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Old 04-01-2008, 11:45 PM
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2.3 thermostat replacement

I bought a GrandAm that had the heater core and the thermostat replaced and now the car is boiling the coolent out of the res. tank. So my question is, what direction is the thermostat sapose to be put into the lower hose housing? Is the spring side sapose to face the water pump or is it sapose to face the radiator? I have a feeling that it was put in backwards, now the spring side is facing the water pump. I've replaced the radiator, water pump and the goose neck on the side of the head and it's still blowing coolant out of the res tank. I've done everything I could think of to bleed the air out of the system so I don't think it's air locked, It took about 3 gallons of coolant to fill the system.
Thanks for you're help. Dave
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2008, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homefree View Post
I bought a GrandAm that had the heater core and the thermostat replaced and now the car is boiling the coolent out of the res. tank. So my question is, what direction is the thermostat sapose to be put into the lower hose housing? Is the spring side sapose to face the water pump or is it sapose to face the radiator? I have a feeling that it was put in backwards, now the spring side is facing the water pump. I've replaced the radiator, water pump and the goose neck on the side of the head and it's still blowing coolant out of the res tank. I've done everything I could think of to bleed the air out of the system so I don't think it's air locked, It took about 3 gallons of coolant to fill the system.
Thanks for you're help. Dave
You have it in upside down. The pointy side goes towards the water pump. Drain coolant, turn t-stat over. Before putting it back together again, drill a 1/16" hole in the outer part of the t-stat to prevent air pockets. Assemble and drive away happy.

Note: Some thermostats come out of the box defective. You did check the thing first by putting it in a pan of water on the stove...didn't you???
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:32 AM
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yessss, always drop it in hot water... so many i've seen be bad before installation... sucks to have to do it twice, but i don't think he put the thermostat in.
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2.3HO View Post
You have it in upside down. The pointy side goes towards the water pump.
Are you sure?? I am not familiar with the later design/location myself... but I thought someone before said that there was only one way it COULD be put in. Is that not true? Is it not idiot-proof? (no offense to any idiots, haha)

Jeff
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:17 AM
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Are you sure?? I am not familiar with the later design/location myself... but I thought someone before said that there was only one way it COULD be put in. Is that not true? Is it not idiot-proof? (no offense to any idiots, haha)

Jeff
LOL The truth is...I didn't think it could be put in upside down. But from the way he talks, it sure sounds like it is.

Racin...I think you better look at this:

http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-laws.html

Take special note of the second listing under "More Laws."

lol Have a good one.

HO
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:47 AM
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WOW! WOW... that's a big, comprehensive list! Good reference!

Haha, a wise old engineer (46+ years in the company before he retired) used to say "Never underestimate a resourceful idiot." He had several variations on that -- some involving the words "a determined fool".Powerful words.

Ok, one more, can't resist: "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Jeff

Last edited by racin17; 04-02-2008 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racin17 View Post
WOW! WOW... that's a big, comprehensive list! Good reference!

Haha, a wise old engineer (46+ years in the company before he retired) used to say "Never underestimate a resourceful idiot." He had several variations on that -- some involving the words "a determined fool".Powerful words.

Ok, one more, can't resist: "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Jeff
haha! That's awesome...allow me to whore further. "A square peg will fit in a round hole...if you use a big enough hammer."
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2008, 01:04 PM
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My Thermostat in my Achieva S was idiot proof
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2008, 04:37 PM
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Thanks everybody for you're help!

And yes this t-stat can be put in either way, when I bought the car the owner before me had the heater core and the t-stat changed and after the work was done to the car it would boil the coolant out of the res. So he sold it to me for $100.00 and I just wanted to make sure that the t-stat was in correct.
The car is a 1995 GrandAm SE 2.3 and for those that don't know where the t-stat is on this one, it's in the back of the motor just below the water pump.
So now I'm going to flip the t-stat over and hope it works!! If not I guess the next thing I'll do is pull the head off, witch I really don't want to do.
O-well thanks for you're help and wish me luck. Ha
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:28 PM
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This is out of the Haynes repair manual for 1994 and later 2.3L Quad 4s. Make sure the thermostat is installed with the spring end pointing up into the water pump cover.
I also checked in the 1994 Achieva GM Service manual and it also shows the spring end facing up.

Last edited by xscream; 04-02-2008 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xscream View Post
This is out of the Haynes repair manual for 1994 and later 2.3L Quad 4s. Make sure the thermostat is installed with the spring end pointing up into the water pump cover.
I also checked in the 1994 Achieva GM Service manual and it also shows the spring end facing up.
That's a new one. I believe you, but I've never done them that way. Humph....
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:23 PM
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Hopefully this worked and you can now see an attachment which is a pic out of the manual showing the orientation of the thermostat.
Attached Thumbnails
thermostat for 1994 and later 2.3 Quad 4.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2008, 10:28 PM
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wow i definitely do not like that set up. Id rather it be in the block or in the head mines in the head and works nicely.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:50 PM
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The spring must go up so the circulating coolant will pass over it to cause it to open (via heater core return pipe.) On my 95 2.3 and the 2.4's I've worked on, it will only fit that way. It sounds like a stupid design, but it keeps the coolant temp in the engine MUCH more consistent than the themostat on the end of the head does. That leads to longer headgasket life due to less expansion and contraction of the head and block.

When the thermostat opens on the earlier design, you get a bunch of cold antifreeze into the engine block before it makes it's way through the head to the thermostat and causes it to close again. You can see the varaiation in the temp gauge even at operating temp cruising down the highway, it goes up and down. With a good gauge on a cold Wisconsin day, you can watch the temp drop from about 200 degrees into the 160's when the thermostat opens before it closes again.

With the newer design, as the thermostat opens, it meters a small amount of cold coolant into the antrifreeze stream at the coolant inlet to the engine. If that is enough to cool the engine sufficiently, the thermostat closes again before a few quarts of coolant make their way through. It does keep the temp within a few degrees. No 30+ degree range... The crappy end of it is the issues that arise from a plugged heater core.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear8ruf View Post
The spring must go up so the circulating coolant will pass over it to cause it to open (via heater core return pipe.) On my 95 2.3 and the 2.4's I've worked on, it will only fit that way. It sounds like a stupid design, but it keeps the coolant temp in the engine MUCH more consistent than the themostat on the end of the head does. That leads to longer headgasket life due to less expansion and contraction of the head and block.

When the thermostat opens on the earlier design, you get a bunch of cold antifreeze into the engine block before it makes it's way through the head to the thermostat and causes it to close again. You can see the varaiation in the temp gauge even at operating temp cruising down the highway, it goes up and down. With a good gauge on a cold Wisconsin day, you can watch the temp drop from about 200 degrees into the 160's when the thermostat opens before it closes again.

With the newer design, as the thermostat opens, it meters a small amount of cold coolant into the antrifreeze stream at the coolant inlet to the engine. If that is enough to cool the engine sufficiently, the thermostat closes again before a few quarts of coolant make their way through. It does keep the temp within a few degrees. No 30+ degree range... The crappy end of it is the issues that arise from a plugged heater core.
Wow, ok that makes sense. I guess I don't have a problem because I always drill a 1/8" hole in mine (to allow air pockets to move on initial start up/fluid changes and let a small amount of coolant flow through the motor to avoid hot spots in the head).

Ya lean somthin every day....
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