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Old 03-22-2011, 05:09 PM   #1
ehunter
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Default Thermostat Housing

96-SL2 DOHC

I need to buy a replacement housing for my Thermostat.

Months ago I replaced my T-stat and was sold a unit which came with its own housing. I tossed the original housing and now I know that was a bad idea.

I have come to realize the new T-Stat is not a 195deg part, it is a 185deg T-stat ! Until my new Stant 14279 arrives I have to buy the original housing back for my car.

There are many bone yards around except I can probably save myself quite a bit of driving if I can also target different year SL2's for the same exact part. I am not sure how to tell from the Swap Guide sticky and was hoping you guys could help save me some driving.

Obviously I would rather not drive 40mi if I can get the same part from a different year car that is 20mi away.

Can somebody tell me what year SL2's I need to target? Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
96-SL2 DOHC

Can somebody tell me what year SL2's I need to target? Thanks!
96 - 99 year models.

I replaced the housing on mine as well and didn't have problems.
...
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As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

The thermostat housing?

It should be the same on any S-Series...
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

There is a Asian import thermostat that comes installed in a housing. Unfortunately the Asian housing has support legs that are too narrow and the throat is a smaller diameter.

The OEM Saturn housing is one size fits all so the first one that you can get off will fit. Be sure that the small check ball in the housing rattles before you install it.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
There is a Asian import thermostat that comes installed in a housing. Unfortunately the Asian housing has support legs that are too narrow and the throat is a smaller diameter.
Mine was not OEM, but it was from Germany...
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Was the housing identical to the OEM? Almost all of the control elements are made in Germany but the housings are usually cast in Asia somewhere.

And, my point is this, use the OEM housing and then the correct thermostat will fit and function. Do not automatically buy the lowest price part on the shelf. You get what you pay for.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Was the housing identical to the OEM? Almost all of the control elements are made in Germany but the housings are usually cast in Asia somewhere.
Yeah, the housing looked indentical. I can't remember the brand - it has been over three years now, but I do remember it was from Germany and I bought it at Autozone. It has not let me down, but I'm amazed at how often people run into problems when not buying OEM and am much more leary now. My top motor mount and fuel filter was bought OEM from the dealer SPECIFICALLY because of horror stories I read here concerning after market parts.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

AutoZone is the seller of the bozo housing/thermostat units. Link with pictures.

Thermostat Housing differences
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...mostat+housing post 414
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
There is a Asian import thermostat that comes installed in a housing. Unfortunately the Asian housing has support legs that are too narrow and the throat is a smaller diameter.
That is the one the parts store sold me. When I got it home I compared it to the OEM housing and noticed immediately the legs were different <sigh> which houses a different design of thermostat. So now that I know better later down the road the recommended Stant wont fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The OEM Saturn housing is one size fits all so the first one that you can get off will fit. Be sure that the small check ball in the housing rattles before you install it.
I wish I had read this message before I left the house this morning. I just got back from the bone yard.

The first housing I pealed off a car had no thermostat inside. It was pretty much baked to the block even after the bolts were removed. One of the stat legs was broken and it had cauliflower corrosion growiing from the ends. No wonder the motor was labeled as "No Good".

I did get a housing from a different car. I cleaned it up with WD40 and noticed that just inside the tube, in line where that tiny ball is, is some kind of small chamber. The chamber has some tanned color "stuff" in it. I did not try to dig out the stuff although it mushes away pretty easy. I wanted to make sure nothing belongs there before I dig it out? See the pic below.

The next thing is, when I shake the housing I don't hear any ball rolling around. How prominent is the sound???


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Old 03-23-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,460

1996 SL2
Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
I'm amazed at how often people run into problems when not buying OEM and am much more leary now. My top motor mount and fuel filter was bought OEM from the dealer SPECIFICALLY because of horror stories I read here concerning after market parts.
This website has instilled a parts buying paranoia into me if anything... My buddies are the ones getting an earful since my bellyaching here is only preaching to the choir.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,460

1996 SL2
Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
AutoZone is the seller of the bozo housing/thermostat units. Link with pictures.

Thermostat Housing differences
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...mostat+housing post 414
Boy am I glad you posted this.

Here is a more direct link to what you posted: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=414

I see the legs on my boneyard housing are the same as what the poster in the referenced link shows for the OEM housing. The thought did cross my mind that I could possibly be taking a non OEM replacement housing so the link confirms I at least got the right one.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

It is once you see the difference it is easy to spot the non-standard part. There has to be some repro housings that are built to spec though.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

That goo does not belong. Probably some magic stop leak that the PO installed after a leak developed. Once the goo is gone the ball will rattle. You can see the ball in the lower picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
That is the one the parts store sold me. When I got it home I compared it to the OEM housing and noticed immediately the legs were different <sigh> which houses a different design of thermostat. So now that I know better later down the road the recommended Stant wont fit.



I wish I had read this message before I left the house this morning. I just got back from the bone yard.

The first housing I pealed off a car had no thermostat inside. It was pretty much baked to the block even after the bolts were removed. One of the stat legs was broken and it had cauliflower corrosion growiing from the ends. No wonder the motor was labeled as "No Good".

I did get a housing from a different car. I cleaned it up with WD40 and noticed that just inside the tube, in line where that tiny ball is, is some kind of small chamber. The chamber has some tanned color "stuff" in it. I did not try to dig out the stuff although it mushes away pretty easy. I wanted to make sure nothing belongs there before I dig it out? See the pic below.

The next thing is, when I shake the housing I don't hear any ball rolling around. How prominent is the sound???


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Old 03-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

FYI, I bought a housing from rock auto because one of the retaining ears was broken off of mine back when I got the vehicle. While it seems kind of cheap, it does seem to have the proper dimensions. It doesn't come with a thermostat. A stant went right in and seated properly.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Yes, there are aftermarket units that are the correct dimensions. It is just the housing with thermostat that is suspect ATM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:52 PM   #16
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
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1996 SL2
Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ev_dave13 View Post
FYI, I bought a housing from rock auto because one of the retaining ears was broken off of mine back when I got the vehicle. While it seems kind of cheap, it does seem to have the proper dimensions. It doesn't come with a thermostat. A stant went right in and seated properly.
Rock Auto has only one Inlet part so this must be what you got:
FOUR SEASONS Part # 85246 (Inlet)

It is good to list it because later others are going to search up this thread later and possibly want to buy the one that is Stant compatible. Thanks for throwing it out there.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #17
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Default Comparing a stant

I thought the pictures were cool showing us of the different types of housings.

As my Stant 14279 just arrived today, FAST RockAuto shipping (2 days to California!!!), I thought I would provide comparison pics of an unknown thermostat I pulled from another vehicle. (I was hunting for a used housing)

The Stant is on the left in all pics


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Old 03-24-2011, 11:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thermostat Housing

Notice the difference in overall length. Both of those are probably quality thermostats but different temperature opening points. The 87C on the Stant is the crack open temperature and is what the FSM lists as OEM spec.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: Comparing a stant

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
I thought the pictures were cool showing us of the different types of housings.

As my Stant 14279 just arrived today, FAST RockAuto shipping (2 days to California!!!), I thought I would provide comparison pics of an unknown thermostat I pulled from another vehicle. (I was hunting for a used housing)

The Stant is on the left in all pics
Can you read the markings on body of the the thermostat on the right? It is exactly the same as the one that shipped in my car in design. From what I've seen some are marked 87C and some are marked 85C. The top (in your photos) and the taper of the bottom of the body are obviously different and affects the inner spring seat on the bottom. I've got a good close up pic in my photos.

Looking at the design and how dirty it is, the one you pulled might be an original that was never changed. It might even be part of the reason that Saturn was in the junk yard.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:57 PM   #20
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1996 SL2
Default Re: Thermostat Housing

The stat on the right... looks like it is dirty in the pics... but it is not.

The main body in my opinion is painted black. After very close inspection I do not see any writing/stamping on the body of he unit. The only writing is what is shown in the last picture, the underside of the unit.

I bet many of the saturns I saw there with "bad motors" were designated as such probably due to the simple failed parts we constantly discuss in these threads. I bet there is no shortage of two bit mechanics classifying these motors as such.
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