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aircon hose shredded...
I drove a 200 mile trip yesterday and noticed that the steering felt like it was tugging on something whilst on the return leg. :?

I raised the car onto axle stands this afternoon and was pleased to find the cause but also realised how serious it could have been if the aircon hose had ruptured. :oops: It is item 18 part number 100748 as seen at the below link.

It is surely no co-incidence that the installation of my stainless steel brake hoses that were fitted only the other week or so ago could have potentially disturbed and finished off what must have been a weak rubber sleeve that holds the aircon pipe in place. As the rubber sleeve split it dropped the aircon hose thus placing it so that the threaded end of the bolt that links the upper steering shaft to the steering column end caught on the hose with each turn of the steering.

The offending bolt:- ... popup=true
source page :-

The first image shows how the rotation of the bolt has shredded the rubber sheath revealing the layer below. Fortunately the pipe is still intact and there has been no leak. I have never seen a cross reference of this pipe but curious to know how much material there is separating the refrigerant from the outside world...

[Image: view2.jpg]

The following two images show what I believe to be the torn rubber sleeve hanging below the aircon hose. I have hoisted the coolant hose up out of the way so that you can see the damage on the hose and how in the lower position it was being shredded.

[Image: viewofeverything.jpg]
[Image: view3.jpg]

I have circled the offending bolt in the following image, but the camera has not focussed on the damaged material.

[Image: view4.jpg]

I was going to find a suitable rubber compound to repair the protective part of the pipe. I have moved it around gently to do the photos and determine the extent of the damage. It has not leaked.
Can anyone clarify how much pipe there is between the gas and me?

Even if it had leaked how can you easily replace this pipe? It is tucked between the pontoon and the chassis. The metal ends would surely mean that you cannot simply lubricate the pipe to aid pulling it out. Would this really mean a chassis/pontoon separation or John Hervey's twin piece version?

I haven't found the replacement supportive sleeve in the manual yet, but would anyone be able to send me a photo illustrating the correct mounting/support of the aircon pipe?

Unless someone has a better suggestion I was going to repair the pipe and then re-mount it.

Thanks in advance?

Chris Hawes
DOC 138
Ex owner of VIN 5255 Grey, 5-speed
Dude, thats not your coolant hose, thats your AIR-CON hose!

It is on the high pressure side of the system, so with that sort of damage through to the braiding you'll be lucky if it doesn't rupture as soon as you turn on the AC.

The 'supportive sleeve' you refer to is actually just a lump of sticky rubber pad, designed to stop the hose rubbing on the brake pipe junction. The hose is normally tie-wrapped out of harms way.

You can't repair those hoses, and to replace it will mean depressurising the AC system, and then doing a chassis separation to fit another one.

But don't faint just yet, Special-T-Auto do a split version which you can thread through between the chassis and the body without the need for such drastic action:

Indeed, Rich Hanlon has just replaced both his hoses using this method to great effect.
Richard H. DOC 365 VIN 1274
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
This isnt the first time i have heard this has happened either. I will take a pic of how my AC hose is held out the way , but like Rich has said its basically a rubber pad over the brake fitting and cable tie (s) to keep it away from the steering knuckle / bolt.

You can see where the 2no ties were in an 'X' pattern to the LHS of the damage (in the 3rd pic)
[Image: fixed.jpg]

My aircon was still running after the damage had been done to the hose and having researched into the hose thickness all I have lost is a little of the outer rubber sheath plus a little interference of the braiding. This represents only a small percentage of the overall pipe thickness. The rest is intact so I have applied a little flexible sealant to stop the rubber splitting any more plus cover the repair with a rigid protective foam and then re-supported the hose with two cable ties. It turns out that wrapping them tight around the junction point rather than actual brake piping is the best approach with the OEM rubber pad sandwiched in between.

So, if your steering feels like it is tugging on something, this could be why. Check it quick and you might catch it in the early stages like me otherwise you will need to replace. Rich is right, as these are high pressure hoses they are not easily repairable if they have ruptured and emptied your aircon system of its gas.

Chris Hawes
DOC 138
Ex owner of VIN 5255 Grey, 5-speed
Nice job there Chris... those look like chunky cable ties you have on there Smile back to whatever was next on your list eh Smile

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