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Author Topic: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4  (Read 7091 times)

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Offline Hal 9000

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*HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« on: November 26, 2009, 08:53:52 PM »
I got the infamous "---" on my DIC for engine temp the other day, then later threw a code for "coolant below thermostat operating temp" and knew for sure I had a thermostat stuck open.  Since I don't see where anyone here has done a walkthru, thought I'd add one.

It's a simple job on the 2.4, and only costs 20 bucks for the stat, and 10 bucks worth of dexcool.

Don't try this on a GXP, as the manual shows you need to pull a vacuum on the coolant system, (GE-47716 method), before refilling it or else you'll get air trapped in the system.

Here is the manual description for this, copied from a post by JR,

1. Drain the cooling system.  According to the manual, you need to do the block drain for the thermostat.
      1. Remove the surge tank cap.
      2. Raise and support the vehicle.
          3. Place a drain pan under the right side lower radiator mount.
          4. Open the radiator drain cock.
          5. Drain the cooling system.
      6. If a complete block drain is required, place pan under the water pump drain.
      7. Remove the water pump drain plug.
      8. Drain the cooling system. After draining, tighten the drain bolt. 22 N-m (16 lb-in)

 2. Remove the air inlet grille panel.
          Prelim: Remove wiper arms.
          1. Remove washer arm nut cap. use small flat tip screwdriver/tool
          2. Remove washer arm nut.  Hold the blade when applying torque.  32 N-m (24 lb-ft)
          3. Remove washer nozzle hose from wiper arm.
          4. Use slight up and down motion at the hinge to remove the arm.
          5. When re-installing, position wiper blade at top edge of the windshield blackout.
      1. Air inlet grille retainers (remove all 10)
      2. Disconnect washer pump hose at the outer edge of the air inlet grille panel.
      3. Remove air inlet grille.

 3. If engine oil cooler perform following steps, otherwise proceed to step 8.

 8. If vehicle is not equipped with engine oil cooler, reposition the radiator outlet hose clamp at the thermostat housing.
 9. Remove the radiator outlet hose from the thermostat housing.
10. Remove the radiator outlet hose clip form the outlet hose bracket.
11. Remove the thermostat housing cover bolts and cover.  (JR - the bolts are a bit of a pain to get to.  Use a long extension and push the hoses aside to get on the bolt heads.  I think it's a 10mm.  Torque 10 N-m / 89 lb-in when re-installing)
12. Remove the thermostat.
13. Remove and discard the O-ring.
14. Install new thermostat and put it all back together!

Now, I'll show pics of me doing most of these steps.

Allright, the draincock is easily accessible and opens by hand. 

The waterpump drain plug was not where I've seen it in drawings of the waterpump.  This may be because my car is an early build. The plug was on the bottom of the waterpump, facing downward. You can't see it in this picture, but you can feel it on the bottom and it's easy to get a socket on.

Next is the wiper arms.  Removing the cover and nut was easy.  I was stumped for a couple of minutes on removing the arm though.  The "slight up and down motion" description in the manual should read, "grab it at the hinge area, and yank up and down fairly hard" I had been babying it.

Then remove the screws on the inlet grill panel, along with the 3 plugs on each end, 2 of which are here:

and one of which in inside the door area:

Then just lift up the panel, watching out for the water squirter tube on the drivers side.

Unhooking the water squirter tube was proving a pain, so I just positioned the panel out of the way.

Here's the thermostat housing on the back passenger side of the engine.

The instructions call for removing the hose, but as the clamp was awkward and stubborn, I just removed the housing bolts and voila..

Now, my high-tech method of raising the surge tank to refill

You can see the thermostat inner gasket is what failed.

Make sure you have an assortment of socket extensions for the thermostat housing bolts.  It's awkward and cramped back behind the engine. And if you drop something, it probably will wind up on the transmission crossmember, requiring you to jack the car up.  (don't ask me how I know this) ;)

The thermostat housing bolts are also not cranked down tight at all.  Make sure you don't overdo it, or you might cause a leak at the o-ring.

There you go.  Hope someone finds it useful.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 09:44:47 AM by Hal 9000 »

Offline Kelu

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 10:59:50 PM »
Except the liquid difference, there are any difference between 2.4 and 2.0T of this operation?

Thank you for this  :cheers:
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Offline Critterman

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 11:13:57 PM »
Yeah, the 2.0 has an extra cooling pipe that fills with air and you have to be very carefull to get all the air out of the lines
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Offline Hal 9000

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 12:19:03 AM »
You shouldn't do this on a 2.0.  There are very different instructions for it in the manual, involving using a 'vac n fill' tool to pull a vacuum on the coolant system before adding coolant.  The 2.0 is much more susceptible to air pockets, as critter man states.

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 09:55:02 AM »
Hal 9000 --Thanks for a helpful, informative and well illustrated post, and for the warning about LNFs.  This kind of information is exactly what Kappa Performance is all about!   :cheers:

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 10:04:01 AM »
Great post Hal, I hear on the GXP you have to "burp" the cooling system so to speak.

Offline Hal 9000

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2009, 12:14:54 PM »
Yea, and I hear a surprising number of dealerships don't know how to do it, or don't have the special tools.

Offline Bigblau

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 03:26:40 AM »
Nice post Hal 9000!  Thanks for the info. :cheers:

Offline GXPinKC

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 03:36:38 AM »
Awesome post Hal 9000!  Thanks!  Very informative, indeed.
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Offline idkfa

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 12:35:28 AM »
Just want to say that this write-up was extremely helpful in swapping the thermostat today. Had an occasional "---" reading and the inner seal had failed.  I even had a hard time spotting the bolts WITH the description and pics, it would not have happened without.   

Did lose one of the bolts, didn't sound like it fell far at all but it's not on the tranny or that little ledge back there.  I'll have to climb under it with a big magnet in the morning.

Thank you!

Offline Hal 9000

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 03:23:56 PM »
Since several people on the forums have told me this thread helped them, I thought I'd give an update.

2 years after replacing the thermostat, I got the --- temp reading again while on vacation.  Something else I found out, your AC compressor is disengaged when you get this code.  Bummer when you forgot your scanner and you're in west Texas.

Anyway, the replacement thermostat that went bad was an autozone 30 dollar version made by Motorad in Israel.  Here's a pic.

IMAG0270 by Halwaldrop, on Flickr

As you can see, the inner seal just fell out of place. I decided to use a different brand this time, but this is all autozone and o'reilly carry, so I had to make a 20 mile trip to get a 20 dollar Stant brand at PepBoys.  I can tell the core isn't as high quality as the motorad, but it looks like the weak link in all these is the rubber.

By the way, there is no o-ring as mentioned in the earlier instructions, just the black rubber parts attached to the thermostat itself.

After draining the radiator and the engine block, I was able to get almost a gallon of 50/50 dexcool back in by elevating the reservoir. Then I got a little more in by tilting the reservoir so fluid could go in through the smaller upper hose.  After that I put the reservoir back in place, started the engine, and added more fluid as it went down.  All in all I put in a gallon and a half.

Offline diamoney

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 09:33:45 AM »
That's a completely different style thermostat isn't it Hal?  Its amazing how that seal is totally separated from the body of the stat!  Good thing it didn't go downstream!
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Offline Helios

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Re: *HOW TO* Change Thermostat on 2.4
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 08:54:29 AM »
I got the "---" reading this morning on the way to work. 75k on the engine. I guess it was time to go. So, do ours stick open leaving the car still safe to drive? After all, I still need to drive home. Guess I have to replace the thermostat this weekend.
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