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MG MGB Technical - Silicone Radiator Hoses

My 1976 roadster currently has Kevlar radiator hoses fitted, which after 5 years of ownership are beginning to crack and show signs of deterioration, so I'm considering replacing them with silicone hoses. I know that there has been a lot said on this forum about the quality of rubber products for our cars and I am thinking that maybe silicone hoses would be a better long term option, although obviously more expensive.

Does anyone have any experience of silicone hoses and have they lasted longer than rubber hoses? Also I have read on a few forums that silicone hoses can be difficult to get to seal and some sites recommend using blue hylomar as a jointing agent. Does anyone have any experience of the sealing problem?

I'm looking at these from Moss Europe



Andy Robinson

I finished the build of my V8 conversion in 2009, using silcone hoses throughout. I had no trouble at all with sealing them and you definitely shouldn't need any sealer. Now almost exactly seven years later the hoses look as good as new and show no deterioration at all visually, and that's on a car that gets regularly used, summer and winter, and has now covered over 26,000 miles.

I finished the rebuild of an Elan last year and used silicone hoses on that too. Once again I had no difficulty in getting the hoses to seal. Make sure you have good quality (preferably stainless steel) hose clamps, not the horrible wire ones. It is worth going round the clamps once the engine has been run a few times as I normally find there is an extra turn to be had. I have a socket ended driver to tighten them with. So much better than a normal screwdriver.
Mike Howlett

Silicone can be of variable quality too, I'm told but as yet I haven't had a bad one. No sealing problems, definitely no sealer on joints, but follow Mike's advice and use good quality, rolled edge, hose clips. I've used Viper and Ash hoses.
Allan Reeling

Thanks Mike and Allan for the advice - silicone it is then!

Andy Robinson

Definitely better than Kevlar. In my naivety I assumed they had a woven Kevlar tube inside the rubber, like the old cotton reinforcement, but it's nothing but chips in the rubber which adds nothing but cost. However nothing beats old original rubber hoses. A couple of years ago when changing the head gasket I agonised over whether to replace or reuse the bottom hose that had been on the roadster for 26 years, and wasn't new when the car came to me. Still black, shiny and supple. I did, but kept it as an emergency spare.
Paul Hunt

WEll, buy them in Europe because Moss US charges more here. Yours list for 68.2 pounds. Ours run 88.45 pounds.

Wonder why

Bruce TD4139 Cunha

Andy - mine has been on the car more than 10 years - looks good still.
Roger Walker

Thanks all. I have a Revotec fan and electronic controller fitted on the car and thought it would be a good idea to also change the hoses for the controller to silicone. I have ordered two new silicone hump hoses from Viper - thanks for the tip Allan.

Andy Robinson

This thread was discussed between 25/03/2016 and 28/03/2016

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