Radiator spring clamps

ComputernerdBD

Well-Known Member
#1
Hey everyone. Looking to get the coolant changed and thermostat replaced soon at 64k as the radiator hoses are getting discolored and want to get those replaced as they are original to the truck. I can't seem to find the OEM spring clamps for the radiator hoses anywhere. Been having problems with the worm gear clamps on my other truck and want to prevent the same on this one. Is this a dealer item? Any other items I should also consider replacing at this stage during the coolant change? Thanks
 

freddyboy61

Well-Known Member
#3
I've seen it written that the worm gear style hose clamps put uneven pressure on and can leak, and can even deform or break the radiator mate (can't think of the proper term).
 
#4
They do make lined ones that even out that pressure and avoid the pinch point that traditional worm clamps can cause.
 

smt 59

Well-Known Member
#5
Been using gear clamps for about 40 years now with no issues, does this help?
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#6
I switched everything over to (traditional) worm gear when I did my cooling system last year.
When I had to retighten my t-stat bolts recently (another thread), it turns out I didn't tighten the clamps on *either* the upper or lower main hoses back up enough. So maybe the band clamps are better after all - ?

(I still kinda like the worm gear, as you can tighten with either a screwdriver or a socket, vs. the band clamps being a little difficult to move (unless you have the dedicated hose clamp pliers, which I don't).

Anyway, the OP asked - 'anything else' to replace at 64K?
If you're replacing hoses at that total mileage, it's due to age / peace of mind. Hoses tend to last longer than 65K. A lot longer, IMHO. But your thinking is good for 'time', considering your '07 is now 11 calendar / MY old.

If the main hoses are OEM, and that's why you're replacing them... the heater hoses are just as old. I'd replace those as well, if you want peace of mind. And they don't cost a ton, and shouldn't be *too* hard to get to - especially on the front / forward side.

Same thing for the hose connections to the coolant recovery bottle. And check the bottle for deterioration, especially around the seams. While you have the coolant drained is the perfect time for that. If it's a pain to take out - it's worse when it's leaking, right? Check it now.

DON'T be tempted to tape over the bottom seam as a 'preventative' - it won't hold for very long, whether you're using duct / duck / Gorilla / etc. - water, vibration & changing temps will have the area leaking right past it in short order, if the seam ever splits. An epoxy *might* (?) work. But I'd leave it alone, if it looks OK.

As far as just replacing the bottle outright - a lot of the aftermarket ones don't last very long at all - so if it looks good, LITHA, and consider yourself good until the next coolant drain (which s/b in 3yrs). Cheap insurance would be to get one from a pick-n-pull and just hold onto it in case the original goes south - I've seen folks say they're getting hard to find (OEM). As for why the OEM ones last longer? Probably thicker / stiffer / more chemically resistant plastics, compared to aftermarket.

If residue / staining makes it hard to see the level mark - now's the time to clean it as well. Videos abound on YT for that. Just don't use anything *too* caustic (see above re: leaking). Alternately, go over that level mark with a 'permanent' Sharpie, and call it a day.

Some might make the argument that it would be a good time for the water pump, with all the other parts off - but I believe the one on the 4.2L is a bit difficult to remove. If so (and no symptoms of a leak), I'd leave that as-is, especially if you've had the vehicle from new, have already changed out the coolant once (which would have provided new lubricity for the WP), and know the repair history.

If your fan clutch goes south later, that's when I'd do the water pump. With a brand that had a good rep - you don't want to have to do that twice (or, at least, soon afterward).

And when you eventually do the WP, there are some additional (non-coolant) things that will be easier with it out (do a search; I don't want to name the wrong ones)

I won't even jinx you by mentioning the name of that part under the dash, but if you've got no leaks there, I'd leave that as-is, too.

As far as I know, that's pretty much the entire cooling system (unless you have the LWB, which has additional coolant, and a second one of those things I won't name under the dash, under the passenger-side rear panel.) If you're going 'there'... the rear actuator is in that area (only on EXT / XL models).

For 'non-cooling' items - in that area of the engine compartment, the drive belt(s) wouldn't be a bad idea (I have two - the big serpentine and a smaller A/C. Both have tensioners - another thing to check to see if there's any binding, etc. ) The 4.2L may only have the serpentine - not sure. Again - if you want to wait for the fan clutch, it's ok to leave the belt(s) until then.

The common thing with the belts & hoses is that they're both rubber. If you're doing the hoses b/c of that, the belts only bring further peace of mind (not that the failure rate on them is the same).

A bit long, but I tried to be thorough, since it appears you want to be as well. Hope this helps.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#8
Oh - the t-stat must be outboard on the 4.2L, then. I really should study that engine a bit more (but I'm so heavily 'invested' in the LSx engines) :wink:

OP - with that info, use your judgement- I think I've seen a few posts of OEM WPs going south in the mid-80K range on these (and GM has a bad (but well-deserved) rep on them.

At some point, the parts shotgun comes into play here; your call on 'how far' to go.
 
Last edited:

JerryIrons

Well-Known Member
#9
I use the worm gear clamps myself, only time I ever had a problem is if I forgot to tighten one. I have had the spring type rust and break on me.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#10
One thing is certain: Those Old School Round, Spring Steel Clamps...will never lose their "Squeeze". I used to hate them... that is, until I got THIS Locking Cable Tool ...to Tame them. All but the cheapest of these will allow you to loosen and lock clamps that are situated in even the most inaccessible areas under the hood...and allow you to move them up and down and reposition them along the hoses ...with ease. They have a great range in the Clamp Sizes they will service, too. So... Take Your Pick:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...eld-keywords=hose+clamp+tool&tag=gmtnation-20
 

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