||03-26-2013 03:19 AM
molded factory hoses vs. bulk hose
Just redid all the cooling hoses on one of my Focus zetecs, I used bulk hose in place of the formed hoses normally sold over the counter. All rubber hoses changed except the big upper and lower radiator ones. Those custom hoses are getting downright astronomical to me, running parts prices at the O'Reilly website showed me saving roughly $140 using the bulk hose over the bent hoses and that using Gates pricing, Motorcraft gets even higher. Of course you have to custom cut and place the non-stock hose, but not too bad, main thing was to make a support strap to hold the heater hoses away from exhaust pipe heat. That may have cost another $2 in strip metal material. That savings also included a new rear PCV hose cobbled up to save buying the Ford rear hose. Mine cost maybe $7-$8.
This type mod already proved out on two other zetecs with same hoses, they last as long as the formed ones do and at $1.39 a foot cost way less than the average hose at $20 or so a pop. First time I ever closely laid a costing on it though I knew long ago the savings would be big.
Also recovered the plastic reservoir, it was badly stained to where I could not see inside fluid level at all. Used regular gasoline inside, let it sit for a couple days to soften the deposits and then threw some small grain aquarium gravel I had lying around to use it like a scrubber inside. Shake it hard for a few minutes at every imaginable angle, it cleans the areas inside the different compartments awesomely. A good rinse while turning it again at all angles gets all the gravel back out. When done tank looked like brand new except for slight yellowing of the plastic. Could see fluid level as easily as a new tank when done. Note the cap gasket will warp out of shape from the fuel, but I yanked mine (cut, about to fail) and changed it for a custom made one from hardware store that I paid $1.09 for to avoid the $7.99 cap price. I had to cut a correct ID in the rubber to make it work. If you still want to use your cap then let it sit for a day or two and the rubber will drop back down to correct shape, the fuel only swells it temporarily. Or you could buy an o-ring from hardware store for maybe a buck or two, it won't seal correctly on cap in actual use, but strip out your good seal to save and use the o-ring for the cleaning job only, then toss it. You still save money.