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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Radiator Hoses

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50 to $100

Talent:

*

Tools:

Philips head screwdriver, 19mm open-end wrench, wire cutters, box-knife, empty 5 gallon pail for coolant

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1972-89)

Parts Required:

New radiator hoses, hose clamps

Hot Tip:

Allow engine to cool, cutting off old hoses optional

Performance Gain:

Reduced hose failure, proper engine temperature

Complementary Modification:

Other Hose Replacement
Rubber hoses have a difficult task, they must be flexible and as well as being strong. The radiator hose will transport a water / glycol mixture with temperatures above 150 degrees F as well as experiences external exposure from engine oil, water and cleaning chemicals.  Overtime hoses become brittle and can crack with age. Once a crack begins coolant will quickly escape resulting in the engine overheating. When you gently squeeze a hose, it should be relatively soft and easy to indent with your hand. It shouldn't feel like it is brittle or crunching when you squeeze it. It should spring back to its original shape pretty quickly after being compressed. If it feels very hard, then it might be time to replace it. If there is a bulge in the hose, or any type of crack in the surface of the hose, then you should replace it as well. Also check for leaks around where the hoses create their connections, that is a sign that the hose should be replaced. Before you begin you should park the car on level ground. If you decide to change fluid, you should also have a proper collection bucket to accommodate at least 5 gallons of coolant. Upon draining you should also have a plan to properly dispose of used coolant.  Be exceptionally careful around pets and children with coolant.  The sweet tasting liquid is toxic to animals. Make sure the car has cooled down to room temperature. A couple of safety precautions/instructions you may want to observe before beginning. 

Allow cooling system to cool down to a coolant temperature of less than 90 degrees C. Open cap of cooling system slowly; turn a conventional coolant cap as far as the first detent and turn a screwed coolant cap approx. 1/2 turn and release the pressure. Wear protective gloves, protective clothing and eye protection. NEVER pour coolant into beverage bottles, cups, etc...someone might accidentally pick that cup up and start to drink. You might want to wait overnight to make sure that the coolant is not hot. If you open the coolant tank with the car warmed up, it could burn you. There is heat and pressure in the system. You might want to wait overnight to make sure that the coolant is not hot. If you open the coolant tank with the car warmed up, it could burn you. There is heat and pressure in the system.

Locate the drain plug (red arrow) on the bottom of the lower left side of the radiator.
Figure 1

Locate the drain plug (red arrow) on the bottom of the lower left side of the radiator. Place your drain bucket under the hole and turn the knob. Drain coolant by opening drain plug at the bottom of radiator located at left side. Make sure the engine is cool. Loosen overflow reservoir to relieve a potential vacuum. Dispose of coolant accordingly. You will need an empty 5 gallon pail for the coolant. An oil-change pan maybe more suitable due to space limitations.

The main radiator hose is located in front of the air filter and connects the engine block to the radiator.
Figure 2

The main radiator hose is located in front of the air filter and connects the engine block to the radiator. Begin by unscrewing the hose clamp (red arrow) located off the top of the radiator.

Unscrew and remove the large hose from the engine (red arrow).
Figure 3

Unscrew and remove the large hose from the engine (red arrow). If you know you are going to be replacing the hose sometimes it is easier to cut an old hose off from its mount rather than trying to pull it off. Inspect the inside of the hose and thermostat housing. There should be trace coolant. Any coolant that has solidified indicates polymerization and a flush is in order.

Wipe of the inlets on the engine with a damp towel (red arrow).
Figure 4

Wipe of the inlets on the engine with a damp towel (red arrow).

Wipe off the hose connection on the radiator with a damp paper towel (red arrow).
Figure 5

Wipe off the hose connection on the radiator with a damp paper towel (red arrow). This will remove any contaminants as well as slightly lubricate the hose and connectors with water. The hose should slip on easier. Water is preferred lubricant for this application.

Remove the smaller hose located at the top of the radiator (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove the smaller hose located at the top of the radiator (red arrow). This hose feeds the coolant expansion tank. This is located on the right side. This hose shall have to be replaced as well.

Clip cable tie (red arrow) that secures coolant expansion tank hose.
Figure 7

Clip cable tie (red arrow) that secures coolant expansion tank hose.

Remove the large lower radiator hose at the bottom of the radiator.
Figure 8

Remove the large lower radiator hose at the bottom of the radiator. The best angle to attack this clamp (red arrow) is from underneath the car.

Remove the lower hose that connects the radiator to the engine block (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the lower hose that connects the radiator to the engine block (red arrow). There may be trace coolant in the engine or the line. Be sure to have a collection bucket under the hose inlet to catch any coolant. The alternator was removed to provide a clearPicture. Removing the alternator is optional but it does provide easy access to the hose clamp.

After the hoses are removed, putting the new hoses (red arrow, one shown) on in the reverse order of disassembly.
Figure 10

After the hoses are removed, putting the new hoses (red arrow, one shown) on in the reverse order of disassembly. Screw the hose clamps (yellow arrows, one hose shown) tight to the point where they no longer turn with ease but be careful not to over tighten and break the screw element of the clamp.

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