'98 2.0 L Heater Hose Replacement

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by 85RX7, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. 85RX7

    85RX7 New Member

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    1998 SE, 2.0 Liter, Automatic Transmission, 140K miles. My son's college car. The purpose of this post is to provide a little information that might be useful to anyone that needs to replace the heater hoses.

    A little more than a year ago it dropped the #4 valve seal. Had a reputable local shop make the repairs. It has run great, and I've been keeping a close eye on things when the car is home. Over Thanksgiving I noticed coolant accumulating in a couple of pockets on the backside of the transmission bell housing. Over Christmas I finally pinned down the leak to the tee in the heater hose that goes from the thermostat housing to the heater core. It was dripping off of the backside of the tee before it got to the bottom of the hose. Running my fingers down the hose always came up dry. It really would have been hard to find the leak if coolant had not been accumulating in those pockets.

    Both heater hoses tee off to go to the same place that the PCV hose connects to the intake. My daughter had a '97 Escort a few years ago. I don't remember the '97 hoses teeing off like this. These hoses looked like they had Motorcraft numbers on them. The Gates replacement hoses are Gates #22398 and 22399. Local auto parts store got them for me the next day. The hoses are not cheap. I had to make my time off and my son's car needs match up, so no time to shop around. You might can get them cheaper from other sources.

    It was cold and nasty, at least by lower Alabama terms, so I did the work in my garage. I was able to place my catch pan under the radiator drain and then under the hoses to catch any coolant. No mess made.

    I took the battery and the battery tray out to provide better access to the firewall from the driver's side. I was able to squeeze my arm in under the intake from the passenger side without removing anything. Both sides are still tight access, so watch out for breaking plastic vacuum fittings and similar stuff. The hose clamps on the firewall were the OEM clamps. They were turned up. I was able to get them loose with regular pliers and pull them back from above, but not on the first or second try. Move the clamp a little, reposition, move it some more, etc. I did not have to get under the car. I was able to gently twist and pull and slowly get the hoses off without cutting them.

    Getting the new hoses on was kind of the reverse. They went on ok. I used worm gear hose clamps all around. Be sure and think about how best to get to each hose clamp before you put the hoses on. I positioned mine to allow screwdriver access from the passenger side to snug them down. Then used a ratcheting box end wrench from the drivers side to finish the job. Same thing on the water pump and thermostat housing ends.

    I had to use a funnel to fill the radiator. I left the hoses at the intake disconnected while I put new coolant in. The ends of those hoses are the highest point in the coolant system. The idea was to let trapped air get out through those hoses. I connected them up when I felt like I had the radiator full enough to run. Ran the engine a while (outside) with the cap off and heater on and watched the coolant level in the radiator neck. Because it was cold yesterday it took forever for the thermostat to open. Used my new non-contact thermometer to check engine temperatures at various spots during warm up. I only had to "burp" the radiator one time, so it must have let out most of the trapped air.

    Both radiator hoses were replaced during the repairs last year, so I did not replace them.

    The job took about 3 hours from placing the drain pan under the radiator until pulling out of the garage to check for leaks and burping the radiator. Nothing unforseen came up while doing the work. Pretty straight forward, just tight places. Hope this helps.
  2. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Welcome to the forums! I had to replace the driver side hose in late 2012 due to a leak at the tee too. The hardest part was getting the heater hose off the heater core pipe. Tight spot to get pliers down there. Other than that it was a easy job to do, and didn't take long. Probably should do the passenger side hose since it's probably original and showing signs of wear.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  3. kanak

    kanak FEOA Donator

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    Happy New Year 85RX7! Yeah my '99 SE's upper rad hose and coolant outlet need a Motorcraft swap pretty soon, though it's holding well for now with sightly lower temps due to (my guess) a faulty bypass from overheating last summer, and a dose of Water Wetter to increase heat transfer (gotta keep that head cool as you know).

    When swapping out my water pump last summer, I found the access for some of the OEM spring clamps diabolical to get a hold of and slide off the spigots -- some suggested different sizes of Channel-Locks to get a proper angle. I too ended up swapping in some worm clamps, it's a no-brainer to avoid aneurysms the next time around. :thumbsup:

    Does your FB RX-7 have the 13B? I've been lusting for an FC since high school, actually... always wanted a white FC Turbo.
  4. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    I just had the same part break on me. The car overheated but I was able to pull it over to the side and let it cool off for a while. Luckily I had a roll of packing tape in the back so I Red Greened it and taped the plastic tee together as best I could and limped the car back home.

    I'm going to swing by the yard in the morning and see if I can pull one off another car. Not sure how long it will last but their parts price lists it at $5.00 so I guess I'll try it and see how long it lasts.

    I'd like to go with the Gates #22398 and #22399 but the local parts stores want $60 for the inlet one and $55 for the outlet one. Too much money for some molded hoses. I found the #22398 on ebay for $36 and #22399 for $31 with free shipping so I might just buy them and wait.

    I also thought about making my own hose with a brass tee since it seems the weak point is the plastic tee Ford originally used. I could go rummaging around the hose rack at my local parts store to try and put together an assembly with molded hoses that are similar. The brass tee would be a 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/4". I'm going to do some research and see if I can put an assembly together cheaper than buying it already made.

    John
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  5. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Double post
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  6. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    I got my hoses off amazon. I think they were around $30ish
  7. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Went to the yard this morning and found a good inlet heater hose unit on a fairly low mileage car so, hopefully, the hose lasts me a while. Cost me $5. I replaced the spring clamps with worm gear style so if I ever have to take it off it'll be much easier to get the clamp off with a long screwdriver rather than trying to get a set of pliers in there to compress the clamp.

    While I was at the yard I also found an unmolested '90 GT with the HO engine that they had marked as a '99 Dodge Neon. I pulled the head, valve cover, fuel rail and injectors, wiring harness, intake plenums and headers. Pretty sure the cam is a roller style as the rockers had the keepers on them. Going to do a 2.0 hybrid build like Mark(DiabloGT) for a 2nd gen wagon I may pick up in the near future.

    John
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  8. MenaceMan47

    MenaceMan47 FEOA Member

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    I just noticed today that the driver-side heater hose is leaking at the T-junction on my vehicle as well. I want to replace both heater hoses just so the other one doesn't fail on me. They don't look to hard to replace, compared to other heater hoses I've seen before.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  9. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    LOL! You are in for an experience!

    It's tight in there. If the previous owner didn't replace the hose before and/or use worm clamps instead of the stock spring clips it's pretty tough to get a set of pliers in there to compress the clamp and slide it past the hose nipple lip. You're going to need to clear some stuff out of the way before you can get to it from above. If the spring clamp compression point is positioned underneath the car you may be able to get to it under the car. The other fun thing is going to be breaking the build up of rust/corrosion that essentially cements the hose onto the hose nipple.

    After pulling the inlet hose off of a the car in the yard I realized it's not that hard to pull the hose nipple from the heater core as that is what happened when I got mine to come out of the parts car so you have to be careful you don't pull too hard on your own car. What worked for me was to twist the existing hose on the nipple to break the corrosion bond then it slips off fairly easily.

    I went back to the yard today as there were around ten 3rd gen escorts that I could pull those hoses from that were all in pretty fair condition. I pulled the best two for both inlet and outlet heater hoses out of the bunch so now I have a set of backups. Cost me $1.50 each since it was 50% labor day weekend so I decided to take advantage. One of the sets of inlet/outlet hoses were Gates brand so I would imagine the hoses didn't have much mileage on them!!

    John
  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    This thread is causing me to think about replacing the heater hoses on my 2nd gen Escorts! ...to avoid future failures. My 1.9LX's mostly all have the factory original two heater input hoses from the thermostat housing that are clamped onto the temp sensor pipe with swaged ferrules. Even with my 91LX Escort I havent yet sawed those ferrules off to replace the hoses. One of them is an "S" shape, the other is straight, only about 4" long.

    I still use the OEM spring clamps if they arent missing or rusted. My problem with the screw type hose clamps is that I feel the need to go back and resnug them after initial install. I do it about three or four days of use after first intalling and tightening, then again after 4 to 6 weeks of use. The screw on the clamp gets turned about 1/4-1/2 turn each time. No fitting I do this with has ever leaked subsequently - while only doing the tightening on day one HAS resulted in leaks a year or more afterward.
  11. pcordes1979

    pcordes1979 FEOA Member

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    For future reference, for 98+ vehicles with the T-heater hoses, use the heater hoses for a 97 Escort (91-97 passenger side is the same but the 91-96 drivers side is different from the 97 drivers side hose) which don't have a T fitting and cost a fraction of the price of the 98 hoses.

    Also depending on if the heater hose fitting on the intake manifold has rusted through internally, you may also have to loop a hose between those connections to prevent a vacuum leak, as another forum member had to do.

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