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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The return line from the driver's side bottom of the radiator has corroded and has developed a leak. I have a new line and plastic retainer clip coming tomorrow. The line runs across the bottom of the rad to the passenger side where there is a grey plastic snap retainer clip fitting holding the lines together. Is there a tool to remove the plastic retainer or can it be easily removed with a prying tool (pick tool, screwdriver etc)? Here is another member's pic (Quinnford) showing the plastic piece I'm talking about. I have to remove the line that Quinnford was repairing. Retaining clip in red circle;

Trans cooler line disconnect.jpeg
 

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without having actual experience with this part i will say it looks like it can just pried/pulled off, possibly by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did some more searching. Looks like the grey plastic retainer pops off then I'll need a disconnect tool to release the inner connection. Princess Auto carry different tool sets. I'll check them out tomorrow as their store is just up the road from my Ford dealer.
 

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I *think* those are somewhat similar to a fuel line. The retainer gets popped off, then you need a tool that slides around the male side and up into the connector, releasing the inner latch.
 

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Did some more searching. Looks like the grey plastic retainer pops off then I'll need a disconnect tool to release the inner connection. Princess Auto carry different tool sets. I'll check them out tomorrow as their store is just up the road from my Ford dealer.
I'm with @tvsjr. The connection looks a lot like fuel line disconnects. Princess auto should have different sets available. No need to get too fancy on the tools.
I have an older blue-point set and they're made of plastic.
I'd spray some brake clean before you brake the connection in case there's some dirt in there.
Also, it helps to pull the big line toward the disconnect tool as you insert it (hope that makes sense).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm with @tvsjr. The connection looks a lot like fuel line disconnects. Princess auto should have different sets available. No need to get too fancy on the tools.
I have an older blue-point set and they're made of plastic.
I'd spray some brake clean before you brake the connection in case there's some dirt in there.
Also, it helps to pull the big line toward the disconnect tool as you insert it (hope that makes sense).
Definitely going to clean out around the connection first with some brake cleaner and compressed air.
I just wish Ford (and others) would make lines like this out of stainless but it's a cost-driven argument.
Also going to pick up a litre of Mercon LV when I'm at the dealers. Not sure how much I've lost as this line is only pressurized when the thermo valve in the trans opens.
 

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I suspect that line has pressure all the time when the engine is running and the thermostat is inside the transmission on the return side. When the stat opens, the fluid is already pressurized and ready to provide cooling through the front cooler.

This video shows how you can pull that hose and dump the trans fluid. It doesn't look like the truck is hot for the valve to be open, nor does the author talk about defeating the thermostat. At about 2:52 he describes how to pull your hose in question.

 

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I suspect that line has pressure all the time when the engine is running and the thermostat is inside the transmission on the return side. When the stat opens, the fluid is already pressurized and ready to provide cooling through the front cooler.

This video shows how you can pull that hose and dump the trans fluid. It doesn't look like the truck is hot for the valve to be open, nor does the author talk about defeating the thermostat. At about 2:52 he describes how to pull your hose in question.

This is how I did my wifes Legacy. I added fluid as the old fluid came out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DNA Dan Thanks for the video. I wish my truck was that clean underneath! The disconnect tools I found did not work as they are not intended for newer transmission lines (no clearance for the second ridge ring on the pipe). I will try to locate the correct tool tomorrow at either NAPA or B&B Dixon. Princess Auto and Canadian Tire only have disconnect tools for AC and Fuel lines even though they say they will work on transmission lines. Must be older style trans lines. If all else fails I have a local transmission shop that will change it (at a cost of course).
 

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DNA Dan Thanks for the video. I wish my truck was that clean underneath! The disconnect tools I found did not work as they are not intended for newer transmission lines (no clearance for the second ridge ring on the pipe). I will try to locate the correct tool tomorrow at either NAPA or B&B Dixon. Princess Auto and Canadian Tire only have disconnect tools for AC and Fuel lines even though they say they will work on transmission lines. Must be older style trans lines. If all else fails I have a local transmission shop that will change it (at a cost of course).
That sucks, but good to know. If you're unlucky finding the tool locally, here's a link for amazon that comes with 3/8" and 1/2" sizes.
https://www.amazon.ca/CTA-Tools-3479-Transmission-Disconnect/dp/B00JHKZCMK/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1538201974&sr=1-1&keywords=ford+transmission+line+tool
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Local auto supplier (B&B Dixon) had the AST aluminum disconnect tool 8023. I had to clean out the groove twice with brake cleaner and compressed air before the tool would fully seat. After that it came apart like in the video. It needs a good pull to disengage! I'd guess I lost maybe only 4 ounces of fluid. Removal of the old tube was not difficult but messy as there was a lot fluid soaked rust flaking off. New tube went in easily. Before tightening everything down I gave it and all other pipes in there a good coat of Corrosion Free Rust Cure Formula 3000 rustproofing. I'll have to go for a long drive to get the trans nice and hot to allow the thermal valve to open and pass fluid to the cooler and new line. Then when I get back I'll check the fluid level and top up as needed.
 

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The fluid will definitely pump out, but it will not accept the fresh fluid back in due to the "thermostat" in the return line. I pulled the hose on my cooler (just a spring clamp) on my 2009 and ran the engine to pump out the fluid, which worked fine, but didn't draw the new fluid back in. I had to run a hose/funnel down to the dipstick port on the transmission itself to refill it (very slow process). You also need to run the engine while refilling or it will overflow (about 2.5 liters won't fit back in without the truck running). After dropping the pan at 12k miles and replaceing the filter on my 2016, I removed the cooler line going from the radiator to the plate/fin cooler in front and replaced it with a couple of pieces of 1/2" transmission hose and a magnefine filter. I figure it will filter whenever the fluid is hot enough to pass through the cooler system. It should be enough, during towing or longer drives in the summer. Most of the time, in the winter, the fluid doesn't get hot enough to need the cooler.

This is how I did my wifes Legacy. I added fluid as the old fluid came out.
 
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