I'm going to do my best to explain the problem I've got, so bear with me.
My mother's '92 Lesabre started overheating the other day. Got it home and
closer inspection revealed a heavy leak from one of the hoses. There is a
curved hose that comes off the block approx. 6-8 inches long behind the
alternator and seems to connect to the lower radiator hose. I've removed
the alternator to inspect the hose and the plastic fitting (nipple) coming
out of the engine has snapped, leaving what I think may be a threaded end in
the block and the male end with a 1 1/8" hex like fitting in the hose. If
in fact this is threaded in, any thoughts on removing it successfully? Will
the local dealer parts counter carry a replacement (what's the correct
terminology here)? OR am I looking at a larger problem?
Thanks in advance.
Common problem on the 3800 engines. I believe you are referring
to the nipple that faces forward and is threaded into the lower
intake manifold? These have been changed up to a metal version
that won't break like those old plastic ones.
The easiest way to remove the old threaded section is to get a
hacksaw blade and cut into the plastic threaded section until
you have slotted it in about five places. Just cut thru the
plastic from the inside hole towards the manifold and don't
worry if you cut into the aluminum threads. The threads are
not what seals this nipple. There is an o-ring seal that ends
up sealing the nipple. After you have made your cuts...you
should be able to just chip out the pieces of plastic.
Same thing happened on my '92 Bonneville (3800 V6).
Your replacement nipple will be metal. I got mine at the dealer, but later
at Pep Boys for a few less $$.
Got the broken nipple out of the lower manifold by inserting a serrated
blade in and turning... came out real easy.
Same thing here on my '93 LeSabre. Dealer had the metal replacement
in stock but getting the old one out was a job. There is a (3rd
party) tool especially made for that job, (kinda tells you how many
fail) but it didn't work. Just slipped and chewed up the plastic. I
then had the option of trying to slot it with a hacksaw blade or some
other way but since I didn't want the pieces in the engine, I tried a
different method. I took a spade wood bit that EXACTLY matched the
inside diameter of the threads (as I recall it was three fourths of an
inch?) I heated it really hot with a propane torch and ran it into
the broken off plastic. That left really neat double grooves and
since the wood bit was thicker than a hacksaw blade, I could just
collapse the remaining plastic to the center and pull it out. (being
careful of course not to let it fall inside). This turned out to be
one of my schemes that really worked.
All I can say is damn GM engineers for ever putting a cheap plastic
fitting like that into a metal engine. I had looked for the leak from
that cracked fitting for a long time and didn't find it until the
alternator went bad and I looked behind it when I replaced the
Thanks for the input. Picked the fitting up yesterday and removed the broken
one with a hacksaw blade. I was as careful as I could be in removing the
pieces, not to let any fall back into the intake manifold. But after I
gathered up all the scrap pieces, I fear some may have been left in the
manifold. Just looking at it, it doesn't look like any easy removal to fish
any pieces of the fitting out. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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