Jeep Wrangler/YJ 1987-1995 Repair Guide



Radiator hoses are generally of two constructions, the preformed (molded) type, which is custom made for a particular application, and the spring-loaded type, which is made to fit several different applications. Heater hoses are all of the same general construction.


See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 1: The cracks developing along this hose are a result of age-related hardening

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Fig. Fig. 2: A hose clamp that is too tight can cause older hoses to separate and tear on either side of the clamp

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Fig. Fig. 3: A soft spongy hose (identifiable by the swollen section) will eventually burst and should be replaced

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Fig. Fig. 4: Hoses are likely to deteriorate from the inside if the cooling system is not periodically flushed

Inspect the condition of the radiator and heater hoses periodically. Early spring and at the beginning of the fall or winter, when you are performing other maintenance, are good times. Make sure the engine and cooling system are cold. Visually inspect for cracking, rotting or collapsed hoses, replace as necessary. Run your hand along the length of the hose. If a weak or swollen spot is noted when squeezing the hose wall, replace the hose.

  1. Drain the cooling system into a suitable container (if the coolant is to be reused).

When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted by ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Loosen the hose clamps at each end of the hose that requires replacement.
  3. Twist, pull and slide the hose off the radiator, water pump, thermostat or heater connection.

To install:
  1. Clean the hose mounting connections. Position the hose clamps on the new hose.
  3. Coat the connection surfaces with a water resistant sealer and slide the hose into position. Make sure the hose clamps are located beyond the raised bead of the connector (if equipped) and centered in the clamping area of the connection.
  5. Tighten the clamps to 20-30 inch lbs. (2-3 Nm). Do not overtighten.
  7. Fill the cooling system.
  9. Start the engine and allow it to reach normal operating temperature. Check for leaks.