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Author Topic: Thermostat Replacement Tips for the Windsor Engine  (Read 30275 times)
Joel5.0
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« on: February 13, 2011, 10:49:56 am »

Thermostat Replacement Tips

This is a component replacement procedure that requires you keep an eye on some details so a coolant leak at the housing or damage to the thermostat doesn't occur during its installation. The following is the procedure and tricks I use to ensure no leakage, thermostat damage or housing gasket damage takes place.

The Patient

A 1994 Ford Mustang GT or SN95 that requires radiator hoses to be replaced due to aging and rubber softening causing hoses to swell under normal system pressure.



It also had a coolant leak at the thermostat housing that needed attention. The following was checked using a cooling system pressurizer hand pump/gauge.




Parts, Tools and "Consumables"

  • 1/2" Combination Wrench and/or Socket Wrench
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Replacement Thermostat
  • Housing Gasket
  • Radiator hoses and clamps (for this case)
  • Loctite 401 or similar Instant Adhesive
  • Permatex Ultra Black or Ultra Gray RTV Silicone
  • Single blade scraper and small wire brush

Procedure

1. Remove bypass and radiator hoses from t-stat housing.
2. Loosen and remove housing bolts (2) with 1/2" combination and/or socket wrench.
3. Remove housing from intake and pry thermostat from the housing.
4. Scrape/clean the gasket surfaces of the housing and the lower intake port.
5. Make sure replacement thermostat is the correct rating (this one is a 195°F unit) and diameter. In this case, a Stant part# 29309.



6. Apply a little bead of instant adhesive over the t-stat recess ring or seat area and place the thermostat in the correct position (return spring side always towards intake side), apply a little pressure and allow adhesive to cure (~40-60 seconds).
7. Make sure thermostat doesn't fall off the housing. I simply pick the assembly by the thermostat and make sure it doesn't detaches apart by the housing weight.





8. Apply a thin layer of Ultra Black RTV to the thermostat housing, affix gasket and let it cure.
9. Apply a thin layer of Ultra Black to the intake housing port and let it cure for ~15 minutes.




10. You may want to make sure the thermostat is still glued correctly and that it holds the housing weight.


11. Install the housing-thermostat-gasket assembly to the intake port and tighten the bolts (2) evenly. Gluing the thermostat to the housing and the gasket with RTV allowing for some cure time, does provide the flexibility to handle the assembly w/out having to worry about misalignment of either to the intake port.
12. Reinstall radiator and bypass hoses, fill the system with the correct coolant mix and "burp" the system of any air bubbles/pockets that could cause engine overheating.
13. If you have access to a cooling system pressurizer pump, you may want to check the system for leaks by pressurizing the system to 16-19 psi. This allows you to check for leaks w/out turning the engine on as shown below.





14. In this case, I had to replace the two rubber plugs of the heater tubes assembly. One of them was leaking under pressure and due to their age and condition, both were replaced.


I really hope this thermostat gluing tip helps in making its replacement easier..... it has worked for me for years. As a slogan from my training goes...... If you can't weld it, glue it or bolt it down.... screw it! In this case a little adhesive does the trick.






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liljoe07
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 11:10:36 am »

LoL I have that same pressure tester! That thing is awesome...... 
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 12:57:31 pm »

good writeup!  btw, you can rent that pressure tester at a local parts store.
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 04:20:19 pm »

Great idea. I have always used a tiny dab of black RTV to hold it in after it cures.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 04:21:46 pm »

Good job Joel. That's a good idea to let the Ultra Black set up, I've done that once.

Why did you leave the bypass hose stock length though? I have been shortening those for decades. I have seen two of my own which were about to leak at the bung ends due to the tight angle of the stock length. By shortening both ends so the hose is straight going into each bung, there is less stress on the hose. Regards,
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 04:42:25 pm »

It also had a coolant leak at the thermostat housing that needed attention. The following was checked using a cooling system pressurizer hand pump/gauge.


Joel - why do you guys run (what looks to me like a 50/50 mix) a decent mix of anti-freeze down there in paradise?
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 05:15:51 pm »

In that case, it did have a 50/50..... now it's down to ~30%, but the main reason is corrosion. Not that water mixed with water-wetter and a 10% is something better to use. Anyway....... in OEM setups I have found that there are even warranty clauses specifying the mix to be kept at 50% regardless of climate conditions, and many specifying the long life coolant type.
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

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Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 10:00:21 am »

Joel, I noticed from the beginning of this thread that you were putting in a 195* thermostat in that Mustang.  I am curious about with that thermostat at what temperatures does that Mustang run at when it is fully warmed up?

(As in after a few runs of getting real wild with it's gas pedal and also bumper to bumper idling in stupid freeway traffic "waiting and waiting" type of driving?)

I am fed up with the 160* thermostat in the Merc.  After countless different settings on the carburetor I am getting rid of that low thermostat and am either going to replace it with a 180* or a 192* thermostat.  The Merc actually drives MUCH MUCH better when I don't turn the fans on and let it hover around 190* to 200*.

Seems to mix the air and fuel better and I know what the dyno says about horsepower loses but truthfully my butt can't feel any difference and the Merc is a daily driver.  The weather changes here in SoCal fuck up my carb settings weekly!  To me the Merc is faster acceleration-wise when it is running at about 200*.
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The Merc started here = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,27178.0.html  Now = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,34648.0.html

Thanks to Jim "Woody" and Nicole Woods @ FordStrokers 408W, Westminster Performance Transmission (W.P.T.) transmissions, TCS Performance converters, Broader Performance valvebodies and last but not least a BIG thanks (always) to my friends here and abroad in the World!
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 12:33:09 pm »

The 195°F t-stat and the fans turning on @210°-215°, will keep it in the 200° centerline more or less. That SN95 works in the 200°-220° w/out the A/C, and in the 200° range when the A/C is on (fan is on all the time).
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
rob342
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 01:01:14 pm »

here's another way to skin a cat.

i've always used this method:



not my pic/wrinkly old hand
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 01:53:19 pm »

180 deg is my choice.
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 01:58:33 pm »

here's another way to skin a cat.

i've always used this method:



not my pic/wrinkly old hand

I use that same method  (more or less).
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 03:00:07 pm »

180 deg is my choice.


Thank you to you and Joel.
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The Merc started here = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,27178.0.html  Now = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,34648.0.html

Thanks to Jim "Woody" and Nicole Woods @ FordStrokers 408W, Westminster Performance Transmission (W.P.T.) transmissions, TCS Performance converters, Broader Performance valvebodies and last but not least a BIG thanks (always) to my friends here and abroad in the World!
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 03:01:05 pm »

here's another way to skin a cat.

i've always used this method:



not my pic/wrinkly old hand

I use that same method  (more or less).


When installed on the engine block how do you remove the rubber band?    Grin
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Robert's 1969 Mercury Montego (FordStrokers 408W, QFT 850cfm RQ-AN, Super Victor, 1" aluminum open spacer, CamMotion HR .624"/.609" 251*/256* 108* LSA, 1-3/4"x3-1/2" headers, Dynomax Ultra #17224 mufflers, C6/4R100 trans, 8"/9" 5500 converter, Broader Performance manual V/B, 9" 4.56 Detroit Truetrac, Hoosier Pro Street 31x12.5R15 on 10" rims)

The Merc started here = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,27178.0.html  Now = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,34648.0.html

Thanks to Jim "Woody" and Nicole Woods @ FordStrokers 408W, Westminster Performance Transmission (W.P.T.) transmissions, TCS Performance converters, Broader Performance valvebodies and last but not least a BIG thanks (always) to my friends here and abroad in the World!
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 03:58:42 pm »

When installed on the engine block how do you remove the rubber band?    Grin

Remove the pen, and pull it out. I normally use zip ties, just because I have tons of them.
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
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