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Hey all, I came up with a nifty way to repair crushed heater core hose nipples. I'm sorry that I didn't take any pics, but I'll try to describe the process. It started when I was helping a friend pull a motor over new years. He was removing the heater hoses while I was working on something else. I warned him to be careful because they were fragile, but I wasn't watching. Anyways when he got them off, the nipples were all mangled. I don't know if he got too aggressive or if they were already mangled (a possibility, the car had some generic red heater hoses installed). Anyways, that just wasn't going to do since he was going to order brand new factory hoses.

Rather than dismantle the dash to replace the heater core, I figured out a way to repair the nipples. Again, another Home Depot solution, I picked up three successive sizes of concrete hex sleeve anchor bolts, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch. These are the kind of concrete anchor bolts that are removeable later, NOT the kind you hammer in and never get them out again.

http://www.itwredhead.com/dynabolt_slec01.asp

The idea, you drill a hole in concrete, shove the anchor bolt in, tighten the bolt and it draws a wedge up to expand the sleeve to hold it in the concrete. To remove, you loosen the bolt, tap it back in, the sleeve relaxes and you pull it out.

I started with the smallest size, pushing it into the nipple as far as it would go, and holding the protruding sleeve with locking pliers, I tightened the nut. The sleeve expanded, widening the crushed portion of the nipple. Then I'd loosen the nut, pull it out, push it back in a little farther and repeat the process, over and over until I could freely work the anchor bolt all the way in. Then I'd repeat the process with the next bigger size anchor bolt until I had near perfect round heater core nipples. It took a while, but far, far less time than removing the dash to get at the heater core. Of course I did this with the engine out of the car. I suppose it might be possible to use the same technique with the engine in the car, but it would be difficult. The car was running again as of yesterday and no leaks so the experiment was a success. I hope this idea helps somebody out of a jam.
 

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I love your innovative, yet cheap and practical solutions to these types of dilemmas. Thank you for yet another great tip! Sticky x2 ;)
 
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