THERMOSTAT HOUSING BOLTS BROKEN

Asked by Nov 18, 2016 at 03:09 PM about the 2004 Ford Explorer XLT Sport V6 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Here goes another one of my favorite miserable moments...

In noticing a coolant leak on my 2004 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 with a 4.0 v6 engine, I applied a coolant pressure test and quickly noticed the culprit of the discrepancy.  It was at the base of the thermostat lower half housing.  It is a fairly simple repair.  Three bolts and wua-la! Right?  Well, due the beautiful black cloud of misfortune that looms over me like an ex wife seeking more child support money, two of three bolts broke off.

Now, I know that most broken bolts require a drill and extractor tool to remove broken bolts.  However, I wonder if by performing this task perhaps the bolts break even more and further inside the block portion of the thread?

On the other hand, I wonder if it is possible to pull the entire thermostat assembly upward and off, leaving the broken bolts, or pieces thereof, exposed whereby they can be removed by use of vise grips or tools of the sort?

Any suggestions, recommendations and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

3 Answers

46,815

If you can remove the third bolt then you could try vice grips. You could also cut the bolt head off to allow the upper housing to be removed. Good luck!

16,600

If it is like my 2003 4.0, the thermostat housing is plastic. I'd try to break the housing (if just the head broke off the bolt) so I can get a pair of vice grips on the stud to unscrew it. Once the remaining studs are exposed, work gingerly with the vice grips as to not break off the remaining stud at the block. It should come out fairly easily, unless someone used loc-tite on the threads. If it does not unscrew fairly easily, apply some heat to the block area (make sure everything surrounding is metal). This should expand the inside thread slightly so unscrewing would be easier. The replacement housing (plastic) is about 90 bucks. They make an aftermarket one made of aluminum which holds up longer.

46,815

I would apply penetrating oil to the threads and let it soak in for a while before trying to remove those bolts.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Explorer

Looking for a Used Explorer in your area?

CarGurus has 74,004 nationwide Explorer listings starting at $750.

ZIP:

Search Ford Explorer Questions

Ford Explorer Experts

#1 OJ
OJ
Reputation 9,360
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 3,730
#3 tennisshoes
tennisshoes
Reputation 2,130
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Expedition
420 Great Deals out of 24,712 listings starting at $1,999
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
846 Great Deals out of 68,675 listings starting at $864
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
778 Great Deals out of 28,448 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford F-150
2,702 Great Deals out of 211,804 listings starting at $1,000
Used Dodge Durango
301 Great Deals out of 24,111 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Escape
1,119 Great Deals out of 90,571 listings starting at $1,295
Used Toyota Highlander
482 Great Deals out of 25,071 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Pilot
462 Great Deals out of 19,638 listings starting at $599
Used Toyota 4Runner
319 Great Deals out of 20,550 listings starting at $2,295
Used Nissan Pathfinder
410 Great Deals out of 24,820 listings starting at $999
Used GMC Yukon
520 Great Deals out of 17,125 listings starting at $1,799
Used Ford Explorer Sport
309 listings starting at $695

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Explorer For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 44,470 listings starting at $24,490
2016 Ford Explorer For Sale
167 Great Deals out of 5,850 listings starting at $16,900
2015 Ford Explorer For Sale
136 Great Deals out of 3,463 listings starting at $13,595
2014 Ford Explorer For Sale
255 Great Deals out of 6,052 listings starting at $11,400
2013 Ford Explorer For Sale
146 Great Deals out of 3,891 listings starting at $9,000