I have a Ford 1997 Taurus (12v, head over valve, 3.0L, Vin# U) and have a question about the thermostat

Asked by Jan 11, 2014 at 05:30 PM about the 1997 Ford Taurus GL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I try to replace the thermostat and when I took out the thermostat I'll see its head facing the engine's block and its tail (the part with spring and a rod) facing the radiator.  But I look at the other cars (many brands) on youtube they are all in the reverse direction, i.e., its tail (with spring an a rod) facing the engine's block.
so my question is my old thermostat was in the wrong position (which was probably done by an unexperienced repair shop before)?
And with this wrong position how that affect my car?  Does it that longer time for the thermostat to open before its head (with filled wax) is facing the radiator?
Thank you and looking forward to your quick reply so I can install a new thermostat.
I did put a new thermostat in this (wrong) position but it leaks because the thermostat slides off from the gutter inside the housing so I took it out and will put it back in again.

2 Answers

20,475

I am surprised it didn't overheat immediately. Yes it was backwards. With it facing that way the anti freeze is almost completely shut off and can't circulate. If ran like very long this could cause blown head gaskets and overheat severely.

Thank you, tuff After researching my thermostat was previously installed in the wrong direction by a Ford assembly production line. (I bought the car brand new in 1997 and never had a thermostat service until today so it was a mistake (one in a million) by Ford. ) However, mine car has still survived until today without ever being over heating (lucky for Ford and bad for me) because (by taking a look at the physical structure of my thermostat) the thermostat still works (not perfectly) in the wrong direction, i.e., the thermostat still opens but it takes longer time for it to open and also takes shorter time for it to close due to the rod and the spring are in the radiator (colder) side. So my car engine get hotter than it should be but it can handle that without blowing out head By what I see and also a note for anyone who has the same question as mine that: 1) The rod and the spring (the tail or bottom) side should always be in the engine block (hotter) side because the rod (with a wax and a piston inside it) would get hot quicker (the thermostat opens quicker) and be cool down slower (the thermostat closes slower, i.e. it stays open longer). 2) And the thermostat still works (opens) if it is installed in the wrong position! but it will cause stress (hotter) to the engine due to its slower reaction by being on the colder side. Thanks again!

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