iZook – Suzuki 4×4 Tech Information, Accessories, Travel & Adventure

Samurai – Cleaning Out The Heater Box



Wrenchin' with IZook

Heater Box Clean-out

with.... Bob Norman

Are you one of the" Northerners" that suffers every time the temp drops down low because the pathetic output of your Samurai heater ? Well, the fix is EASY!

The Samurai heater box seems to be a magnet for leaves and other debris. This plugs the top of the heater core, limiting the airflow, and therefore leaves you a little bit short when you need the heat. All you need to do is get the junk off the top of the heater core. Sounds easy enough, but if you try disassembling the airbox it becomes a huge job. Not to worry, there's always a better way....

Before you start gather up the following:

1. Vacuum cleaner with hose. Smaller diameter hose is needed 1.5" or so.

2. Drill and hole saw. The hole saw should be slightly bigger than the vacuum cleaner hose.

3. Something to plug the hole you create. I used 2 washers, and a toggle bolt with screw. All from Home Depot for $1.18. you can opt for a plastic plug or just good ol' duct tape.

4. Phillips screwdriver

Once you gather up all the goodies, follow along. Give yourself 1/2 hour to do this (it's that easy...)



First, you should remove the panel directly under the steering wheel. This gives you room to maneuver the drill around. Once that is done, pull out the flexible hose from the driver's side of the airbox and tuck it up out of the way. If you take and draw an imaginary line from the step in the front of the airbox to the curve in the rear, that will be the highest possible point for the heater core.


Click through for a closer look...


Click through for a closer look... Another view, just make sure all drilling is kept above the molded line on the heater box. If there is no line on yours (very possible) you can draw one there, or just eye-ball it. Be VERY CAREFUL to not go below this area or you will be forced to replace the heater core.



Once you've got the area figured out, take your hole saw and carefully punch a hole in the side of the airbox. You could drill the hole in the front of the airbox instead if you don't have enough room for you drill under the dash. The end result will be the same. Click through for a closer look...


Click through for a closer look... You can see where the finished hole is in relationship the the molded area on the box. I actually went lower than I should have, but there is a little room for error here. Now then, this is what we are after... a pile of junk has collected on the heater core and blocked the airflow. This is on a fairly low-mile rig (only 75K!) Click through for a closer look...


Click through for a closer look... So, take the wife's vacuum cleaner out to the garage and get all that junk off the heater core. Be very careful with the surface of the core itself, it can be damaged by rubbing it, just like a radiator.


All we need to do now is fill the hole created. I chose to use a toggle bolt and washer as shown. Other options are a plastic plug, rubber stopper, or duct tape. Put a dab of silicone on the washers to seal the hole best.


Click through for a closer look...


Click through for a closer look... Here's the finished project. A little black paint on the washers and nobody will ever know. The whole project, including taking these pics and searching for tools, took under 30 minutes. Now, for the real test, let the truck warm up and turn on the blower... nice... Not only is the air *hot*, but also a lot better flow!

08/11/10 14:59



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Comments (12) Trackbacks (2)
  1. Worked like a charm. Didn’t have a hole saw so I hacked it up with a large drill bit. Thanks!!

  2. I’m sure my is full of trash. Thanks for the info.

  3. Wished I read this post before I tried to open up the airbox:) Now I have plenty of little things like clips and screws and little sticks that connect to each other, and still haven’t reached the heater.

    I will do exactly like you said and then try to undo as much as I can from what I already did. Thanks a lot!

    I noticed some pictures above are missing or have a wrong “full size” version.

  4. dude thank you so much for this write-up ,, I have a 190k mile zuk & a 380k mile zuk (at least that’s what it was at when the speed’o quit workin) both in desperate need of this lil trick, i was scared to death of drillin n2 the heater core so I’ve never attempted n-e-thing like this,, yer a life saver

  5. Thanks, worked perfectly!

  6. The process worked great… I have heat now…..I used a hole saw and followed directions..I used the same plastic piece that I cut out with the hole saw and with a hot glue gun tacked it back in place, then filled in around the space that was taken out with the hole saw and no extra parts or scavenging for makeshift covers.. Worked great… thanks to those who contribute to this site

  7. I did this the hard way and had the dash out for a week, and to stop it happening again i stuck a mesh onto both air intakes.
    Of course you can’t do the bonnet grille without ripping the dash out,
    But if you can, put a grille on the inside air and click the lever over to inside air whenever the heater is on (it will work better anyway).

  8. thanks 4 the good pics and info haven’t done it yet maybe some gold in there

  9. Thanks for the awsome writeup. I wanted to share that I used a 2″ whole saw with no issues. I went to the local home improvement store and bought 2″ PVC pipe caps, the kind that have threads to screw into something. I screwed the cap into the hole with the help of a crescent wrench and it gave it a good seal without something that looks too weird. Or atleast a quick seal untill you can find a decent looking cap/plug that fits.

  10. Sheesh! 2 Sammies pulling apart the airbox, clued in on the third on what to do (3rd was a lovely mouse nest) Why didn’t you post this in the dark days of the web before I had my 6’2″ frame hanging over the Targa bar yarding out my airboxes the first 2 times! :) Great photos and explanations! Wheel on!

  11. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this topic here on your web site.

  12. Too late for me I drilled through the core before looking at this info………………

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