The Story:

As we had previosly mentioned when our project SSR was introduced (here), being over 10-years old, the truck had become quite tired. An unfortunate side effect of the SSR’s swoopy design is that there is limited space in the engine compartment. Especially for cooling. As suc, a number of cooling related issues are to be expected. One such issue, which appears to be fairly common is the disintergration of the heater hose junction point. 

This is what you are left with once the tee junction completely fails.

Parts for this DIY:

  • New 3-Way Brass Tee (3/4″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″)
  • Three new 1″ Worm Gear Hose Clamps

 Tools You’ll Need:

  • A Screwdriver Set
  • An Adjustable Plier

A byproduct of the intense heat in the engine compartment, the heater hoses have a plastic junction that will become brittle and crack. The worst part of that is it is easy to miss. Normally when you see a pool of coolant you target the water pump, the radiator or the overflow tank. A small plastic junction is low on the list. The kicker to all of this is that the junction is molded into the heater hose. Thus, if you want to maintain an OEM look, you’d have to purchase an entirely new hose set, which is not cheap. The alternative, and affordable option, is to replace the junction with a brass unit, and reuse the hoses.

I bought this at the local hardware store…

The Fix:

To upgrade the damaged junction you’ll need to drain a bit of coolant and locate the heater hose junction. It can be found on the passenger side of the engine compartment below the overflow tank. If the plastic tee is cracked it should be evident. There is no need to remove the hoses from the truck, as we will clear out the old plastic junction right where it is at.

By pressing the old tee with a pair of pliers you can crack it into smaller pieces. Remove all the portions of the hose as possible. Just keep cracking the plastic and removing the smaller pieces until you are left with just the hose.

And there you have it. Better than new.

Now, all you need to do is install the new brass T-junction. Slide the worm clamps pver the hose before installing the brass tee and then tighten everything up. That’s it. Top off your coolant system if need be and you are good to go. Doing it this way will save you some serious money, and you’ll have the piece of mind that it will never break again.