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Old 02-24-2007, 03:01 PM   #1
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Coolant manifold leak...opinions sought

Hey gang. http://picasaweb.google.com/Mark.D.Zimm ... antProblem has some pictures up of a leak on my engine coolant 'manifold'. A piece of 1/2NPT iron pipe takes water from the manifold to the heater pump mounted on the rear firewall and on into the passenger compartment. I had thought the pipe was loose, or that the tape around the threads had given way, but a half a turn with my hand confirmed worse. The pipe had rusted and broke off.

I've removed it, but ended up unable to remove the last half inch of the pipe still bonded to the hole. My thoughts are:

Run a tap inside the broken pipe and plug the hole with a bolt.

-or-

Invest in an easy out (which is a lie from what I recall) and pull the old pipe, replacing it with a 1/2" NPT plug. As a side question, can those be rented from the autoparts stores?

While I want to do the job in a fashion that I don't have to worry about further down the road, minimizing my expenses and efforts at this point are primary motivations. I have to do this tomorrow so I can get the bus out of my driveway and I'd really rather be working on the interior than farting with the motor more than I have to.

My next question is, do I really need to take off that manifold or can I do this with it still attached to the bus. How big of a deal are a few shavings in the wet side of the motor. There IS a filter after all.

Thanks in advance for any opinions.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #2
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Easy outs are never easy in any aspect. Especially in a rusted out spot. The non-easy out you will have to buy. Be careful not to break it off. My idea would be to run a pipe tap in the hole with some grease on it (to theoretically catch the shavings) and install a 3/8 pipe plug. You may have to open it up a bit to the correct hole size for the tap to fit. A plug would be better at stopping the leak versus a bolt.

My $.02
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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applying some grease to the pipe tap before you use it will keep almost all of the shavings stuck to the tap, and not inside your engine.

i'd start with wd 40 or some penetrating oil around the threads to see if it'll help loosen things up.

if a not-so-easy out doesnot work, i would think you could cut a slot the lenght of the pipe, inside the hole if you're real careful not to damage the threads too bad. Having a slot should/might allow the broken pipe to want to be freed. Cutting a second slot would assure that the pipe could be removed in 2 pieces with a screwdriver and a hammer.

or

how about welding a bolt into the hole that would allow you to put a 6 foot cheater bar on the end of a ratchet and force that critter to turn....

or just weld the bolt in there so it doesn't leak and leave it alone.

your original idea of using a slightly smaller tap and trying to create new threads is a good idea too. Just remember to use a npt tap as they are tapered unlike standard bolt taps. I find good prices on taps at the junk tool stores like harbor freight and northern tool.

if it were me, i'd much rather repair the part while it's still on the bus. Taking the part off seems like a lot more work, and also increases the chances you'll have a coolant leak after putting it back together. it's also easier to torque on the broken pipe when the part is attached to the motor.

a few metal shavings in the coolant can't be good, but like you say, it has a filter. It's not like you're circulating metal shavings around inside the oil pan.

doesn't look like much fun

good luck
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:20 PM   #4
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Now now....don't be hard set on the easy out failing just off the bat. When I was doing my WVO conversion I snapped off an elbow that lead into the Racor filer/water separator and was pretty convinced that I'd be buying a new filter. No such bad luck. The easy out popped it free just like that. Just make sure you drill (if necessary) the correct size hole for the easy out. They are very specific, sometimes down to 1/32nd of an inch. The proper size hole will assure that the flutes have something to grab on to.
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I managed to get the little bugger out with about an hour of work. I ended up trying the slots in the pipe with a hacksaw blade in one of those handle thingies. I put 4 slots in there, managing to get down to the threads in the manifold, then whacked at it with a punch and a hammer to get the piece to break.... to no avail.

Since the pipe was just TOO stuck, it was time for plan B.... the Dremel. I used a 1/4 grindstone inside the pipe stub to waller (southern technical term and what pigs do) it out a tad until the 1/2 NPT tap would slip down inside and bite. The tap, with lots of vasoline raided from the wife's beauty kit, managed to do the trick, finally knocking the bits loose after they'd been weakend enough. A little teflon tape around the right size plug and she's holding fine.

Thanks again to those who answered!
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:51 AM   #6
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excellent to hear you got it figured out!

Where are you at? It's cold enough here in michigan that doing outside repairs are still quite miserable.
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:06 AM   #7
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If anyone else has this problem, there's another solution:
they make a plumber's tool for removing stub (real short) pipe nipples, and broken off pipes where only the threaded section is stuck in the whateveryacallsit.

They are a hex head tool 3-5 inches long, with a eccectric toothed cam that swings out (when you fiddle with it to look at it). You can use a socket wrench or an open end wrench/adjustable wrench.
They make them for most sizes of pipe....be aware that you get one SPECIFIC for the size/diameter pipe nipple you are removing or installing.

Slip this into the stub, and rotate it counterclockwise...this will PROBABLY remove the broken pipe. A little BLASTER PB works even better than WD-40 to assist the job.

These tools are also used to insert and tighten stub nipples as well.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
Where are you at? It's cold enough here in michigan that doing outside repairs are still quite miserable.
Central Florida, baby! 85 degrees yesterday
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