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Silicone hoses & Ally Cooling pipe
Hi all,
I just did a quick search on here regarding cooling pipes and all I typed into the search box was silicone hoses and wow what a return I got!! Anyway apart from being very impressed with the cooling experts ally rad (although I didn't see a bleed screw on it lol!!)

My question is are silicone hoses better than standard? Although I have had a couple of cars where they have been fitted already I never really gave them much thought as some people say they are prone to weeping if not tightened down enough and are not very flexible and some people even go one step further and use braided?

As I am looking to change/upgrade some (all) of mine I thought I would ask for your opinions

Additionally I run a Toyota 20v not a Zetec but I am curious about the Aluminium Coolant tube, does this keep things cooler? or do you use a heat shield. I did read Paul's Zetec page btw

So any thoughts opinions would be most welcome Smile
I went for silicone hoses after I had to disturb my original rubber coolant hoses and they then leaked.  I'm sure I could have sorted out appropriate rubber hoses to replace them, but silicone are supposed to be more durable and they undoubtedly look cooler Smile

I could also have used silicone hoses rather than getting custom bent aluminium tubing but, as you have noted, the hoses aren't as flexible as rubber hoses, so it would then mean more joints - and my theory was that more joints means more chance of leaks.

With regard to the joints, all my hose to hose joints are on 32mm sections of hose and, coincidentally, B&Q sell aluminium tube in the form of a television aerial mast which is 32mm diameter.  I cut this down to the right length and made my own bead roller to get a bead on the ends fo the hose doesn't blow off, which saved some money.

My exhaust is wrapped, but even without the wrapping, the radiant heat getting to where the hoses run would be less than the temperature of the water in the hoses, so heatshields aren't particularly necessary.

I got all my hoses and the corresponding host clamps from Auto Silicone Hoses, and the custom bent aluminium tubing came from Merlin Motorsport,  The service from both was excellent.
Thanks TOC for the advice and yes merlin motorsports are good. I love the B&Q tubing idea and would love to know more about how and why you did the beading.
Not sure what engine your running? but I think the Zetec and Toyota have the exhaust on the passenger side of the car and the coolant hose runs alongside the cylinder head.
I rolled a bead on the end of the aluminium pipes so that the hoses are less likely to blow off under pressure as the clamp can't pass over the wider diameter of the bead.

You can buy pre-beaded pipes for joining silicone hoses, but it's not as much fun as building your own bead roller.

After seeing how much bead rollers cost, I watched a few videos on YouTube about making a DIY tube beader and then made my own version with the bits I had available.

I can't remember the specific videos I watched, but the following one is along similar lines to what I made up:

The TV aerial mast from B&Q is: