Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Festiva gets hosed!

Last week I listed a number of updates/repairs coming up for the Festiva. In the last few days I cleared one of those tasks off the list!

Engine bay before mods...
When the car was first built I had to cobble together a custom lower radiator hose to join the modified water outlet on the engine to the stock radiator.
This was all made necessary by cramming in an air conditioning compressor along side the turbocharger. The first version was made from three sections of hose cut from a couple of stock pieces, some 1" hose connectors and half a dozen screw type clamps. It didn't look pretty but it worked even though the connectors were 1/8" smaller than they should have been. The clamps in the middle of the hose also added a bit of a challenge trying to wiggle the hose into what is a fairly tight spot.

Original version. Not pretty, but functional

While researching options for custom radiator hoses I came across a product made by Gates called PowerGrip SB clamps. These are a black thermoplastic heat shrink clamp that replaces the typical screw type. They make for a much cleaner install so I decided to use them for the joints in the middle of the hose. They have to be cut to remove them so I kept the screw clamps at each end.

In addition to the clamps I also picked up some 1 1/8" stainless steel hose joiners to return the assembled hose back up to its full diameter. I also started with new a couple of new lower hoses that I had on the shelf for a while. 

Here's what I started with.

I attempted to make the new hose with only two sections but it didn't quite work. I made sure to mark the alignment of each section before shrinking the new clamps into place because the joint isn't moving once that's done!  
Assembled... much nicer!

Side by side comparison.
Installation of the new hose was easier because there were no screw clamps to catch on things in the engine bay. I used conventional clamps at each end just in case I had to remove the hose for any reason because the PowerGrip clamps are single use. Once the cooling system was refilled and checked for leaks I took the car for a drive and everything checked out.

One other little improvement I did, and forgot to mention in last week's post, involves the intake pipe and hose. I had used a section of radiator hose to connect the hose coming off the turbo and the intake pipe.

Intake connector before...

It was functional but didn't quite fit or look right. When I got this I just went ot my local auto parts store asking for a radiator hose close to the correct diameter with a 90º bend in it! To replace it I purchased a silicone elbow and a stainless joiner to replace the section of exhaust pipe I had used initially. 

Original components.

Replacement components.

The finished product. Looks cleaner and more professional.

While these new hoses won't necessarily make any difference in the performance of the Festiva they do help dress things up a bit. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!.

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