Mangled Firewall Heater Pipe

Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
158
Location
Los Angeles
Well guys I really dun goofed this time. I was doing my rear heater delete the other day, and it was getting dark and I was tired. To make a long story short, while using my Knipex Cobras I thought I was grabbing the hose coming off the driver's side rear heater pipe (behind the engine), but my dumb ass grabbed the hose coming off the actual heater core pipe above it by accident. I mangled the end of it pretty decently, but not very deeply; maybe only the first 1/4" or so. After this I decided I was too tired and it was too dark to keep working, so I packed it up for the night. I'm not by my truck right now but I will take pictures and upload them when I can.
I've been trying to find solutions to this; I can't really replace the pipe, as from what I understand it goes all the way to the heater core and I'd have to take my entire dash apart, which I am just not willing to do. So basically I see three options here:
1. Just leave it the way it is , slide a hose over it and clamp it and hope it doesn't leak
2. Heat it up and try to bend it back the best I can, although I fear that I could cause more damage than I fix; I'll never be able to get it totally round again anyway.
3. Cut off the last 1/4" or so with an angle grinder; the pipe sticks out of the firewall about 2", so I'd still be able to get a hose on there and clamp it

Anyone have thoughts on this? I'm really leaning towards option #3 right now.
 
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
950
Location
odessa, tx
I dinged mine pretty good when I put my engine back in. The last half inch or so was tweaked. I just slid the hose further up and secured it with hose clamps. There is plenty of pipe on it as you stated. Mine has been fine with no issues. I would try that first. If it leaks then move on to option 2
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
7,541
Location
Deep East Texas
 
 
 
My Brother did that to the pipe on my 100 series (using a pair of pliers to twist the hose, crushed the pipe). I was able to re-form it using a number of tools (NO HEAT). If we had pics of yours.... I am sure we could come up with a viable solution for you.

For sure...DON'T take the dash apart at this juncture.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
158
Location
Los Angeles
My Brother did that to the pipe on my 100 series (using a pair of pliers to twist the hose, crushed the pipe). I was able to re-form it using a number of tools (NO HEAT). If we had pics of yours.... I am sure we could come up with a viable solution for you.

For sure...DON'T take the dash apart at this juncture.
Yeah absolutely 0% chance I am taking the dash apart. I would just bypass my heat system entirely before I did that. I'm in LA so it's really a luxury anyway.
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
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7,541
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Deep East Texas
 
 
 
Yeah absolutely 0% chance I am taking the dash apart. I would just bypass my heat system entirely before I did that. I'm in LA so it's really a luxury anyway.
Yours doesn't sound too bad....I'm certain we can offer helpful advice, but a couple of pics would really help.

Mine was really bad....and I managed to re-form it without causing the heater core to leak.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
328
Location
Lakewood, CO
 
I'm trying to think outside the box and I came up with these. My idea is slowly work up to the correct size of the ID of the heater tube and reshape it round again. Might be worth a shot. I've done a heater core and trust me, you don't want to have to do it!

Screenshot_20200519-200154_Chrome.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
435
Location
Silvan, Austraila
 
I used a socket as a mandrel, find the closest size you can and gently beat it back into the pipe if its not too mangled.
Mine came out pretty round and no leaks 10 years later after I twisted the hose to get it off but twisted the pipe lol.
 

Orange Hat

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Messages
148
Location
North TX
When I did mine, I “egg shaped” one of them but was able to work it back round using pliers and a socket very carefully and slowly...been working fine since with no leaks. I always kinda figured that with new rubber and constant torque clamps, they didn’t have to be perfect.
 

ppc

M Go Blue
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
3,016
Location
Nashville, TN
 
 
 
That tube is soft brass. No need to beat on it just slowly reform it by inserting various sized tools and with a circular reaming motion. take your time and limit the pressure.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
175
Location
North Dundas, Ontario
Carefully jam progressively larger deep 1/4" sockets into the pipe. You'll get it back to near perfect with appropriate patience and a very small hammer and pliers. I did this to my rear heater core and it worked great.
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
7,541
Location
Deep East Texas
 
 
 
Carefully jam progressively larger deep 1/4" sockets into the pipe. You'll get it back to near perfect with appropriate patience and a very small hammer and pliers. I did this to my rear heater core and it worked great.

Agreed.

I used a small pair of duckbill pliers and a single, long tapered punch to do mine. The punch served as a mandrel to support the material while I lightly squeezed it back into shape. You don't want to get too aggressive with it or work harden it in any way. Like you....I 'finished' with small hammer taps.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
2,178
Location
Tucson AZ
 
 
 
Carefully jam progressively larger deep 1/4" sockets into the pipe. You'll get it back to near perfect with appropriate patience and a very small hammer and pliers. I did this to my rear heater core and it worked great.
This is what I did when I mangled mine. I used pliers at first and then a hose clamp toward the end. I was able to get it mostly round in the end. I use a longer hose and two hose clamps. I did order a replacement pipe as I saw this as a temporary fix. It has now been something like a 14 years of temporary fix.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
61
Location
Denver, Co
All good ideas above. Thought occurred to me that many round center punches have a gradual size increase and are round. Being brass working with a round object will help increase the chances of staying round. I also like the idea of putting hose clamp or even the old rubber tube will prevent the accidental slip or rough edge. Similar when you have a cavity filled at the dentist and they put a band around the tooth before packing in the filling.
Speaking from experience and a sweet tooth as a kid.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
19
Location
Wisconsin
Did the same thing.
The small socket approach works pretty good. If you can work the smaller end into the pipe, then rotate and work into the pipe it works like a mandre. The chrome being smooth allows it to rotate wthout grabbing on the pipe.
 
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