04-15-2010, 11:22 PM
I just hooked a fake-a-lake to my (new to me) 05 outback and was running the engine. After a while, water started coming into the cockpit from underneath the forward driver area. It's coming in really bad and lots of it. It has a heater option and my suspicion is that it wasn't winterized correctly by the previous owner and the heater core is cracked. Anyone else see something like this on their boat? If it is the heater, any advice would be appreciated on how to fix or remove it. Also, can I bypass the heater temporarily by routing the outlet hose directly back into the inlet hose?

As always, thanks.

As a side note, I drove all the way to Oregon to buy this boat last weekend. The guy I bought it from seems like a real honest guy so I don't think there is any malice involved. However, I'm kicking myself for not doing a more thorough pre-flight before buying it.

04-16-2010, 05:38 PM
I removed my heater and heater core. I think the picture speaks for itself...


04-16-2010, 06:55 PM
I removed my heater and heater core. I think the picture speaks for itself...


Holy cow - what would cause that? Did it freeze?

04-17-2010, 12:54 AM
It was surprisingly easy to remove the heater. I came home from work on my lunch break and had it completely out within an hour. First, contort your body up under the dash and following the heater wire harness, clip away the zip ties and disconnect the wiring from the control switch. Next, open up the engine cover and remove the hose clamps from the intake and outlet water hoses then pull the hoses free from their respective engine fittings (Only disconnect from the engine if you need some extra wiggle room to pull the heater unit out enough to remove the other end of the hoses). Go up to the open bow and pull the starboard seat cushion. Look up underneath toward the driver's compartment and you'll see the heater there mounted to the driver's kick board. Use a long #2 Philips screwdriver to remove the 4 mounting screws. This step takes some patients but they come out in time. Now you can move the heater unit around until you can loosen the two hose clamps on the intake and outlet hoses connected to the heater. Disconnect these two hoses. Oh, yeah. Cut the zip ties that hold the 3 large heater output vent hoses and remove those too. Gently pull the whole heater assembly out where you can work on it. I had read that you needed to remove the rivets to get to the heater core. THIS IS NOT TRUE!!! I removed the rivets only to find that I just needed to remove a few screws at the intake/outlet side of the heat exchanger box and the whole core slides right out. Silly me. I'll have to re-rivet mine back together. Doh! If you go to Heater Craft's website, they sell a replacement core for $113.00. I believe the model I have is the 300 series. Hope this helps.


04-17-2010, 01:24 AM
Sorry Mark I was the one who told you to drill out rivits but it was a different heater as I can see from the picture. As a consolation, you may be able to remove the kick board with four screws and install it a little easier since the tubes can be a pain to tie wrap down. Freezing is the probable culprit as mine was from corrosion and was a very small leak that you couldn't even see the hole. I can see why you had a gusher going. I had a small leak that started burning my toes in 100 degree weather. I was on a week long trip so we had to live with it for four days and another reason to install a shutoff valve at the engine which I didn't do.

04-17-2010, 07:37 AM
Hey, no worries, zabooda. It wasn't a big deal to drill out those rivets. They're just 5/32 aluminum pop rivets. I picked some up from Home Depot and the heater will go back together easily. A valve at the engine is a great idea. I tested the hot water shower option that the boat has and sure enough, it leaks too. I'm finding that although these bells and whistles are cool, they each provide a point of failure that the boat owner needs to consider - especially if it involves any water routed from the engine.

04-17-2010, 06:26 PM
It took me a half hour to figure out my heater had only pop rivits. I thought they would have had a way to get the box apart but every side had them. Heatercraft on-line out of Idaho had the best price for a core. I use my heater a lot but I never use my shower but I still have to winterize it each year. When mine fails, I will be taking it out just as you were saying about another failure point.