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In this article, I will show how to install stainless steel flexible radiator hoses.


The kit I used came from Summit #SUM-390048
It included 48” of polished stainless hose, connectors, reducer inserts, and hose clamps. (Note: I did not use the supplied hose clamps)


The connectors have a 1 ¾” ID, the same as the OD of hose.


The reducer inserts are use to get undersized connections up to 1 ¾” OD.


It is somewhat difficult to get the connectors and inserts on. I tried hot water, didn’t work.


I tried liquid silicone, worked too well. The connectors and inserts squirmed all around.
Dawn dish soap was the best solution I came up with, it worked fairly well. Put some soap on the connector or insert and the part you are mounting it to, then push it forcefully on with a little twisting. I put inserts on the upper radiator hose (radiator is upside down in first pic) and the thermostat housing. Then used dish soap to get the connectors over the inserts.



The connectors for the lower radiator and the water pump are already 1 ¾” OD, so no inserts are used. Thankfully, they are a lot easier to put on, since access is a little harder.


Do put all of the connectors on and tighten the clamps to keep them in place. Next slide the other clamps on, leave loose! On the water pump I did slide the 2nd clamp up higher on the connector and snugged it a little to keep it from sliding off.

Time for the hoses. The upper hose is fairly easy to put on. I put one end in the connector on the thermostat housing, then bent the hose to come over to the upper radiator inlet. I did the upper first because I had lots of room and the hose hadn’t been cut yet (still 48” long). I used a piece of tape to mark where to cut, then used a hack saw to make the cut, followed by a file to clean up the rough edge. Make sure you know which side of the tape you’re cutting on. This pic is after I cut the lower hose to length, nine inches of hose left over.



Slide the hose into the connectors, make sure they are all of the way in, and tighten the hose clamps.


The lower radiator hose was a little more difficult, especially on mine since my lower radiator outlet is angled upwards at a 45 degree angle and I have a low mounted alternator. I started by putting the tightest bend I could on the hose, leaving a straight section to go into the connector, inserted the hose in the lower connector then bent the rest of the hose to go around the alternator and up to the water pump connector, marked it with tape for the cut, then removed and cut to length. Install and tighten clamps.


The stainless hose worked out nicely, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Lower hose can’t collapse now!
 

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Instead of using the reducers in the kit, I find that it is better to go to the auto store and buy a radiator hose that reduces down after the opening. I basically found a hose that was the same size as the stainless steel flex hose and then about three inches back it went down in size to fit the thermostat outlet perfectly. I cut the length I needed (about 4 or 5 inches overall) and threw away the rest. Perfect fit and no worrying about the hose popping off because the reducer wouldn't stay in place on the thermostat housing outlet. You can see in the picture what I mean. This is just an example of the kind of hose I used.

 

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Instead of using the reducers in the kit, I find that it is better to go to the auto store and buy a radiator hose that reduces down after the opening. I basically found a hose that was the same size as the stainless steel flex hose and then about three inches back it went down in size to fit the thermostat outlet perfectly. I cut the length I needed (about 4 or 5 inches overall) and threw away the rest. Perfect fit and no worrying about the hose popping off because the reducer wouldn't stay in place on the thermostat housing outlet. You can see in the picture what I mean. This is just an example of the kind of hose I used.

That or make solid copper pipe as I did of a engine swap. It's been proven that ribbed hose, restricts flow due to all the rib it has to move over. Just like rocks in a stream.
 
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