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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm a new T-Bird owner fixing up a 1993 LX, 3.8 L V6 at 136,640 miles. I'm getting started in the joys of DIY repair and am glad I came across this site. I recently completed some front suspension repairs with help from some members here, so thanks to the community. Now I'm facing an issue with the cooling system which I believe is due to the heater core. Given that head gaskets appear to be a weakness of the 3.8 L V6 Essex, I want to make sure I don't push this off. I just fixed a coolant leak caused by a loose heater intake hose clamp, but I've recently noticed that some coolant is leaking in the cabin on the passenger side under the glove compartment. This usually takes place after the car is turned off after driving. When I bought the car I was told that "the heater doesn't work," so I'm guessing the chickens have come home to roost. Luckily I've been able to catch and/or clean up the coolant quickly, but I need a better solution than towels.

It seems like my options are to replace or bypass the heater core if it is the issue. I get that the bypass is a temporary fix of sorts, but living in South Texas I have never once used my heater. Replacing the heater core is definitely the more permanent solution, but right now I don't have the time to commit towards what seems like a potentially intensive repair job. I've been scanning the forums here to get some information about what I'll need to do and the equipment for the bypass job.

From what I can gather from other threads and posts from @The Great Obucina, I can disconnect the existing hoses going to and from the heater core, and join them with a straight-fitting double-ended barbed hose connector and screw clamps: Bad Heater Core; Bypassing the Heater core. The previous owner installed new heater hoses and bypass hoses (based on his notes and what I've seen under the hood), and I'm guessing they will have similar curvature as the original OEM hoses that @The Great Obucina is describing. This does seem like an easy and reliable fix since I don't plan on using my heater.

@The Great Obucina posted this tutorial link back in 2006 on the details of the bypass job, but unfortunately it's unavailable at this point.

I was wondering if anyone has a link to a tutorial on this procedure (pics would be very helpful), as well as information about the parts (sizes, etc) and tools you used to complete the job. It seems that the hoses are 5/8" from what I've read (?), but some input from the experienced crew would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time and help!
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