The Dreaded Leaking Thermostat Housing... | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Marc D Everlove

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Eddie Bauer 2000 Explorer
I recently did my intake manifold gaskets and while I was there, I replaced the stupid leaking upper thermostat housing. It had been leaking around the gasket for some time and with coolant at $20 per now, I figured it was a good $15 investment.

All said and done, I buttoned it all up and everything looked pretty good (except the one upper manifold bolt, which are now no longer made, I snapped because the specs said 60 inch pounds rather than 60 ft pounds, but I digress. However, if you have a spare, I would love to buy it from you and save the trip to the bone yard). HOWEVER, after about a week, the lower thermostat housing blew out the 'weld' at the seam and gave up the ghost.

So I had to replace the lower housing. Bummer. So, off with the upper manifold and tear out the old housing and replace with a new. Looking at the old housing, I noticed that there were two sensors and many of the replacement parts only had one. After investigating, I found that the old threaded type sensors I had were prone to leaking, particularly when inserted in a new housing & there was a newer clip in type that solved the leak problem...

Being the cheap bastard that I am, I elected to give the old sensors a whirl. Seriously bad idea. After another week of cooling system bliss ... all of a sudden... overheat. I can see that it is coming from the thermostat housing, but cannot see where, although I suspect the sensors. There are many threads regarding this, but I wanted to put a few questions together so it save future knuckleheads like me a little time.

  • Are the old, threaded temp harnesses compatible with the newer clip in sensors?

  • Some housings only have one sensor port & the other is plugged. Mine has two sensors, I presume that I need both, but if not, one less place to leak right?

  • Is it worth it to upgrade to the clip in sensors

  • If I must use the threaded sensors, what is the best way to keep them from leaking?

  • Why are some housings $30 and others $100? They pretty much appear the same.

  • Is it possible to check for leaks before I tear everything down? I cannot really see where it is leaking, due to all of the steam. I put an inspection mirror back there, but it just fogged up immediately and was useless. I assume it is the sensors because there are so many posts complaining about them.

  • Does anybody else agree that engineers should be forced to work on the things they design? I mean really, that third bolt in back of the upper housing? Who designed that?

  • Why is it that when you replace one thing in the cooling system, another breaks? Seriously, this seems to be the way of it... I imagine it is due to increased pressure and old parts, but FFFFFUUUUuuuuuu...
Thanks in advance. Your input and knowledge are much appreciated.

Cheers!
 


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Marc D Everlove

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Eddie Bauer 2000 Explorer
See link in post #21. Your 4.0L SOHC requires an ECT sensor and a temperature gauge sender.
4.0 SOHC Metal Thermostat Housing Comparison
Holy smokes. Ok, so that is about as bad ass as you can get... Still, if I do go that route, and I am tempted, it has the clip in type sensor ports. My current ones are threaded. Is the wiring harness compatible? That is the $64k question...

If the harness will work with the newer type sensors, then I am squared away, however, if not, what would it take to upgrade the harness and make it compatible? This was supposed be a quick, in and out sort of thing and now it has turned into an epic battle... Thanks for the link. There is a good possibility that I will make the investment after Christmas, but I will need to get this together in a hurry for the time being, so it will be off to O'Reilly's for now.
 




swshawaii

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Austekk should be plug and play. Only issues I've read are sealing the surfaces, cheap thermostat, and upper housing angle.

Past reviews on the plastic Dorman, Four Seasons, and other aftermarket kits have NOT been favorable. Do some research.

Leaking lower thermostat-stat housing is BY FAR the most common failure for the 4.0L SOHC's cooling system.

IMO, the Austekk ATK-8592-AGCS kit with threaded sensors for $50.50 including shipping is a bargain. YMMV
 




Marc D Everlove

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Eddie Bauer 2000 Explorer
Dude. Fifty bucks?

Very nice. Ok I will be ordering post haste. Thank you.

Still for all the other folks out there, do you know if the wiring harness will work with either sensor? I am just curious at this point.

Also, if I ever have to remove them in the future, what is the best way to make certain they don't leak? I used teflon tape and a spot of RTV. Again, just curiosity at this point. I am sold on the Austekk.
 




donalds

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I used the austeck its plug and play the harness is completely compatible
 




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