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RB26 rear block water connector - how to remove?


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I decided to try removing the fitting on the back of the block that goes to the heater core. Any advice for how to remove this without creating more problems? I have tried a 27mm crescent wrench and hitting it with a dead blow hammer even with quite a bit of force is just threatening to round off the bolt instead of actually moving it. I have an impact driver which is the wrong tool but works surprisingly well for most smaller bolts like 10 or 14mm, no dice with something this big. Should I try dry ice or something like that?

Picture for what I'm talking about:

image.thumb.png.ffccb2a9725215288b3305e8439553df.png

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Ring spanner and muscles. Add 0.5 - 1 metre pipe on spanner if required, it'll go.

Literally had mine off on the weekend to cut off the smaller pipe and plug it on the 32.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/3/2021 at 6:45 PM, Duncan said:

yeah they rust in pretty well over the years. Do you have access to get a blow torch onto it without burning the car down?

I can get a blowtorch in there, it just makes me nervous to take a torch to the block. Isn't it painted? I need to also wash the entire side of the engine, there's clearly remnants of a valve cover leak all over the side of the block.

On 10/3/2021 at 7:47 PM, BK said:

Ring spanner and muscles. Add 0.5 - 1 metre pipe on spanner if required, it'll go.

Literally had mine off on the weekend to cut off the smaller pipe and plug it on the 32.

The pipe part makes me nervous because slapping the end of the spanner with a dead blow hammer full force was enough to make the edges of the fitting's hex start to distort a little. A 12 point impact socket actually visibly rounded the edges. There's still plenty of meat left after I cut off the smaller pipe with a cutoff wheel but those two incidents are a clear sign to me to re-assess before I really create a disaster.

Edited by joshuaho96
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I assume you have hit it with some penetrating spray?  Do that and leave it overnight to wick in....then use a freeze spray on it.  Also try tightening it a small amount before backing out?

Also if you don't want to use a blow torch....try boiling the jug then slowly pouring boiled water over it, do it a couple of times if needed.

 

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On 10/3/2021 at 9:16 PM, tridentt150v said:

I assume you have hit it with some penetrating spray?  Do that and leave it overnight to wick in....then use a freeze spray on it.  Also try tightening it a small amount before backing out?

Also if you don't want to use a blow torch....try boiling the jug then slowly pouring boiled water over it, do it a couple of times if needed.

 

Yeah, PB Blaster but my experience with penetrating sprays has been pretty mediocre. I'll let it go overnight and see if it gets any better tomorrow. I have tried both directions, doesn't feel like anything is happening either way. I suspect the solution is going to be to go buy a can of CRC freeze-off and try to see if I can get proper thread penetration that way. Doesn't sound great to use a can of refrigerant just to break one bolt loose but the block is a big thermal mass and I really don't want to risk damaging the engine block. I've used a torch on oil pans before but only ones that come out easily.

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IMG_3780.thumb.jpg.e5958af1c8f76901b77f418d8169928c.jpg

I got it in the end. I got CRC Freeze-Off as mentioned before which is basically just penetrating oil and R152a combined. I sprayed what felt like half the can at least, a solid 30 seconds of spraying to get the piece very cold. Because the can I used was combined refrigerant and penetrating oil it's frankly extremely wasteful. I had a bunch of paper towels on the block under the fitting to catch all the spilling penetrating oil and even then it was still dripping all over the ground. I would probably recommend a separate can of R152a, then using your preferred penetrating oil after getting the threads properly cold. I took the time while the penetrating oil worked into the threads to go do some other chores. Then smacking a spanner with a dead blow hammer got it to break loose enough to put a 27mm socket on it and get it off. For anyone that finds this thread in the future I recommend getting soaking a paper towel in water and shoving it into the fitting when cutting the Y pipe off the fitting to keep the dust from getting into the block. I didn't do this because I'm not very smart and I spent probably a solid 45 minutes just reaching into the hole with clean paper towels/gloves to try and clean the area around the hole as best I could. I don't think all that much actually got into the engine but there's definitely an element of paranoia to it. There is also a ton of crud all over the threads so it's hard for me to tell how much of what I cleaned out of the block was from the threads.

Next step is to degrease the side of the block of an old valve cover leak, pulling the oil cooler, replacing all the gaskets in the oil cooler, replacing the starter motor, then buttoning everything back up. I plan on putting o-ring grease on all the hose barbs in the hopes of keeping the hoses from rust-welding again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

image.thumb.png.e549d42c2412884b200a28939b1c467c.png

I now have a new dilemma for this one. I notice that the new block fitting doesn't want to be tight in the threads in the orientation pictured. It genuinely feels like I'm going to break something if I try to turn it another full turn to be truly tight. Any ideas here?

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On 11/1/2021 at 11:04 AM, joshuaho96 said:

image.thumb.png.e549d42c2412884b200a28939b1c467c.png

I now have a new dilemma for this one. I notice that the new block fitting doesn't want to be tight in the threads in the orientation pictured. It genuinely feels like I'm going to break something if I try to turn it another full turn to be truly tight. Any ideas here?

You got any thread tape on that? Or sealant of any type?

 

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On 10/31/2021 at 5:41 PM, Ben C34 said:

You got any thread tape on that? Or sealant of any type?

 

OEM block fitting appears to have junk on the threads but that’s about it, most of it is black and looks like corrosion instead of sealant. I have some plumbing Teflon thread tape but I’m not sure that’s the right way to do this. 

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Going in dry sure as he'll is not the correct way

 

It isn't rocket science.teflon thread tape will work no worries.

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On 10/31/2021 at 6:52 PM, Ben C34 said:

Going in dry sure as he'll is not the correct way

 

It isn't rocket science.teflon thread tape will work no worries.

I can buy liquid thread sealant or whatever I need, but that's not the general point of the question. The point of the question is that it seems like I can't have the threads tight with the Y-pipe in the correct orientation. So am I supposed to just leave it somewhat loose and expect the sealant/teflon tape to keep it from backing out or am I supposed to actually put a ton of torque into the part to get it in the correct orientation and properly tight?

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You can (and in this sort of case you need to) adjust the amount of tape you put on so that the fitting tightens up in the orientation you want.

You just have to count the turns you put on. OK, well, if the thread is longer than the tape is wide, you also need to keep track of how much taper you put on by biasing turns of tape to the back end of the thread. But once you've developed the muscle memory, it's not rocket surgery.

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On 10/31/2021 at 8:37 PM, GTSBoy said:

You can (and in this sort of case you need to) adjust the amount of tape you put on so that the fitting tightens up in the orientation you want.

You just have to count the turns you put on. OK, well, if the thread is longer than the tape is wide, you also need to keep track of how much taper you put on by biasing turns of tape to the back end of the thread. But once you've developed the muscle memory, it's not rocket surgery.

I'm an idiot that gouged an o-ring groove with a pick so now I have to buy a new 250 USD oil filter housing, so any work that requires a delicate hand and a carefully considered plan of attack may be beyond me. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. 

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I got it working btw, I have no idea how normal thread sealant would have worked in this application but teflon tape worked great. Started two threads in to hopefully keep the coolant from getting filled with teflon tape particles and added enough at the meat of the thread to get it to tighten up nicely in the right orientation.

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Win.

Sealant is not an (all purpose) replacement for thread tape. In such an application (and for gas fittings, which I assemble a lot more of than I should) I always use tape and sealant. Coolant and even fuel fittings on cars can deserve both. The thread tape is more of a mechanical thing that jams up in the threads and as you have found, can arrange for the thread to lock up at the right orientation.

The goop does what it says on the box. makes damn sure it won't seal.

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