If you're replacing a radiator hose, its not a bad idea to replace them all. This repair is relatively inexpensive and changing all your hoses at once helps to insure even wear and eliminates the chance that you'll forget about an aging lower hose down the road. Also, use new clamps as these wear too and corrosion, and loss of "spring" can cause older clamps to allow a leak, and a potentially more problematic issue can result.
When changing your hoses make sure the engine is completely "cool." As an additional precaution, you may also wish to disconnect the negative battery terminal cable.
To begin, drain the current coolant from the radiator. Make sure your bucket or pan is in place, and release the petcock at the base of the radiator with a pair of pliers. (You may wish to use a small piece of hose on the drain hole to direct the fluid to your bucket, but this isn't absolutely necessary.)
Once the fluid has drained completely, tighten the petcock.
To remove the hoses, use your nutdriver to loosen the hose clamps that hold them in place. Once loose, move the clamps out of the way and slide them to the middle of the hose. Again, make sure your pan is in place to catch any fluid that may remain in the hose, and gently tug at the hose to remove it. If your hose is "stuck" or will not release easily, you may wish to use the carter key removal tool to pry it free. Continue this procedure with each hose you will replace.
When placing your new hoses on the radiator, you may wish to use a small amount of white grease or a bit of radiator fluid to lubricate the inside of the hose and make it easier to slip back into place. This will make the hose easy to move as you line up the opposite end where it needs to attach.
When tightening your new clamps, make sure you hold the hose firmly in place, but do not tighten too far. You can actually damage the hose or cause a small leak if you overtighten the clamps to the point they tear or puncture the hose.
Once your hoses are back in place, refill your system with coolant, you may use the old coolant (provided your bucket or pan did not contaminate it with particles, oils, or other debris), but with as little as anti-freeze costs, a minimal investment is worth it here. Generally speaking, you will fill the system with a 50-50 mix of water and anti-freeze. Some areas that have particularly harsh weather conditions may change this ratio somewhat to favor a bit higher amount of antifreeze.
If you did disconnected the negative and then take a look back under the hood to ensure that there are no leaks.
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Sunday, February 8th, 2009 AT 7:32 PM