6.0 Powerstroke Radiator Nipple Repair

So your working on your truck in the garage, just plugging away, installing parts like crazy.  Your on a roll, and one of the last things you have to put back on your 6.0L Powerstroke is that pesky fan shroud cover.  You start to push it down and then you here a "SNAP".  You look down in disbelief as you notice that the radiator nipple that goes to the overflow tank just broke off! Now what?

Or maybe, you were leaning over the engine performing repairs and just happened to put your weight down on top of that fragile nipple.  The only true way to repair this issue is a radiator replacement.  If that is the route you choose to take, I would advise you spend the extra cash and buy a Performance Aluminum Radiator 6.0L Powerstroke Engine. However, if you are handy or broke like me, there is a easy way to rectify your serious broken nipple problem.  I do not recommend using glue methods because they are generally ineffective and short lived, and sometimes even more fragile than the plastic nipple.

I have compiled a list of parts and tools that you will need to complete this task.  Most people with larger tool sets will already have the required tap, drill, drill bit, teflon tape, and driver.  If you do have those required tools, all you need is the first item on the list - the barb adapter.

3/8" ID Barb x 1/8" NPT
1/8 NPT Tap
11/32-Inch Drill Bit
Lisle LI70500 Tap Socket Set

Teflon Tape

Once you have rounded up your tools and parts, the rest of this process is relatively simple.  Unhook the top radiator hose to give you a bit of working room.  Then take your drill and use the 11/32 inch drill bit to slightly enlarge the existing hole in the tank where the nipple originally was attached.  Take careful note to not drill through the other side of the radiator! One the hole is drilled, take your 1/8 NPT tap and tap the hole, running the tap approximately half way deep.  It is important to not run the tap all the way in, as NPT threads are similar to a wedge. Wrap your Teflon tape around your hose barb in a clockwise direction if you are looking at the end of the fitting.  The direction of wrap is important for proper function.  Tighten the fitting into the radiator but do not over tighten.  A properly tightened fitting will only require minimum force with a wrench, but make sure it is tight enough that you can not unscrew it by hand.  If you over tighten the fitting, you will likely have to try drilling and tapping the hole to 1/4 NPT with a new fitting but that may not work and you would be looking at a radiator replacement.

That's it.  Reattach your hoses and your good to go.  Be sure to use the correct coolant to refill the system and follow the Refill Procedure. The way I see it, I likely just saved you a few hundred dollars.  Feel free to donate that extra cash to my cause.  Disclaimer: That was a joke!