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Old 12-25-2019, 06:05 PM   #1
454cid
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Default lower radiator hose leaking why?

I changed the thermostat the other day, and noticed that the end of the lower hose looked slightly bulged to me.... I think it's probably original. I picked up a Dayco from Advance Auto, and put it on today. First the radiator side leaked. I drained it, and removed the hose, looked it over, and re-installed it with the clamp in a bit better position.... it stopped leaking.....except now the engine side leaks. What is going on? It's a hose, clamped in place like any other radiator hose.

I haven't added anti-freeze yet, so I'm not wasting much money. I am wasting time and distilled water, however. The OEM clamps are those weird worm drive clamps, not the typical worm drives, or constant tension band clamps. I wonder if they are causeing the problem. The screws are hard to turn, so maybe I'm not getting them tightened straight? It's hard to tell. Or maybe the secondary piece of metal that's on them is in the wrong spot? I didn't move it.... I always thought the second band was to protect the hose but it's in a section of band that's smooth already.

I think I've read the earlier S-series used the constant tension band clamps.... what years? Maybe I'll try to get some. They need to be the correct size, as they don't have a wide operating range.

Anybody know what I'm doing wrong? I feel embarrassed to be having issues with such a simple job.

Oh.... also, as I was letting the car idle to purge air, it reached a bit over 200F without turnring the fan on.... the fan is not bad, nor is it's wiring. How do I know?.... I turned the fan on with my scan tool. Anyone know why the PCM wasn't turning it on?.... ECT sensor is new, and is how I knew the coolant temp to be over 200F.

...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-25-2019, 09:11 PM   #2
454cid
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Looking at the stock worm drives clamps online, it looks like I misunderstood the "extra" piece of steel banding.... it's a spring. These are a constant tension design.

...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-25-2019, 09:20 PM   #3
lrbraner
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Would like to see a photo of the clamps in question to better understand what the issue may be.

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Old 12-25-2019, 09:36 PM   #4
454cid
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrbraner View Post
Would like to see a photo of the clamps in question to better understand what the issue may be.
They're like this:


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2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-25-2019, 09:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

They seem to be OEM on this car, although it does have constant tension band clamps... the typical spring style, as well.

I think I found the part number for the traditional constant tension band clamps, but no idea what size.

I'll mess around with the engine side once again tomorrow and see if repositioning the clamp will get it to seal.

I think I may actually be crushing the springs in the existing clamps just to get them to seal.... maybe they loose tension after many years?

...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-25-2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Operating temp 195f +/- 5f
Fan auto-on temp 222f +/- 3f
Fan auto-off after being turned on temp 210f +/- 5f
It's not overheating until around 230f, though much over 210f is running hotter than it ought to be.

Unless the nipple is cracked or the clamp somehow put a hole in the hose...I'd go with "operator isn't tightening the clamps properly" which will lead to leaks or the hose popping off under pressure. The system is pressurized to 15-18psi, the clamps have to be more than finger-tight to a 4yr old...

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Old 12-25-2019, 11:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Operating temp 195f +/- 5f
Fan auto-on temp 222f +/- 3f
Ok, it probably wasn't quite that high.... this summer it seemed to be turning on when the needle was lower, but that was a different sensor..... probably nothing to worry about then.

Quote:
Unless the nipple is cracked or the clamp somehow put a hole in the hose...I'd go with "operator isn't tightening the clamps properly" which will lead to leaks or the hose popping off under pressure. The system is pressurized to 15-18psi, the clamps have to be more than finger-tight to a 4yr old...
I considered that possibly the nipple/tank was cracked, but that's the side that is now holding. It's the aluminum engine side that's currently leaking..... I turned those screws as tight as I dared. I've stripped worm gear clamps out before tightening them. I'll remove it and try again.

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2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-25-2019, 11:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

I have the same exact problem with the same brand hose. It always starts leaking from the thermostat side near the end of fall when it gets cold out. I assume from the rubber contracting overnight. My old lower radiator hose was at least 10+ years old and it never leaked once, and it didn't use a constant tension clamp either. Try tightening it on a cold morning and see if that helps.

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Old 12-26-2019, 01:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

I have the same exact problem after changing the thermostat theres a slow leak coming from one of the hoses. I've been too lazy to try and fix it but ive read that if you dont put the clamp back exactly how it was it could cause a leak.

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Old 12-26-2019, 10:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCharlie View Post
I have the same exact problem after changing the thermostat theres a slow leak coming from one of the hoses. I've been too lazy to try and fix it but ive read that if you dont put the clamp back exactly how it was it could cause a leak.
The hose is new. I had no problem with getting the original hose to seal when I did the thermostat the day or two before.

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1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-26-2019, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Buy new clamps, regular worm gear ones will work just fine. Probably those OEM clamps are just wore out/rusty, and not crimping the hose correctly.

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Old 12-26-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesl2 View Post
Buy new clamps, regular worm gear ones will work just fine. Probably those OEM clamps are just wore out/rusty, and not crimping the hose correctly.
They look to be mostly stainless, but they do seem to not be working well. I think I will replace them with standard worm drive clamps, if I can't get it sealed with one more try of the originals. I'll then replace the standard worm drive clamps later when I replace the water pump. In the mean time I'll get something better.

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Old 12-26-2019, 04:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Okay, I lied.... I didn't even bother trying the OEM clamp on the engine/thermostat side again. I pulled both sides off, looked the hose over, and re-installed. On the radiator side, I used the OEM clamp, that I cleaned and lubed (sprayed out with brake cleaner and lubed with Fluid Film). The engine/thermostat side got a non-constant tension stainless worm drive clamp.... NO LEAKS! (I'll drain the system again tomorrow, and add anti-freeze)

I've decided that I do, in fact, not like those weirdo OEM clamps. I'd much rather have spring clamps, and will switch to them this summer when I do the pump.

As an aside, this is my first time purchasing Fluid Film... I don't like the way it sprays. It really splatters, which is not what I want for precision application under the hood. It'll be fine in my wheel wells, when I change my oil, Though.

...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 12-28-2019, 10:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: lower radiator hose leaking why?

Here is my clamp that didn't want to seal well.



I added the anti-freeze yesterday.

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