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The spring side noramly goes down to the block side. It is senceing the block tempature not the radiator tempature becase that changes to cool the engine tempature and the spring is what is called bimatlic so its tempature sensitive and looses tenistion the hotter it gets to allow more coolant to flow from the water pump through the radaitor to the engine block to cool the engine
Ihave a 96 s10 lt blazer First of all the steering coloum is now where near the engine block and the bracket you mention is for the throttle cable and the cruise control cable and has no gasket for any kind of a seal with the intake manifold. The 4.3 and most chevy engines have a problem with the intake manifold gaskets if you are over heating then likely the intake manifold gasket is leaking you should check your engine oil for antifreeze that will look like a fomey white yellowey residue and also check the radiator for engine oil floating on the top under the radiator cap. This is a big problem with chevy you can't let espesecly the 4.3 ever over heat.There is olny 8 bolts that hold the manifold to the block and there all in the four corners nun in the middle Y ou can save the engine if you fix it now but it is the intake manifold gasket that is leaking
Disconnect the radiator hose from the thermostat housing outlet.
Fig. 1: Use a pair of pliers to compress the spring clamp, then slide it up the hose and disconnect the hose from the housing
Remove the thermostat housing outlet and remove the thermostat.
Fig. 2: Remove the nuts/bolts securing the thermostat housing . . .
Fig. 3: . . . then remove the thermostat housing
Fig. 4: Once the housing is removed, the thermostat can be removed from the engine
Using a putty knife, clean the gasket mounting surfaces.
NOTE: If the thermostat is equipped with a pin valve, be sure to install the thermostat with the pin facing upward. To install:
Install a new thermostat the gasket, O-ring or sealant (as applicable). Always install the spring end of the thermostat facing the engine.
Tighten the thermostat cover-to-thermostat housing bolts to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).
Connect the radiator hose to the thermostat housing.
Fill, then bleed the cooling system. Check for leaks.
Yes, Drain the cooling system to a level that is lower then the lower rad hose and where it meets the engine at the thermostat housing. Disconnect the cooling fan switch at the housing and squeeze the hose clamp flanges together to remove the radiator hose from the housing.Then remove the retianing nuts from the housing cover. Once removed note the position of the air bleed valve of the old thermostat while in the housing (bleed valve hole is normally on the top /facing up) Pull out thermostat and gasket. Note that the rubber gasket fits over/around the edge of the thermostat. Replace with new thermostat and gasket making sure the air bleed valve is in same position as previous and spring end is directed into the engine. Install the cover and bolts and tighten/torque accordingly. Reattach the hose to fitting and tighten hose clamp and reconnect cooling fan connector to end. Restart engine and allow to warm up sufficiently and check for leaks and heat in cabin compartment. Done. good luck.
If the top radiator hose is not getting hot you know the coolant is not passing the thermostat. The last gentleman to answer you is probably correct. The thermostat must face the correct direction for the hot water to open the thermostat.