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Old 10-20-2011, 12:06 PM   #21
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Replaced the crankshaft hub on one of mine recently. The box had "Made in Germany" all over it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:25 AM   #22
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Idea Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by dovecs View Post
Hi all,

Well, replaced the thermostat/housing today, what a bear! I appreciate the input from all who contribute to this forum, there is no way I would have even tried this without all the excellent pictures and information. I would like to add my thoughts for others who are thinking about maybe doing this job:

1) If you are an average mechanic (like me), give yourself an entire day, it took me about 6 hours total, and there were a few times I thought I was in over my head. I can now understand why my mechanic wants $350 to do this job.

2) The prior post mention unplugging an electrical connector, my experience was there were actually two connectors to contend with. Be aware that the connector that uses the red sliding clip (shown in the prior pictures) is mounted to a metal bracket, which is screwed to the intake manifold (torx of course) in 2 places, after unplugging the connectors from each other, I unscrewed this bracket from the manifold, which let the harness dangle free. The other connector is also on the right side of the manifold, but is underneath (2 wires), it can't be seen until you raise the manifold slightly, if I hadn't unplugged that one there would have been no way to lift the intake high enough to get a tool in to work on it, at least without breaking the connector or wiring. Also, that second 2-wire connector was held together with a spring clip, thinking back now I should have taken a digital photo of the way that clip goes back on, took me a while to figure out proper re-assembly later.

3) Lifting the top intake manifold straight up, as described, proved to a challenge for me, the problem was that that manifold was hitting the A/C low side hose, so that process took a bit of time, I ended up removing the black plastic cover from what appeared to be some sort of vacuum-controlled device that actuates the 'flappers' inside the intake, sorry I don't know the official names of the parts, but anyway, there are two of these vacuum-controlled devices attached to the right side of manifold, I removed the cover from the one closest to the firewall, which gave me just enough room to lift the manifold enough to support with a screwdriver as described.

4) I was expecting the lower intake bolts to be attached with Female Torx bolts, to my surprise there were actually male Torx bolts, same size though. The 2 thermostat bolts were Female Torx though.

5) The removal of the thermostat tube was probably the most frustrating and time consuming part of this job. Once I figured out where the bolt was and got it removed, it took a LOT of wiggling, jiggling, rotating, hammering, etc. to get it to turn enough to get the ear to the 12 o-clock position. Wish a Saturn design engineer was with me helping, so I could ask him/her exactly what was going through their mind when this was being drawn up, oh well.

6) A tip I got from another post was to NOT drain the cooling system, but to leave the lid tightly on the overflow/fill tank. Because of the vacuum created in the system, I lost very little coolant, I only lost some through the upper hose, and some when I took off the thermostat.

Everything went back together pretty quick, so far so good. Good luck to all!
I just changed out the t-stat & spark plugs in the wife's 2003 Vue yesterday and decided to add my 2 cents worth to this post to possibly help others in the future as well.

First of all, I agree 100% with 'dovecs' comments and gratitude for the help and advice offered on this board. The job would've been much harder without it, and would've probably taken me much longer as well. Even the Haynes manual lists a bunch of "unnecessary" steps (probably for safety purposes more than anything) that I was able to eliminate (disconnecting the battery; draining the coolant; relieving the fuel system pressure with a gauge; etc.) in order to get the job done faster. It still took me a good solid 8 hours to complete, but a LOT of that time was spent fidgeting with the fuel line (it MUST be disconnected to gain access to plugs 1,3, & 5) because it didn't want to disconnect for some reason???

On the other hand, I had no problem whatsoever with the thermostat tube. With both of them, you just have to be a little "aggressive" per se. After I got a little rough with the jiggling, tugging, and slight twisting of each of these they came apart pretty easily. I was just being "too gentle" with the fuel line until it finally pissed me off! I highly recommend using a metal fuel line separator tool though. I borrowed a nylon cap styled one from my neighbor and couldn't get it to work for nothing. So I went back to Advanced and bought myself one for $7.39 and had it apart almost instantly. I probably spent at least 2 hours screwing around with just that alone unfortunately. I did attempt to relieve the fuel pressure by pressing the Schraeder valve and letting it spray into a rag, but this definitely did not remove all of the gasoline from the line as I got a bunch more out after finally getting it disconnected. I just soaked it all up in a shop rag though.

Then I also spent quite a bit of time on cleaning/degreasing stuff as well because I don't like to put dirty things back together. I actually soaked the lower portion of the intake manifold in a bucket of hot water with some degreaser and gently scrubbed it with a soft bristled brush (to avoid harming the gaskets) to remove some of the carbon build up. If I were to go do it again, I could probably do it in less than half the time now that I know what to expect. I probably spent 4 hours on the t-stat and tear down process, and another 4 on the rear plugs (due to the fuel line issue) and reassembly process.

One other thing that I'd like to mention is in regards to that other/2nd electrical connector that has the metal spring clip on it (see 'Chazberry's' picture). Do yourself a HUGE favor and put the metal spring clip back on the one side of the connector BEFORE you lower the intake manifold back into place. Then after you lower the manifold, you can push the connection back together with the clip on it and it will click together and lock. You'll never get the clip back on after the manifold is lowered and the wires are reconnected because there just isn't enough clearance to do so.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

This message is mostly aimed at dzabo if he still has his Vue in Germany.

But it will be useful for anyone with crazy enough to have a Vue in Europe (like me in Sweden).

this site is based in UK so for engine parts in europe check

http://www.vauxhallworldparts.com/

They have vauxhall/opel parts i just search for my GM part numbers and they seem to have everything and good prices. Some of their prices are even better than the US.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #24
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Hello does anyone know where to get the thermostat replacement part besides the dealer?
thanks
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by x2006nzl View Post
Hello does anyone know where to get the thermostat replacement part besides the dealer?
thanks
Yes, parts stores - e.g. see earlier in the thread - rockauto.com has them.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Alright I can't find the 2 orings that go on this pipe does rockauto have it or is it manufacturer only?
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #27
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by x2006nzl View Post
Alright I can't find the 2 orings that go on this pipe does rockauto have it or is it manufacturer only?
There was some mix-up with the Pt. Nos. on these, but I believe the right no. is 9483793
Some crazy price at the dealer - you might find a match at a plumbing supply.
I just smeared silicone grease on my old ones and stuck the Extension back in. So far so good.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:32 PM   #28
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Btw - this is an old thread and in case this wasn't mentioned, make very sure the Extension Tube Tab is flush up against that Lifting Bracket, otherwise it will break off very easily. Another member suggested tightening up on this before torquing down the T'stat Housing.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #29
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by x2006nzl View Post
Hello does anyone know where to get the thermostat replacement part besides the dealer?
Oh - are you actually looking for the Ext Tube? Pt. No. 4503066
Dealer, JY or ebay. Also search under Saab.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #30
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
Pt. No. 4503066
Dealer, JY or ebay. Also search under Saab.
Better yet GM #90411629 $35.60
http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #31
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

thankschazberry i'm in canada so i'll have to look and your right dealer want 11 dollars plus tax for each one thanks
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:48 PM   #32
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Default Re: 2003 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjr002 View Post
Here they are. Hope they help.
Drain radiator.
Remove 5 intake bolts on upper intake. These are under the black plastic cover on the upper intake. You will need a 6" long T35 torx bit.
Remove the 6th intake bolt. This is located just under the throttle body.
Pull out the red clip on the wiring harness on the driver side in the intake and disconnect harness.
I took a few short cuts. I did not disconnect the fuel line or remove the throttle body.
Once the 6 intake bolts are out and a few brackets and hoses are removed from the intake, lift up the intake and support it. I used my trusty Craftsman screwdriver.
Remove the lower intake bolts. This requires an E12 female torx socket. Be careful and take your time removing these bolts. They are held in with threadlock and you can strip the heads easily.
Remove the lower intake to reveal the thermostat housing.
Before removing the housing, remove the thermostat tube first. To do this you will need to remove the bolt that attaches the thermostat tube to the engine. It is just behind the dipstick tube. Once this bolt is out you will have to rotate the thermostat tube counter clockwise. You will not be able to pull the tube straight out because these is a long ear on the tube that goes behind the dipstick tube. Once the ear is at the 12 o'clock position you will be ale to remove it.
Now remove the thermostat housing bolts and the thermostat housing.
Replace thermostat and reassemble.
Good luck.
Hey all I'm a newb here on the Saturn forum, though I have used another forum extensively for my Toyota. Anyway, reviving a pretty old thread but I'm trying to figure out where on God's green earth to get a Torx T35 bit, let alone a 6" long bit. Does anyone know or remember if there's room to get a standard T35 bit with a ratchet extension to remove the 5 intake bolts mentioned above?

Thanks.

Edit: Upon further review, it has been confirmed on the field that I am an idiot. The first picture you posted includes a torx bit with an extension. Ignore the newb...

Last edited by HitekkRednekk; 01-20-2014 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:38 PM   #33
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Thanks to all for the information here!

I'm going to attempt a thermostat & spark plug set replacement this weekend.
If it wasn't for this thread I would not have attempted this.

Are there any more specialty tools needed other than the T35 Torx bit and a fuel line disconnect tool?


Looking at this it seems I need an E-Torx socket in a near size to the T35?:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dovecs View Post
4) I was expecting the lower intake bolts to be attached with Female Torx bolts, to my surprise there were actually male Torx bolts, same size though. The 2 thermostat bolts were Female Torx though.
I do have a "standard" E-Torx socket set, should those work or are these bolts "special" like the T35?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:01 PM   #34
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

I successfully did a T-stat and plug replacement last weekend.

Thanks again for all the info in this thread. This made it possible for me, I would not have attempted it if it wasn't for this resource.

I have a couple things to add that may be of use:

Summary
T30 not T35
6"+ T30 bit or 1/4" socket drive (not 3/8") T30 with 1/4' extension
Two sizes of E-Torx
Don't drain coolant (as stated)
Disconnect top radiator hose BEFORE unbolting T-stat
Do the spark plugs
Metric = yes
Get the gaskets
YouTube is your friend


This is quite the project, I did it over two days. I was going slow and carefully, stopping often to consult this tread and other resources.

I was able to find a set of Torx bits with a T35, hard to do as most sets I found skip this one. However the T35 did not fit the manifold bolts as mentioned, the T30 fit perfect and tight.
If you get the Torx bits that fit socket wrenches make sure the T30 bit (and extension) are 1/4" drive and not a 3/8" drive. The 3/8" drive bits and extensions are too large of a diameter and will not fit down the access hole to get to the bolts.

There were a few other misc T30 bolts as well. The manifold plate under the intake manifold is held on with T45 bolts.
There are also two sizes of E-Torx fasteners, I did not get the correct size as my sockets are unlabeled. Additionally I was missing two sizes of E Torx sockets but the larger socket I had actually worked as they are a very forgiving fastener.

The other fasteners were metric, (12mm or 14mm IIRC).
Another example of why you need metric tools. Even if you live in North America and only drive "American " cars you will sooner or later need metric tools.

You can get to the sixth manifold bolt without having to remove the throttle body. You can still prop up the manifold with it attached as well.
However it's almost impossible to get to the back three spark plugs.

Speaking of plugs, just replace them. They're relatively cheap and it's a PITA to get in there to change them. Buy the best (longest life) plugs you can get so you don't have to mess with them again.

As stated before, get the metal fuel disconnect tool, it makes it possible to take the manifold completely out. This is all but a must do to swap out the back plugs.

As mentioned previously in the thread you do not have to drain the radiator. Just be sure to disconnect the to radiator hose BEFORE removing the T-stat housing so no liquid comes out on the top of the block. This could get into the "air" side of the engine which would be a bad thing. I only lost a couple cups of coolant this way.

I'm not sure this was mentioned and it's something I completely forgot about.
Get the gaskets for the manifold and the throttle body.
I did not order these and could not get them on a Sunday, so I cheesed it with silicone. Luckily the manifold gaskets stayed intact, so it wasn't so bad.
You can get them in a complete set; upper, lower and plenum (TB).

At one point I hit the wall and couldn't go any further. I was having trouble visualizing what was said in the thread. I ended up finding a YouTube video where someone explained each step which gave me the info I needed.

As tough as this project was, it would be much easier to do a second time.
As it turns out, I made a small error that caused a coolant leak when I refilled the coolant after it was all buttoned up. I removed the large bolts (right side when facing the engine from the front) from the water block (not needed) and put them back.
When I put them back I swapped them not noticing the fine washer they had. I inadvertently doubled the washers on one fastener and had no washer on the second.
This caused a leak and consequently I had to pull the manifold again, this was (relatively) quick and easy compared with my first time as I now knew what I was doing.
If for some reason I had to do a T-stat replacement again, it would take me much less time. Here's hoping that doesn't happen!
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:19 PM   #35
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Default Re: 2002 vue 3.0 thermostat change

Thanks for the update on your t-stat replacement... I had followed a tutorial here in the Vue Tech forum and it got me through easy breezy japanesy. My VUE had suffered from lackluster heat for years, then finally this past winter, the check engine light came on with the thermostat DTC.

The reason people have said to drain the radiator, is because the catalytic converters in our VUE's (3.0L 2002-2003 Model Years) are very fickle, moreso than most it seems, and any amount of coolant seems to quickly deteriorate and destroy the cats. A lot of early VUE 3.0 owners had cat problems, and that was without coolant contamination.

I ended up doing my tstat replacement like you outlined, and just disconnected the upper radiator to tstat hose, and pinched it off so it wouldnt leak while I was working. However, coolant DID spill into the valley, I had a small shop vac, I made sure to vacuum the spilled coolant up/out as soon as it happened.
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