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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:50 AM
98ClubWagon 98ClubWagon is offline
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Rear Heat Coolant Line Replacement

I recently had lost all my coolant in my '98 V-10, due to the metal lines rotting out going to the rear heat/AC unit. Luckily, I remember reading in the owners manual, that you can drive the van with no coolant for a short distance, without doing any engine damage. I was almost to work when it happened, and slowly labored it in.

Anyway, I'm assuming that these lines are a 'dealer only' item? I have the 15 passenger version, with the XLT package. If these are dealer only items, and if the price is too outrageous, is there an alternative to 'capping off' the rear heat? I've had all but the front two seats out of it since I've owned it, and converted the back to a 'pickup truck' by laying down plywood, and even putting in "E" track, so I can strap freight down. If you're wondering, I used to use it as an owner-operator, working for a courier company. But, that was back when gas was $1.00/gal, and I could afford 12 mpg's!

Thanks,
John
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:47 PM
jimbbski jimbbski is offline
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Capping the lines off is one option but replacing the water lines is another.
I would think that you could use copper water lines to replace the steel lines. I have done this in the past with short lengths of tubing. I never had a problem doing this so why wouldn't it work in your case?
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:10 AM
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86scotty 86scotty is offline
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Is your problem in the lines themselves or right behind the doghouse at back of engine where the metal to rubber plastic connectors are? That's where i had some seeping and i know they sell the clips at autozone/oreilley/etc. I'm not sure why you couldn't use some sections of copper or metal pipe or just some rubber hose and clamps, that's what i was going to try but stop leak made mine go away..............for now.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:30 AM
98ClubWagon 98ClubWagon is offline
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Originally Posted by 86scotty View Post
Is your problem in the lines themselves or right behind the doghouse at back of engine where the metal to rubber plastic connectors are? That's where i had some seeping and i know they sell the clips at autozone/oreilley/etc. I'm not sure why you couldn't use some sections of copper or metal pipe or just some rubber hose and clamps, that's what i was going to try but stop leak made mine go away..............for now.

I've heard nothing but bad things about stop leak for 20 years, so I'd never use it. But, the leak is too big for that, anyway. And, yes, it IS in the steel lines, just before the rubber part. When I looked out my mirror, and saw all of that steam, I just knew the leak was big!

But, I can try using copper lines. The van is currently at my buddy's/mechanic's shop. He is supposed to get me his price from Ford on the lines, but even he said it's not going to be cheap. I can ask how good of a plumber he is, and if he want's to try copper. How long will the copper hold up? I'm not liking where they put the heater box, right behind the driver's rear wheel, for salt, and crap to build during the winter. This IS my winter daily driver!

Thanks,
John
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:08 AM
98ClubWagon 98ClubWagon is offline
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Just an update on this. My buddy did find out the price on the lines-$270.00! So, I guess plan B is in effect. He said I should try getting a whole box of heater hose, and run that instead. If need be, I can get some bigger hose, and put that around the heater hose, to protect that. He said I could get a whole box of heater hose for like $50.00, plus clamps, etc, to hold it up. Either that, or I just cut the lines up front, and put a piece of heater hose in, to connect the two lines, and bypass the rear heat. The van does have a kick-*** heater up front, so I'd probably wouldn't miss the rear heat that much. I thought about copper, but that would be more expensive than the steel lines. Still debating........


John
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:13 AM
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That's a crazy price even from a dealer---good gawd no wonder so many of us turn to DIY!

I've run in excess of 30' heater hose to an overhead mounted rear auxiliary heater and found a great bargain on eBay---50' for like $40 shipped to my door. This was the heavier duty heater automotive heater hose with a tougher outer jacket and insulating properties (supposedly).

If you DIY make sure to double check any potential rubbing or chaffing spots, keeping in mind as coolant runs though these lines they'll expand and "sag" a bit. Not paying attention to this myself the drive shaft rubbed a hole in one of my lines but luckily I'd installed a rear-heat bypass valve and redirected the coolant around the reat heating coil to get back home.

NAPA sells a line of hose protectors from the Epha company that are awesome but a bit pricey BUT are great if running rubber lines anywhere near sheet metal edges. Ask for part number 732-1203 just for reference---sizes vary.

Rear heat is nice if you have it----with a bit of easy work you can rehab yours and be worry free for quite a while longer.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:04 PM
98ClubWagon 98ClubWagon is offline
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Just as an "end note" to this thread, my buddy ended up buying new heater hoses for a front heat van, and changed them. Now, I do not have rear heat anymore, but now ALL the hoses are new (I changed the upper/lower radiator hoses last year). My buddy also said that the rear A/C metal lines look almost as bad, and he's afraid after one more winter, they will spring a leak, too. But, he's found he can do the same thing with the A/C lines, by buying the front only line, that mounts in the front, by the battery. That will be next spring's project!

Thanks,
John
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:05 AM
joshofalltrades joshofalltrades is offline
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i recently ADDED rear heat to my e350. i thought about running metal lines, but for convenience i just went with a long piece or heater hose. the second heater is just behind the drivers seat, is on a totally seperate circuit from the front heat, and has about 17 feet of hose in the circuit. its connected to a previously unused port on the waterpump and a previously unused port toward the rear of the left head. even with all that 5/8" hose, it puts out quite well!
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:41 AM
98ClubWagon 98ClubWagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshofalltrades View Post
i recently ADDED rear heat to my e350. i thought about running metal lines, but for convenience i just went with a long piece or heater hose. the second heater is just behind the drivers seat, is on a totally seperate circuit from the front heat, and has about 17 feet of hose in the circuit. its connected to a previously unused port on the waterpump and a previously unused port toward the rear of the left head. even with all that 5/8" hose, it puts out quite well!
Sounds like a novel idea, but for now, the front puts out enough heat. I remember previous winters, of turning down the front heat, even on the coldest days, so I don't think not having rear heat will be a concern. Of course, it hasn't been super cold here (northern IL) yet, so we'll see. I've taken all but the front two seats out anyway, so it's only a "2" passenger van, instead of a 15. So, I don't have to worry about rear passengers being cold!

John
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshofalltrades View Post
i recently ADDED rear heat to my e350. i thought about running metal lines, but for convenience i just went with a long piece or heater hose. the second heater is just behind the drivers seat, is on a totally seperate circuit from the front heat, and has about 17 feet of hose in the circuit. its connected to a previously unused port on the waterpump and a previously unused port toward the rear of the left head. even with all that 5/8" hose, it puts out quite well!
Hey Josh do you have a photo of your hose installation at the water pump? Having also added rear heat but overhead I simply diverted coolant flow first through the rear core than the front before it returns to the block.

I'd like to see your arrangement if you have an image.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:28 AM
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86scotty 86scotty is offline
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Originally Posted by 98ClubWagon View Post
I've heard nothing but bad things about stop leak for 20 years, so I'd never use it. But, the leak is too big for that, anyway.

Yes, i agree, but in a pinch, i did use it. This was on a trip or something, can't remember, but it was also on a 250k 460 which was on it's last leg anyway, and has since been sold.

I hated the idea of using it, but did in that case.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:02 AM
joshofalltrades joshofalltrades is offline
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i don't have a pic of my setup, but on the 6.9 the water pump has one port on the truck's right-upper that ford used for the heater, along with a port on the right head. a few inches to the left of that port, there's another one, which had a plug in it. likewise with the port on the left head. i'll try to get a pic for you guys in the next day or two

i thought about running in series with the OEM heater, but thought i'd get better output this way, and would be more able to stop the water flow in an emergency without losing flow to the OEM heater
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:44 AM
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Josh I have the 5.4 gasser motor and might not have those same ports but your method does give me the idea to look at my own set up. I'm running my rear heater in series and even in those below zero days both heaters work fine. I believe when the rear core blower isn't running the heat isn't really lost or reduces the front core's ability to warm the cabin.

Thanks though----might be an idea I can pursue anyway!
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:58 PM
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I got rid of those 4 metal lines and ran rubber. I did build a trough around these hoses with insulation and galvanized sheet-metal.

AC rubber lines were harder to bend, so I had to be pretty direct -- hence the trough, which also served as impact protection, besides holding up the batt insulation.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:57 AM
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Henry didn't you have a post about your process? Someone has already been through this and I'd swear it was you--the trough being most memorable.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:57 AM
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150, 95, auxillary, bypass, econoline, ford, heat, heater, hose, hoses, line, rear, steel, truck, water

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