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Old 07-20-2003, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default 180 T-Stat installation question

Ok, putting in my 180 t-stat today. I remember in one of the articles here it suggesting that you drain about a gallon of coolant out to avoid spillage when taking the thermostat housing off. I'm guessing that a drain valve exists at the bottom of the radiator but im having trouble locating it. Do you have to take off the bottom plastic shield on the underside of the car to get to it? I looked in the techinfo section with no luck, also did a search in the forums but with so many 180 articles its hard to sift through them all. I have a haynes manual on order so worse comes to worse I can wait on that just thought someone may know off the top of their head for a 00 model.

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Todd
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Old 07-20-2003, 11:26 AM   #2
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On the bottom of one of the side Radiator caps there should be a "drain ****" to allow you to drain off some of the coolant. You only have to drain off enough coolant to allow you to change the T-Stat. It works out to just drain below the level of where the T-Stat & hose are situated.
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:01 PM   #3
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The easiest way to find it (assuming you have the same rad I do) is to crawl under the car from the front. On the BACK side of the radiator, on the driver'* side near the bottom, I have a round access hole in the support frame. With a flashlight, I can see the valve. It drains out through the lower subframe through another hole.

If you can't find it, don't sweat it. You'll just lose some on the lower intake instead.
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:30 PM   #4
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Yes, on the 2000 model you will have to remove the bottom plastic shield. It'* very easy to do with the snap plug retainers.
Like Will said, if you don't mind the mess, you can also just let the fluid bleed out of the thermostat hole and be quick about changing it. Have the new thermostat ready with a new rubber gasket already installed on it. You won't need any other gaskets or seals.
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:36 PM   #5
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You guys don't use the fiber housing gasket as well?
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Old 07-20-2003, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
You guys don't use the fiber housing gasket as well?
Nope. Doesn't need it on the new models.
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Old 07-20-2003, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
You guys don't use the fiber housing gasket as well?
No, I believe the last year for that was '97.

Now, about changing the T-stat. Everything I have ever read has said to drain about a gallon of coolant. We have changed probably 10 L67 t-stats, and never once drained any coolant. Just do it fairly quickly and not when the engine is hot and you should be fine. I would say the most coolant we have ever lost is probably a 1/2 quart, and that was on a hot engine. Not a big deal IMO.
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Old 07-20-2003, 10:23 PM   #8
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Ok, here is my experiance changing my tstat followed by a question.

Let the car cool over night and into the day. Stuck it in neutral and pushed it out of the garage. Popped the hood and got everything ready. Took off the engine shell, and popped the engine coolant cap on the radiator to release pressure. Then I undid the two bolts holding the thermostat in. Popped the tstat housing and replaced the tstat with my 180, lost about 1 quart of fluid onto the driveway but got the housing back on with no problem. Re-installed the housing and two screws and took it for a test drive.

Engine running hot...wtf? Hovering around 210 or so...not good...what is that smell?..coolant? must be burning off what I spilled...stopped off at the autozone about 2 blocks from the house to get some dex-cool to replace what i lost. Still running hot...get home pop the hood....oh crap...forgot to put the rad cap back on most of the coolant in the clear coolant tank is gone, blown all over the engine....must have been what I was smelling.

Checked the radiator and coolant level is still at the top so I mixed the dex-cool about 60/40 and refilled it to the hot line while it was running (after replacing the rad cap). Took the car out afterwards for a hop on the interstate a few miles temp never went above 200 and hovered around 195. Doesn't look I did anything to the car...so far.

Now for the questions:

1) Is it normal for the car to run at 195/200 with a 180 tstat?
2) At what temp does the fans kick on, I never did see them come at idle (around 195)
3) FYI they do kick on when i turn on the auto.

Thanks,
Todd
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:31 AM   #9
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Mine will normally run at 180 F unless I'm stopped or in very slow stop and go city traffic, then it will rise to 195 F. It will cool back down to 180 once I get back up to speed and get some airflow across the radiator.
The fans don't kick in until 195 F
Normal engine operating temp range is 190 - 220 F.
I'm not sure if one fan comes on when the A/C is on all the time. I think it has a thermal switch also.
Make sure you bleed all the air out of the cooling system by carefully cracking the little plug on top of the thermostat housing when the system is pressurized.
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
The fans don't kick in until 195 F
My fans never kicked on even at 200, I checked my wife'* car (still with the 195 T-stat) and they dont come on either at 200. I can't get either car above 200 while parked to see when/if they do come on.

Quote:
Make sure you bleed all the air out of the cooling system by carefully cracking the little plug on top of the thermostat housing when the system is pressurized.
Can you get a little more specific on "cracking" the plug? I see the brass plug on top not sure what to do with it.

Thanks!
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