Blown Radiator Hose

(I submitted this to RockAuto’s “blunders” way back when, and got a “Thanks!” response from Fleur but it never appeared. Probably a bit too long and flowery of a description. Whiskey does that.)

Years back, when I was carefree, young, and somewhat more ignorant than I am now, I was given a wanna-be rock-crawler as a graduation gift. It was a 94 Toyota pickup, with oversized tires, excessive body lift, and a few extra leaf springs, but little else modified. The body lift had been installed by my parents at a local Indiana shop (where the land is FLAT!), but I moved and took the truck west, to Utah, where I gave it many hours of stress on Moab trails.

So there I was, alone (a 24 year-old male is invincible, no?), miles from any help, in 110 degree sun, crawling my way up slickrock in a truck that was far too pretty to belong there.

Turns out, the shop had failed to lower the radiator as much as they had lifted the body. This caused the lower radiator outlet pipe to pinch the hose against the cross-member, and, rock-by-rock, cut through it.

The hose finally burst when I was about 10 miles from a paved road. (If you know the Poison Spider Mesa trail, you know this is not a good place to be.) My engine temp shot through the roof and I had to shut it down. Somehow, I had an old steak knife in my toolbox, which I used to cut off the damaged section of hose. I then poured the last of my drinking water (and, er, all other fluids I could scrounge up) into the radiator. It was barely enough to let me limp back to town in the dark.

Since that time, my truck has seen a complete top-end engine overhaul (thanks Rock Auto!) and continual suspension rework. Lesson learned: It is important to know the state of your vehicle!

Updated January 1, 0001