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2G Replacing Coolant Feed Lines; Should I Drain Coolant?

Posted by JeffwithaG, Dec 14, 2019

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  1. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

    39
    2
    Joined Nov 30, 2017
    Flemington, New Jersey
    I noticed some coolant leaks (a drop hanging) around where the lower timing cover meets the oil pan/harmonic balancer and around the oil filter housing. I believe some of my coolant lines and/or clamps are the culprit. I checked the weep hole for the water pump and didnt see any fluid after starting/stopping the engine and my water pump has less than 3k miles on it.

    This may be a really dumb question, but should I drain the coolant before swapping the lines? Would there be any benefit? I know I will lose some fluid when I pull these lines and replace them, I would just like to minimize the amount that spills all over my engine bay and floor.

    Also, per reading other threads, I should be good with some 3/8" "heater hose" and hose clamps for the majority of the lines? I know the OEM parts are molded to shape (I assume to avoid kinking), but they are like $7-$12 each and I would have to wait for them to arrive. The 3/8" hose is $1/foot and readily available.
     

    Street Build 326  4

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  2. Widgmaster

    Widgmaster Supporting VIP

    44
    88
    Joined Aug 24, 2018
    Sarnia, ON, Canada
    To avoid spills its always a good idea to drain your rad when changing any lines concerning your cooling system. If I was you I would replace the lines with the correct size line that was install from the factory. I believe your heater hose lines now would be 5/8s" so changing to 3/8" may restrict flow. Trust me....for a few dollars more it`s worth the cost . After you drain the rad you could also see what condition your fluid is in. Best of luck....
     

    40  1

    2002 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    154  7

    2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT
    fwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles
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  3. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

    39
    2
    Joined Nov 30, 2017
    Flemington, New Jersey
    "Heater hose" in this context is just the high temp reinforced rubber hose. I am mainly looking to replace the coolant feed and coolant return lines for my turbo. I figured if I drained the coolant, i could take the radiator and fans out, clean up that area and replace any hoses as I come across. The auto parts stores sell the hose in various diameters, so I could always get a few feet of each if needed.
     

    Street Build 326  4

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  4. madmax4

    madmax4 Proven Member

    30
    9
    Joined Jun 21, 2011
    hartford, Connecticut
    You can try pressure testing your coolant system before you start replacing hoses to narrow down what’s leaking.
     

    Street Build 151  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  5. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

    39
    2
    Joined Nov 30, 2017
    Flemington, New Jersey
    As far as I know, they are the original hoses. I want to replace them regardless so they dont burst and leave me stranded in the future. Also when I clean it up, it will be easier for me to spot the leak (if the hoses and clamps dont fix it).
     

    Street Build 326  4

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  6. madmax4

    madmax4 Proven Member

    30
    9
    Joined Jun 21, 2011
    hartford, Connecticut
    Yea I would replace them if they seem worn out and are getting squishy/no longer stiff. You said it was just a drop you noticed?
     

    Street Build 151  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  7. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

    39
    2
    Joined Nov 30, 2017
    Flemington, New Jersey
    Yeah, just a drop hanging there. I put a cardboard box under it and there is maybe a dime sized spot after 3 days of not driving the car.

    I swapped the turbo about two months ago and had the lines off, I should have changed them then. I probably disrupted all the crud that was keeping them from leaking haha.
     

    Street Build 326  4

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  8. madmax4

    madmax4 Proven Member

    30
    9
    Joined Jun 21, 2011
    hartford, Connecticut
    Yea if the lines had a bunch of corrosion and weren’t clean then they could definitely leak. I remember after upgrading from a t25 to 16g having to chase a few very small leaks from not tightening clamps enough or corrosion I ignored.
     

    Street Build 151  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  9. ishnish

    ishnish Proven Member

    756
    95
    Joined Jun 26, 2011
    Modesto, California
    Why not just buy the complete set of silicone hoses on Amazon?


    That's what I did as my most recent project. And boy, what a PITA!! Did it for the same reasons as you. They were the original hoses and some looked like they were swollen. I figured it was time to change them while I drainedand flushed the whole coolant system. I can tell you the peace of mind was all definitely worth it.

    Let me tell you, some of the lines are an absolute nightmare to do as some of the hoses (at least for me) were a slightly different shape than the stock ones which were just a tad longer. But mostly, it was because of the awkward angles and how hard it was to reach and undo the clamps.

    If you do replace them all like me (highly recommended), then one major piece of advice is that when you install the clamps, make sure the worm clamp bolt heads are facing the most convenient orientation for in the future when/if you need to remove some hoses.

    Also some notes:
    1) I looked everywhere for silicone hoses with none of the stupid brand names in big letter and couldn't find any. Plus, I'm ALWAYS on that DSMer budget so nothing could beat that price on the amazon G-Plus brand. For the hoses that are on the upper most surface of the engine bay, I either rotated the hoses as much as I could to where you couldn't see the brand names, or I just secured the clamps over the writing LOL.

    2) Have a ton of cardboard underneath your car. I did my work at my best friend's place since I don't have a garage and his mom is an absolute OCD monster. You may think I'm exaggerating, but she doesn't even allow him to leave the garage open because the outside air is "dusty" (he lives in a brand new neighborhood development in the city :rolleyes:). The kicker is that she doesn't even live there but is always down just to clean (this calms her OCD). Anyway, my point is, I had to do the work on my car on a weekend that she was out of town in LA and I had to be absolutely positive not a drop of coolant would spill on the floor. Boy did that go out the window LOL. No matter if you think you drained all the coolant from your block or not, chances are you didn't and the hose from the turbo coolant feed hole is the one hose where a lot of coolant will come out from once you take that one out. Just a heads up.

    Anyway, sorry for the essay, hope that helps some
     

    Street Build 1K  9

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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    madmax4 likes this.
  10. Jk's97DSM

    Jk's97DSM Proven Member

    75
    14
    Joined Apr 27, 2006
    Norfolk, Virginia
    The only way to properly check a cooling system is to pressure test it along with making sure the thermostat, water pump and radiator are in working order. Pressure testing the system will show you if you have a leak, every time. Soapy water, some time and minimal tools.
     

    78  1

    1990 Mitsubishi Mirage EXE (SLO CSM)
    manual · Misc Vehicles

    Street Build 417  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · automatic · 1G DSM
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  11. JeffwithaG

    JeffwithaG Proven Member

    39
    2
    Joined Nov 30, 2017
    Flemington, New Jersey
    Thanks for this. I read some reviews from this forum about the brand you mentioned. Other people also mentioned the hoses needed some trimming, but I might go with that kit. I might drain the coolant and swap them all out over the course of a couple days.
     

    Street Build 326  4

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  12. ishnish

    ishnish Proven Member

    756
    95
    Joined Jun 26, 2011
    Modesto, California
    If you do drain the coolant all the way, I highly recommend you flush the system while you're at it. I didn't realize how much rust was in my system until my flush.. just.. wow :barf:

    Last owner FOR SURE used straight up tap water.. ugh
     

    Street Build 1K  9

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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