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Old 08-03-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default Help with replacing the radiator on a '91...

Hey all. I'm about to replace the radiator and I figured I might as well do the thermostat as well; which thermostat temperature should be used? Are there any tough problems I should look out for as far as the radiator is concerned and exactly where is the thermostat? Thanks for all of the help. Antonio

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductL...20180%20Degree
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:47 AM   #2
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If you haven't modified anything stick with the stock temperature of probably 195.

On the radiator it'* a pretty straight forward procedure. If you have line wrenches then that will help you ensure you don't round the fittings for the tranny and oil cooler lines. I used a regular wrench...just be careful.

Otherwise once the coolant is drained and the lines and hoses are off. Pull the 4 bolts that hold the top black support on the car and the radiator is out. Put new one in and reverse procedure.

The T-stat should be 10mm bolts. Make sure you get the rubber and paper gaskets both. It needs two gaskets. One around the t stat and one to seal the water neck.
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:31 AM   #3
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First off, changing the tstat COULD lead to leaks if you do not do it right. You will need a parts runner, because you need to have the tstat housing removed to get one of the parts to do it RIGHT. Now, as far as temps go, I would do the 180. Even if you are mod-free. But that is me. Stock is 195, 180 is as low as I would go. It is up to you, both are the same price, both are just as easy to install.

Radiator removal I really have no clue.. never done it before.

tstat housing.. if you use a cresent wrench, you won't need to remove much, maybe a vacuum line or two. For ease, I would recomment using a cv-jointed socket.. it'* much easier than the cresent, but cv-joints cost a couple bucks [worth it]. Mine was NOT a 10mm, but it has crap on it.. even after removing the crap and whatnot, it still was not 10mm. However, I am pretty sure it is supposed to be. Pick up a 10mm and 11mm cv joint, just in case. You will need a big[ger] screwdriver to pry up the housing, if anything like mine. It was original, and didn't want to come up.

Once you get the housing off, the tstat will probably be stuck to the gasket inside of the housing.. just get that off, but do NOT damage the gasket. I have heard of members being able to find it, but I cannot. I just reused mine [good condition]. Now, the oring that seals the housing from the intake.. you MUST replace that. If you don't, leaks WILL haunt you. And i don't mean leaks, i mean floods. Go run off to the hardware store and get an oring that fits snug around the housing. It cannot have any free-lancing slack. Put a little bit of oil on there [anything from transmission fluid to 3in1 oil will work... i use whatever is laying around], and slide it in. The tstat goes in the intake, not on that gasket as it may have come out.. it won't fit in that gasket.. for some reason? Also be sure to clean up all mating surfaces and the housing itself. Especially if some hacker before you used RTV on there.. that'* bad.

It is a super easy job. Just learn from my mistakes.
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:14 PM   #4
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thanks all!! This place rocks!!!
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:16 PM   #5
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OSG...that sounds very different from all the 3.8'* I've seen...wow.

I would assume the o ring could be purchased at the auto parts store.... you would want to make sure it'* coolant compatible.

I'm still at a loss on this one. Hmmm I'm hitting the 90 FSM when I get home tonight.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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eh, the LN3'* tstat housing design is pretty retarded. Also it is only one bolt.. just in case you think your car is 'special' or something.. it'* not. All LN3s are retarded like that. Not sure about the LG3.. and if it has two or just one.

The 88s, didn't have that gasket between the tstat and housing, apparently. It also seems lacking that gasket causes enough 'leak by' that it causes heating issues in the winter [as prooven by Padgett]. You can install the housing without that gasket, which I had, but I didn't notice any differences. Personally, if the factory thought it was necessary to have it, it probably is.
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:40 AM   #7
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I can't remember if I got my t-stat and gaskets from Autozone or Parts Plus, but whichever one I went to had the correct gaskets or O-rings (I think it'* two O-rings...) in stock - both of them.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
eh, the LN3'* tstat housing design is pretty retarded. Also it is only one bolt.. just in case you think your car is 'special' or something.. it'* not. All LN3s are retarded like that. Not sure about the LG3.. and if it has two or just one.

The 88s, didn't have that gasket between the tstat and housing, apparently. It also seems lacking that gasket causes enough 'leak by' that it causes heating issues in the winter [as prooven by Padgett]. You can install the housing without that gasket, which I had, but I didn't notice any differences. Personally, if the factory thought it was necessary to have it, it probably is.
I have to agree there...The setup is retarded...

Both of the gaskets I got were at autozone... They were Fel-Pros... Both gaskets were totally shot and not reuseable...

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Old 08-04-2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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I second that - Retarded......
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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That'* strange. autozone couldn't get it for me. they had it in their computers, but couldn't order it. If you can find it at an autoparts store, get it. My overhaul gasket set [the one from GM] included the oring, which was the exact same size as the one I picked up at Lowe'* [plumbing dept]. But did not contain the gasket between the tstat and the housing. Maybe search around the local auto parts stores.. try to get everything you can ahead of time. But if you can't, the hardware store will have what you need. For sure.
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