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Engine Coolant Hoses - Lifespan?


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I bought my first boat last year a 2005 Colecraft with a Beta 38 engine. 
 

Can I ask advice on how often people change their engine coolant hoses?
 

When I first started driving back in the 1970s I remember vehicle coolant hoses seemed to deteriorate very quickly and you really had to keep a close watch on them to avoid disaster. Now with modern EPDM rubber you never seem to hear of problems and they generally last the life of a car. Narrowboats are clearly very different beasts and live a lot longer, so what’s the collective wisdom on renewing hoses?

 

I’ve had a look through the forum and very few people seem to mention changing them as part of their maintenance schedule. 

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Oil contamination seems to do for them. More of an issue with 1970's cars than modern ones, where manufacturers seem to have mastered the art of keeping the oil inside the engine. How much oil and muck is in the engine bay? Look at the ends where they go in to hard plumbing. Are the jubilee clips dug right in to the hose? Is the end looking a bit soft and deformed?

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22 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Oil contamination seems to do for them. More of an issue with 1970's cars than modern ones, where manufacturers seem to have mastered the art of keeping the oil inside the engine. How much oil and muck is in the engine bay? Look at the ends where they go in to hard plumbing. Are the jubilee clips dug right in to the hose? Is the end looking a bit soft and deformed?

They’re in very good shape visually and my engine bay is clean and tidy, however they could well be the original 2005 hoses hence my concern. Even modern EPDM hoses must have a lifespan 🤔. Perhaps I’m meeting trouble halfway? 

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34 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Look at the ends where they go in to hard plumbing. Are the jubilee clips dug right in to the hose?

Precisely this. I've just changed a couple of mine which were fine apart from the junction with metal plumbing where they were cracking and starting to leak. 

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11 minutes ago, rgreg said:

Precisely this. I've just changed a couple of mine which were fine apart from the junction with metal plumbing where they were cracking and starting to leak. 

 

 and has the ends of the hose beyond the clip spayed out and starter cracking.

 

Also, if ordinary traditional car type hoses, give them some squeezes along their length. Any that you feel crack under your hand need changing before the outer layers harden as well as the inside.

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These aren't engine cooler hoses but Bowman oil cooler end caps.

 

LHS new, RHS old.

An illustration of age deformity. 

 

Note as mentioned Jubilee clip digging into rubber. DSCF3082.JPG.8c2c44ba0a22457f3366a54dcf855472.JPG

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A good wheeze if the clips have dug deeply into a hose. Remove clip, bind a few turns of Self amalgamating tape around the trench, replace clip over the tape, check it's tightness again after a bit of a run.  You can get clips with flared up sides that don't dig in sharply but only in stainless steel I think.

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My boat is a 2003 build and still has the original hoses.

I doubt I am alone.

 

Back in time in the 1980's when I ran 10 year old cars (they were rot boxes by that time) the need to replace hoses and belts seemed a much more frequent occurrence.

Cars I have owned that were built since the early 1990's have never required  a hose or a belt other than one or two had reached the age they needed replacement cam belts  . My wifes 2008 car is rust free and has all its original belts and hoses (it has a cam chain instead of a belt). Some things have improved with time.

 

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4 minutes ago, bizzard said:

  You can get clips with flared up sides that don't dig in sharply but only in stainless steel I think.

Marine engines should have stainless steel clips really .

This type looks quite good although I cant say I have used them

image.png.e4cf17b4c06c0fd79e7dbd7f3f345682.png

 

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Just now, MartynG said:

Marine engines should have stainless steel clips really .

This type looks quite good although I cant say I have used them

image.png.e4cf17b4c06c0fd79e7dbd7f3f345682.png

 

I agree. Those I think do have flared up sides.

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12 minutes ago, MartynG said:

My boat is a 2003 build and still has the original hoses.

I doubt I am alone.

 

Back in time in the 1980's when I ran 10 year old cars (they were rot boxes by that time) the need to replace hoses and belts seemed a much more frequent occurrence.

Cars I have owned that were built since the early 1990's have never required  a hose or a belt other than one or two had reached the age they needed replacement cam belts  . My wifes 2008 car is rust free and has all its original belts and hoses (it has a cam chain instead of a belt). Some things have improved with time.

 

This was exactly my thought… ‘some things have improved with time’. 

 

Nevertheless running an engine with a set of hoses getting on for 20 years old kind of ‘bugs me’ hence my original post. On the other hand the cost and inconvenience of changing them is going to be considerable, so maybe I’ll just keep a close eye on them based on the advice given here and carry on.

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If you do have to change a coolant hose it's well worth considering silicone replacements. Not the cheapest but removing them at a later date is a pleasure.

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Included in my spares is a complete set of hoses for the engine and oil cooler. A failure is not going to disrupt any cruises significantly, and you can be sure you have the right items rather than relying on someone's unseen interpretation of your needs.

Edited by Ex Brummie
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35 minutes ago, Ex Brummie said:

Included in my spares is a complete set of hoses for the entgine and oil cooler. A failure is not going to disrupt any cruises significantly, and you can be sure you have the right items rather than relying on someone's unseen interpretation of your needs.

You've just reminded me I must buy a spare oil cooler end cap. Got most spares.  

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I think when you find out how much they are from Beta you'll decide they don't need changing. Mine are the originals from 1999.

 

Our previous boat had to have a new thermostat housing hose. (Nanni engine) It was bespoke to the engine and was less than 3" long but cost £25. RCR man tried to use a generic elbow but it just didn't fit properly. 

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On 05/04/2022 at 19:18, MartynG said:

Marine engines should have stainless steel clips really .

This type looks quite good although I cant say I have used them

image.png.e4cf17b4c06c0fd79e7dbd7f3f345682.png

 

These are good. Expensive though. They also cover a narrower range of hose sizes for each size clip than more traditional jubilee clips, so you need to measure your hoses outside diameter very carefully.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

I think when you find out how much they are from Beta you'll decide they don't need changing. Mine are the originals from 1999.

 

Our previous boat had to have a new thermostat housing hose. (Nanni engine) It was bespoke to the engine and was less than 3" long but cost £25. RCR man tried to use a generic elbow but it just didn't fit properly. 

Funny you should say that I got a quote from Beta yesterday for a set of all of the 'bespoke' hoses on the '38' Greenline engine. I'm in the process of looking at it, one is basically a re-badged Kubota hose which can be cheaper to buy elsewhere, another one is just an ordinary 28mm 90 degree elbow, the others would have to come direct from Beta. Then I'd need the generic hoses for the skin tank and calorifier. Your right though, Beta Marine parts are a tad pricey.

 

I came across this company, Hose World which seems to be the most competitive for the generic stuff and their range is huge and appears good quality..

 

Thanks for all the comments from folks running with hoses as old, or older than mine it's put my mind at rest but I think I'll start pulling together a spares kit soon and possibly swap them over when it's time to change the coolant... now there's another discussion. I won't go there for now, lol!

Edited by Withywindle
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35 minutes ago, Withywindle said:

Funny you should say that I got a quote from Beta yesterday for a set of all of the 'bespoke' hoses on the '38' Greenline engine. I'm in the process of looking at it, one is basically a re-badged Kubota hose which can be cheaper to buy elsewhere, another one is just an ordinary 28mm 90 degree elbow, the others would have to come direct from Beta. Then I'd need the generic hoses for the skin tank and calorifier. Your right though, Beta Marine parts are a tad pricey.

 

I came across this company, Hose World which seems to be the most competitive for the generic stuff and their range is huge and appears good quality..

 

Thanks for all the comments from folks running with hoses as old, or older than mine it's put my mind at rest but I think I'll start pulling together a spares kit soon and possibly swap them over when it's time to change the coolant... now there's another discussion. I won't go there for now, lol!

yes i swapped my hoses when i changed from blue to pink anti-freeze

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1 hour ago, Withywindle said:

Funny you should say that I got a quote from Beta yesterday for a set of all of the 'bespoke' hoses on the '38' Greenline engine. I'm in the process of looking at it, one is basically a re-badged Kubota hose which can be cheaper to buy elsewhere, another one is just an ordinary 28mm 90 degree elbow, the others would have to come direct from Beta. Then I'd need the generic hoses for the skin tank and calorifier. Your right though, Beta Marine parts are a tad pricey.

 

I came across this company, Hose World which seems to be the most competitive for the generic stuff and their range is huge and appears good quality..

 

Thanks for all the comments from folks running with hoses as old, or older than mine it's put my mind at rest but I think I'll start pulling together a spares kit soon and possibly swap them over when it's time to change the coolant... now there's another discussion. I won't go there for now, lol!

Some years ago I had a problem with a hose when I was in the Warwick area. After chasing around I found a company (no details) who made them up in silicone to your specifications. Can't recall the price but not cheap. In the middle of a trading estate there were no buses or cabs. The guy there gave me a lift back to the boat and wouldn't accept anything for his trouble. Can't 'promote' them but not forgotten.

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34 minutes ago, Slim said:

Some years ago I had a problem with a hose when I was in the Warwick area. After chasing around I found a company (no details) who made them up in silicone to your specifications. Can't recall the price but not cheap. In the middle of a trading estate there were no buses or cabs. The guy there gave me a lift back to the boat and wouldn't accept anything for his trouble. Can't 'promote' them but not forgotten.

Could it be this place maybe? -  SPA Silicone Hoses

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40 minutes ago, Slim said:

Can't 'promote' them but not forgotten

 

There's nothing stopping you naming a company that provided a good service.

 

In fact we like to hear about them!

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Withywindle said:

Could it be this place maybe? -  SPA Silicone Hoses

 

5 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

There's nothing stopping you naming a company that provided a good service.

 

In fact we like to hear about them!

 

 

 

 

You misunderstand, I meant I couldn't remember. Withywindle  could well be right.

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