Have you ever done one? Mind sharing?
Here’s one I had to do recently:
My '03 Camry with 50k miles has had a lot of rusting occuring around the front end due to the winter salt and low usage. I have replaced the horns, hood lock and some miscellaneous hardware that has rusted out on it.
Recently, it started dripping fluid on the driveway which is a situation I cannot tolerate. It appeared to be oil and I thought it was just age and some engine gasket/seal. Having a 19 mo old boy, I don’t get much time to do any repairs and even then I get maybe an hour at a time. I finally got around to looking at it and lo and behold, it is leaking from under the radiator, running down the splash shields and dripping back by the engine. It turns out to be the trans cooler line.
I get under the car and remove the shields (I hate push nuts). It’s two rubber hoses coming off the trans and going into tubing nipples on the rad. Figure the hose is leaking on the inlet side. Go to remove it and the whole nipple comes off in my hand. What luck, it could have easily failed on the road. Closer examination shows this is a brass tube with a flare and captive nut. The nut is rusted away, leaving only a small portion holding the tube. The return line is simply a tube brazed into the lower rad tank.
Quick searches online show this inlet is not available separately. It comes with a new radiator. I don’t need a radiator. Nobody seems to have one except the dealer can order it. Having no time, I go to the dealer and order it. $21 and should be here in three days (Sat->Tues). I can wait. Tuesday comes and I call to see if it came in. OH NO, that wouldn’t be in yet, it’s coming from our warehouse in New York (said like it’s a million miles away and they’re hand carrying it). Do you know when it might be in? Nope. Just call us everyday to see if it came in. WHAT? Are you kidding me? Well, maybe Thursday.
Sensing a problem I decide to look at fixing the one I have. Miraculously, a standard compression nut (think ice maker tubing) has the same thread pitch. I try it and it screws right on but is too deep. The tubing is also metric size so the nut is not going to fit over the line without some modification. Another hurdle, my flare kit does not accomodate this odd sized metric tubing…and, the tubing has two, raised crimps for the hose; one to secure the clamp, one to set the depth of penetration. Enlarging the nut hole to fit over them will leave very little to engage the flare.
So, the best fix is to cut the tube, enlarge the nut hole, slip it down the tube to the flared end. Then splice the tube back together. I found that copper tubing intended for the compression nut was just about the right size to fit over the brass tube. I cut a small section of the tubing to act as a mechanical joiner. A little flux, some heat and solder and viola, the tubing is back together.
To reduce the nut depth, I simply jammed some paper towel into the tube end and ran it up against my stationary belt sander until it was the right depth. Cleaned it up and installed it. It has been working ever since.
The new part finally came in a week later. They took 1/2 hour to find it when I showed up. I almost told them to keep it and give me my money back. When I saw the part, I knew why it failed. They had cheaped out and used a galvanized steel nut on the brass tubing hoping it would last longer than the rad…