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

34,855

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!

15,380

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.

34,855

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 72,941 nationwide Explorer listings starting at $985.

ZIP:

Search Ford Explorer Questions

Ford Explorer Experts

#1 OJ
OJ
Reputation 8,790
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 3,490
#3 tennisshoes
tennisshoes
Reputation 1,970
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,156 Great Deals out of 70,017 listings starting at $495
Used Ford Expedition
637 Great Deals out of 23,053 listings starting at $1,100
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
1,089 Great Deals out of 31,950 listings starting at $1,495
Used Ford F-150
3,395 Great Deals out of 205,576 listings starting at $1,273
Used Dodge Durango
486 Great Deals out of 23,226 listings starting at $1,100
Used Ford Escape
1,703 Great Deals out of 85,752 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Highlander
668 Great Deals out of 27,662 listings starting at $2,988
Used Toyota 4Runner
391 Great Deals out of 20,275 listings starting at $2,995
Used Honda Pilot
607 Great Deals out of 20,517 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac
68 Great Deals out of 2,005 listings starting at $900
Used Nissan Pathfinder
481 Great Deals out of 26,760 listings starting at $1,795
Used Ford Explorer Sport
290 listings starting at $995

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Explorer For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 39,164 listings starting at $23,995
2016 Ford Explorer For Sale
275 Great Deals out of 8,927 listings starting at $16,995
2015 Ford Explorer For Sale
212 Great Deals out of 3,629 listings starting at $11,999
2014 Ford Explorer For Sale
384 Great Deals out of 5,943 listings starting at $12,995
2013 Ford Explorer For Sale
324 Great Deals out of 4,868 listings starting at $9,995