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Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids
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ach60 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids, and what exactly made them better?
When I was a kid my Father was a GM & Ford guy.
When we took roadtrips which was every year, his cars always blew radiator hoses.
My Father bought a new full size or mid-size GM car, and one Ford that I remember too.
He kept them 3 years only, but drove a lot, may be 80,000 miles in 3 years.
Cut to 30 years later, I've owned nothing but watercooled VW since 1983 for daily drivers,
I put 150,000 miles on each of these dailys over 10 years of use for each of them.
But in 36 years of driving, I've never blown a radiator hose.
My Father blew one, every year that we took a long trip from the 60's through the 70's, what changed?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Better rubber and fibers, less ozone and other rubber eating stuff in the air, better coolant formulas.
Or maybe your Dad just had bad luck with hoses?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Good formulations of rubber are much better than the G.O.D. but there is a proliferation of cheap crap from companies like URO that are horrible,
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Yes hoses and belts are better to the point that people donít even look under hoods anymore. My neighbors donít do any maintenance at home, they go back to the dealership or maybe a jiffy lube type place. Pretty sad because I can buy full synthetic oil and OEM filter and get it done for less than they pay a boy at Walmart to maybe not strip the drain plug😀 while adding mystery oil from bulk dispenser.

So cars are pretty much maintenance free or so theyíd have you believe. I still give mine a cursory inspection about once a month.

Not only are belts and hoses better but engines last longer and so do tires. American made V8s were worn out by 100k miles, now itís not uncommon to run well over 2 or 3 hundred thousand easily. My friend Earl ran a Honda shop and saw them go 500k and more. They better last longer the damn things cost too much now.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

I habitually have a shop (even a dealer) replace all engine rubber--hoses, belts (including cam drive)--when (non-VW) my cars hit 100K. They are still good at that point with rubber quality these days, but I don't want to have it break at the wrong time, so it's insurance to me. I have all fluids flushed and replenished at that time. I'm good for another 100K trouble-free that way.

Last edited by KTPhil on Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

KTPhil wrote:
I habitually have a shop (even a dealer) replace all engine rubber (hoses belts (including cam drive) when (non-VW) my cars hit 100K. They are still good at that point with rubber quality these days, but I don't want to have it break at the wrong time, so it's insurance to me. I have all fluids flushed and replenished at that time. I'm good for another 100K trouble-free that way.


Yes Iíve seen plugs go way over 100k. Zero fluid changes except for oil. Cars with over 200k little to no maintenance. For the most part people ignore the car until something goes wrong.

Check this guy out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8glWcEuxw3U
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Oh, please- plenty of American V-8's went way past 100K, Mopar 318's, GM 283, BOP 350's, Ford 289's all out could out last the car. OE hoses lasted a good long time even back then. Modern stuff seems decent in that realm. People can longer afford a new car , that is the primary reason these cars go so far. Owners are forced to dump endless cash into head gasket repairs, CV 1/2 shafts, computers etc. Average age is somewhere north of 14 years now, used to be 4.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

What's a radiator?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Silicone hoses benefit from superior flexibility compared to rubber. They maintain this flexibility over their lifespan unlike rubber hoses. This reduces the risk that your hoses will split, harden, or become dry rotted. Silicone hoses last practically forever and might possibly outlast your car.

Older ones were made from rubber trees:
What do rubber trees produce?
The milky liquid (latex) that oozes from any wound to the tree bark contains about 30 percent rubber, which can be coagulated and processed into solid products, such as tires and other rubber products.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Manfred58sc wrote:
Oh, please- plenty of American V-8's went way past 100K, Mopar 318's, GM 283, BOP 350's, Ford 289's all out could out last the car. OE hoses lasted a good long time even back then. Modern stuff seems decent in that realm. People can longer afford a new car , that is the primary reason these cars go so far. Owners are forced to dump endless cash into head gasket repairs, CV 1/2 shafts, computers etc. Average age is somewhere north of 14 years now, used to be 4.


Nope, engines were warranted 6 thousand miles back in the 50s my dad found out the hard way with a 56 Chevy six cylinder. It burned oil from day 1 then they tried to fuck him soon as warranty was up. Sometimes itís who you know, he knew a guy that owned a furniture store and had a fleet of Chevy trucks. One phone call he got the engine fixed, otherwise GM would have boned him just like everyone else. He got a 57 Ford Fairlane brand new. It ate a wheel bearing before 10k miles because it didnít have enough grease from factory. He bought a new Ford in 65 a galaxy with 289. It lasted about 100k but was burning and leaking a lot. Itís fun to long for the good old days and think everything was better, it wasnít.

Why ? Because lubricants were not as good and machining tolerances were lax compared to what we have now. Not to mention you had people performing the machining operations instead of machines like now.

No sir I came up in the 70s and drove plenty of 60,70s Detroit iron. It was shit, but it was cheap and easy to fix. Cars today the lubricants, machining, tires, rubber compounds the tires. All built to last.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Modern synthetic lubricants are far superior, that is the truth. I also came "up" in the 70's. We drove ACVW's and Detroit iron. Lets see, 1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon, sold in 2004 ( bought new ) 412,000 miles (one valve job, one trans rebuild) still running, My current 2 Mopars ( 73 and 77 ) , both 318 both well over 200K ( timing chain replaced on each ). Etc,etc,, proper care and maintenance are the key. Of course the Friday afternoon cars did not do as well of the line but the engineering was solid in many models.

Buy silicone hoses and never worry again
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Iíve wondered if rolling back odometers and the odometers resetting at 100k had a large impact on the perception about real cars of the time. I would think there wasnít much money to be made rolling back a used up VW odometer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Look up ECR hoses. Electrochemical degradation was a problem for coolant hoses a long time ago.

Not all rubber is engineered the same either. One manufacturer's neoprene or nitrile is going to be different than another. Look for the SAE markings and use the right rubber for the application, and it will perform.

Silicone has its drawback too, like water permeation through the walls, which can change the coolant/water ratio, and the lower tear strength makes it susceptible to cracks or rips from vibration or over-tight clamps. It might have its specific application and give a colorful appearance, but I wouldn't go through the hassle or expense of switching out all rubber hoses for silicone.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Oil is much better these days, with the exception of the reduction of ZDDP. Still, I go 3000 miles minimum on dino oil on both my 356's between changes. Also, in 61 years of original family ownership, my Roadster has had 1 engine rebuild and most of the parts (crank, cam, rods) were able to be reused. The car was my dad's daily driver for years and probably (the odo was broken for a while) has well north of 300000 miles on it. I've had American vehicles last well north of 100000 miles before I sold them. Basic maintenance is the key.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

I would agree with maintenance, but there's not a lot of maintenance you can do on a rubber hose.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

When I rebuilt my 1988 Mazda truck engine in 2011 at 183K miles, I replaced the small coolant bypass hoses and the heater hoses, even though they all looked good.

Yes - I believe that good-quality hoses like Gates are quite superior to those made a few decades ago.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

Matt Wilson wrote:
I would agree with maintenance, but there's not a lot of maintenance you can do on a rubber hose.


Just don't pour tap water in the radiator... Razz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

I had a bunch of failures years ago after I switched to a citrus based degreaser for cleaning engines, once I went back to Gunk or Castrol Super clean the problems stopped. Last year my wife's Odyssey popped a heater hose at ~500K, it was where the distributor seal had been weeping on it for many years, rest of the hoses were fine.

And yes, change the coolant every couple years and only use distilled water to mix, not only will the hoses like it, the rad will last longer too.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

A LOT OF THINGS are of lesser quality today than those back in the 1950ís.

Automobiles are not on that list!
When my Dad rolled over the odometer on the 56 Chevy Wagon he was absolutely ecstatic!

100,000 miles without engine work!

We run better oils, have better filters, cleaner fuel and more complete combustion today.
There is far less debris in the engine.
I remember removing valve rocker arm covers and not being able to see the rockers, they were buried in wax and the wax was formed to the valve cover shape!
I've seen nothing close to this for decades now.

Heck I know people who have NEVER serviced their engine at all!
Somewhere north of 100,000 they trade it in and start over again, a car payment is a given, always will have a newer car and a payment.

Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: Are Radiator Hoses Better than when we(boomers) were kids Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Heck I know people who have NEVER serviced their engine at all!


You knew my dad ????

Of course, my dad never had a vehicle last too long either !!!
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