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Saturday, August 25, 2012

08 Dodge Grand Caravan Antifreeze Heatercore Y-pipe

So here's the deal on an 08 Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.6L, and others I'm sure, have this problem that is kind of hard to track down. When get off the highway and stop you'll smell burnt antifreeze. There's never an obvious leak or puddle and regular pressure testing doesn't seem to find the leak.You have to stop immediately when the smell happens and open the hood to find the problem. This plastic Y-pipe leaks.

When it leaks the antifreeze hits the exhaust manifold and instantly evaporates. So you get the smell, but no other evidence.


Here's better look at the Y-pipe in question.


This pipe has broken on me twice now. This is the stupid part. To get a replacement you have to go to the Dodge dealer and spent $100 and you this much extra stuff. When the Y-pipe and the hoses are all you really need.The dealer would probably charge you the full 1.8 hours to swap the whole assembly, too. That's about $300 total. A smart mechanic would still only swap the needed parts in about a half hour and sell the scrap aluminum and the business office still gets the 1.8 hrs of labor.



Last time I just used the stuff I needed from the big mess, but this time I decided to search the internet and found a easier/cheaper way. I found a great solution. There wasn't any picture filled write-ups so I put this together. Start with a Murray 84757 - 5/8 inch Plastic Y-pipe. I would love to find an aluminum or stainless version that would last forever, but for $7.99 a plastic one is cheap enough that carrying a spare in the van tool box is not cost prohibitive.


You'll need some 5/8inch heater hose and hose clamps.


Now let's get to it. One of these funny new style clamps.


That end's off the engine.


Now these permantent type clamps need to go. There are tougher. I could have cut off the hoses, but I didn't want to come up short of the pre-shaped hoses. So cut the bands with a razor blade.


Man they are tough. Don't loose any broken pieces in the radiator hoses.


Now get the second one off.


For breaking so easy this thing is dang hard to break off.


Y, hose piece, and clamps to match up with the original.


In place.


The other hoses go onto the Y with clamps. Don't over tighten the clamps and break the Y.


Good to go for another 50,000 miles hopefully.

33 comments:

  1. You really helped me - today I did the same thing in my car :-)
    The entire cost - $ 13 and 40 minutes of work
    THANK YOU !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great! I take pictures to help the next guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you need to change the hoses attached to the Y part or use the existing? Thanks

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Sorry, just google it. They have it at O'Reilly Auto Parts. My 09 Dodge Journey v6 is having the same problem. Smelled coolant but no leakage. Had to take off the intake manifold to get to it easier, I need to change the spark plugs anyways so its all good.

      You saved me about $80 bucks... Many thanks!

      Delete
    2. Cool. I thought I had a link to it in my post. But yeah my local O'Reilly's had it in stock when I needed it.

      Delete
  4. This was awesome. Thank you for posting it. I used a dremel tool with a grinder wheel to score the bands and a screwdriver to crack them the rest of the way off. You saved me an incredible amount of time and money. Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had this too. My y-pipe somewhat disintegrated. Two bike trips to my O'reillys yielded the wrong size pieces. Since it was already springtime in Texas, I ended up bypassing the heater all together. My coolant temp sensor has failed, so I'll be digging into that area and can replace the y-pipe now. Thanks for the item number, I'm sure that will speed up the parts hunt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found a metal one here: http://www.jcwhitney.com/dorman-universal-heater-hose-junction/p3051599.jcwx?skuId=3402399&filterid=d420y2010g226u0j1

    Just copy paste it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so unbelievably happy to have found this post. When I called the dealer they quoted me $220 for the parts. I couldn't believe it. Found this, bought the parts for $12 + replacement coolant. Perhaps 2 hours of work if I include waiting for the engine to cool before disassembling the connector. Thanks a bunch!

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  8. Can you post the link, so we can buy the ''Y'' online?? Do u think the one Sean Sullivan posted would work??

    ReplyDelete
  9. The JCWhitney one should work. This is the online place to get the one I used. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/MRY0/84757/N0187.oap?ck=Search_N0187_-1_-1&pt=N0187&ppt=C0108

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for posting this. I found my leak today and went on a search for replacing it. When I saw the $100 part I almost died! I knew there had to be an alternative to replacing the whole assembly. Now I can cancel my appointment with the mechanic and fix it myself. I have it taped up now since I can't get the parts for a few days.
    One question, did you drain the radiator first, or do I not need to worry about it since it's off?

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  11. No reason to drain it, but you'll probably need to top it off.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Will a T work the same as a Y? everybody has Ts' but no Ys'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would so, but I haven't tried it. It would stop the leak and you would know it didn't work if the heater wasn't working well.

      Delete
    2. A Wye fitting is better than a Tee for the flow.
      I would not use a Tee.

      Delete
    3. Don't use a plastic T. Not even one that is designed for radiators. I put one in and it sheered off completely. Now Have a brass T in and it is holding up well.

      Delete
  13. I am so glad that I found your page. This solution worked great. It saved me a significant amount of money. Thanks for sharing this info.

    ReplyDelete
  14. In the event you don't have an O'Reilly's near you (like me), but you do have and Advance Auto Parts, here is the same part: http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_heater-fitting-plastic-t-type-hose-splicer-factory-air_20891572-p?searchTerm=splicer

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  15. I just completed the same repair with success! Nothing better than saving $150 + labor.....

    Thanks for the advice!!

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  16. I used a 3/4" brass T fitting which fits the 5/8" heater hose perfectly.......I never have to worry about the T cracking because its not plastic....You can get it at home depot for $3

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBite-3-4-in-PEX-Brass-Lead-Free-Tee-UC370LFA/202270639#.UldxJm1kVNg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Tee fitting might not work that well for the flow.
      I know that at work we have galvanized Wye fitting that should work

      Delete
  17. Thank you, thank you, for this pictorial guide. You saved me lots of money and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I fixed my van. I also have some bruised and scraped knuckle, but those are well worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everything works better after you bleed in to it a bit.

      Delete
  18. Thank you for great job explaining and showing steps. Shop found problem for me but wanted to charge over $400 for repair. $10 later and little over and hour work (I'm and electrician, not an auto guy) and wife's van is back up and running

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for posting this repair solution, just save a good amount of money doing it myself! To people who ask about the hose clamps; you need to buy at least 3 to replace the plastic factory ones on all three legs of the Y. You can reuse the other 3 metal ones.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for your blog , I had to do the same thing on my 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan yesterday,
    In my case I just cut the hoses.
    It took me may be 15 minutes total.
    One would think that Chrysler would do something about this issue instead of just selling parts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I used a copper 3/4 t and a 45 elbow and a couple straight pieces

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  22. Great post with good pictures and details. Wish I had found this the first time my heater core line started leaking. Just by two cents. I had one of those plastic radiator connectors sheer off completely, dumping all my coolant and almost immediately overheating the engine. Definitely stick with brass if you can find it. Not sure why Dodge hasn't re-engineered this part as they did with the A/C compressor hose. I doubt I will ever by another Dodge. Too many engineering flaws for parts that shouldn't fail raises the cost of ownership...

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