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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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They have the trans connectors in the HELP section @ AAP...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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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^^^^^ What Dan said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK that works for me! Cool.
But sorry this is over my head...do I encase the current trans line and use some kind of fitting that opens like a book, then snaps shut around the current metal tube, that then allows me to thread/screw it into the brass fitting (that would thread into the rad)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have no idea where I would pick one of those up locally.

Found it amusing when I checked with the Ford dealer if they sold any replacement tube, the parts screen said "Use bulk tubing to fabricate replacement" :lol:

I am half tempted to install a B&M Super Cooler in place of the current cooler and just run the lines through that and take the radiator out of the loop completely. This would allow the ATF to warm up, and cool properly since there is an internal thermostat, and remove any possibility of contamination from the coolant if there was internal radiator failure.
 

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Compression fittings can be found at Lowe's or Home Depot, Ace Hardware or a similar hardware store.

I like the idea of just running the lines to an aftermarket cooler and just leaving the radiator out of the loop. That might be the easiest and best thing to do.
 

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The internal rad cooler also functions as a heater to get your ATF up to operating temp quicker, not a big deal in SC, but I know you guys do have "winter" down there as well. I would leave it in myself. You can also get those fittings at almost any auto parts store, but you have to ask the counter guy, they aren't usually out on a shelf. Especially the weird ones that are metric thread to SAE tube size, like Ford uses a lot. And running your own tube is stupid easy once you get over your "never done it before" fear of the unknown. I've done my own brakes, PS, fuel and trans lines for years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK well I went to Lowes and picked up a compression fitting. Watts A-122 968-P

3/8" OD x 1/4" MIP w/insert.

It does not thread into the brass connector...grr So going back tomorrow for the right size.

I guess the intention is for me to remove the insert and use the line bulge as the "insert"?

If so, I see exactly what you all mean now.

I also noticed the threads on the brass connector look twice as long as the black metal one pictured above. Do I need to saw off part of it or just not thread it in down to the neck?
 

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Do't saw any of it off, just use some thread sealer (pipe dope or teflon tape) and crank it in snug. The insert in the rad is an adapter bushing that you can use, or not, to get the connector to match up thread wise. The connector should thread up snug before it bottoms out in the rad. threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok I'll do that Dan.

The old metal one bottomed out before hitting read threads inside.

We'll see what happens tmrw, I have work crap to finish tonight :\

lol u drinkin early this mornin sheila
 

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Dans an elektwishun, pipefitter and plumber, lol!
Just an electrician that does instrumentation (lots of tubing) also. Pipefitters are plumbers, but plumbers aren't pipefitters....

Q: what's the difference between a plumber and an electrician?

A: plumber puts his face where the electrician puts his a$$....
A2: Electricians can bite their finger nails at work...
 
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