Page updated on 04-21-2018

Replacement heater hose confusion

03-26-2010, 11:50 PM
I'm going to replace my radiator, hoses, and thermostat housing gasket since the car has been running warm on sunny days and it's already been flushed. I figured I may as well replace my heater hoses, but the pics I'm finding online as well as local parts stores are a bit confusing and nobody has one in stock. The "heater to water pump" hose looks correct, but the one listed as "heater to pipe" does not.

The later hose should have a pipe in the middle (hose is formed to pipe and not removable) with fittings to two sensors, but the one pictured is too short and does not have the fittings. Is there something I'm missing, or is this hose not avail? It does not appear I can use standard heater hose as these ones look to be tapered down from a large opening, but I'm not sure. Any tips appreciated - thanks!


PS - Just a head's up, O'Reilly sells a thermostat housing gasket with the sealant on the wrong side so this is the second time I'm doing the job :banghead:

03-27-2010, 08:45 AM
I replaced mine several years ago and I don't remember it too well. But I think I cut the old hose off of the pipe and replaced it using standard hose clamps.

03-27-2010, 09:04 AM
I think they expect you to either re-use the very short length of hose that runs from the thermostat housing to the pipe with the temp sensors in it, or to just use a chunk of the right size ordinary -auto heater hose-. Thats what I did, cutting that swaged ferrule off with a hacksaw. Since I didnt have an extra pair of the proper size spring clamps (like the connections at the heater had), I used the screw type clamps. This creates the Need to retighten those hoses a couple of times after installation, which also implies you take off the large inlet duct to reach the screws. I retightened them after a couple of days of driving, and about 2 or 3 weeks after that. Now Im confident they wont leak on me.
The heater to water pump hose is of course the weird one, having different inside diameters at the ends. Mine had the spring clamps for that, and I reused them - in spite of the limited access for the one at the water pump. I may have removed the motor mount and the bracket for the motor mount where it bolts to the back of the engine block, for better access. The advantage to the spring clamps is that they are reliably leak-free, if you can get them installed. The one for the lower radiator hose - at the water pump inlet end is a -bear- to get in place. I do that one with the engine out of the car, before I bolt the accessory bracket to the front of the engine. Much easier.

I got my replacement hoses from (

I put my own sealant on. RTV Ultra Black works fine for me.

03-29-2010, 01:20 PM
If your engine is running warm then you may want to give more attention to your radiator. It is possible that you have restrictions in the hoses, but the narrowest passages for coolant in the system are in the radiator... and if the radiator is old//original, there is probably blockage there that causes the warm temp.
Flushing the system does not necessarily clear the radiator. It flushes out the old coolant, but does not get all the debris.
If it were me, I would not sweat the hoses. Based on what you said I would look to replace the thermostat and the radiator.

03-30-2010, 12:45 AM
Thanks for the responses, guys; Aztumbleweed - I think that is what I will do as well. When I had the tube off to change the sensor (talk about a PITA!) , I ruined the factory connection and cut it off on the therm.housing side, replacing it with ordinary hose. I'd forgotten it was that end until I looked at it today - for some reason thought that was a larger size hose on one end.

I did use standard hose clamps, and tightened them down good. Took me at least an hour just to do that and get the therm housing back on, though. I'm going to try taking off the ignition module this time to make access easier. The fact that the gasket had sealer on the wrong side and made it leak has not made me happy about tearing it all apart again. I spend more time working on this car than I do my classic, an easy to work on '64 Falcon!

denisond3 - the heater to water pump hose is avail through my parts store, luckilly. It's not leaking now, but since the radiator needs to be replaced this is the time to do it all. I hate those spring clamps! I spent 45 min puting the thermostat hose back on, even with the intake air box off the car. I'm getting standard clamps for everything. Thanks for giving me the heads up about the lower rad hose - now I'm *really* thrilled to do this :shakehead

mightymoose - I had it flushed after buying the car just over a year ago, and that did not help much. After talking to my radiator shop, he told me it would be cheaper to replace it than pull it and have it flushed and still not work right, so that's what I'm doin'. Already replaced the thermostat a few months ago.

03-30-2010, 08:34 AM
I bought my radiators (I'm on #3) at a place online. They were new radiators from Canada and cost about $100 delivered UPS.

03-30-2010, 07:19 PM
Those aluminum radiators with the black plastic end-tanks seem to be a type you replace - rather than get fixed. My favorite radiator shop in N. VA refuses to work on those, due to the likelihood of leaks at the plastic-to-aluminum-joint after cleaning. Its the same story on my family's Saturns. They are a consumeable, like tires and water pumps - but they can last 10 to 20 years before you need to replace one.

04-01-2010, 01:25 AM
The radiators on my last two escorts leaked at the seams, and I fixed them with stop leak. This one is not leaking though - bought a replacement for $85 at the local parts store and that's fine by me.

04-06-2010, 11:11 PM
Man, I thought I had everything figured out and assembled right, and it started leaking when I poured in the A/F, but was running down different parts and dripping way far back. Long story short, the hose from the heater core to the sensor tube is not the same size on either end; It was obvious on the other hose going to the water pump, but not noticeable unless you really look!

04-07-2010, 08:27 AM
Thanks. I either did know that or forgot. Good info when you change the hoses. At times I hate automotive engineers. Somewhere, at some time, an engineer decided that a standard heater hose would not do. They need one with different size ends WTF!

04-07-2010, 10:49 AM
Often it's the bean counters that make decisions like that, rather than the engineers. Someone may have offered the part $0.20 cheaper than the other; or that part was more readily available in the need quantities.

04-08-2010, 12:07 AM
Working on this car makes me want to sell it and get another old Falcon to drive - the savings in gas doesn't make up for the headaches of stuff like this, as well as trying to squeeze into such tight spaces. It took my four afternoons to do all this - could have done it on my '64 Falcon in one. You can't even SEE the heater hose clamp where it meets the tube! Whomever warned me about the lower heater hose being a bear to replace was not kidding...

04-08-2010, 12:37 AM
Compared to many other fuel injected vehicles with full emissions controls, the Escort is incredibly easy to work on. Compared to a carbeurated vehicle of the 60s through 80s, requires A LOT less maintenance.

04-08-2010, 01:03 AM
I'll agree to disagree ;0) Once my Falcon is rebuilt top to bottom, it should be just as relaible (I've had many of them). Maintenance is a lot easier than on the escort - time wise, and on my body. Long arms don't fit will in tight spaces!

Add your comment to this topic!