Question about 1978 Pontiac Bonneville

1 Answer

I am trying to remove my radiator. i have already drained and tightened the peacock. but am having trouble with the transmission lines. do i need a certain tool to remove them or need to spray some wd 40 on it? it is a 78 bonneville brougham

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  • Pontiac Master
  • 2,002 Answers

There are special wrenchs that you can use for pipe fittings but they aren't necessarily going to help. Your best bet will be to spray them down good with a penetrating fluid like Moovit or Seafoam Deep Creep. Spray the fittings well and let them sit for a while. Then spray again. After a couple hours, you can try using a wrenh to get them to turn but you will likely have to grab them with a pair of Vice-Grips. Once they start to turn make sure the nut is turning on the steel line as well. If it isn't use a wrench on the nut and the Vice-Grips to hold the line and break it free.
If you aren't having any luck with this, you can cut the lines with a tubing cutter and splice in new ones. These are low pressure lines and can be put back together with compression fittings. Measure the diameter of the lines and down at the auto parts store get a piece of pre-made steel brake line that size. You only need a short piece because you are going to cut it in half. These have a nut on both ends but make sure it is the right size to thread into your rad. If they aren't you can also buy them separate to fit the line and the rad. Also pick up 2 complete compression fittings that will fit the line you bought.
When you are ready to re-install the trans lines just measure the distance from the old line to the rad and cut one end off the brake line to that length and thread it loosely into the rad. Slide the compression nuts on each end of the lines and then the ferrules. Place both ends of line into the union and make sure the go all the way in. Slide the ferrule up snug to the union and hand tighten the nut. Do the other side. tighten everything with a wrench but don't overdo it. You can easily pinch the lines with the ferrule. With the engine running check them for leaks and tighten until the leaking stops, then quit.
This will be a lot easier than trying to replace the whole line. Trying to get new lines on a transmission while it is still in the car is a royal pain in the ****. Been there, done that. They have to be bent and go in at an angle which is almost blind. Hope this helps.

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

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Things You'll Need
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  3. If equipped, remove the upper panel fasteners and the panel.
  4. If equipped, remove the upper insulators and brackets.
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Do you have to drain the oil & trany when removing the radiator & do you need special tools for removing the oil & trany lines that are connected to the radiator?


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  1. NOTE: Refer to following illustrations.
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