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  #1  
Old 07-24-2017, 09:03 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Leaking Thermostat housing

2000 Ford Explorer SOHC has a leaking thermostat housing. Shocking right?

Anyway, I'm hoping to take care of it this weekend. Any recommendations for parts? It's my understanding that the dorman replacement part is no good, and that one should replace both sensor and sender due to o-rings leaking when swapping over to a new part.

I don't want to spring for the aluminium housing, the vehicle is not a show car by any means. It's crusty rusty explorer that has been hammered on by 18 years of Mi winter. I just need to keep it on the road for now, since I don't really feel like buying a new vehicle.

Thx!
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2017, 06:59 PM
dtrussell dtrussell is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

I just did this. Used rock auto part. However the new thermostat cover was to tall. I had to use the old one. A swivel socket will help but I just used a 12 point wrench. Take your time it took me about three hours. Use new bolts!

Last edited by dtrussell; 08-01-2017 at 07:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2017, 01:48 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Well I started this job today, and had to abort part way through. I'm starting to think it was replaced before.

I tried to go the non-intake-removal route, but as I got close to the point of removing the actual housing, I realized I have wiring looms and a vacuum hose of some sort all intertwined around the lower housing, holding it captive.

I think this was replaced before because of how the wiring/hose is blocking the housing, and because I have yet to find any real sign of it being a OEM ford part. Everything I've seen for the repair so far has said that the 3 bolts holding the top outlet to the lower housing would be 8mm. These were definitely 10mm heads.
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2017, 04:13 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

The other thing I may try too is unplugging and removing each sensor, and unhooking the vacuum line I noticed in my way. That might give me the clearance I need to move the housing out around the wires in the way.

I just didn't have the time to get too deep into it today. I'll give myself more time next weekend in case of a full intake pull.
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2017, 02:06 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

I gotta be honest, taking the intake off was not that bad. If I can do it, anyone can. It gives you SO MUCH more space to work.

There was no way this thing was coming out without removing the intake. between the vacuum line, and the wiring, I still had trouble getting it out. I had to remove both sensors because some mystery wiring loom ran between them.

My housing isn't cracked in the "traditional" way. However, I have a crack originating near one of the bolt holes, and spreading across the bottom. I do think this may have been replaced before, and I think the person who did it last may have over-tightened the bolts.

Here's a few pics for your enjoyment. The last 2 show the cracking.










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  #6  
Old 08-20-2017, 05:18 PM
Varilux Varilux is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

I'm in the middle of swapping out the thermostat housing myself, and will admit to looking at that intake numerous times with the thought "I wonder how hard it would be to just remove that thing."

Sounds like it wasn't all that hard for you to do- a write up on the process would be GREATLY appreciated (although hopefully I'm in the home stretch- just need to reinstall the new housing later this week).

Also, I didn't realize there WAS an option to buy an aluminum thermostat housing! I think I would have gone that route (because hopefully we'll have this truck for a few years yet).
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Last edited by Varilux; 08-20-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2017, 06:59 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Nothing goes quite right for me, lol. I'll be redoing work tomorrow. For some reason, the replacement housing is leaking. It looks like it's the top part of the housing that's leaking, so at least it's easier to get to.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varilux View Post
I'm in the middle of swapping out the thermostat housing myself, and will admit to looking at that intake numerous times with the thought "I wonder how hard it would be to just remove that thing."

Sounds like it wasn't all that hard for you to do- a write up on the process would be GREATLY appreciated (although hopefully I'm in the home stretch- just need to reinstall the new housing later this week).

Also, I didn't realize there WAS an option to buy an aluminum thermostat housing! I think I would have gone that route (because hopefully we'll have this truck for a few years yet).
Honestly, removing the intake took me about an hour or so, first time ever removing an intake from a vehicle. It was a confidence booster, and SO FAR, it seems like that part went back together properly.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2017, 02:38 PM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

I absolutely cannot get the new housing to stop leaking where the top and bottom connect. I'm waiting for a ride to go to AutoZone since they said maybe the o-ring that came in the kit is not working right.

Just go w/ an OEM part if you're doing this, or if you really care about your stuff, do the housing upgrade. I should have known better than to dick around w/ duralast crap.
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2017, 07:54 AM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wily View Post
I absolutely cannot get the new housing to stop leaking where the top and bottom connect. I'm waiting for a ride to go to AutoZone since they said maybe the o-ring that came in the kit is not working right.

Just go w/ an OEM part if you're doing this, or if you really care about your stuff, do the housing upgrade. I should have known better than to dick around w/ duralast crap.
New o ring from Auto Zone leaked worse. I'm ripping all that junk out and taking it back.

I'm actually probably buying a new car. The explorer will become a utility vehicle instead of my daily driver. That way when crap like this happens, I can take the time to get the right parts and not feel rushed.

There's a lot of other considerations going into a car purchase, than the thermostat housing issue. My needs have changed over the last couple years. I mention that only because I don't want someone to come along and thing they're SOL if the housing is leaking.

If it weren't for the junk part, I'd be done. Don't buy junk, you (probably) won't have to do the work twice (thrice, four-ice, etc, etc)
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:27 AM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wily View Post
I absolutely cannot get the new housing to stop leaking where the top and bottom connect. .......
Although it's an Explorer and the housing, thermostat cover and general configuration are a bit different, I've been watching the thread. And now I have a question, actually, the need for clarification. What exactly do you mean by the text I made bold above??? This because, the usual place for the leak to develop is where they are bonded (connected). Are you meticulously and carefully verifying the leak source, because, a small antifreeze seep can run and wick a long ways.

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  #11  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:42 AM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboybilly9mile View Post
Although it's an Explorer and the housing, thermostat cover and general configuration are a bit different, I've been watching the thread. And now I have a question, actually, the need for clarification. What exactly do you mean by the text I made bold above??? This because, the usual place for the leak to develop is where they are bonded (connected). Are you meticulously and carefully verifying the leak source, because, a small antifreeze seep can run and wick a long ways.

I'm working on an explorer, so photo definitely looks right to me.

The new unit is leaking where the top cover and lower housing come together.

Pull the 3 bolts out in your photo, the cover comes off, presenting the thermostat. The Autozone part has a o-ring that sits on top of the t-stat (OEM part does too, but it looks less like an o-ring, and more like a seal). That o-ring acts as the seal for the housing cover.

The thermostat itself is fairly loose inside the housing. Everything is real sloppy compared to the old Ford part I pulled out (I confirmed now it's likely ford part, due to "made in germany" on it, instead of "made in china".)

I'm confident in my diagnosis that the original housing was bad, I found the cracks, and evidence of a leak. The plastic is brittle and breaks/chips easily.

The issue now is that the replacement part is clearly junk. Because I can't get the cover to seal against the thermostat o-ring, it just spews coolant at the seam between the cover and the housing. The old unit leaked less than the replacement.

I think this is a lesson in using non-OEM parts for this kind of thing. The replacement housing assembly either has the wrong thermostat in it (diameter-wise), or the cover sealing surfaces are out of spec, and not reaching down far enough to create a proper seal on the o-ring.

My new mission is to find Motorcraft parts, and I'm open to suggestions. I want to do the housing, the t-stat cover, the t-stat itself, the sensor and the senDEr.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:43 AM
Varilux Varilux is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Fortunately, I purchased Ford parts to replace mine (in fact, they're showing as on the truck for delivery today). I wish I had known there is an all-aluminum alternative for this part, I would have ordered that instead.

Hoping to get this reinstalled tonight (still trying to figure out what to do with the pits in the aluminum where the housing mates to the block- current plan is to supplement the rubber o-ring with some black RTV).
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:46 AM
Doctor Wily Doctor Wily is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varilux View Post
Fortunately, I purchased Ford parts to replace mine (in fact, they're showing as on the truck for delivery today). I wish I had known there is an all-aluminum alternative for this part, I would have ordered that instead.

Hoping to get this reinstalled tonight (still trying to figure out what to do with the pits in the aluminum where the housing mates to the block- current plan is to supplement the rubber o-ring with some black RTV).
General rule is that you shouldn't use RTV + a seal. I'll look at your thread.
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  #14  
Old 08-23-2017, 09:45 AM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Leaking Thermostat housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wily View Post
....Autozone part has a o-ring that sits on top of the t-stat (OEM part does too, but it looks less like an o-ring, and more like a seal)........
Most likely because, over time the compressed rubber took on a new shape. New, they have a circular cross section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wily View Post
My new mission is to find Motorcraft parts, and I'm open to suggestions. I want to do the housing, the t-stat cover, the t-stat itself, the sensor and the senDEr.
I found the best deal on *most* Motorcraft parts on Rockauto; the o-ring and MOTORCRAFT thermostat were sourced on ebay (rockauto shipping from multiple sources killed the one stop shopping). Don't forget the 5% which is everywhere online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Wily View Post
General rule is that you shouldn't use RTV + a seal. I'll look at your thread.
Because under normal circumstances a rubber seal is, by design, is intended to do the job with nothing else.
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