the hose probably busted because it was going bad. You need to check all of your hoses to make sure they are ok and that they are not corroding from the inside out or getting heatsoaked. A telltale sign they are going bad is when they look like they are puffing up like a balloon when the engine is running. Umm now as far as your jury rigging goes to make your temp gauge work...that is just wiring and making sure your temp sensor isn't shot. Unless I read wrong you said that the connector is corroded...that should have been fixed first. To be honest it sounds like a sensor went out but that you did not keep up on simple maintenance thta may have been able to keep you from having problems.