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Old 01-16-2023, 10:14 AM   #1
rfisher
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Default the old thermostat trick enigma

hi heating/cooling sages- need your valued advice. my O1 L100 4cy. 198k original miles since new. well taken care of by me. suspect thermostat which i think is the hot one-195 F . cooling system original no leaks, never overheated. normally warms up quickly. temp needle goes to middle of gauge . heater normally heats up fast.however now heat up is slow, needle goes to 1/4 mark. are these likely symptoms of stat opening too soon? that used to be true in my older relics(70s-80s) which i remediated by changing the stat. shysters say computer or sensors and will only cost $ 800-$1000. have i missed something? what think? looks like stat cover comes off with 2 bolts and is no more than a 1-2 F job. dont like the trial and error method of diagnosis. thanks tons bob f (sorry no longer apologize for my bad attitude)
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Old 01-16-2023, 12:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

This is how these thermostats seem to fail. Actually these thermostats have some rubber parts that fail over time. Then the coolant flows with the thermostat still closed. I have replaced them in a few of the L61 powered cars that I have owned.
I also sent you a PM about a different music radio. Paul in New Jersey has sold his car and has the original radio in good condition if you are interested. I am getting all of the spare parts and he is willing to ship the radio to Florida. Let me know please. I donít think that I still have your address.
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Old 01-16-2023, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

I'm in full agreement with the above post regarding the thermostat failure. You're apparently not seeing an SES light and if that is the case, replacing the thermostat is the logical step in correcting the low coolant temperature problem.
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi andy and pierrot . have never replaced the stat in my L100. did not know there are rubber parts in the stat. looks like i will replace the stat. stant used to have good ones. andy- on the radio - does paul have the standard amfm saturn radio or the one with the cassette player. if he has a working cassette model im interested. i have the a working standard model with just the amfm . would appreciate you letting me know. will check my pms. thank you my sage friends. bob fisher
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

Paul said it was a cassette, send me your address and it will be coming your way. Enjoy. My treat. Happy to be of service.
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Old 01-17-2023, 12:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

I still had your address and sent it to Paul.
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Old 01-17-2023, 10:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi andy- thats the one im looking for( factory amfm w/ cassette player). since you sent paul my address would you kindly ask him to send it to me directly in florida. appreciate your kind consideration and generosity. btw what is pauls email address or contact on this forum? would like to send him a note. again thanks tons bob fisher. you are one of the folks who make this forum work.
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

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Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
... have never replaced the stat in my L100. did not know there are rubber parts in the stat. looks like i will replace the stat. stant used to have good ones.
Yes, and I've used Stant thermostats in my car. I use the lower temperature thermostat as it was the OE temp, 180 degrees, on my model. If I lived in a climate with colder weather I'd be tempted to run the car with a 195 degree thermostat. Since this will be your first replacement of the thermostat I'd say you've had excellent service life out of the one in the car presently.
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi pierrot- always a learning experience and a great pleasure to read your notes on the forum. curious about your choice of a lower temp stat(180F) instead of the one specified as oe(195F). my 01 L100 lived its first 3 years in nj which has 4 1/2 mos a year of cold , damp ,and snow . been in se fla since 03 which is hot for 10 mos and cold and damp but rarely snow for 2 mos(jan and feb) . figure if i put in a new 195 stat the heater will get hotter but if i switch to the 180 it might generate heat faster since the stat will open and flow hot water to the little radiator in the console sooner. what think you? thanks tons bob f
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

The water flows through the heater first. It only flows through the radiator after the coolant gets to the thermostat opening temp.
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Old 01-18-2023, 02:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi andy - thanks for reminding me . i had forgotten that. bob f
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma - redux

hi pierrot and andy- going to do the stat soon. noticing on the online vendors- stants out of stock, gates and gm prices all over the lot. notice my hahnes repair book calls for a 180 F stat and the saturn owners handbook calls for 194 F . guess 180 better for se fla where air temp is around 90 for 10 mos. wonder if hotter stat is better for mpg. notice too that stat is often sold with the cover which suggests it frequently breaks during removal. anyone had this problem? a 4cyl looks like two bolt removal is tougher than usual. notice too stat has a black gasket around the stat edge. presume gasket on the cover is included(bolts would go through it). does that gasket still call for gasket glue on one side like back in ancient history? thanks tons bob f
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Old 01-21-2023, 12:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

Original temp is 180 degree on the four cylinder. You only need the thermostat and the rubber gasket. You will not need any sealer or a housing. This is a good time to replace the coolant.
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Old 01-22-2023, 05:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi andy- ordered a 180 stat from gates through rock. strange that the L 100 factory driver handbook says 194 for stat. most other sources say 180. surprised to that there is no gasket(fel pro) back in the day) for the mating surface of the housing which the 2 bolts would go through. surmise the rubber ring around the edge of the stat is the only seal needed. thanks tons for your help. bob f
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

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... surprised to that there is no gasket(fel pro) back in the day) for the mating surface of the housing which the 2 bolts would go through. surmise the rubber ring around the edge of the stat is the only seal needed...
You've surmised correctly! Fel-Pro does sell the thermostat o-ring. Stant and other thermostat manufacturers sell their products with an o-ring in the box so there's no need to purchase anything extra. With regard to the higher temp thermostat, there's no particular benefit to having that in the ECOTEC 2.2L since it causes the engine to run warmer than it needs to, especially during the Summer.

During the last week our mornings here in SoCal have been in the low 40's so when I drive to work the car is rather cold (all the more so since it's now parked outside all of the time). Once the engine temperature gauge reaches the "1/4" mark I turn on the heater - sometimes at full hot, sometimes less than that. In any event, the heater sends perfectly hot air once the gauge reads above 1/4. After that I have to start reducing the vent temperature because it gets much too hot inside of the car.
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Old 01-23-2023, 10:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi dave- havent done a stat job since 99 in nj. usually used stants. did a lot of them for self , friends and even some enemies. all had that gasket on the housing. seems that has been replaced by the o ring around the stat lip. surprised the flat fel pro gasket between the housing and block has been eliminated. used to slather some permatex goop on the housing side press gasket on and andthen bolt it on . seems that would be a good backup against leaks. but what the hell do i know. overzealous installers would over tighten the housing , crack a housing ear and then voice heinous adjectives. bet those words would not be tolerated today by pc police in so cal. 40 in south cal? was there in 76 in LA and diego. was very warm no need for heat. will keep you posted on my midadventure. thanks tons bob f
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Old 01-27-2023, 04:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

The thermostat on the L61 does indeed fail as described when the rubber edge seal disintegrates. The rubber bits distribute themselves all through the cooling system and heater core. A thorough flush is in order. The actual job of changing the T-Stat is trivial. Undo a couple of screws, pop off the cap, take out the old one, put in the new one, cap back on, install the screws. you don't even need to remove the hose, just bend it back. If you don't want to flush the system there will be very little coolant loss during this procedure. But do the flush and replace the coolant with fresh.
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Old 01-29-2023, 03:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi born again- actually a little more complicated. the first generation L series 2.2 engine 00- 03 is different from the second generation L 04-05 which has the stat in a pipe behind the engine. mine an 01 , is on the driver side of the engine. to get to the front most bolt( 10mm) you need a socket with an extension. the bolt on the rear ear is onerous and cramped to get out. some told me a small hand grenade would be needed. first you have to remove a sensor device with wire plug ins on it and then you need to remove the hoist bracket held to the head with 2 bolts(13mm) . even then you have to use a universal joint adapter on an extention and 3/8 ratchet to remove it. you want to be very careful to hold the extension firmly against the head so you dont slip the socket on the bolt head rounding it. you might use some very bad words about the muthas of the engineers who designed it this way. regards bob f
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Old 02-05-2023, 09:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

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hi born again- actually a little more complicated. the first generation L series 2.2 engine 00- 03 is different from the second generation L 04-05 which has the stat in a pipe behind the engine. mine an 01 , is on the driver side of the engine. to get to the front most bolt( 10mm) you need a socket with an extension. the bolt on the rear ear is onerous and cramped to get out. some told me a small hand grenade would be needed. first you have to remove a sensor device with wire plug ins on it and then you need to remove the hoist bracket held to the head with 2 bolts(13mm) . even then you have to use a universal joint adapter on an extention and 3/8 ratchet to remove it. you want to be very careful to hold the extension firmly against the head so you dont slip the socket on the bolt head rounding it. you might use some very bad words about the muthas of the engineers who designed it this way. regards bob f
I did this job but it was a long time ago. I could be blocking out the difficulties. But it can be much much worse than this one. Check out almost any modern V6 engine, especially the Ford 3.6. My experience is that the '2000 LS1 I had was the easiest of all the cars I have owned to work on, except my VW Type 1's, which basically have an overgrown lawn mower engine. BTW. mine was a very early build and a number of things were changed even during the first year of production, mostly for cost reduction. Believe me when I say that everything else is worse. Also, mine was a Canadian market car that had no air pump or ABS, so that part of the engine bay was pretty empty.
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Old 02-06-2023, 11:05 AM   #20
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Default Re: the old thermostat trick enigma

hi born again- yes no question about it the v6 to me is much less desirable than the 4cyl. accessability for repair is lacking in the 6. ive long thought one of the design necessities of these companies is to make cars that reduce the capability of home mechanics to repair their cars themselves without getting clipped by dealer shop repairs. greatest examples are timing belts and clutch r and r in fwd vehicles. luckily . luckily the L 4cyl uses a long lived timing chain while the 6 uses the rubber belt. the belt is short lived. bust it and your engine is finished(only cost $5000 to replace) . have replaced many high mileage timing chains and clutches in rwd vehicles. both can be done in 1-2 saturdays. interesting point about the rubber gaskets on both the inside and outside ring of the stat. that may be the failure point on my original which could be the reason my stat is allowing the hot coolant to flow too soon. all other stats which i have replaced failed from spring weakened or broken by constant heating and cooling or worn out or broken leaking expansion plug on the spring. dont like the rubber gaskets on the stat design. would like to hear your take on this. thanks tons bob f
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