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Old 10-28-2017, 01:42 PM   #1
Saturn1337
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Default Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

So recently I have been having some troubles with getting out a stripped ECTS and have decided the best option now is to relocate the ECTS. I don't want to risk drilling and tapping a new hole in the engine, so I was looking at relocating to the upper radiator hose a few inches downstream of where the coolant leaves the engine.

I was looking at these water temperature sender adapters:

(Put amazon.com in address bar before pasting this):

/Aluminum-Temperature-Sensor-Adapter-Silver/dp/B00FY2UA4U/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_263_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=F03T3 YVWNBF5FE3ERX4E&th=1

(Put glowshiftdirect.com in address bar before pasting this):

/water-temperature-sender-attachments/


(apologies can't post links yet)

Questions:

These adapters say they are threaded for 1/8 NPT so can I simply put one of these inline and screw the ECTS into it?

Does anyone know the inside diameter of the OEM upper radiator hose? Replacements I have looked at say 1.19 in (30 mm) at the small end so I imagine I should order the a 30mm adapter.

Are there any problems with putting the ECTS here I am missing?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old 10-28-2017, 04:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

While the aluminum coolant sensor adapter splices into a radiator hose, this may not be good for the engine computer - the return hose only allows coolant flow when the t-stat opens and can give erratic signals leading to unusual fuel mixture and emissions problems. You can try it but anticipate issues if something doesn't work out. The cylinder head where the coolant sensor is located has a constant flow of coolant so the PCM sees changing temps immediately to make instantaneous fuel mixtures.

The body of the coolant sensor is brass with the original ones using a plastic tip that cracks. If you fish out the remains of the inside of the sensor, you should be able to use a screw/bolt extractor (they have coarse reverse threads) to remove the brass body without damaging the aluminum threads. You may drill out whatever guts remains inside sensor to be able to use a bolt extractor. Look at the replacement for how its constructed and what's left on the engine. The idea is to have the bolt extractor grab onto the brass body while unscrewing extractor and sensor.

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Old 10-28-2017, 04:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

I use this idea, only on top, to the left of the tab, instead of on the side as shown (also closer to the stock location for wiring). Once the hose is off & the system drained you can shove a rag in before drilling, setup a vacuum if shavings still worry you. When it comes time to tap the hole cover the tap in grease so it collect's most of the chips in the flutes of the tap rather than letting them fall wherever.


It's not as scary nor difficult as it sounds, finding the right tap (1/8" NPT I believe) is the hard part.

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Old 10-28-2017, 09:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
While the aluminum coolant sensor adapter splices into a radiator hose, this may not be good for the engine computer - the return hose only allows coolant flow when the t-stat opens and can give erratic signals leading to unusual fuel mixture and emissions problems. You can try it but anticipate issues if something doesn't work out. The cylinder head where the coolant sensor is located has a constant flow of coolant so the PCM sees changing temps immediately to make instantaneous fuel mixtures.

The body of the coolant sensor is brass with the original ones using a plastic tip that cracks. If you fish out the remains of the inside of the sensor, you should be able to use a screw/bolt extractor (they have coarse reverse threads) to remove the brass body without damaging the aluminum threads. You may drill out whatever guts remains inside sensor to be able to use a bolt extractor. Look at the replacement for how its constructed and what's left on the engine. The idea is to have the bolt extractor grab onto the brass body while unscrewing extractor and sensor.
The old sensor really seems like it's in there solid. I wasn't able to pull the end of the sensor out, and I really don't want to try removing it since it doesn't leak. I suspect the outermost threads may be buggered already.

I hadn't considered the changing temperature before the t-stat opens, good point.

If I drilled and tapped in the neck that meets the hose like in fetchitfido's picture do you think the temperature would be accurate enough during warm-up?

Is there another suitable hose with constant coolant flow I could put the adapter in?

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Old 10-29-2017, 02:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Temperature sensor adapter; https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Temp...5FE3ERX4E&th=1

The t-stat idea is good but its also measuring uneven coolant flow. If the adapter can fit into the heater hose output line, this can work. The heater has a continuous flow of coolant no matter what setting is used on the HVAC controls. Spliced into the heater hose may be ideal. You may have to add lengths of wire to extend the coolant sensor. Check the inside diameter of the heater hose and see if a correct adapter fits.

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Old 10-30-2017, 07:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
The t-stat idea is good but its also measuring uneven coolant flow. If the adapter can fit into the heater hose output line, this can work. The heater has a continuous flow of coolant no matter what setting is used on the HVAC controls.
Would this hose be the one labeled heater inlet hose in this picture?

I think I might be able to get to that one from under the car and put a tee in.
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File Type: jpg saturn radiator.jpg (62.7 KB, 8 views)

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Old 10-30-2017, 08:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
I use this idea, only on top, to the left of the tab, instead of on the side as shown (also closer to the stock location for wiring).
Thanks that's a great picture.

Did you put a sensor there that gives feedback to the computer?

I know people have done this for the gauge temp sensor on a pre-96 saturn. However, I am curious to know if someone has installed an ects in this new location that gives feedback to the computer and not had any problems as a result of the temperature difference during warmup.
(My car is a 98 sl2)

If it works, I would prefer to just tap a new hole there I guess

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Old 10-30-2017, 09:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn1337 View Post
Thanks that's a great picture.

Did you put a sensor there that gives feedback to the computer?

I know people have done this for the gauge temp sensor on a pre-96 saturn. However, I am curious to know if someone has installed an ects in this new location that gives feedback to the computer and not had any problems as a result of the temperature difference during warmup.
(My car is a 98 sl2)

If it works, I would prefer to just tap a new hole there I guess
yes, you can install the ECTS into the head outlet and feed the PCM just fine. Works quite well. You can see where a sensor is mounted into the top of the outlet just behind the hose stop on the top surface. Be sure to leave sufficent room that the sensor can be wrenched into place without hitting the back of the lug. https://i.imgur.com/W6Nqa.jpg

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Old 10-31-2017, 12:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn1337 View Post
Would this hose be the one labeled heater inlet hose in this picture?

I think I might be able to get to that one from under the car and put a tee in.
Yes, that's the hose to put the adapter on.

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Old 10-31-2017, 09:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

If you mount the ECTS in the heater core outlet then the engine dynamic mixture will change with the heat-cold setting and cabin blower setting. This is NOT a real good idea. You could use the inlet hose if you were determined to do this the hard way though.

Removing a snapped off ECTS from the head is not difficult to do.

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Old 10-31-2017, 06:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Hi saturnleet!

What those guys said, you just got Saturn advice from a few of the top Saturn peeps on this forum - look at their post counts.
They have helped me immensely on my Saturn journey, I bow to the Saturn gods.



On a temp sensor side note, moving it will effect "something" period.
Notice my logon name is "Jeeprz!"
I used to be a old style 90's era Cherokee XJ guy until i had to part with it
and the XJ inline 6 motors were know for being very stout, but also for overheating issues due to the under hood design and the ****ty factory 1 row radiator with plastic tanks they came stock with.

My point is a partial fix for the XJ was to relocate the temp sensor to the outlet side radiator hose with a custom made tube/bracket and spice in the required wiring, and install a different temp thermostat.

What that mod did was allow the system to read the outflow temp of the radiator return hose instead of reading the temp at the stock fitting on the goose neck coming out of the motor.

I don't recall all the details but it was a definite improvement when my XJ was still on the road even after i upgraded to a 3 row rad and hi-flow water pump. I think it worked like lower temp thermostat, plus relocate sensor with custom mount = thermostat opens earlier and relocated temp sensor keeps the fan on longer based on the rad outlet temp, or something to that effect.

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Well I decided to try and get the old sensor out one more time before drilling a new hole in the hose outlet. I got extremely aggressive with it this time, inadvertently smashed up the plastic piece and all, and I was able to get it out.

I did a double take when I saw the sensor. Seems that the metal threaded portion was broken off from the metal body. But the threaded part then snagged on the plastic tip of the sensor enough so that I could unscrew it if I pulled out really hard on it while I screwed. (see pic)

Sensor tip wasn't visibly cracked, but it definitely wasn't sensing properly.

I installed a new ects and it went in most of the ways before hitting 71 inch lbs, although the hex head portion of the sensor isn't touching the block (should it be?).

I test drove it, ran smooth and the temp gauge looked good, and no visible leaks from the new sensor.

May have got pretty fortunate on this one, but time will tell I guess.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Putting ECTS in radiator hose?

No, the sensor should not screw in until the hex is flush with the tapped surface. Those are tapered pipe threads and are intended to jam (leak-tight) before you run out of distance to keep screwing it in.

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