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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bottom Radiator Hose For S-4 Spiders With A/C

I had anti freeze poring out behind the crank wheel and down the front of the sump and it looked like it was comming from behind water pump so I figured my water pump had failed and started to pull everything off to replace it. But when I pulled off the lower radiator hose I found that the crank wheel teeth had eaten a slot in it. Ohhh why didn't I see that before I took everything apart. :mad:

I am guessing that when the new bottom radiator hoses was installed they didn't think to make sure that the bracket that holds (crimps)the hose was position right for the long haul. These hoses do grow over time.

So as a note keep an eye on that hose and the bracket that holds it from getting eaten up when installing a new hose and to check it from time to time.
 

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Murray,
Just wondering if you had any problems finding a replacement hose. Last year when I replaced mine I had to order from Europe because none of the usual vendors had any. I was told the lower hose with S-4 a/c were NLA.
 

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Hi Murray:

Did you get my email from earlier in the week (when your PM box was full) about this very same issue??? In any case, Centerline has the correct hose, and I know this after having bought a very similar, but incorrect hose from Vick. They're both reproductions of the original hose, but don't have a mid-section that's smaller in diameter than the ends, which the original hose had. Install is still tricky, as you've got to clear both the crank pulley and A/C pulley. And, watch for expansion of the hose after it's hot an pressurized. And, finally, the Centerline hose is really only ~$13, not the ~$70 price as shown in the catalog (which must have been the OEM hose). Glad your waterpump wasn't the problem.
 

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Wow, it is good to know that. You are talking about RH525, the lower hose for 91-94 WITH A/C, (Link) right? I use them almost exclusively when it comes to Alfa parts and I was shocked by the price of the lower hose in their catalog!!

Thanks,

And, finally, the Centerline hose is really only ~$13, not the ~$70 price as shown in the catalog (which must have been the OEM hose). Glad your waterpump wasn't the problem.
 

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That's the one I'm talking about. Actually, as much trouble as the repro hose is to install, I wouldn't have been upset to pay the price for an OEM hose. The hose from Vick was VERY similar. but just off by enough to make it wrong. If I sat both hoses on the table, with the waterpump end pointing straight up, the the radiator end of the Vick hose was rotated about 30 degrees clockwise from the Centerline hose. The bends were identical, but the "twist" was wrong, if you can understand my description. I could only get the Vick hose to clear the crank OR the A/C pulley, but not both. If I got it two clear both, then it would rub on the front of the A/C compressor clutch. I spent hours screwing with it and thought I had it right, but when I drove the car and the hose expanded, it hit the crank pulley and got cut. The Centerline hose was easier to install, not by much, but it's been on the car for about 3 weeks now, and it's good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Murray,
Just wondering if you had any problems finding a replacement hose. Last year when I replaced mine I had to order from Europe because none of the usual vendors had any. I was told the lower hose with S-4 a/c were NLA.
Hi aldo,

Was the hose you get from Europe OEM hose (smaller in the middle)?

Hi Murray:

Did you get my email from earlier in the week (when your PM box was full) about this very same issue??? In any case, Centerline has the correct hose, and I know this after having bought a very similar, but incorrect hose from Vick. They're both reproductions of the original hose, but don't have a mid-section that's smaller in diameter than the ends, which the original hose had. Install is still tricky, as you've got to clear both the crank pulley and A/C pulley. And, watch for expansion of the hose after it's hot an pressurized. And, finally, the Centerline hose is really only ~$13, not the ~$70 price as shown in the catalog (which must have been the OEM hose). Glad your waterpump wasn't the problem.
No, I didn't get it, how funny

Well the hose that got damage from the crank wheel was from Vick's and the one that I was going to replace it with was a spare Vick's hose too.

That hose does need to be smaller in that area going between the crank wheel and a/c pulley without a doubt. As coolant hoses age they all expand.

I'll might have to order the Centerline hose even though it's not smaller in middle then the ends to see if it gives more clearance than what I have.................?

Now it makes sense why that hose bracket clamp between the crank wheel and the a/c pulley is smaller than the Vick's hose.

Tifosi mentioned that maybe the bottom radiator hose could be cut in 2 and install a pipe or PVC to go through that tight area or maybe one of those SS braided radiator hoses would work?
 

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You'll be OK with the Centerline hose. FWIW, Ruth Ann at Alfa Parts also mentioned they had had some trouble with the hoses they sell, but Centerline reported no such trouble. It's still a ***** to install, especially getting the hose onto the waterpump, but once in place, it's fine. Be suer to leave both clamps loose so you can adjust the position the hose once both ends are fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You'll be OK with the Centerline hose. FWIW, Ruth Ann at Alfa Parts also mentioned they had had some trouble with the hoses they sell, but Centerline reported no such trouble. It's still a ***** to install, especially getting the hose onto the waterpump, but once in place, it's fine. Be suer to leave both clamps loose so you can adjust the position the hose once both ends are fitted.
Many thanks, I'll order it but tell me on the price that is listed on Centerlines web site did you have to call to get the $13.00 price or did it show up on your credit card as $13.00 at your surpise?

Here is a shot of the bracket did you bend on it way or the other for the best clearance? I have moved mine up as far as it would without hitting the a/c pulley (seemed like the higher you hold the hose away from the crank wheel the better with the Vick's hose?
 

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I don't have that bracket! Doesn't seem like I need it, but I wonder where it went? The $13 (might have been $15, but that's in the ballpark) hose price was a surprise to me, and the guy I was speaking to at Centerline thought the $70 was for the OEM hose that's now NLA. Someone should probably update their website.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't have that bracket! Doesn't seem like I need it, but I wonder where it went? .
It's bolted on the a/c compressure bracket, maybe I'll remove mine to see if that helps?

As you can see in the damage hose the the clamp squeezes the botttom of the hose causing the top part to bulge out and that was the part that got hit by the crank wheel teeth.

I wonder if the PO of your Spider took it off or of Alfa just stop putting those on after the 91 modle year?
 

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Tough to know for sure, not having a bracket to look at, but on my '92 with the Centerline hose, I don't see how the bracket would help, especially if it squeezes the hose and makes it bulge on top. Maybe you should ask Centerline for their advice when you call to order the hose?

FWIW, it's funny that Vick warned me in advance that I might have trouble with the hose (I was told to check my motor mounts, and they're good), but as I've already mentioned, Centerline said they've had no complaints. And, Ruth Ann at Alfa Parts actually mentioned the same problems as Vick, but also that she thought it might be a good idea to pull the hose downwards, perhaps with a strap of some sort. So, after considering what everyone had to say, I went with the Centerline hose, and it seems like it might the only one that will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Tough to know for sure, not having a bracket to look at, but on my '92 with the Centerline hose, I don't see how the bracket would help, especially if it squeezes the hose and makes it bulge on top. Maybe you should ask Centerline for their advice when you call to order the hose?
Your right the bracket does not help at all in fact IMO it hurts and I would recommend for it to come off when the OEM hose is replaced.

The Vick's hose looks to fit better between the compressor pulley and crank wheel without the bracket but the clearance is still very close and I don't have it hook up to the radiator yet which might push the hose to close to either danger.

It's worth getting the Centerline hose to see if it's better IMO.

Here are some pictures of the clamp showing how it clamps down the hose too much IMO. I also included a shot of the of how the hose looks installed without the clamp.

As a note I can't imagine how that hose could be changed with everything in place. That must of been a frustrating job Dean.
 

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Getting it positioned properly with the hose on both the water pump AND the radiator is the problem. With the Vick's hose I could get it to clear the edges of both pulleys (barely), but then it would be rubbing on the front of the A/C clutch. If I got it to clear the clutch, then it would have to hit either of the two pulleys. I really did spend several hours adjusting and cursing at the Vick's hose, but the Centerline hose went on in just a few minutes. It seems lame that a hose manufacturer can't step up here and just make the hose properly, which is to say with the large ends and smaller mid section. Even though the Centerline hose seems OK, and probably will stay that way, I still feel obligated to check it every few days, just because I'm paranoid and know what sort of damage can occur when a Spider engine is overheated.
 

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At least ole buddy Murray....it wasn't the water pump!:D Glad you didn't get around to taking it off!

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Discussion Starter #15
True old John, but I sure took alot of stuff off just to change the bottom radiator hose.:D

Did you have that bracket on your 92 Spider?
 

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Well:

It is interesting to see this problem being discussed here. We had the hose cut in Arkansas, on the way to Motor City Alfa in Detroit. The replacement hose was not the narrow center section and the installer, made special effort to use a tie wrap to pull the hose away from the timing wheel.

After the Lake Huron Mille, I was autocrossing the spider and the ac compressor's worn mounting bracket bushings allowed it to move cutting the 1st replacement hose.

Second replacement hose was the narrow center section hose, which so far has not had a problem (knock wood) either on the way home and during the Texas Hill country chapter's Fall tour. We are planning on having the worn bushings replaced soon.

So be careful, if you do not have a narrow center sectioned hose, to inspect your ac compressor for play due to worn bushings. Bad bushings will position the cut to be on almost the exact opposite position on the hose as to the timing wheel cut. We have two souvenir hoses from our Detroit trip.

Best Wishes,
Bernie Bennett
Brenham, TX
 

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True old John, but I sure took alot of stuff off just to change the bottom radiator hose.:D

Did you have that bracket on your 92 Spider?

Affirmative....

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Hi Bernie,

Where did you get the narrow center section hose?
I didn't. Andrew Garcia called Dean Russell's Trail Auto in Dearborn Heights MI Trail Auto and we were offerred two choices. The oem was more expensive AND AS I Recall the last one he had in August?!? But that is just second hand info. And my memory is not perfect.

Best Wishes,
Bernie Bennett
 
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