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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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3.5 thermostat

I have a 2000 Intrepid r/t that needs a new thermostat. Is that on top on engine or on the side? What all needs removed to access it?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:00 AM
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welcome! It's on the lower side. You won't need to remove anything but the lower hose and the heater inlet hose, then remove the housing and out comes the thermostat. It's a bear where it's located, if you have access to a lift that would be better, I did mine on the ground and invented some new curse words. Good lighting helps.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 05:04 PM
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Helps to remove the oil folter as well, and make SURE you install it the rite way, it goes in kinda the opposite way you think it should... Try n do a search that shows pic's of the proper way of installing, believe me after putting it in, you DONT want to have to redo it, really bad location..
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 08:30 PM
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I have a 3.2 (basically the same configuration) and I found it easier to get at from the top by removing the alternator. It's a little extra work taking off the crossmember and the serpentine belt, but you avoid a whole lot of cussin' later on, and it gives you an opportunity to replace the belts if they need it.

The spring clamps are a pain...save yourself a lot of aggravation by getting a pair of hose clamp pliers on loan from Advance or AZ. I replaced them with regular screw-type clamps.

There is also a 6" to 8" length of hose from the t-stat housing to the heater pipe...you have to get at that from underneath.

x2 on making sure you put it in the right direction...it will fit in either way. I am pretty sure the spring side goes in the block...but make certain when you take the old one out.

Also be sure to bleed the system as you refill.....
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 10:25 PM
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...I am pretty sure the spring side goes in the block...but make certain when you take the old one out...
Some claim that the factory stat goes in with spring pointing away from block. But, regardless of that, it has been proven over and over that replacement must go in the opposite way (as consistently shown several times in the FSM) - spring end pointing *into* block, and that if put in the other way, there will be problems.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 03:44 AM
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When I replaced my thermostat (Gates 33918) recently, the spring side couldn't be placed in the thermostat housing. The spring had to be placed correctly (spring on block side).
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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I replaced thermostat being sure to install same direction as factory,slow to warm up and not reaching half way on temp gauge?There was some new posts on here that talked about direction of thermostat that i didn't see b4 starting. Hope its in right,not an easy job,aftermarket thermo different than factory?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:02 AM
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did you bleed the cooling system after filling it with coolant?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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yeah, I opened the bleeder screw several times with engine running until just coolant,no air came out. Just one bleeder screw front and top of engine?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 10:24 AM
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I am pretty sure the spring side goes into the block. IIRC there is also a small relief valve on the t-stat that has to be positioned correctly (on top I think). There is a notch in the t-stat that matches up with a notch in the housing that lines it up properly.

Mine doesn't ever get to 1/2 on the temp guage. It generally heats up pretty quickly to just above 1/4 and stays there. If the t-stat was in the wrong way, I would think it would overheat since it is the engine heat that causes it to open up.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:06 AM
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yeah, I opened the bleeder screw several times with engine running until just coolant,no air came out. Just one bleeder screw front and top of engine?

proper bleeding is done with engine off
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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eng off,bleeder open and just add coolant?any more info on proper bleeding? nice lil red express,300 max
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:29 AM
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eng off,bleeder open and just add coolant?any more info on proper bleeding? nice lil red express,300 max
put a clear hose on the bleeder and run it into a bucket. Stick a giant funnel in the reservoir so that it seals around the hole. Fill funnel to the top with coolant, keep adding until only coolant comes out of the bleeder. The tube will make it easy to see if there are still bubbles. Works like a champ!!!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:33 AM
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nice lil red express,300 max
thank you....it's my pride and joy
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:40 PM
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When I replaced my thermostat (Gates 33918) recently, the spring side couldn't be placed in the thermostat housing. The spring had to be placed correctly (spring on block side).
That's good to know. I wonder if they did that intentionally to prevent backwards install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
...aftermarket thermo different than factory?
Apparently even the OEM replacements are different. The FSM shows a sketch of putting the stat in with the spring towards the block. Enough people have posted here over the years reporting problems when they did it the other way, and the problems being resolved when they re-did it the right way that the community here pretty much agrees that it needs to be in with spring towards block.

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Originally Posted by ronbiggs View Post
I am pretty sure the spring side goes into the block. IIRC there is also a small relief valve on the t-stat that has to be positioned correctly (on top I think)...
Correct on both counts.

Quote:
If the t-stat was in the wrong way, I would think it would overheat since it is the engine heat that causes it to open up.
That is what consistently has been reported over the years.

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Originally Posted by 300maximilien View Post
proper bleeding is done with engine off
Can't disagree, but cracking the bleeder with the engine warm and pressurized works too. I find it simpler to do.

Note that there is evidence that some aftermarket thermostats tend to cause slow warm up and low settle-out temperatures - I have one like that in my 3.2. It could be a defect (stuck open), but in the future, I will only be using OEM thermostats on my Concordes.

Always a good idea to test any thermostat in a pan of water on the stove with a good thermometer to make sure it works before installing it.


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