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Old 11-25-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
amc49
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coolant leaks with new hose

'I maintain my car accordingly and don't hot rod it, but the CONSTANT ANTIFREEZE LEAKS and other various annoyances drew me towards purchasing a newer car.'

Caps by me.

Someone else just posted this and it got me thinking about something I've wanted to b-tch about for a while now.

Thinking I may be crazy but it's now showing every time I work on a car's cooling system. Could maybe have something to do with lower quality bulk hose which I use a lot of to save cost, although it seems to show up with over-the-counter formed replacement hose as well. I do not buy expensive OEM Ford hoses which nowadays seem to have some amount of silicone in them, the rubber has changed there, but can't say. Earlier Foci have scads of hoses and only makes the problem worse.

Problem is this: you install a hose and tighten, I always use new screw worm drive clamps, never reusing the OEM ones. Getting on to the issue, a well clamped hose then starts up with no leaks at all, virtually every time I do them. Great job there Howie..............then in a couple weeks or a month, it can vary, the sealed joint later begins to leak, like 2/3 to 3/4 of them. A real pain in the -ss. Especially at the joint under the coilpack. Gotta pull coil to get to it. They all upon trying to retighten will seem like the clamps have backed off, or the hose has settled in to give and not be clamped tight like at first. You can get as much as one full turn on the retighten, then it stops leaking again. Doesn't seem to matter if the fitting is barbed or smooth, they both do it. Changed all hose on my '02 about one month ago and now going back through them with this issue, leaking in like 4-5 spots and ridiculous. I had checked earlier after maybe two days and no leaks at all.

Can the hose material have changed that much? I don't think the plastic fittings are dimensionally changing, it feels like the hose once heated several times is giving way. When pulled for a short term issue the hose wall will certainly be thinner, checked a couple times. I certainly don't remember ever having this much trouble with repeat leaks in the '70s, '80s, and not just on one car either, it's gotten to be a ritual on everything I have, the retighten after a short amount of time has passed. And get down on knees and pray to the god of cooling systems. If not you leak all the coolant out thinking you're fine and overheat city.

Once the retighten is done, 98% will stay sealed then permanently, maybe one every once in a long time will leak a second time and another retighten will get it to stop as well.

Words to the wise, if you get cooling system work done that involves hoses ALWAYS go back after a while and recheck the joints for more leaks, it seems to be a contagion that is spreading like wildfire now.

I now routinely retighten ALL joints after say 2-3 weeks of driving the car, that pretty much gets it then. Even the ones that don't leak will have backed off. Still, a relatively new development to me. Wondering if the newer antifreezes may be 'slicker' than the old to aggravate the problem too.



Last edited by amc49; 11-27-2013 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Buy better clamps ya old koot.
Or take better Arthritis pills.

Maybe once or twice I've had a clamp leak.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
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That's the benefit of the factory style spring clamps over worm drive, they re-tension after the hose relaxes and takes a set.

I run worm clamps on my old cars, but re-torque them after a couple heat cycles.

Some of the modern antifreeze compounds mess with the rubber hoses as well, I always flush and swap to green glycol on my rides.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:43 AM   #4
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I'll admit I do not use proper tool to remove/reinstall the OEM clamps but nothing but problems with them, they almost always leak instantly. I hate those things. Used to be worm drive parts were an upgrade, now I don't know...........

The worm drive clamps are top of the line Ideal brand stainless, can't get much better than that. Same I've used for 40 years. Not the clamp anyway but the hose. I use steel brake line for water line in a place or two to make up for using bulk trans cooler line which is way more expensive, no flare bump is put on the ends like a normal nipple has, so they are spot spray painted to come back later to check if hose is slipping off. No movement in clamp at all, the paint still intact. It's the bulk hose quality pretty sure. You can look and even measure it to be thinner by like one third after one tighten. Gates normal over-the-counter water hose. Thinking the hose quality gone the way of all other things there.

I too use old school green coolant, but wondering how much you can rely on that too. Got some other day that I'd swear had more of the yellow look to the dye than the green, but in wrong container if it was and factory sealed. You can't trust anyone for spit anymore.

I may be old but hands still strong enough to cut right through the hose by overtightening, or strangle someone if the need should arise..............perhaps I've said too much.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
I'll admit I do not use proper tool to remove/reinstall the OEM clamps but nothing but problems with them, they almost always leak instantly. I hate those things. Used to be worm drive parts were an upgrade, now I don't know...........

The worm drive clamps are top of the line Ideal brand stainless, can't get much better than that. Same I've used for 40 years. Not the clamp anyway but the hose. I use steel brake line for water line in a place or two to make up for using bulk trans cooler line which is way more expensive, no flare bump is put on the ends like a normal nipple has, so they are spot spray painted to come back later to check if hose is slipping off. No movement in clamp at all, the paint still intact. It's the bulk hose quality pretty sure. You can look and even measure it to be thinner by like one third after one tighten. Gates normal over-the-counter water hose. Thinking the hose quality gone the way of all other things there.

I too use old school green coolant, but wondering how much you can rely on that too. Got some other day that I'd swear had more of the yellow look to the dye than the green, but in wrong container if it was and factory sealed. You can't trust anyone for spit anymore.

I may be old but hands still strong enough to cut right through the hose by overtightening, or strangle someone if the need should arise..............perhaps I've said too much.
Prestone is no longer green coolant, go to NAPA and purchase the NAPA green or Zerex green, those are glycol green coolants. Also make sure you use the correct size of worm clamp, ideal clamps are great, but if you use a undersized or oversized clamp for the application it will leak. I remember I did the heater hoses on my Sierra once, and like you I hate the spring style. I used too small of clamps and hell, no matter what I did they would seep at the connection, upgraded to a step larger worm clamp and problem solved. I agree with the above as well, re tighten them after a few heat cycles. Invest in a Klien 11 in 1, it'll also have the nut drivers for basically all the worm clamps, and it will allow you to tighten them easy. But do not overtighten as that also will cause it to leak by distorting the clamp.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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The clamp distorts by nature, 1/3 of the circumference at heater hose size is much more rigid than the rest which is thin strap only. Choosing size of clamp not rocket science. No more than 3/4 inch of excess strap past the clamp body, next size down will not fit. Next size up miles too big. Only way I can stop the leak is by going tighter, looser just leaks like.....................CAN get it to stop but sure seems like didn't have to pursue this issue nearly so much in the past. Like at a normal amount of tighten it just produces leaks and quick now. Getting ridiculous.

Quit using overpriced-for-the-name-only Prestone 30 years ago. I use specific old school GREEN coolant, it clearly says glycol, for older models, and NOT longlife on the container, but as I said, you have no control over what's in the bottle. O'Reilly product and after seeing some of their other stuff it would not surprise me at all if they mixed the bottles up at factory. I personally saw mislabeled AFZ while I was there, wrong product in bottles FYI. In fact wasn't a week go by without some recall they got on product in the shop with fault issues, 2-3 times a week sometimes. Many of their vendors quite frankly sucked at quality control, and with the way O'Reilly abused return policies to send back plenty of unnecessary warranty cost back on them I don't blame vendors one bit. The auto store return policies are now actively wrecking the crap out of vendors' bottom lines now.

Thanks for the words though................
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
I may be old but hands still strong enough to cut right through the hose by overtightening, or strangle someone if the need should arise..............perhaps I've said too much.

LOL


I'm wondering, and I'll bet I'm onto something here, if the hoses you constantly have issues with are the heater hoses?

If so,
the over the counter bulk stuff is the wrong size. That is because I have yet to find any over the counter that is 2 different sizes as the stock requirement calls for.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gates
Upper Radiator Hose; W/DOHC Eng. ............................... 22502
  • 1 1⁄4 x 22 11⁄16 L
Upper Radiator Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ............................... 22503
  • 1 1⁄4 x 22 1⁄2 L
Lower Radiator Hose; W/DOHC Eng. ............................... 22504
  • 1 1⁄4 x 15⁄16 x 3⁄4 x 15 3⁄32 L
Lower Radiator Hose - Rad. To Pipe; W/SOHC Eng. ........... 22500
  • 1 1⁄4 x 1 3⁄8 x 9 13⁄16 L
Lower Radiator Hose - Pipe To W.P.; W/SOHC Eng. ........... 22501
  • 15⁄16 x 1 7⁄16 x 13 3⁄16 L
Heater To Connector Hose; W/DOHC Eng. ....................... 19155
  • 5⁄8 x 23⁄32 x 25 L
Hose Connector - Heater To Thermostat; W/DOHC Eng...... 28604
  • 5/8 plastic hose connector
Hose Connector - Connector To Thermostat; W/DOHC
Eng. ........................................................................ 19156
  • 5⁄8 x 23⁄32 x 8 13⁄32 L
Pipe-1 To Heater Hose; W/DOHC Eng. ............................ 19154
  • 5⁄8 x 23⁄32 x 53 3⁄16 L
Pipe-1 To Thermostat Hose; W/DOHC Eng. ...................... 19276
  • 5⁄8 x 25⁄32 x 13 3⁄4 L
Reservoir To Thermostat Hose; W/DOHC Eng. .................. 18261
  • 9⁄32 x 3⁄8 x 46 13⁄16 L
Heater To Eng. Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ............................... 22570
  • 23⁄32 x 23⁄32 x 3⁄8 x 30 7⁄8 L
Heater To W.P. Hose; W/SOHC Eng. .............................. 19746
  • 23⁄32 x 22 19⁄32 L
W.P. To Intake Manifold Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ................... 18322
  • 3⁄8 x 20 3⁄16 L
Reservoir To Tee Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ............................ 18260
  • 9⁄32 x 3⁄8 x 38 7⁄16 L
Tee To Thermostat Body Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ................. "18030
  • 3⁄8 x 9 19⁄32 L
Tee To Thermostat Flange Hose; W/SOHC Eng. ................ 18259
  • 5⁄16 x 13⁄32 x 7 13⁄16 L
Rad. To Reservoir Hose; W/3/8" I.D. Hose ....................... 18321
  • 3⁄8 x 21 13⁄32 L
Reservoir To Rad. Hose; W/5/8" I.D. Hose ....................... 19153
  • 5⁄8 x 27⁄32 x 25 L
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:27 AM   #8
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When ever I replace coolant hoses I always clean the nipples with a 220 sand paper and instal new clamps and I have never had a coolant leak.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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ALL including any custom fit over-the-counter molded to correct size and OD can do it. Pretty much Gates brand. No difference in the issue when I started going to bulk only, and I make adapters to make up hoses with two different sizes, they fit perfectly. Gotta watch, they switch 3/4 to 5/8 all the time there. There's one I believe that is not either one, you gotta watch that one (thinking bottom pass rad, bet. 1/2 and 5/8). The heater core fittings are between 5/8 and 3/4 too. Odd, I expected the heater core ones to leak the most but they haven't yet, maybe because I expect them too and check them often. The smaller hoses change from 3/8 to 5/16 in a place or two also.

Maybe it's the heat here in Texas. Dunno. I know the OEM hoses seem to be made of silicone or at least high silicone content, they look in incredibly good condition after 100K miles, I kept them to possibly use at car end-of-life. They are MUCH more pliable (even after 100K!) than any hose you can get at the auto store but I have not looked into the new silicone lined bulk hose as I assumed more expensive.

Again, I stress no leaks after the second tighten, just that you HAVE to come back and do it. Maybe the hose material could have changed. No leaks at first either, they just show up in like 3-4 weeks.

Maybe just me, I do not use the factory molded hose any longer, if this is the result I'll still do it as I save over $100 by not using the exact molded parts. Only use the upper and lower rad hoses now-all else is bulk of some sort. A quick 5 minutes to retighten hose is not too much to ask for a $100 bill.

I used to do bulk hose back in late '80s early '90s on two Tempos and don't ever remember issues then. Maybe the increasingly plastic necks and nozzles are doing it. Plastic DOES release tension when heated. Why I'm thinking Ford went to the softer siliconized hose. I note as well that Ford now casts torque numbers in plastic stat covers/housings too, when you pull old ones you can easily see the stress cracks evenly all the way round the inside from tightening and expansion /contraction. They KNOW the parts are weaker.

FYI, if you switch a cooling part that has the ribs for one that does not you may need to change the hose that goes to it. Any heated hose takes a set, the hose then reused on different type fitting often leaks. Even using same hose back on ribbed part it came off of can leak if you do not take the time to 'reseat' the hose as close as you can right back in the ribs it's molded too. If half on and half off the rib then almost a guaranteed leak even if the hose is only like one week old. Why I don't care for the multi-ribbed fittings.

Just switched from the crap Focus ABS stat housing that leaks to the Contour bakelite one. You can tell the difference in the plastic vs. bakelite, the plastic apparently gives more as it tightens up more gradually. The Contour part suddenly gets tight all at once since the stiffer bakelite does not give at all. You can tell it. Leading me to believe the plastic parts could be some of the issue.

Just tested a brand new Motorcraft Focus stat housing that leaked new, made up a test plate for it. Expected to see the glue joint for bottom plate to leak, rather it leaked inside a molded notch. ???? Closer inspection revealed several clamping scratch marks where they apparently clamp the two pieces together as the glue dries, the leak was probably one clamp overtightened to crack at that spot. You can follow the clamp shape there in impression in the plastic. So much (AGAIN!) for vaunted Motorcraft quality..........
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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I will agree though this just happened to me for the first time just last year. Maybee the rubber did change.
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