Replace the Heater Hoses on a 1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Posted by Russell Wright on December 8, 2010
While I was replacing my distributor, I found that I had at least one heater hose that was leaking. Since I had the car apart, I made the decision to replace both of them. I ordered them through WholesaleMopar.com for what I thought was a reasonable price. It was actually cheaper than buying hoses from Autozone or NAPA and rigging them to make them work as the hoses they sell don’t have the clip-on ends (they sell the clip-on ends separately, which are about $8-$10 each).
In order to get to the hoses where they attach at the firewall to the heater core, you need to remove the intake plenum. Seems like you have to remove the intake plenum to get to just about everything on this car. Luckily, it’s not quite as bad as it seems. But it does take some time. One of the trickiest steps is removing the two bolts on the left and right back sides that bolt the plenum to the brackets. You can see in some of these photos the wrench arrangement I used to accomplish this. Thank goodness for swivel sockets and long extensions!
Getting the hoses off was…how do you say…not easy. The first one wasn’t too bad, but it still took a lot of squeezing of the retainer clip and twisting with pliers to get the not-so-quick disconnect to release. I found that it was just as easy to put a pan underneath the car and catch the coolant as trying to drain coolant from the drain (which only seems to work if it is warm and under pressure). The back hose was way more difficult. I had to finally resort to cutting the hose and pretty much destroying the quick connect to get it off.
If you purchase aftermarket replacement hoses from NAPA or Autozone, they don’t come with the quick connects. I guess they assume you can simply use a standard hose clamp for the replacement hoses. Probably not a bad idea, since getting these puppies off was way too time consuming!
After I finally got the hoses off, I cleaned up the ends of the tubes by using 500 grit wet/dry sandpaper and some steel wool. I also used a small razor knife to scrape some of the crap off the end of the tube. The rubber from the hose seals was embedded pretty good. I think I got it looking pretty good!
Here where the hoses connect to the heater core at the firewall. These use standard spring loaded clamps, but it’s still kinda’ tight back there for pliers and such. There’s a neat tool that you can get that might be helpful for some spring hose clamps.