Subaru ff-1/1300/1400/1600/1800/Brat 1970-1984 Repair Guide



Hoses are frequently overlooked in normal maintenance. Both upper and lower radiator hoses and all heater hoses should be checked for deterioration, leaks and loose hose clamps at every tune-up. Check the hoses by feel; they should be pliable. Any hose that feels hard or brittle should be replaced as soon as possible; in any case, replace radiator hoses as necessary every two years or 30,000 miles (48.000 km).


Never remove the pressure cap while the engine is running or personal injury from scalding hot coolant or steam may result. If possible, wait until the engine has cooled to remove the pressure cap. If this is not possible, wrap a thick cloth around the pressure cap and turn it slowly to the stop. Step back while the pressure is released from the cooling system. When you are sure all the pressure has been released, (still using the cloth) turn and remove the cap.

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Fig. Fig. 1 Remove the radiator cap

  1. Remove the radiator pressure cap.
  3. Position a clean container under the radiator petcock, then open the drain and allow the cooling system to drain to an appropriate level. For some upper hoses only a little coolant may need to be drained, to remove lower hoses the entire cooling system must be drained.

When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and other animals are attracted by ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are likely to drink any that is left on the ground or in an open container. This can prove to be fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain coolant into a suitable container. Coolant may be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Loosen the hose clamps at each end of the hose requiring replacement. Pull clamps back on the hose away from the connection.
  3. Twist, pull, and slide the hose off the fitting taking care not to damage the neck of the component.

If the hose is stuck at the connection, do not try to insert a screwdriver or other sharp tool under the hose end to release it, as the connection may become damaged. If the hose is to be replaced, use a single-edged razor blade to make a cut perpendicular to the end of the hose. The hose can then be peeled off the connection and discarded.

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Fig. Fig. 2 Loosen the radiator petcock to drain the cooling system

  1. Clean both hose mounting connections. Inspect the condition of the hose clamps and replace them if necessary.

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Fig. Fig. 3 Loosen the hose clamps at each end of the hose to be replaced

To install:

  1. Dip the ends of the hose in coolant for ease of installation.
  3. Slide the hose clamps over the hose and slide the hose ends onto the connections.
  5. Position and secure the clamps at least 1 / 4 in. from the end of the hose. Make sure they are located inside the raised bead of the connector.
  7. Close the radiator petcock and properly refill the cooling system with the drained engine coolant or a suitable 50 / 50 mix of ethylene glycol and water.
  9. If available, install a pressure tester and check for leaks.
  11. Leave the radiator cap off, then start and run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature. When the engine is at operating temperature and the thermostat has opened, continue to fill the radiator until the level stabilizes just below the filler neck.
  13. Install the pressure cap and check the system for leaks.
  15. Shut the engine off and allow to cool. After the engine has cooled, recheck the coolant level and add as necessary.