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Broken coolant return nipple and fix

Discussion in 'LR3' started by anglotron, Jan 21, 2021.

Car Parts
  1. anglotron

    anglotron Active Member

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    I’d literally just replaced the broken plastic bleeder tee and then immediately proceeded to break the coolant return nipple from the top of the radiator, by merely looking at it, it seems. After 15 years and 140k it seems the plastic has turned to mush.

    I’ve made a temporary fix by threading an 1/8 NPT x 5/16 barb fitting into the plastic and gluing it in place. This would probably work long term, but I’m going to replace the rad and all coolant hoses to be on the safe side. I’m actually glad this broke in the garage and not on the road.

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  2. Houm_WA

    Houm_WA Full Access Member

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    Interesting...how many of these vulnerable plastic bits are there? Maybe they should all be replaced periodically...
     
  3. anglotron

    anglotron Active Member

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    I have to admit I was getting a bit suspicious about the cooling system. The hoses all look fine, but the plastic connector pipes, which look like some sort of glass filled nylon, seem to absorb coolant over time and crumble. I think it’s reasonable to expect to have to replace these after 15 years. Unfortunately there’s no real warning that a failure is imminent and so it’s a case of throwing some money at it for peace of mind.
     
  4. Houm_WA

    Houm_WA Full Access Member

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    On my 2005 (130k miles now) I replaced the entire coolant hose system in 2014 before a trip to the Yukon Territory. I'm not sure if I got to every last connector, but my intent was to change "everything rubber" inclusive of connectors...so coolant and brake hoses. I specifically changed the bleeder valve.

    I'd call those "Inspection Items" for sure.
     
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  5. remember5

    remember5 Full Access Member

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    I broke the same nipple when I was "replacing rubber" as Houm mentioned and added a new radiator to the job. :(
     
  6. maxx4wd

    maxx4wd Full Access Member

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    I actually cracked the radiator pipe connection but luckily it only cracked and I was able to JB weld it back when I slapped on new hoses...Will be adding a new Rad and probably trans cooler when I open it up next. gotta love aging plastics and rubber on these beasts...
     
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  7. anglotron

    anglotron Active Member

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    Lucky! It’s definitely indicative of the plastic rot due to age.

    I’m replacing the rad and all the hoses this weekend. Just as well, as you can actually see coolant weeping through the plastic tee piece that connects to the large hose at the top of the radiator. Looks like it’s from where the plastic was originally injected into the mold.

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  8. anglotron

    anglotron Active Member

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    Just to close this thread off. I replaced the rad and all the coolant hoses this weekend. Not an especially difficult job generally, but fiddly and getting the rad out is a real pita!

    Radiator top fittings were completely rotten, in addition to the plastic T that feeds it. All the other hoses and fittings were actually in pretty good shape, but looking a bit tired.

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    A few pointers.

    1. Be patient and don’t be heavy handed. There’s the potential for breaking all manner of oil lines and AC lines, not to mention the new radiator.

    2. Remove the coolant tank and complete airbox assembly. The radiator only comes out at a very specific angle due to its mounting brackets being captured by the body trays on the left and right where the airbox and coolant tank sit, respectively.

    3. The AC condenser is clipped and screwed to the front of the radiator. It’s very thin and easy to damage. Pull it up to unclip.

    4. Put cardboard over the new rad when fitting it.

    5. The trans fluid is cooled by the radiator and you’ll lose some when disconnecting the hoses. I put about 12oz of new trans fluid into the hoses when I reconnected.

    6. Bleeding the system needs several hot/cold engine cycles to get all the air out. I put about 6 litres back in over 2 days and used Havoline XLC. Exact same stuff as Land Rover, even the bottle is the same.

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  9. COBlue

    COBlue New Member

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    Thanks for the pointers. The plastic side tanks on my 2008 radiator seem moist with no obvious leak; maybe they are getting porous with age.
     
  10. anglotron

    anglotron Active Member

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    I took both side caps off the radiator so I could recycle the aluminum core. It’s a shame really, as there’s nothing wrong with any of it except for the rotten area of plastic at the hot end of the radiator. Note the broken plastic remnants. The side with the trans cooler was in perfect condition.

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