2004 dodge intrepid thermostat housing replacement
has anyone ever replaced their thermostat housing and thermostat on a dodge intrepid 2004? is it too harry or can a shade tree mech. like myself attempt? I noticed that no parts store carry the actual housing, only the gaskets. I am assuming it is a dealership part only.
my question is
do i need to remove the upper plenum (manifold) and if so how difficult is it?
It is possible for you to do this without much difficulty. Here is a link that shows you where the thermostat housing is with steps on removal and images: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/en_maintenance/article/0,2021,DIY_13808_2277765,00.html Figure C is where information on the thermostat starts. Figure A will show you the thermostat housing in relation to the area around it. You should be able to replace the thermostat without removing the manifold. In addition you can probably find the thermostat housing at: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
Tropikalpirate is definately not a mechanic nor has he ever worked on one before. I've been an ASE master tech sine April 1998 and this job sucks royally for me. A Haynes manual would give you a good starting foundation. To break it down briefly and easier said than done you will need to disconnect the negative battery cable, take off your serpentine belt, remove the alternator which requires removing the radiator core support, unbolting the power steering cooler just 2 10mm bolts on the front of the support, supporting your radiator, which can be done with bungie cords, jack stands, drive on ramps, etc. Finally you will get to the thermostat housing there are 3 10mm bolts to remove (be sure to drain your coolant at the drain petcock before doing this) to make it easier to move around I removed my oil dipstick tube by removing one 15mm bolt from behind the power steering pump and then covering the opening so nothing dirt, debris, coolant enter my oil pan. Your thermostat will have a connection from your radiator's lower driver's side hose and a secondary bypass hose which if you follow it come up at the rear off the engine and branches off going to the heater core t and another feed going back to your reservoir, now worry about getting the 3 factory hose clamps off (that's the fun part if they were positioned incorrectly as mine were) throw them away and get new clamps that you can use a screwdriver or socket to tighten (makes it much easier for future servicing) notice the way your old thermostat is positioned, remove it, clean your gasket surface areas and old gasket material so your new gasket adheres and seals properly, insert your new thermostat and reverse the steps. Plan on taking a day on this beast. At the dealer I've done these at about $800 on invoive with only about $20-25 on parts and the rest on labor fees. I'd personally charge around $200-250 to do this independently because it really ruins my day doing these. Good luck and be sure to have a repair manual on hand but it won't help very much on this job unfortunately. Almost forgot leave the upper plenum/intake alone follow your lower radiator hose and you'll find what you're looking for. The inlet you're looking at top will dissappoint you royally in about an hour and a half when you find out that it is not what you thought it was, trust me I thought so too at first and then had to do the job. Took me 2 days my first go around, takes an experienced mechanic on average of 5-6 hours start to finish.
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