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jdscott
jdscott 7/22/2011
1991 Pontiac 6000 LE 6Cyl3.1L - Engine
HELP!! HVAC (?) Fitting broken off in housing
Daughter has had hot start problems. Removed the air filter/ductwork to get a look at the thermostat housing. Noticed that below the coolant temp sensor the water return line into the housing was leaking from both sides of a fitting. Removed the coolant temp sensor and grabbed the fitting (compression type on one end, threaded on housing end) with a wrench and it turned like it was made out of butter, broke right off in the housing. This fitting was connected to a metal tube coming from behind the engine. I cannot find the part for my make and model, but for firebirds it is the HVAC connector fitting.
Anyone have any good advice on trying to get this broken piece out? I can email pics if it's helpful, doesn't seem I can upload them here. Thanks!
4 Answers
  • jdscott
    jdscott 7/22/2011
    I put one of the pictures as my profile pic. The bottom hole is the broken off fitting, the upper hole is where the coolant temp sensor was.
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  • HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 7/22/2011
    Put the pics on YouTube and post the links or upload to any photo hosting site and provide the link. make sure that the pics are clear to make out what we are looking at. I believe that what broke off I have dealt with some years ago. If this fitting is a fairly large wrench size (maybe 7/8" or larger) then that is the junk white metal fitting that GM used back then and yes they break off. I was able to work with the broken off piece for like two hours with whatever worked, picking out piece by piece using a pick tool, small ball peen hammer and all the while being very careful NOT to damage the underlying threads so a new fitting would be able to be installed afterwards. Even if you remove the intake manifold you will still have to work the broken piece out millimeter by millimeter. I believe the replacement fitting may be this or similar? >> http://www.oreillyauto.com/.../C0331.oap
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    HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 7/22/2011
    OK, I see the pic, we ARE on the same page with this. You CAN do this but it will not be a walk in the park.
  • jdscott
    jdscott 7/23/2011
    Yes, I went to Oreilly today and that's the part they sold me. I also picked up a "heater hose coupler remover" which I can't seem to get to work for me. It's a splined fitting that connects to a 5/8" socket. Supposedly you "tap" it in and back it out with the socket wrench. Well, I can't get it tapped firmly enough or far enough into the hole for it to get any purchase, but it is making a mess of what is left of the fitting. Did they make this part out of pot metal? Good grief, it just crumbles like rotten wood. I've seen online that some people have removed them with needle nose pliers after they cut slots on the inside of the fitting with a thin hacksaw blade, being "careful not to cut into the threads". With the limited visibility and access is it even possible to be that careful? I am really concerned about destroying the threads on the housing, and it seems like you'd need some kind of impact wrench with a long shaft to pound the "coupler remover" in successfully. Any advice you can give me would be a huge help. Thanks.
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  • HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 7/23/2011
    It is pot metal and there are no rules here for removal. What ever works for you. Pick it out piece by piece and yes you have to be that careful and you can be that careful because the alternative is awefully expensive. One thing I remember doing is making a tap. Once I had a few threads exposed I took a pipe fitting with the same threads as that fitting. I used a high speed 3" cutoff tool and ground 3 or 4 slots in the threads like a tap would have (the actual tap would be expensive to buy) and I would pick at the threads and then run the tap in further (carefully) and I would gain a row of threads at a time. It came out perfect but took a few hours over the course of a day cause you have to take a break from the monotony.
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