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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Yeah the heater core nipples suck and I’m certain mine will fail shortly. It’s on my list to change them out will be doing mine while my truck is down for repairs.
I've heard that they're metal on Fronties or Pathies from the 90's, but not sure. All I can find to order anywhere is plastic.
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Well, sad news to share.

Tuesday I couldn't find any of the right size hose clamps for the new heater hoses so I used 2 smaller ones and to create a doubled clamp for each hose. Then Wednesday I stumbled across the ones I had been looking for and swapped out the smaller doubles for the larger singles. Today (Thursday), I finished buttoning up the entire engine, rewired the twin fans and repaired some factory harness coverings that were falling apart, then filled the cooling system with water.

As it filled, I noticed some lint floating inside the top of the new radiator! I took the top hose off and finished filling the system through the hose so it would fill the radiator from the bottom up to help any other lint float to the cap or the outlet. I found some more and discarded it as well. Just as I was about to turn off the water, the little U-shaped hose at the intake manifold/upper plenum burst. (It was still original.)

No problem. Glad it broke while parked and not while driving! I went to town, got a hose that wasn't specifically designed for it but looked like it would fit, then came home and installed it.

I added more water to top off the radiator, reinstalled the upper hose, then started the engine. After a while with no burps, I put the cap on.

Once it got up to temp, the twin electric fans turned on. Then all of a sudden there was a "pop" and water was spraying everywhere! The upper heater hose nipple broke.

I am so mad at Nissan for using plastic in such a critical spot. I ordered a pair to be here on Saturday.

If I were a cussin' man, THIS would be the time when it would seem appropriate.

Until I feel like taking apart more of the dash than is already apart, I'll just use a tube to bypass the heater.
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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20+ years old and plastic is no bueno. I literally touched a single finger to one to say “don’t touch these” while helping a buddy do a BL on his Fronty and it broke off. 🤬🤣
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Depending on how much time it takes to replace the nipples, I just might opt to cut them shorter and then extend them from inside the air box on either heater hose or find some metal piping to do so.

I know just the place to find it, too: Underneath my intake! I've commented before how stupid it was to run pipes through the center of an engine and then use rubber hoses that are trapped between the engine and firewall, and that I plan to someday remove all of them in favor of being able to actually work on things. This may be the straw that not only breaks the camel's back, but the one that starts the fire to eliminate all the stubble.

I will say, though, that after more than a month of having it apart, it felt good to drive it to dinner last night! There are still a few things to tidy up on the front bumper, but it's back on the road!

I just need to poke around and see what other heater hoses I may have missed.
 
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