dashboard to do so and i have to remove the wiper motor etc.
do you have any ideas of how i could this in an easier way or can you tell me which is the easiest way to do so because i really need this heater to work especially in winter.

19-09-2007, 03:54 PM
You don't have to remove the wipers but you do have to remove the dash panel, there is no way around it. Just be glad you don't have air conditioning!

19-09-2007, 04:01 PM
hey thanks for replying.
but, i have air conditioning, it was fitted locally i bought the golf a few months ago and the heater was never connected. why is there something different that i have to do for the air condition?
i replace the air condition's filter from that plastic under my wipers so it is on the left side of the car.

so i have to remove the dashboard from both right and left sides to install my heater.

thanks a lot for your patience

19-09-2007, 11:06 PM
So you have aftermarket air conditioning then?

20-09-2007, 08:21 AM
yes i have one, but i don't know if i have to remove it or anything to remove the dashboard.
i'm going to install the heater next saturday starting in the morning because i think it takes a lot of time.
i just wanted to know if i have to remove anything else or disconnect anything before removing the dashboard.

20-09-2007, 09:26 AM
You really don't appreciate what you are about to undertake do you? It takes me or one of my mechanics nearly two full days to do this job on a car with A/C and we have done literally hundreds of these over the years and this takes into account the car having proper factory A/C, who knows how an aftermarket system is going to affect the job, I have never done one. I have, however, just installed a used Diavia A/C system into a Golf 2 which has an almost identical heater box (in fact it uses the same matrix) and that was nothing short of shear hell to do, the aftermarket nature of the system making it very difficult to work with the heater box. To remove the dash you need to remove the steering wheel and air bag (if fitted), centre consul, lower dash covers etc. When the dash is out, you are faced with huge across the car (A pillar to A pillar) steel crash beam that is a nightmare to work around (don't try removing it) which supports the fuse box. To pull the air box back enough to access the top of the matrix area, you will have to disconnect the A/C so that means having it professionally degassed first as disconnecting the system without degassing can lead to serious freeze burns. One thing I would strongly recommend is not to use an aftermarket heater matrix under any circumstances. I know the price being a quarter of a genuine VW unit is tempting but every single aftermarket matrix I have ever fitted has failed and so I will only use genuine VW units, which also fail. One I did about four years ago was for a chap who travels up here (Nottingham) from London and the new genuine matrix I fitted failed within weeks (and I had just fitted a full new VAG engine so it wasn't a head gasket issue). The VW dealer local to him was instructed by my supplying dealer to change the matrix under warranty. VW operate a full two year guarantee on all parts so even if you yourself fit, for example, a new matrix and it fails within two years, VW will replace it and do the work all for free.

20-09-2007, 09:40 AM
thanks a lot for your help. i think i will discuss it with my mechanic maybe he can do it for me.

thanks again for your help.
really appreciated

24-09-2007, 01:10 PM
Great Info, I have just bought a 97 Golf Cabrio (Without A/C!) and theres water leaking into the passenger footwell from behind the dash so looks like the same project.
How long a job is it without A/C?
Is it just a question of stripping down and swopping over, are there any hoses, etc which it could be instead of the matrix?
i also see that VW recalled Mk2's for this fault, is there no comeback for MK3's?
Many thanks for your time

24-09-2007, 01:17 PM
without a/c shouldn't be a lot difficult mine is with the a/c so i'm leaving the job for the mechanic because if i damage it would cost a lot.

but without a/c its not hard in fact i removed the dashboard and only stopped when i found my a/c because i had to degas it.

i would recommend that you remove the steering wheel so you can work better. then you need to remove all the bolts and screws that hold the dashboard. i started removing from the right side( in my country it is the passenger side)

the radio and all the other electrics you can leave them there.
you do not have to remove all the dashboard but simply moving it a bit and then removing the box where the radiator is.

its not hard but it takes a lot of time.

btw if you manage to take a picture or 2 of your work progress please send them on my email jas.farrugia@gmail.com i would really appreciate that.

24-09-2007, 02:11 PM
The recall didn't affect the Golf 3 and the solution with the Golf was to fit the Golf 3 matrix if it was leaking or if it was OK, to fit the diverter valves. We only fit the latest spec Golf 3 matrix form VW which is part number 1H2 819 031 B (right hand drive only) and costs 115.13