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Discussion Starter #1
On the 3.3l engine in my 1995 Intrepid the coolant return line has a rigid pipe section that runs under the exhaust manifold on the driver's side - pretty sure it is the return line vs the supply line. It has been really rusty for a long time. I have cleaned it and painted it with rust paint / rust primer a few times when working around it. Course it always rusts up again with the temperature swings and exposure it has. I have debated if I should proactively replace it with a heater hose - it does not have to run under the manifold - I could reroute the hose I think. The pipe feels solid enough - have yanked on it - but I am concerned this thing is going to spring a major leak one day and leave me limping home (or worse one of the kids gets stuck with it / overheats the engine...). Anyone have any experience with these - are they good and solid and never fail or are they known for regular replacement. I have about 390,000 km on the car now (200+kmiles) and plan to keep it running for a few more years. Thanks.
 

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I ran into this same issue with a 1995 Neon engine with rusted metal coolant tubes running underneath the manifold from the rear of the engine to the water pump housing. I did repair them with replacement rubber 5/8" heater hose and clamps and it worked fine.
Sometimes a pre-emptive repair like this can save you much heartbreak later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looking a little closer today, this steel line is actually "T" - it also feeds the pressurized recovery tank. Will need to look for a 5/8" "T".
 

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Just to close on this - so I found a 5/8" Tee at Napa - and then I found the heater core and overflow return are actually 3/4" heater hose - while the fitting on the water pump is 5/8" (??? go figure???). I managed to get a 5/8" hose onto the overflow return as it is only half barbed - but I sourced a 3/4" to 5/8" reducer at Partsource for the heater core cause I did not want to force it - plastic fitting and the last thing I want to end up with is replacing the heater core... So that might slightly reduce the heater core flow but I always found the heat quite hot in that car so not worried. All done now. Tomorrow changing the valve cover gaskets cause the left bank has a good leak.
 
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