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  1. #1

    SFS Performance Radiator Hoses

    Anyone in the US use SFS Performance radiator hoses? I see that they're a UK company, but I can't seem to find anyone in the US that distributes or sells them.

    I'm just curious, because they were on the car when I bought it, and it recently failed on me. I'm still crossing my fingers that nothing is damaged internally (HGs, heads, valve seats, etc) because the temps spiked fast and hard into the red before I could get the car safely off the road.

    You can see where the hose started to separate from the bleed valve, as well as where it tore.

    HWaAQ18.jpg

    I've got new Mishimoto hoses on the way, but I'm curious if the hose failure is the root problem... or a result of another failure (water pump). I might just replace the water pump, just to be safe.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  2. #2
    never seen a bleed valve on a hose like that. that to me would turn me away from buying a hose like that.

    take the belt off and see how the water spins by hand.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by goggles Pizano View Post
    never seen a bleed valve on a hose like that. that to me would turn me away from buying a hose like that.

    take the belt off and see how the water spins by hand.
    Neither had I, previous to this hose. Definitely seems like a bad idea for the exact reason that I experienced.

    I'll check the spin of the pump tonight.

    I was thinking more about it after posting and I feel like it's likely not the pump... my engine bay was covered in coolant, so I feel like the hose was likely venting coolant for a while before it got to the point of making a difference on the gauge that I could see. I was unfortunately driving on the highway, so all signs of a leak were masked. It wasn't until I pulled off and slowed down for a red light that I saw steam coming through the hood vents. Temps were only about 212-220° by then, but they spiked hard after that.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  4. #4
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    That's the old version of the Roe radiator inlet hose air bleeder. That fitting had nothing to do with SFS. It was installed to the SFS hose by Roe.

    The Mishimoto is a better fitting hose as it bends around the air box. Switching to that brand is a smart move regardless. You may have to soften the hose in hot water to install it. Or lightly lubricate the ID of the hose with clear silicone grease.

    Semper Fi BTW. I'm often right down the road from FW.
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  5. #5
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    Just looked at your pic a little closer. Some other tips.

    The double hose clamps that are overtightened are 1) the wrong type of worm drive clamp and 2) way overtightened.

    You also have the Roe fan kit as noted by the zip tied thermostat at the water neck. Those are famous for melting the car's wiring harness. I would remove that system. I did after discovering this:

    Pic1.jpg
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  6. #6
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    Roe Racing was the outlet for SFS Silicone hoses I have them on my Gen 2 in red the bleed valve you show in the pic was optional.
    Last edited by Fatboy 18; 05-07-2021 at 09:57 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dave6666 View Post
    That's the old version of the Roe radiator inlet hose air bleeder. That fitting had nothing to do with SFS. It was installed to the SFS hose by Roe.

    The Mishimoto is a better fitting hose as it bends around the air box. Switching to that brand is a smart move regardless. You may have to soften the hose in hot water to install it. Or lightly lubricate the ID of the hose with clear silicone grease.

    Semper Fi BTW. I'm often right down the road from FW.
    Excellent info, thanks. I recently discovered NAPA's Sil-Glyde, so I'm always looking for something new to use it on, haha.

    Semper.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave6666 View Post
    Just looked at your pic a little closer. Some other tips.

    The double hose clamps that are overtightened are 1) the wrong type of worm drive clamp and 2) way overtightened.

    You also have the Roe fan kit as noted by the zip tied thermostat at the water neck. Those are famous for melting the car's wiring harness. I would remove that system. I did after discovering this:
    I noticed the double hose clamps too. Sigh. I was unaware of them being a wrong type though - I honestly haven't used too many worm clamps in my day, or replaced many OE clamps for cooling systems. I'd like to try to use OE-style constant tension hose clamps. IIRC, the connection to the radiator used a combination of worm and t-bolt. I'm in the process of going through everything, finding out what I can about everything, and replacing what is definitely done wrong. Like the zip-tied thermostat that you mentioned. I was eyeballing that yesterday and trying to figure out the how's and why's.

    The car uses a Roe VEC1, as well... and I'm pretty leery about using that (the settings do match up with the recommended range that I saw mentioned on here previously though). I have HPTuners that I use to tune my E85+turbo Cobalt... but it's the old Pro cable, and I kind of don't want to spend the coin to get their new (stupid) dongle version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboy 18 View Post
    Roe Racing was the outlet for SFS Silicone hoses I have them on my Gen 2 in red the bleed valve you show in the pic was optional.
    Okay, that makes more sense then. I knew it was the Roe radiator, but I looked on their site and didn't see these hoses listed anywhere. I'm pretty sure the setup is less than a year old, as well. Funny/shitty how it failed one week after I took ownership.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  8. #8
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    I used a Roe radiator. One of the first. It failed miserably within months. Their warranty repair job failed even faster. Another brand that I tried failed quickly as well. So sadly I have a lot of experience with what works and what doesn't. Sad because it sucks changing radiators after 1 month. The Howe is the best aftermarket radiator for the Gen 2 hands down tho so if you do pull one out due to failure I would consider them.

    The best clamp to use would be like the Breeze Liner https://www.breezehoseclamps.com/breeze/liner/ One of the rednecky things that happens with hose clamp joints is people fail to realize that when a hose starts to leak it may be that the rubber hose is worn out. So the correct response is not to tighten the pig snot out of the clamps or to double up on them. I will say though since you are getting new silicone hoses that 2 things are likely going to happen. 1) you will have antifreeze smell for a a few months after installing them. This is normal and will go away. 2) you will need to retighten them after a few drives from new, and then again after a few months. The hoses will take a bit of a set over time. But after that it's all good.

    The zip tied thermostat controls an after-run add-on fan feature made by Roe. There is more to it than just the little thermostat. It will not hurt to leave the thermostat alone but I would eventually remove the entire system due to the afore mentioned potential electrical issue.

    The VEC is not a bad system as it has the capability to do individual cylinder trims. But it's not the most popular way to tune these days. Also, depending on the quality of the wiring install, crappy work can lead to issues and has in the past on VECs.

    Speaking of wiring if you have an aftermarket stereo or aftermarket alarm those are other areas that can cause problems ranging from VTTS malfunctions to other bizarre stuff.

    If you want to throw down some beers and give the car a good looking over let me know. I've been working on and modding Gen 2 stuff for close to 20 years now.
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  9. #9
    Good info. The radiator, hoses, and fan setup are only about a year old. I'll take some pictures when I get home. I'll keep the Howe in mind if I end up needing to replace.

    And interesting note on the Roe after-run add-on... because the fans do not run after the key is turned off. Even cycling the key to off and then back to on with the engine off... they won't run. I'm wondering if that was installed many years ago by the first owner, and the last owner had something else installed over them.

    There's definitely an aftermarket head unit in the car. I'd love to swap back to OE, if that were easily possible... but at the same time, it's not something I'm overly concerned with.

    And I'll definitely keep that offer in mind. I put it on jack stands for the first time last night and took the wheels off to look closely over all the suspension bushings, etc... and to install some new parts. My initial inspection of the car, I had thought the ball joint boots were toast, but it looks like someone just wrapped them in what looks like an exhaust heat wrap. Too bad I already ordered 8 new ball joints, haha.

    EDIT: Actually, looking at the spec sheet from when I bought it; my thoughts appears to be what happened. The fan kit is the RSI fan/relay kit.

    • Autoform T/A carbon fiber rear spoiler
    • Autoform Rollbar
    • Roe Racing Triple Pass Aluminum Radiator
    • Roe Racing VEC1
    • RSI dual fans/relay kit
    • A large oil cooler (doesn't look great...)
    • Billet aluminum power steering bracket and pulley kit
    • 3-rib 10 quart oil pan with Roe oil baffle system
    • Moroso oil catch can (VTA though)
    • B&M STS
    • Sidewinder II wheels with Toyo R888 tires
    • Wilwood BBK with two-piece slotted rotors
    • Stainless steel braided brake lines
    • Parking brake relocation kit
    • Borla catback w/ cats removed and piping heat wrapped through sills
    • Vented Sills
    • Front and rear tow hooks
    Last edited by usmcfieldmp; 05-07-2021 at 03:05 PM.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  10. #10
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    I don't believe the thermostat zip tied to the water neck housing is part of the RSI fan kit. It looks exactly like the Roe after run kit. But if the Roe kit was installed first and the RSI fans later, the person installing the RSI fans probably disconnected the Roe kit while installing the RSI kit and just left the thermostat there as it really isn't hurting anything. Not impossible to have them working in conjunction with each other but unlikely someone would try to figure that out.

    Just my 0.02 on that.
    /''[ ]''|[___|___]
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  11. #11
    I despise that Roe radiator hose with the bleed valve. It ruptured on me during a 4 hour trip to Charleston, SC. I repaired it at a friend's garage and was on my way. It is a stupid product made because people don't know how to fill the coolant system properly. I swapped to new hoses after I returned back home.

  12. #12
    Our shared misfortune puts my mind at ease a little bit; good to know that they seem to fail for no reason other than being a terrible idea/design. My mind has been running a million miles a minute trying to figure out all my options for if my HG's were blown just enough for combustion gasses to over-pressurize the system, or something along those lines. Fingers crossed; hope for the best.

    Changing head gaskets isn't above my capabilities - I've built a handful of engines in the last couple years - just not something you want to do on a car you've owned for less than a month.



    Worked on changing some suspension parts over the weekend and I keep finding all kinds of hidden goodies that were missed during the PPI, haha.

    w6VuMNE.jpg

    End links are changed though, and they definitely needed it.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  13. #13
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    holy crap! They actually wielded the nut on in place of the cotter pin.

  14. #14
    Yeah, I kind of can't believe it. In the list of solutions for an axle stub nut that won't stay tight... I don't think welding makes the list.

    It's the Pass Front. Looks like they were using a basic OTS nut and skipped the washer. Maybe why they were having problems with it loosening? Obviously just a guess. Driver's side is cotter pinned and looks OE.

    New wheel bearings seem easy enough to find, but that "bolt"/stub axle isn't available on its own. Seem to be a couple OE-wholesale sites that have the whole assemblies available though. Bearing seems good, so I'll worry about this later.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcfieldmp View Post
    Yeah, I kind of can't believe it. In the list of solutions for an axle stub nut that won't stay tight... I don't think welding makes the list.

    It's the Pass Front. Looks like they were using a basic OTS nut and skipped the washer. Maybe why they were having problems with it loosening? Obviously just a guess. Driver's side is cotter pinned and looks OE.

    New wheel bearings seem easy enough to find, but that "bolt"/stub axle isn't available on its own. Seem to be a couple OE-wholesale sites that have the whole assemblies available though. Bearing seems good, so I'll worry about this later.
    Oh yes it is.....Contact Ryan at Don schaft auto. I got a couple of spare ones from him.
    The Original stub axle has the bolt tightened and then the threads are peened over so that the nut can not back off (no cotter pin) I used a needle file and a punch and salvaged my original bolt allowing me to buy replacement wheel bearings at a much reduced cost.

    One of my new spares


    The old stub axle shaft


    The old OEM nut.



  16. #16
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    We are out of those hub studs. Welding does what the punched threads do but just more crude. there should not be a cotter pin for the front
    Last edited by RyanLS.GEN2; 05-10-2021 at 03:12 PM.

  17. #17
    I'll look at that Driver's Front again; I could have sworn it was pinned. If it is, I guess that means that it isn't OE. I'm likely mixing things up mentally though.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  18. #18
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    I've asked many times on forums if anyone knew what the engineering methodology was behind the peened nut on the front and the cotter pin on the rear. No specific answer to date.

    So on my car the original front hubs both went out before 35K miles. I put on factory hubs with more peened nuts. I have yet another set on standby assuming they will fail again as I do drive the car. I just bought a rear set to have on the shelf as well, but with no outstanding unanswered engineering questions on those, I went with Timkens @ $125 each instead of Mopars @ $500 each.
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  19. #19
    The nut on the front bearing was not supposed to be removed that is why there is no torque spec in the manuals. You were to replace the entire assembly even though aftermarket sells replacement hub bearing. Go on to an aftermarket site and you will see that none of them spec a torque spec for it. Someone asked something like that on the other forum but I can't find it nor what I wrote.

  20. #20
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    I think the bolt is 7/8" or 22mm, so the recommended Grade 8 SAE torque value is around 750 lb-ft.

    Not any casual home mechanic is going to have that kind of grunt in their tool box. This would require a pricey Torque Multiplier to be used with a more normal torque wrench. That's why they are not rebuildable.

    Race teams running formula cars usually have a 5 foot long cheater pipe welded to a 3/4" drive breakover bar when they check torque on their hub bearing nuts. They also have REAL Engineers on the payroll to make sure things are assembled correctly.
    Last edited by GTS Dean; 05-11-2021 at 01:58 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
    REAL Engineers on the payroll
    I'm here on Viper front wheel hub peening:

    s-l200.jpg
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  22. #22
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to dave6666 again."
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  23. #23
    I must have mixed up the rears with what I thought I saw on the driver's front. LF appears to still be OE; looks like they did the Fatboy method - straightened the threads and reused.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave6666 View Post
    I've asked many times on forums if anyone knew what the engineering methodology was behind the peened nut on the front and the cotter pin on the rear. No specific answer to date.

    So on my car the original front hubs both went out before 35K miles. I put on factory hubs with more peened nuts. I have yet another set on standby assuming they will fail again as I do drive the car. I just bought a rear set to have on the shelf as well, but with no outstanding unanswered engineering questions on those, I went with Timkens @ $125 each instead of Mopars @ $500 each.
    I'm curious about it as well. Why pick peened over staked or pinned? Interesting to see how other brands do things, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
    I think the bolt is 7/8" or 22mm, so the recommended Grade 8 SAE torque value is around 750 lb-ft.

    Not any casual home mechanic is going to have that kind of grunt in their tool box. This would require a pricey Torque Multiplier to be used with a more normal torque wrench. That's why they are not rebuildable.

    Race teams running formula cars usually have a 5 foot long cheater pipe welded to a 3/4" drive breakover bar when they check torque on their hub bearing nuts. They also have REAL Engineers on the payroll to make sure things are assembled correctly.
    The threads should be UNF, so the torque spec drops to around 550 ft-lbs, iirc. Still a lot though. But with that said, I've never seen any other car with axle nut/bolt tightening specs anywhere close to that high; my Audi S5 was probably the closest at 147 ft-lbs + 180°... similar HP/TQ numbers, more weight. I know GM and VW/Audi have really stepped up their TTY game in the last 2 decades, though - every nut and bolt seems to be TTY now.

    Interestingly enough, the end of the bolt on my RF measures about 3/4", while the LF measures what you said - about 7/8". Doesn't appear to be ground down, either.


    - - -

    Still twiddling my thumbs waiting on the new radiator hoses to get here. Projected Thursday.
    2005 Cobalt SS - PT5557 @ 20 psi + E85
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS - No Explanation Required
    1986 VW GTI - Lightweight Eyesore Track Car

  24. #24
    Way cheaper then pinning and peening damages the threads so you don't do what people are doing. Removing the nut,replacing the hub bearing assembly and reusing the stub.

  25. #25
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcfieldmp View Post
    The threads should be UNF, so the torque spec drops to around 550 ft-lbs, iirc. Still a lot though. But with that said, I've never seen any other car with axle nut/bolt tightening specs anywhere close to that high; my Audi S5 was probably the closest at 147 ft-lbs + 180°... similar HP/TQ numbers, more weight. I know GM and VW/Audi have really stepped up their TTY game in the last 2 decades, though - every nut and bolt seems to be TTY now.

    Interestingly enough, the end of the bolt on my RF measures about 3/4", while the LF measures what you said - about 7/8". Doesn't appear to be ground down, either.
    I found these after a reasonable search. You need to consider whether the threads are oiled or not, and pay attention to the thread pitch influence.Bolt Torques -a.JPGBolt Torques -b.JPG
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