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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like my coolant reservoir is leaking, as it gets wet along the seam and drips a little coolant down on the inner fender if I drive long enough to really get the engine hot. The part that I ordered includes the metal tubing and hose that snakes under all the electrical components to the rear of where the reservoir sits, as well as the hose that runs up front to the radiator. It looks like a pretty simple install, but are there any tricky parts I need to be aware of, like maybe moving the fuse box or other electrical components out of the way? Thanks!
 

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2006 Off-road, ADO 2" HD lift, Grabbers
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You got it, really.
It is straight forward, drain the coolant, replace the reservoir. I did not have to pull anything else off, other than the battery strap to get a little wiggle room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You got it, really.
It is straight forward, drain the coolant, replace the reservoir. I did not have to pull anything else off, other than the battery strap to get a little wiggle room.
So did you replace the line under the fuse box? The part I ordered is in transit, but from the pictures it looks like I could replace the line, or just install the new reservoir to the old metal line.
 

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I have done it both ways. Left my line and replaced a friends.
Replacing it is harder, but you can just get a screw driver on the retaing clip and release it. Or maybe I just got lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looking at it I was thinking the same thing--popping the tubing out with a screwdriver. It would be my preference to replace the whole thing. I'll report how it goes. I probably won't get a chance to work on it until monday.
 

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Those small hoses are notorious for leaking where they attach to the reservoir. It wouldn't hurt to remove the hoses from the new tank, coat the nipples with silicone sealer, and reinstall and clamp them down.

If you pull the battery it will give you much more room to work.

To avoid issues with loss of heat at idle speed, be sure your coolant level is maintained an inch or so above the seam when cold when all is done.

Where the small rearward hose connects at the heater hose, some folks have trouble with that heater hose fitting cracking, so be prepared to replace that if you have an issue. AutoZone has a replacement hose/pipe with a metal fitting and it's currently about $60. If this is your only ride, be sure this hose is immediately available locally before you start this job, in case you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. I have already replaced both heater hose assemblies (one leaked, the other as a precaution), the radiator itself (a couple of years back), and the main hoses to the block. Hopefully this will tighten things up. The truck is not needed as a daily driver, but I do need it to get my motorcycles to the races on Sundays (typically 2-3 hour drive one-way). As much money as I hemorrhage on that activity, it would really suck to miss a race because I'm stranded by the roadside out in the middle of nowhere.
 

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One of the most frustrating things I had to deal with was that damned reservoir. I've taken that engine down to the block once (head gasket change), pulled the cams twice, and had to remove the front timing cover three times, gutted the passenger side cats, swapped out a wheel bearing assembly, dropped the oil and transmission pans, broken off ignition coil bolts and much more, and the only thing equally cuss-worthy has been the manifold heat shield on bank one (that's... I hope you never have to remove that thing). Anyway, I had the bright idea of pulling the tank to just give it a nice routine cleaning, and I like to never got that little 3" hose on the bottom to go back on. It may sound like overkill, but clear out that entire freaking area or at least have a solid gameplan going into it, because I did neither and almost set the damned thing on fire before it was over with.

That said, this is me we're talking about, so it's probably a breeze. I hope it goes well. Just trying to throw a "heads up" from experience out there. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the most frustrating things I had to deal with was that damned reservoir. I've taken that engine down to the block once (head gasket change), pulled the cams twice, and had to remove the front timing cover three times, gutted the passenger side cats, swapped out a wheel bearing assembly, dropped the oil and transmission pans, broken off ignition coil bolts and much more, and the only thing equally cuss-worthy has been the manifold heat shield on bank one (that's... I hope you never have to remove that thing). Anyway, I had the bright idea of pulling the tank to just give it a nice routine cleaning, and I like to never got that little 3" hose on the bottom to go back on. It may sound like overkill, but clear out that entire freaking area or at least have a solid gameplan going into it, because I did neither and almost set the damned thing on fire before it was over with.

That said, this is me we're talking about, so it's probably a breeze. I hope it goes well. Just trying to throw a "heads up" from experience out there. 😁
Appreciate the heads up! And I know exactly how seemingly simple jobs can end up as a cuss-fest on the Xterra. When I replaced the heater hose that runs along the firewall (I thought it would take me maybe 20-30 minutes), it ended up being a struggle because the aftermarket part I bought did not match up properly with the firewall mounts. Rather than take it back out and wait for a new part, I ended up breaking out my welder to fab up a screw-on extension to the existing mounts. It ended up working out well, but that was a Saturday afternoon lost.

I am really hoping for a simple job. And fortunately I don't really need the truck until next weekend so I should have time to deal with issues.
 

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Appreciate the heads up! And I know exactly how seemingly simple jobs can end up as a cuss-fest on the Xterra. When I replaced the heater hose that runs along the firewall (I thought it would take me maybe 20-30 minutes), it ended up being a struggle because the aftermarket part I bought did not match up properly with the firewall mounts. Rather than take it back out and wait for a new part, I ended up breaking out my welder to fab up a screw-on extension to the existing mounts. It ended up working out well, but that was a Saturday afternoon lost.

I am really hoping for a simple job. And fortunately I don't really need the truck until next weekend so I should have time to deal with issues.
Yeah man, you've got this. In all seriousness, there are quite a few places where it will get really tight really quickly. Let me see if I can recall the major headaches:
As suggested above, taking the battery out will make things much easier on that side of it.
The bolts for the fuse panel are covered by the relay, and the relay is connected to the ECM by... Ohhhhhh. Now I remember...
That godforsaken chunk of harness will be in your way the entire time.
Some long needle-nose pliers are your best friend for the hose clamps.
I didn't find out if it's worth the time to just pull all the electronics or if that's even tangible, but man, if you can find a way over, around, or through what's in the photo below, your neighbors won't wonder who you're about to murder.

Any good news? Well, pretty much every bolt you'll need to pull is short. An impact (or drill & socket adapter) with both a short and long extension and a 10 mm ( if you have a deep well, all the better) will make short work of those. I'd like to hear how it goes! Good luck.
Hood Motor vehicle Gas Cable Bumper
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it's done, and yeah it kind of sucked.

Here are some of the key points from my experience:
1. I removed the battery and the washer filler tube.
2. To get room to snake the pipe and hose under the two electrical boxes, I removed the front mounting bolts for the boxes and used a wood block to wedge them up. This was a PITA because the mount for the fuse box inexplicably has a top mount bolt, but also a downward facing stud that can only be accessed by removing the fender liner.
3. I removed the fender liner to access the aforementioned stupid nut on the fuse box mount, but having the liner out of the way helped tremendously in snaking the tube and hose under those electrical boxes. I could get my hand up in there to guide the hose and tube.

A good test drive confirmed that all leaks are gone, but a problem that may eventually compromise my install is that both of the plastic guides for the metal tube than runs along the fender were brittle from age/heat and broke immediately when I removed the old tube. My concern is that without these guides, the tube may be subject to wear from contact with other surfaces. Replacing those guides would be very difficult, as they are buried under all that electrical stuff. If it becomes a problem, rather than replacing those guides, I think I can just use flexible heater hose to make an alternative route from the lower fitting on the reservoir--maybe straight back to the firewall and then up and over to the heater core attachment. Do you guys think that would work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can take an old heater hose, cut it length wise so it looks like a C, and use that as a dampening pad.
That's a great idea to use heater hose. I was thinking of making something like that from old HD motorcycle inner tubes I have, but I decided that they wouldn't resist the heat in that location. I can't believe I didn't think of using the old hose! Some high temp RTV would probably hold it in place. Maybe I can work it in there without taking it all apart again.
 
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