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Old 05-20-2011, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rad & Trans Cooler Line Replacement

This work is on an 87 3.0L w/AC.

This afternoon was perfect weather to do the radiator. Upon a final inspection before removing the cooler lines, I encountered two issues. (click for lgr pics)

Coming out of the trans, what I assume is the pressure line on top, and the return line closer to the ground:


How do I cure that leak? Do I need to remove and replace the whole line, or can I replace that end?

These rubber hoses are not factory. Appear to be weeping/leaking at their connection points on top of the cooler:

No real rust, but not uber clean in all areas.

How do I properly disconnect the line out of the radiator?

AutoZone claims to have no idea what tool I need.

So in short:
1.) What do I do about the transmission lines? Replace the ends? Replace the tube and ends? If I need to replace the tube, where do I get a replacement?
2) Should I replace the rubber hosing for the trans cooler that appears to be leaking near the clamps, and is the current hose routing OK?
3) How do I disconnect the lines coming out of the radiator? If I remove the fitting and line can I rip off the old ends? Do I need a tool to do the job right? I have the AC disconnect tools from harbor freight.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When those lines rusted through on my '00 'tec (spraying transmission fluid on my brake disk) the replacement lines, direct from Ford as I remember, were relatively cheap. How to disconnect the lines at the transmission I don't remember. At least one line is a simple clamp connection at the other end underneath the radiator on the support cross member. It's the one used for draining/refilling the transmission. Mine was a common failure due to rust in the rust belt.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the line connectors at the tranny are the Ford "duck bill" connectors common in the mid/late 80s. You need the duck bill tool, but you can sometimes get them apart with a small screwdriver or 2 stuck into it to release (push toward the outside) the white plastic lock tabs. Kind of hard to explain in words.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They have the trans connectors in the HELP section @ AAP...
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks for the help guys. I tried my AC/fuel line disconnect tools per a recommendation, and voila the lines popped out of the rad quite easily. You are correct Jeff in them being the "duck bill" like connectors. No O-rings at all they just seem to snap in.

I'll pick up a couple of trans connectors @ AAP tomorrow. Go ahead and replace them while the rad and fan are out of the way.

Thanks guys!
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are O rings, but they are inside the "nut part" of the connector, unlike the springlock tyoe connectors where the O rings are on the tube.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea I saw the o-rings inside those nut connectors. I have a new hatred for the lower mounted transmission cooler line That thing would not go in.

About to go add coolant and see how it does...
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well I am glad I didn't add coolant and crank it up. Doing one last look over, the line popped back out...grr.

So yesterday I tried two different duckbill connectors, 2 different o rings, shims to pull the plastic insert out a bit, I even detached the trans cooler lines so I could install it with the rad up in the air. Still no luck. I think the line is to blame then?

Here are the two types of connectors that came with the radiator from VistaPro (Visteon 433891):

And inside them:


Since I am not having luck with the duck bill style...is there any way I could replace the metal line that runs from the rubber hose off the trans cooler over to the rad cooler, that would use the screw type connector instead of this duck bill style?

Or should I remove the radiator cooling all together and just route all transmission cooling through the cooler? I will replace the rubber lines, as they appear to be from when the trans was rebuilt in 1994.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The brass internal threaded connector looks very similar to an ISO flare connector. For that matter, I don't see why you couldn't just use brass compression fittings, they are good for way more pressure than that system operates at and should last longer than the car.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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^^^^^ What Dan said.
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