'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.

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