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Can not get the thermostat to quit leaking on a 1999 ford tarusus 3.0 DOC

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  • harleyboy_77 Dec 29, 2008

    the thermostat is on the bottom of the motor, and it does not have a paper gasket it only has a o-ring it has the 3.0 24 valve DOC



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Since you haven't indicated what led to the leak, I will assume the basics: The thermostat sits on a paper gasket. If that gasket is torn or very old, it will start a leak. If the domed housing has come loose, it will cause the leak. Make sure that the leak is not coming from the hose on top, by feeling with your fingers for dampness falling onto the domed housing. If it's the hose, tighten the clamp and see if that stops the leak.

If it's not the hose, you can try tightening the bolts holding the domed housing - making sure that you get them all as close to the same tension as you can - tight but not too tight. If one is loose, and the others are real tight, the dome will warp.

If none of this fixes the problem, you may need to replace the thermostat and gasket. Might as well do both since it's a small extra charge to change the gasket and on a car of that age, it is probably due. Make sure you get the right thermostat for the car, especially making sure that the temperature is the same as the old one. The temp tells the thermostat when to open up and start working.

You should drain the radiator to avoid making a mess when you unhook the top radiator hose and to allow the engine block to drain as well, ensuring that you get the new thermostat on correctly. You will need a container that can hold a couple of gallons of liquid. If you can't acommodate, that then take the car to a shop to have this work done. Remember that anti-freeze is poison to humans and pets and it tastes good so you need to clean up any spills and keep it out of reach.

If you're still working on it yourself, once the radiator has been drained, you will need to remove the domed housing over the thermostat by removing the bolts. If you leave the radiator hose on, you'll need to compensate for the tension it will put on the bolts as you loosen them. Once the dome is loose, remove the hose from the dome. Remove the thermostat by pulling up on it. Take a plastic scraper and carefully begin removing the old gasket from the engine block, making sure that you catch any debris before it falls into the block and becomes a plug in the water pump. Get all of the old gasket off - use your finger to feel the surface for any minor imperfections. Make sure you don't scratch the gasket seat area or you will cause a new leak. Once that area is clean, follow the directions for putting the new gasket on. If there are none, ask the parts store if you need to use RTV sealant. If you do, put just a thin film down where directed and then put your gasket and domed housing on. As before, make sure that the bolts are tightened evenly. Crank on one, get it started, then start the next two (if there are 3), get all in contact with the gasket (making sure it doesn't slip) and then make final turns on each one until they are firmly in contact but not gorilla tight.

Replace the top house - if it's old you may want to replace it and the bottom hose since you've already drained the radiator. Close the radiator drain and refill the radiator with 50% anti-freeze and 50% water. You may be able to put the used anti-freeze in the empty jug and take it back to the parts store for recycling.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008


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