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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:05 PM   #1
bbaXJ
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Default Best bet for "univeral" or custom coolant/radiator hoses?

What have people had good (or bad) luck with as far as customizing their own coolant lines? Are any of the "universal" setups any good?

I have a custom radiator and location, so rather than digging through the hoses at the autoparts store I was thinking of making a universal one work. Something like the Gates "green stripe":
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Gates-...nch,34053.html

Or are the stainless steel kits a safe bet too? http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS+Performan...11240/10002/-1

I don't think I'll have any crazy routing to deal with, just a few bends and inlet/outlet sizes that don't match the stock setup. Just looking for something reliable and cost effective.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:13 PM   #2
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You would have better luck with THIS.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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I get a couple mandrel bent 1.5" 16 or 18ga stainless u-bends from colombia river. and silicone couplers and nice SS hose clamps from silicone intakes

...If you can TIG...

This is the best option and costs about $100/car in material.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:26 PM   #4
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You would have better luck with THIS.
Is there a particular problem with either setup I posted? Besides the fact that they're significantly cheaper, I also like having fewer potential leak paths.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #5
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The outlet is 1 1/2", the inlet is 1 3/4"
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaXJ View Post
Is there a particular problem with either setup I posted? Besides the fact that they're significantly cheaper, I also like having fewer potential leak paths.
The convoluted hose is notorious for being hard on radiators if you bend it too tight. The steel flex hose I don't personally like. You get burnt on it too. I've put hoses together that fit right and didn't strain anything many times.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #7
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I use stainless tubing in my tubing bender with just some regular rubber hose ends with stainless clamp. Cheap, looks nice, works awesome.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsjunk View Post
The outlet is 1 1/2", the inlet is 1 3/4"
Looks like a nice kit and is definitely an option. It looks like there's actually enough there to do both the upper and the lower hose, so not as bad of a price as I initially thought. $86 shipped still seems high, but we'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsjunk View Post
The convoluted hose is notorious for being hard on radiators if you bend it too tight. The steel flex hose I don't personally like. You get burnt on it too. I've put hoses together that fit right and didn't strain anything many times.
I'll have to check closer tonight and see what the bend radii will be like. If it's not bad I'll still consider using the convoluted tube. Hell, I've got a couple brand new stock TJ hoses sitting around, maybe I can just cut them in the center and put in stainless or aluminum extensions. I haven't really looked that close to be honest, I just know the factory hoses won't work as-is so I figured I'd ask for input while it was on my mind. I'd like to get my parts together now so that I'm not waiting on shit when I'm (more) under the gun to finish up the final details.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 02:08 AM   #9
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I used the braided stainless type (they were either Summit Racing or Spectre brand) on my last rig. Very similar to the gates hose you posted except the stainless braid on the outside keeps the hose inside from collapsing. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/spe-58198/overview/

I used regular band style clamps on mine, but was planning on switching to the heat shrink clamps eventually.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ems-ms106-63
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Old July 17th, 2014, 06:28 AM   #10
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I tried a Gates green stripe once, but it was too stiff to bend.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 07:27 AM   #11
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Thanks guys. I took a much needed night off from the garage last night and did some digging into OEM style hoses that should work. I think I found a lower that'll bolt right in and an upper that I can cut in the center, twist the ends 90 from each other, and extend it slightly with a tube in the middle. All for $25-30.
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Old July 18th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #12
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If you do need some bends you can do what I am doing/have done in the past. Head to a exhaust shop with the old radiator hose and say bend some stainless to this shape using 1.5 ID tube. Whatever matches your radiator neck/intake etc. Then slip the 3" section over that using aircraft clamps for a leak free custom look.

They will mandrel bend it then you simply add 3" ends. The thing will be stainless and flow better for around $30.

Avoid using just a single section of pipe. Once again I have done it before. The rubber ends up bouncing or the pipe pulls at the rubber under heavy load causing the clamps to dig into the rubber.

I had one blow at around 90 because of that in a 1980 Firebird(Don't judge I got it for $300 with a 383 drove it for the summer then sold it for $900.) It caused a torrent of water to blind my butt. It was a fun couple of seconds.
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