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Challenge Question - Bypassing oil filter coolant line? Is that possible?

chevyaddict

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
894
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Corvette
1990 Convertible
Ok folks. First, I know this is likely an "unethical" question, so to speak, but I'm desperate to get this car running right now as all my cars are down! This is one of my daily drivers. I have a coolant leak in the aluminum line that runs from the heater hose "t" down, under the oil pan, in and out of the oil filter area, and back into the block. The problem is it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get to one of the bolts that bolt this tube to the oil pan to swap it out. No way to reach it without raising the motor and I just can't do that right now. I could just hacksaw it and not have it supported there but before I do that......to my question. Given every other non-corvette 350 does not have this coolant tube, can I just block it off on both ends and drive the car? What I most concerned about is the flow of water back into the block and if that stops, what happens to the rest of the circulation? I'm not worried about cooling the oil filter area. This car also has a separate oil cooler in the front.

I'll only do this and drive it for a short time until I can get some money to get my other daily driver running (that is a high dollar job and I'm just strapped for cash at the moment). Please let me know if this is possible!
 

chevyaddict

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
894
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Corvette
1990 Convertible
I guess I could just run a rubber heater hose under the car somehow instead for the short-term. I'm guessing the aluminum line was more for aesthetics and to keep things "solid" and out of the way. Maybe that is my short-term solution for the moment!
 

patriotpa

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
45
Location
PA
Have you thought of running a flexible stainless steel hose? Jegs carries them, and if you can keep it high enough to be out of the way, you should be good to go.
 
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ecss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
649
Location
Windsor Mill, MD
Corvette
89 Brilliant Red Metallic
You still working on the coolant pipe leak? :mad

If you remove the passenger side cross brace that goes from the engine cradle to the passenger side frame rail you should have access to the nut that holds the cooler pipe to the front stud of the oil pan. It's a tight squeeze getting a socket on the nut but with a universal you should be able to get the nut loose so you can remove the oil cooler pipe. If the pipe has a hole in it have it tig welded.

If you decide to run a hose and bypass the pipe here's a picture of the T fitting.

One end of the T goes to the heater core.
One end of the T goes to the water pump.
One end of the T goes to the pipe you say has a leak but can't find where.. :ugh

Removing the center plastic cover piece that goes over the center of the passenger side A arm will give you a good side view look at the T.

At the T connection use a razor blade and slit the hose that goes to the metal pipe at the T connection this makes the removal of the hose easier instead of trying to pull the hose off of the fitting.

I've pulled the oil pan on my 89 a number of times with out jacking up the engine. This does require
removing the nut you say you can't get to. ;squint:

2nd picture shows the passenger side cross brace.



 
Last edited:

chevyaddict

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
894
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Corvette
1990 Convertible
What a PAIN. I did get the impossible bolt out but then what happens is you can't get that pipe out NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. You have to lift the motor and I absolutely was not going to do that. Need this car asap. So, I creatively and painstakingly put the new rubber pipe in (didn't have time to get a steal braded line but that was a good idea). The first route put it too close to the exhaust so I had to really work at getting that heater hose up through the original route. HARD. Took me like two hours. But I did it. Fashioned new brackets and I have to say I'm pretty proud of the job. I had to put a different bolt in the place of the original one holding the pipe, of course, but that went in really easy actually. So job is done! No leaks! Phew! Thanks for the responses folks!
 

chevyaddict

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
894
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Corvette
1990 Convertible
ECSS, this car I purchased from Michigan.... and you can imagine what the undercarriage bolts look like. Trying to get that crossbar off with the rust would have been almost impossible.... didn't have it in me to try that. Perhaps when I rebuild the front suspension I'll do just that and then maybe I can get what's left of that tube out (I cut it) and reinstall the new one I have!
 

ecss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
649
Location
Windsor Mill, MD
Corvette
89 Brilliant Red Metallic
ECSS, this car I purchased from Michigan.... and you can imagine what the undercarriage bolts look like. Trying to get that crossbar off with the rust would have been almost impossible.... didn't have it in me to try that. Perhaps when I rebuild the front suspension I'll do just that and then maybe I can get what's left of that tube out (I cut it) and reinstall the new one I have!

They do use road salt in MI. I'm originally from Detroit. Not a lot of snow in the city, more in the suburbs. Up north they do get quite a bit of snow.

Could be the prior owner garaged it in the winter and was a waxer. :L

Now that you mention it when I pulled my engine I did make sure that pipe was in place before I reinstalled the engine. When I pull the oil pan I just unbolt the two nuts and swing the pipe down. So I think you're correct about lifting the engine to remove the pipe. ;)

Post a picture of the pipe leak when you get it out. I would guess the pipe must be rubbing on something. ;shrug
 

chevyaddict

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
894
Location
Tucson, AZ USA
Corvette
1990 Convertible
Well the section that was leaking is still in the car. I know exactly where it was leaking and I actually think it was my fault. About three years ago I had to completely change the head gaskets on this car. Not knowing where this tube went, etc. I remember pushing down really hard on it to get that heater hose back on it. That right there I think made it push down against the frame and then over a two year period just wore a hole in it. So its mui importante to not do that!!! Be careful with that aluminum pipe!
 

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