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 Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose

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dmg4

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PostSubject: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:22 pm

I searched for a thread on this topic but came up empty.  The plastic T-fitting in the heater hose of the 94-96 Caprice/Roadmaster has given me headaches before when one split on a road trip on a 96 Roadmaster wagon and sidelined us for the better part of an afternoon on I-90.  My Caprice wagon still has the original plastic fitting, pictured below.  

Does this fitting serve any purpose (flow restriction?) other than connection of the hoses?  Is there any downside of replacing it with a brass T fitting?

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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:16 pm

you can make one out of brass. I did.  The branches don`t all have the same diameter. There's a thread on ISSF.
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:30 pm

I'm pretty sure Dave "95BRMW" has a write up someplace. Basically he used Home Depot parts and still kept the reduction in size. I did it also on one of mine. It looks kind of clunky, but it won't break. I don't know if that reduction is necessary or not. Some say it's needed to reduce pressure on the heater core. I'm pretty sure plenty of guys use those hard plastic tee's without any prolems.

If yours is the original, it is 22 - 23 years old. Even if a new plastic replacement is used, should be good for somewhere near the same time.

Tom
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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:25 am

^ Exactly. They probably molded it out of plastic for cost, but I'd say 20+ years is a reasonable service life for almost any part.

I'd just buy the stock part and not have something cobbled together under the hood, but that's just me.
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:55 am

Quote :
Some say it's needed to reduce pressure on the heater core.

Hmmmm... seems that pressure would be equalized in a closed system when hot.  My guess it that GM just needed to connect 3 hoses, one of which is slightly smaller in diameter.  Found the OEM part for sale on eBay.  I'll run it past my mechanical engineer when he comes home this weekend from RIT.

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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:08 am

I think this is the thread Jason and I were talking about. Dave's post is on page two.

Tom

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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:49 am

The T-fitting broke on my 96 some years back. This is for sure a weak link in these cars. I was not even aware of the restrictor fitting. Now I have something else to check out.

-Michael
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:24 am

the only reason I made a brass one is because while doing the water pump I backflushed the core. The T broke. I couldn't get the plastic one in town and they couldn't get it for a week IIRC, same as shipping online.
I got all the parts locally because I needed the car to be drivable that day.
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:03 am

I made one out of brass which wasn't cheap to do. I've seen some use the shark bite pex fittings from home depot meant for 3/4" hose. One hose will have to be stretched to fit
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sherlock9c1



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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:36 am

Rock Auto sells the entire assembly, hoses, T, restrictor, for $60.  AC Delco Part number 1555508.  The restrictor is farther down the line, towards the firewall.  You can also buy the restrictor separately as Four Seasons 74795. For me, $60 doesn't even cover the cost of a tow so I figure having all new components in there is money well spent.
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Brandt51

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:27 pm

Good to know, I'm about to flush my core.
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Brandt51

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PostSubject: Re: Potentially troublesome plastic T-fitting in heater hose   Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:48 pm

I bought the GM hose kit that has the hoses, t-fitting and restrictor, but got lucky and the flush went flawlessly. The only thing that went off without a hitch so far...

Good to have it a spare for next winter.
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