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Tubing Wrenches & Broken Radiator Fitting

> > in some fresh brake fluid. Loosen bleed nipple, using preferably a box-end
> > wrench, because rounding off the flats on the nipple will make you sad.

IHNSHO, any serious do-it-yourselfer needs a set of tubing wrenches 
(RDH remembers the term correctly).  These are essentially box-end 
wrenches with a slot open across the end which allows you to get the 
wrench over a tube, but provides contact for all points on brass or 
aluminum fittings.  Just ask a parts store guy for a set of metrics - 
and work out with him how vast you want that set to be.  I have a 
three-wrench set, but since each end is a different size, that covers 
six fitting sizes.

If you do:
- brake work
- hydraulic system work (used one to change my "bomb" this afternoon)
- carburation or fuel injection work

Their benefits: more positive grasp, and they never slip.

You cannot afford NOT to have a good set of tubing wrenches.  Buy 
decent ones and keep them forever.  I keep metrics and SAEs.

Chan wrote:

> This evening the top plastic pipe on 85' 5000s radiator
> snapped into half so the upper radiator hose came completely
> off and it lost alot of coolant. 
> About 1/2" of the plastic pipe on the plastic end cap snapped
> off and lodged inside the hose. I was able to remove the section of
> plastic pipe in the hose and luckily there was a little over
> 1/2" of that pipe is still intact on the radiator so I was able
> to reconnect it back to the hose and refill the radiator and
> limp home on it :)
> My question are 1) Is the end cap replaceable? 2) If the end cap is 
> replaceable then what's the cost? 3) Should I just go and
> get a new brass retrofit radiator? 3) How much are the brass one?
> (I remember someone mentioned that they are about $200, alot cheaper
> than the OEM plastic/aluminum one). 

Chan - if you do average driving, the standard radiator is OK, IMHO.  
Others will advise you to upgrade.  Make your own decision.  However -
 the plastic end cap CAN BE replaced without replacing the radiator.  
The dealer WILL NOT admit this; find a shop which knows its stuff and 
they'll do it in a day, no sweat.  Personally, I would NOT trust a 
plastic radiator fitting repaired (bonded together) with anything.  
If you get one of the emergency repair kits referred to in another 
post, my personal advice would be to use it jonly long enough to get 
to a radiator shop.

One more thing:  tell the radiator guys to be CAREFUL in removing and 
reinstalling.  We got a cut in a Power Steering hose while this was 
being done (but couldn't prove it was the radiator shop) and it cost 
us $200 for a replacement.  I'd take a good look at the hoses before 
the work was done, and again afterwards.

Good luck.

********** A Washington State Cougar in Aggieland (aTm) **********

Al Powell                           Voice:  409/845-2807
Ag Communications                   Fax:    409/862-1202
Texas A&M University                Email:  a-powell1@tamu.edu 
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