Aftermarket "Improved" water outlet pipe and thermostat housing" Rockauto/Dorman

Lincoln LS

  1. Jim Henderson

    Jim Henderson Dedicated LVC Member

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    Well, the typical 80,000 to 100,000 dreaded plastic cooling system parts failure has loomed up or sprung on me again. I really hate plastic parts for cooling systems, but that is the nature of the LS. Anywho, I was looking to see if Rockauto had an OEM part for this.

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=5790486&cc=1426137&jnid=432&jpid=3 LIMITED LIFETIME Warranty

    I have a 2004 LSV8. I believe the part is only applicable to gen II or 2004 thru 2006 V8 models.

    Rock auto does have a Doorman replacement part that claims to be improved over the OEM, "fixing the well know weak areas of th eOEM water outlet pipe". Well I can attest that in my ownership I have had two top water outlet pipes with the identical crack at the top seam along the body. What a pita this is. So, I am very interested in the "improved" part. I do not know how durable the Doorman parts are. Some members of this list attest that the expansion/degass bottle from Doorman is a pos. I don't know. I replaced mine with OEM many miles back.

    I have bought other Doorman parts and so far they have been OK, alhtough they are made in China and I have a terrible opinion of Chinese plastic parts so we will see if my $80(inc S/H) is well spent or p'd away. I suspect the Doorman rubber drive shaft couplers are a bit softer than OEM but never really did a test.

    I now have over 190,000 miles on the LS and have replaced/will replace the water outlet pipe for the second time, maybe this weekend.

    So for what it's worth, there may be an option for the rather expensive OEM replacement set(Water outlet pipe AND Tstat housing). And I really really hope it is more durable than the OEM, but I may never know since I probably will wear out or sell the LS before the next 80,000 miles turns.

    This is not a terribly hard job to do, just have to be carefull not to break all the other plastic pos parts attached to this set while working on it. So in this case maybe the Lifetime Warranty is worthwhile. I really hate spending hundreds of dollars as routine maintenance, on stuff that in the past I viewed as almost lifetime parts in cooling systems. BTW, there are several other plastic parts that should be part of this routine maintenance of the cooling system.

    Hope this info is useful,

    Jim Henderson
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    It would fit any V8 from 2003 to 2006 (gen II is 2003 to 2006).
    I wouldn't bet on Dorman for a plastic cooling system part. It may be lifetime warranty, but you'll get tired of replacing it every six to twelve months...
     
  3. Jim Henderson

    Jim Henderson Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yeah I really don't like a lot of Chinese parts, but the magic words "improved" make me hopeful. I know the OEM outlet pipe has that weak spot at the cassting seam. And, this is an easy part to R&R.

    My only real experience with Doorman aparts afaik, is the Chinese Doorman Rubber Flex Couplers that I have had to be replaced several times but I think now I know it was a balance/vibration issue. I will post more on my exploits on that in a bit, with pictures, yeah. I got quite good at R&R of that particular part.

    Meanwhile I am crossing my fingers on the China specials. Sometimes they do good stuff, but most of the time, their workmanship leaves something to be desired.

    Jim Henderson
     
  4. tireman

    tireman Dedicated LVC Member

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    I've never had problems with the dorman parts in my LS
     
  5. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Trust me, there are far more failure points than that one. For example, the hose nipples for the degas hose and the throttle body heat are known to snap off or dissolve. It seems like the plastic just rots away or becomes weak everywhere after time and exposure. I doubt that the part needs to be redesigned. I think it just needs to be made out of material better suited to its operating conditions.
     
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    • Jim Henderson

      Jim Henderson Dedicated LVC Member

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      Yup, this plastic stuff seems to turn brown and kind of pitted and can crumble with just finger pressure. That is why I mentioned there are other parts that should also be replaced as part of routine maintenance. I am attracted to this "Improved" Doorman part because it replaces 2 OEM parts that cost over $200 from my local dealers, and it has a warranty that I hope I never use, but won't be bashful if I do. The only other part I should replace as routine is the back water outlet pipe. At least of this section of the cooling system. See the other write up about the complete overhaul, useful info, but a bit depressing.

      I do think that the repeated overheating from one failed part causes the others to deteriorate faster, but I have no proof other than knowing heat kills plastic. Plus it isn't good for the engine either.

      The trick with the Water outlet failure is usually you don't notice it until the failure is big and there is visible steam or splash around the throttle body.(BTW I think that kills the electronic throttle control module over time). First time I found the crack was by accident, pouring water over something at the front of the engine. The water flew away from the outlet pipe and then I discovered the hairline crack. Even the second failure, this one, was suspected as a water pump leak since the occasional drip on the driveway was in that general area, but also under the lower radiator hose. So I spent time hunting the leak in several places but forgot to check my old nemesis. Bingo this week, when I heard the hissing and saw splash.

      I really miss the days when everything was either cast iron or aluminum with rubber hoses. Other than an old 74 Datsun, I have never had any car, mostly American require a major cooling system component replacement and very rarely rubber hoses.

      The Datsun and the LS are the same family I think... The Datsun REQUIRED all cooling system hoses to be replaced EVERY 25,000 miles or for sure one of the old hoses would pop within about 1,000 miles of that mark. It was like a coocoo clock. The LS is a bit better, since it is about every 90,000 +- 10,000, but on the Datsun the full set was about $35.00. On the LS it is about $800. What a difference 40 years makes.

      Well if I am lucky, none of you will ever get to hear about me replacing the Doorman set anytime before the LS either dies or gets retired. If I do replace it, you'll hear of it when I will confirm another Doorman failure, but for now, fingers crossed.

      Jim Henderson
       
    • Andrizzle

      Andrizzle Dedicated LVC Member

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      I had Dorman bottle in my LS for 4 years/30k miles. Then it began failing like the original Motorcraft, which lasted 6 years/110k miles.

      I replaced with another Motorcraft last year, just to avoid having to mess with it. This bottle will likely last the entirety of my LS's remaining life, whereas a Dorman would probably not.




      It basically comes down to how much you value your future time spent replacing the Dorman over and over.
       
    • 1LoudLS

      1LoudLS Dedicated LVC Member

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      MTV

      My Time is Valuable...

      every hour I spend working on my car is money I'm losing cause I'm not working on a paying car!
       
    • jgscott

      jgscott Well-Known LVC Member

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      Yep, Dorman + Plastic part = Crack in Seam.
       
    • Jim Henderson

      Jim Henderson Dedicated LVC Member

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      Well I got the Doorman upper Water Outlet Pipe/Thermostat Housing along with 1 interesting surprise.

      First, the last comment talks about Doorman+Plastic = Crack in Seam... Must be talking about the water bottle or the Ford OEM Water outletpipe which does have a seam which does crack. This Doorman at least does not have any external seam in the failure prone area.

      My impressions are based upon what I see today versus what I remember from several years ago when I had the OEM new part in hand. So comparisons and my opinion are highly iffy here other than general impressions...

      The part Looks a lot like the OEM part. I would GUESS the Doorman is a bit shinier plastic and MAYBE just a little thinner in some places. This is HIGHLY subjective and guess work until I can compare old against new, and in any case I will probably never have the opportunity to compare New against new.

      The shiney plastic makes me think it looks a little cheap and might be softer compound. I wonder if it uses FRP Fiber Reinforced Plastic like the OEM? It has swirls like FRP should so either it is cosmetic or they did use at least some FRP. The durability of this plastic will be under close scrutiny over time, but I am hoping I never have enough time to find out.

      The bolts look like typical cheapo Chinese bolts. Not as bad as decades ago when they looked like some guy hammered them out in his backyard Barbecue. But they aren't the chemically treated bolts as OEM. They are maybe cheap chrome flash.

      The metal hole inserts look good and the piece comes completely assembled(including surprise) and with the proper plastic "O" rings in place. All ya gotta do is pop the old one off and put the new one in.

      The SURPRISE... This assmbly IS ready to go, it comes complete WITH Thermostat installed.

      Based upon including Main pipe, Tstat Housing AND Thermostat this would cost a bit over $300 at the dealer parts counter last time I did this, it has been a while so don't know current prices.

      So the question is... Why is a $300 assembly sold for less than $80? I suspect some of it is "you get what you pay for" and some is China can undersell anyone even with decent quality.

      I am leery of CHina specials but will go with them if it is something that doesn't require precision and perfection. Since the Ford OEM part is also a pos I am more inclined to give the china part a try especially since it isn't hard to replace and I like working on cars for fun.

      I am hoping this won't be like that old episode of Twighlight Zone where a guy wakes up in his apartment and even though everything "looks" Ok, it doesn't seem right. As he goes thru his morning routine he discovers that every thing he sees is as someone would see it, from the outside... There is nothing inside, like he has an empty cereal box, a phone with no guts a tv that is just a shell. Is the Doorman Wateroutlet in that episode?

      Hopefully we will never find out and I will never post on this topic again, unless I discover anything of interest during installation, or it explodes on the freeway during 110+ summer heat.

      Good Luck, I will need it,

      Jim Henderson
       
    • jgscott

      jgscott Well-Known LVC Member

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      Does it have any seams at all?
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      I wonder if what he is calling a seam on the OEM pipe is really a seam. It's more likely just to be a parting mark from where the two halves of the mold that make it come together.
       
    • cammerfe

      cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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      I'm an anomaly here in that I still have all the original plastic parts on my '02 and have had zero problems of any type with cooling.

      On a side note I have the front cooling 'dress' that was made up for one of the factory road-racing Jags from a few years ago. It's fabricated from aluminium and I have it put away in a box, probably at the bottom of a pile of similar boxes in my storage unit. When I get to it sometime soon, I'll try to post a pic.

      KS
       
    • Jim Henderson

      Jim Henderson Dedicated LVC Member

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      I mean the slight tell tale line that is left behind by the seams of the mold that is used to cast the part. Ie Casting Flash, seam, mold mark, parting line, what have you.

      The key is that the OEM Ford part has a very visible line on the top of the central pipe that goes from front to the flange for the Tstst housing. That is where both of my wateroutlet pipes developed a leak which got worse over time. When the leak is "new" the OEM parting line "hides" the crack and it is not visible until much later when visible liquid, or staining or sometimes just invisible steam is felt blowing out. This process can take months until the leak is visible. At least in my two times at bat.

      The ARE visible "seams" on the sides of the body where the two inlet/putlet pipes join to the body. I suspect if this part fails, it will be there. There are also seams on those pipes. Anthing cast will have mold marks unless someone does a cleanup.

      Below are some pictures, of the Doorman part and a few of my old one still in the car. The leak can be seen as a brown stain line. I do not think the images are clear enough to see the new part seams but FWIW.

      edit... Ah I do see some of the mold marks/seams in some of the shots.

      This part should be installed today.

      Jim Henderson

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    • rgorke

      rgorke Active LVC Member

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      So, nearly 3 years on...how is this part holding up?
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      I'm curious as well. I do note that there have been a few (at least two) threads on here by others that tried it. They had a lot of slight overheating till changing to the OEM parts.
       
    • rgorke

      rgorke Active LVC Member

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      Right!!! Not worth the risk but as in my other thread, the only inlet pipe I can find is Dorman.
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      Yeah, the lack of parts is going to finally kill off the rest of the LSes.
       

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