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2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts?


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Tejo
Novice

Oct 27, 2014, 7:34 PM

Post #1 of 18 (1706 views)
2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Re: 2000 Buick Century 3.1L 120,000m
- I‘m having problems replacing the thermostat on my 2000 Buick Century.
- I can’t remove the Upper Bolt on the Thermostat Housing; I don’t know if it’s frozen in place or, I just can’t reach it well enough to get a good grip on it (or both). There are two horizontal pipes in the way, one’s black and the other’s silver. I tried ‘liquid wrench’ on the bolt and gave it several good taps, but it won’t budge.
- To access the Upper Bolt better, I tried to remove the Throttle Body. I was able to remove cables, wires, upper left TB bolt and the nut on the lower right side of the TB (the nut that’s in front of the small black plate that’s attached to the black pipe). However, I can’t seem to remove the Stud Bolt that comes from the lower right Throttle Body and extends through the slot in the small black plate. –Any suggestions?
- I’m wondering if, instead of removing the Throttle Body, I should try to remove the black and silver horizontal pipes that are blocking access to the Upper Bolt on the Thermostat Housing. If so, I’m not sure how, I can’t find any info on how to do it. By the way, the lower bolt on the TH also seems be frozen or, I can’t get enough leverage (or both). I would appreciate any advice. ~THANKS!



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Oct 28, 2014, 2:14 AM

Post #2 of 18 (1686 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Here are the published instructions



Removal Procedure

  • Tools Required
  • J38185 Hose Clamp Pliers





  1. Remove the air cleaner and duct assembly.
  2. Partially drain the coolant.
  3. Use the J38185 in order reposition the hose clamp at the thermostat housing
  4. Disconnect the radiator hose from the thermostat housing
  5. Remove the thermostat housing attaching bolts.






  1. Remove the thermostat housing and gasket.




  1. Remove the thermostat.
  2. Clean the mating surfaces.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 28, 2014, 3:10 AM

Post #3 of 18 (1681 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

OP - You are supposed to have tools for nuts and bolts of assorted types for obstructions. Hose may be the hardest with first the clamp + tool then removing it without ruining it if you are using it again. Tools for that too.


Hose clamp tool I find most handy for some like this if it shows. You'd croak if you saw the cost of these! With an assortment you can get most but not all.........



Try at a pic ^^ May not show or expire,


T



Discretesignals
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Oct 28, 2014, 4:14 AM

Post #4 of 18 (1674 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

That is where 1/4 swivel sockets and ratcheting wrenches come in handy.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tejo
Novice

Oct 28, 2014, 2:26 PM

Post #5 of 18 (1658 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Thank You for your reply.
I've been able to do steps 1 thru 4, it's step #5 I'm having trouble with. The bolts are VERY hard to access on the Buick Century. Also, they seem to be frozen in there. I've tried 'liquid wrench' but they won't budge. Any suggestions?


Tom Greenleaf
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Oct 28, 2014, 2:46 PM

Post #6 of 18 (1655 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

"Liquid Wrench" as a brand name if you meant that isn't as good as some others like PB (Power Blaster) but none work or well if they can't get at the stuck spot.


You need to get a good socket or wrench squarely on the hex of nuts and bolts. Six point has better grip, 12 point more choices of places and more likely to round out the hex.


Tricks? Tap on the bolt straight on with a punch sometimes helps. Sounds wrong but sometimes tighten a tad first then back out.


You are fighting with dissimilar metals that stick to each other - any can they just get more fussy up to a real serious problem. Do anything NOT to break them off!


Not here but heat can help - forget it for here. There's a zillion types of obstruction tools to get a good grip. IDK - sometimes the style of a timing wrench works but slow. Make one out of a cheap combo wrench in a vice with just a hand torch or go shopping for more and more tools.


Don't hurry it as breaking it and stuff is lots harder to deal with,


T



Hammer Time
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Oct 28, 2014, 3:17 PM

Post #7 of 18 (1651 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

None of those liquids are going to do anything. Even if your problem is corrosion, that stuff can't reach the threads where the problem is anyway. They are just tight and you need to get a solid bite on them. We know it's not easy to reach. We do them all the time. People always seem to think our job is easy and we overcharge for our labor.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tejo
Novice

Oct 28, 2014, 5:55 PM

Post #8 of 18 (1646 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Thanks guys for responding so quickly to my questions!
- I tried using a flex-head socket wrench on the Thermostat Housing upper bolt, but the wrench head couldn't get into the tight space.
- I just bought a flex-head ratcheting combo wrench and tried it. It does get into the tight space, however, the bolt is so close to the Housing that the ratcheting end won't fit around it.
- It appears the only way to get at it is to either remove the Throttle Body - or - remove the black and silver horizontal pipes.
- I've removed just about everything from the Throttle Body, except the lower right Stud Bolt. I used vice-grips on the stud bolt (with a thin sheet of rubber to protect the threads) but it wouldn't budge. Is there a trick to removing the stud bolt?
- Would it be easier to remove the black and silver pipes instead? If so, what are these pipes and how would I remove them?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 28, 2014, 6:22 PM

Post #9 of 18 (1639 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

That bracket is attached to a water pipe that has to be disconnected at both ends to move that.

We do this all the time and it can be done with the throttle body in place. If you don't have the correct tool or ability, it may be time to cut your losses and tow it to a competent shop.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tejo
Novice

Oct 28, 2014, 6:35 PM

Post #10 of 18 (1637 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

I wish I could take it to a shop, but I don't have enough money or credit to to pay a mechanic, so I have to do it myself.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 28, 2014, 6:37 PM

Post #11 of 18 (1635 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Needing to do something and actually being able to can be two different things.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tejo
Novice

Oct 28, 2014, 7:52 PM

Post #12 of 18 (1631 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

You make a good point.
- It's just that I'll be without a car for 6 months before I can afford a mechanic.
- I've been able to do other repairs (replaced: alternator, water pump, turn signal/multi-function switch, etc.). I thought I should try to fix it, instead of not doing anything about it for months.
- If I could just find a way to remove those stuborn bolts, everything would be okie-dokie! Smile


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 28, 2014, 8:32 PM

Post #13 of 18 (1626 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Tejo: I think you are lacking the tools to do this. Tight spots are many and many types of approaches.


Never mind that for a minute. Why are you removing the thermostat housing at all? Have you just an itch to replace it or evidence that something is wrong with it?


Really - why are you there at all? Overheating? Runs too cold?


This whole thread is about a nut and or bolts that are hard to get at not what the real reason is. Rubber on some kind of pliers to remove a nut! C'mon - did you think that would really help?


True as HT said the penetrating products do nothing if they don't reach the problem and probably aren't needed at all for this and bet you are fighting a stud with a nut holding housing with bracket in between and another nut and you'll never win if not done in order.


Tell us what the original problem if any was that you are touching any of this,


T



Tejo
Novice

Oct 29, 2014, 1:18 AM

Post #14 of 18 (1616 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

- Sorry, I thought by giving enough detail (i.e. trying to remove the Stud Bolt using vice-grip pliers), it would help people know what I’ve tried and so be better able to tell me what I may be doing wrong. And to answer your question –yes, I really did think the rubber might help prevent the threads on the Stud Bolt from being damaged by the vice-grips (and it did).
- The reason I’m working on the engine is because over the last few months I noticed the engine seemed to be running a little hotter than usual. Then one day the temperature gauge went over to the red. I noticed the water pump was leaking so I replaced it. The engine ran a little better; it didn’t overheat as quickly as it used to, but it was still overheating. After doing some research, it seemed that the thermostat might be stuck in the closed position. Then again, you’re absolutely right ; it’s possible the thermostat may not be the problem.
- However, you mentioned, “a stud with a nut holding housing with bracket in between and another nut and you'll never win if not done in order”. That does sound like the problem I’m having with the Throttle Body Stud Bolt. I removed the nut in front of the bracket, but there is another nut behind the bracket that can’t be reached. How do I remove the Stud Bolt?



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 29, 2014, 2:01 AM

Post #15 of 18 (1611 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Oh boy. That pic helps more. You are fighting nuts against nuts and they will NOT undo if you don't hold the innermost one then turn the outermost as they lock each other.


Water pump bad seems known and done but doesn't mean thermostat is causing overheating at all. System must be known full in the engine not just radiator or recovery tanks and you can feel the heat leave the thermostat towards the radiator at radiator end will or should stay cool till thermostat opens THEN if NOT warm there you can blame a stuck shut thermostat. I'd sooner blame a head gasket now from the water pump overheat and test for that and quit this job now.


Pressure up cooling system and check for leaks with a pressure tester, engine off. Not sure what year did what but if pressure cap is on radiator it will quickly blow coolant out upon start up with cap off or just feel pressure of upper hose pressure up way too fast for heat of expansion would normally is a strong indicator that combustion gasses are now entering cooling system which at first unless drastic will give erratic engine cooling, heater may work then quit, bubble over to recovery tank and more without really leaking to ground in sight but might do that too.


Has it consumed coolant with or without evidence? All clues before you blame anything. Head gaskets do not have to mix coolant and oil as most folks think to be the problem.


Vapor in cooling system whether air or gasses will not cool well, be erratic and senders plus thermostat can be late in detecting real temps with vapor vs liquid.


Do some touch and feel for temps and verify holding coolant full before blaming thermostats - most are NOT the problem to begin with,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Oct 29, 2014, 2:55 AM

Post #16 of 18 (1607 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

As I already told you, that stud us not coming out as long as that pipe is there. It has a hex head behind the bracket. As I also told you, it is not necessary to remove the throttle body and you are going to break more coolant seals in the process when you remove that pipe.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tejo
Novice

Oct 31, 2014, 2:09 AM

Post #17 of 18 (1581 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Thanks guys,
- I removed the silver pipe. I got access to the upper bolt by squeezing the socket wrench extension between the black pipe and the heat shield.
- The upper Thermostat Housing bolt is OFF! Smile

- Now I have to work on the lower bolt. Unimpressed




Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Oct 31, 2014, 2:52 AM

Post #18 of 18 (1577 views)
Re: 2000 Buick, How do I get to the Thermostat Housing Bolts? Sign In

Boy are you going thru a lot of grief and still haven't really diagnosed that it needs a thermostat or not YET!


This stuff is why tool companies sell so many tools - many of the same size for obstructions. Search out the assortment of obstruction wrenches or tools and I'll try to show some that makes these a cake walk. Some pics may not show or expire as they just come off the web images places for sale or who knows?


1.
2.
3.

4.


It's shocking how many types of same size you can need. Crow foot both open and semi closed as a 12 point or 6 point some only have 5 points and so on.


--------------------
What can really be tough is AFTER you get one out and ready to put back is just starting something by hand again and know it's not cross threaded or then the fun gets even more exciting.


---------------------


Ever see into a working shop and see those huge tool boxes stuffed with crap so bad it's hard to find exactly what you know you need and have somewhere - speak for myself.


You are about five days into one bolt and nut. Just imagine doing this while someone is waiting to get their car back!


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Oct 31, 2014, 2:55 AM)






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