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3.0 Coolant Leak Lower Radiator Hose


arcwelder

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Hey Guys,

I seem to have a coolant leak coming from the connection of my lower radiator hose (engine side) on my 2002 Ranger Edge 3.0L. I'm looking to replace the factory spring-type clamp with a worm-type clamp, and was wondering if it would cause any problems or hose damage if I just leave the spring-type clamp attached somewhere along the middle of the hose so that I don't have to drain the coolant and detach the hose to do the replacement? How about when the coolant heats up and the hose expands? There doesn't seem to be enough room at the connection for both clamps, so the spring-type clamp would have to just hang on the hose if not removed, or maybe I could put it over the worm-type clamp (though I'm not sure if that's a good idea either).

Also, anyone know how tight the worm-type clamp should be made? Is there a certain torque I torque it down to? I've read that making it too tight can damage the hose, but I also don't want the hose flying off.

Thanks for your help.
 


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ericbphoto

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I don't see how it would hurt anything to leave the extra clamp on the hose somewhere. It might be best if it was right next to the worm drive clamp.

Don't use cheap worm drive clamps. I bought a container of assorted clamps from Harbor Freight and they were junk - very soft metal that would distort and strip when tightened.

There might be a torque spec for hose clamps. But I don't know what it is. Usually, the hose connection has a rib or barb on the end. So you want the clamp tight enough that it doesn't allow the hose to expand and slip off the rib. Of course, it needs to be tight enough to prevent leaks under pressure. You should be able to get it tight enough with a screw driver or nut driver. You will probably over-tighten it if using a socket and ratchet. If too tight, you could possibly strip the threads and ruin the clamp or maybe have the edges of the clamp cut into the hose. The edges of better quality clamps will generally be less sharp than the cheap ones.

If you pay attention, you will find an amazing array of different styles of hose clamps out there at an amazing array of prices..

Eric B
 

pjtoledo

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a new clamp won't do much if the outlet tube is corroded. pull the hose and clean the corrosion off. I prefer the spring type clamp, they flex to keep constant pressure as the parts heat cycle. plus its fun to get a finger tip mutilated as the pliers pop off.
 

arcwelder

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Thanks Eric and pj, I really appreciate the help.

I'd prefer to use a spring type clamp so I don't have to worry about tightening the worm type clamp correctly, but I called the parts department of my local Ford dealer and was told that they don't sell the spring type clamps anymore. Any idea where I could find them?

Since it won't take too long to install (and if I can't find a new spring type clamp), I might just try the worm type clamp without removing the hose to see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't, I'll remove that end of the hose to clean off any corrosion--thanks for the tip.

I purchased the following worm type clamp from Lowes:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/2-Pack-1-5-16-in-to-2-1-4-in-dia-Stainless-Steel-Adjustable-Clamps/3878532

The brand is Murray. Is this a good enough quality clamp, or is there something better that I should get instead?

Thanks again.
 

Doofy

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Hope you don't have a pinhole in the hose masquerading as a bad clamp!
 

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The clamp you bought should be fine. For the spring type clamps, if you can't find them at a local auto parts store, try a commercial hardware store or order online. I just Googled them and found all kinds. Amazon seems to show a good selection.

I wasn't trying to make it sound like tightening a worm clamp is complicated. It's just something you get a feel for.
 
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Doofy

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They also make High-Torque hose clamps that work great in problem areas and for projects that need a really, really tight clamp.
 

55trucker

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If you have to use a worm drive clamp (I have done so) don't get the garbage items, purchase the stainless steel items, they are considerably harder and they don't corrode.
 

arcwelder

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.

I'll shop around some more and see if I can find a spring type clamp. If not, I'll give the worm clamp I have a shot. It is all stainless steel, so I should be good there.

I haven't actually seen the leak in action, so I could very well have a pinhole. It looks like coolant has run down the whole lower radiator hose, and I've seen a drop right above where the lower hose connects to on the engine side, so my best guess is that it's shooting out of the end of the hose (unless it might be leaking from the engine somewhere?). I'd just replace the whole hose to be safe, but it has a tee connection that goes up to the front of the engine that I don't think I can get to without taking apart a bunch of other stuff that's probably beyond my skill level.

Thanks again all for the help.
 

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In my city of 100,000 people, there are several businesses that deal with hoses...and clamps. I spend about $5.00 for one hose clamp. It won't strip out and has no sharp edges to cut the hose. The worm gear mechanism is formed into the metal, not slots cut in. It sounds expensive but is good insurance against an overheated engine.
 

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My opinion (mine only) on hose clamps:
Think of the clamp as a clamp for the hose, not something to stop a leak because the hose should do that. The hose is either a snug or tight fit and that, along with a little help from the clamp keeps the coolant in. Too much pressure can damage the hose and cause early failure.
I use both spring clamps and worm type, depending on where it is on the car. Worm drive clamps are easier to get at and loosen for repairs.

Heavy duty clamps are only needed for high pressures like air or hydraulic systems.

Over 50 years working on cars and machinery.
 
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arcwelder

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Thanks alwaysfloorded. Are you talking about something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Breeze-Hi-Torque-Stainless-Worm-Drive-Diameter/dp/B009SCZ13W/ref=sr_1_80?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1509331055&sr=1-80

It still has the grooves, but has a solid band around the entire portion that contacts the hose. I haven't been able to find a worm clamp with no grooves at all.


Also, thanks enginepaul for the input. So you're saying to only get the worm clamp down to where it's snug, and not try to torque it down any more?

Thanks again all.
 


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