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1999 explorer thermostat housing replacement trouble

efiles123

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Explorer
I'm currently in the process of replacing the thermostat housing on my 4.0l sohc. I've already dismounted the electrical plugs and top piece elbow that has the hose coming into it. I've run into trouble trying to dismount the main body of the thermostat house. I can reach the front two bolts but the rear is nearly impossible. I've managed to crack that third bolt loose and can move it about an eighth of a turn here and there. Regardless of whether I may be able to remove that last bolt to remove the entire housing I'm still wondering how I'll be able to mount the new thermostat. Seems like the videos on utube make it look easy and are possible different model that have more room to work. So I'm wondering what the secret is to removing that third bolt? Also reinstalling the unit as well?

thanks
 
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XLTrunner

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4.0SOHC
That third bolt in the back is in a difficult position to remove. I've done this procedure at least half a dozen times on '98/'99's and it's near impossible to remove that bolt and lower t-stat housing without getting the Crank Position Sensor wiring pigtail out of the way that is draped snugly over the housing. In order to do that, you'll need to remove the idler pulley, tensioner, alternator and alternator mtg bracket so that you can gain access to the clips that secure the wiring to the engine block. Release the clips and you'll gain enough slack in the wiring on top to maneuver the lower housing out. You'll still need to push the other wiring aside in order to wiggle it out of there. Try your best to lift the housing straight up as there are three plastic tabs on the bottom that can snap off during removal and fall into the engine. Good luck!
 
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efiles123

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Ended up removing that third bolt and getting that housing out of there! Was able to removing one of those electrical plugs in the housing which gave enough room to get in there. Overall this wasn't your average backyard mechanic job!
 
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XLTrunner

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4.0SOHC
Good job! Like most jobs, if you do need to tackle this job again, it will be easier the next time. If it makes you feel any better, I found a stack of repair receipts in the glove box of a '99 Explorer at the JY recently. Among them was one for the replacement of the t-stat housing to the tune of $565.00! This was 8 yrs ago and at a family owned service facility (not a dealership or franchise) here in the Mpls/St. Paul metro area. And, I looked at the housing and it wasn't even a genuine Motorcraft; rather a genuine "Made in China" housing.
 
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Desert_AIP

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4WD
On my 98, I removed the throttle body and it was easy enough to get a 1/4" socket with a U joint on that back bolt.
I also had to disconnect the crankshaft sensor and pull up the cable (disconnect the hold down on the front of the motor) because the cable for it was routed TIGHTLY over the top of the thermostat housing. There was no way to get it out of there with that cable in place.

I went with the Simmon's aluminum replacement Tstat housing.
 
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efiles123

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Explorer
Good job! Like most jobs, if you do need to tackle this job again, it will be easier the next time. If it makes you feel any better, I found a stack of repair receipts in the glove box of a '99 Explorer at the JY recently. Among them was one for the replacement of the t-stat housing to the tune of $565.00! This was 8 yrs ago and at a family owned service facility (not a dealership or franchise) here in the Mpls/St. Paul metro area. And, I looked at the housing and it wasn't even a genuine Motorcraft; rather a genuine "Made in China" housing.
Thanks! Wouldn’t be surprised if the dealer would snake up towards $1k to tackle a job like that!
 
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