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It's a pretty simple task drain the coolant, and just follow the top radiator hose down the the thermostat housing it shoulh have three bolts holding it on, remove it clean the housing and block and replace with a new gasket and put it back together and add coolant.
The exact location of the thermostat varies depending on the particular engine model on your Pontiac Montana. Although 2.0L turbo and non-turbo engines locate the thermostat on the upper section of the engine, other models may follow the lower radiator hose to a lower position on the engine, requiring the removal of one or more components for replacement. see below
2Locate the thermostat housing by following the upper or lower radiator hose from the radiator towards the engine. The end of the hose should be connected to an aluminum or metal housing attached to the engine by two mounting bolts.
3Remove the air cleaner duct assembly and the crossover exhaust pipe, if necessary, using a wrench and ratchet and socket.
4Place a drain pan underneath the radiator drain valve. Open the valve and drain some of the coolant to empty the radiator hose; then close the valve.
5Remove the radiator hose from the thermostat housing by disconnecting the clamp using a pair of rib joint pliers, Phillips screwdriver or ratchet and socket, depending on type of clamp used on your particular model; then remove the hose.
6Remove the two thermostat housing bolts and lift the housing off the engine. Before removing the thermostat off the engine, pay careful attention to the position of the relief valve on the thermostat in relation to the mounting base on the engine, looking for any special marks. The new thermostat has to be mounted in this same exact position. Also, note that the thermostat spring has to point towards the engine once it is seated on the engine; then remove the thermostat and any gasket material if necessary.
1Clean the thermostat housing and engine mounting surfaces from gasket material, if necessary, using a plastic scraper; also, clean the bolt threads of the thermostat housing bolts of sealer, if necessary, using a wire brush.
2Apply a light coat of Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) sealer to the new paper gasket if your particular model requires one; or install a new O-ring to the center of the thermostat; also, apply a light coat of RTV sealer to the threads of the thermostat housing mounting bolts.
3Install the new thermostat on the engine mounting base in the same exact position as the old one; install the paper gasket if required and set the thermostat housing in place. Start the housing mounting bolts by hand and then tighten the bolts.
4Connect the radiator hose to the thermostat housing; then install the crossover exhaust pipe and air cleaner and duct assembly, if necessary. Fill the radiator with new coolant, start the engine and let it reach operating temperature. Check for leaks and add more coolant to the reservoir to bring the level between the Add and Full Hot marks and turn off the engine.
5Bleed the cooling system if the thermostat housing is provided with a valve screw on it. Once the engine reaches operating temperature, loosen the valve screw until coolant begins to leak through the screw; then tighten the screw again
NOTE: When adding coolant, it is important that you use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL® (orange colored, silicate free) coolant meeting GM specifications. On these vehicles, if silicated coolant is added to the system, premature engine, heater core or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner; at 30,000 miles or 24 months.
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Properly drain and recover the coolant until the level is below the thermostat.
Unfasten the coolant outlet-to-inlet manifold attaching bolt and nut, then remove the outlet.
Remove the thermostat. Clean the inlet manifold and outlet mating surfaces.
Install a new O-ring onto the thermostat
Place the thermostat in the inlet manifold.
Attach the coolant outlet to the inlet manifold, using the bolt and nut. Tighten to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
Refill the engine cooling system.
Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for coolant leaks.
2.3L and 2.4L Engines NOTE: When adding coolant, it is important that you use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL® (orange colored, silicate free) coolant meeting GM specifications. On these vehicles, if silicated coolant is added to the system, premature engine, heater core or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner; at 30,000 miles or 24 months.
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Properly drain and recover the coolant to a level below the thermostat.
Unfasten the cover-to-outlet pipe bolt, which is accessible through the exhaust manifold runners.
Raise and safely support the vehicle.
Disconnect the radiator and heater hoses from the outlet pipe.
Unfasten the outlet pipe-to-oil pan bolt and the cover-to-outlet pipe bolts.
Remove the thermostat, then clean the old gasket material from the mating surfaces.
Position the thermostat in its correct location, then install the cover-to-outlet pipe bolt. Tighten the bolt to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).
Install the outlet pipe-to-oil pan bolt. Tighten the pipe-to-oil pan bolt to 19 ft. lbs. (26 Nm) and the pipe-to-transaxle bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
Connect the radiator and heater hoses to the outlet pipe.
Carefully lower the vehicle.
Install the cover-to-outlet pipe bolt through the exhaust manifold runner.
Properly fill the cooling system, then connect the negative battery cable.
The thermostat is located in the lower radiator hose on the 2.2L engine
Thermostat removal and installation - 2.3L and 2.4L engines
if it is leaking in the frt of engine,right hand side of vehical it could be a coolant pump or the plastic coolat pipe that goes between the lower intake and belt tensionor assembly,if it is leaking from the rear of the engine,left side of vehical,it may be the thermostat housiny seal,upper intake gasket,or upper radiator hose,if it is leaking in the front of vehical,it may be the radiato r cap or radiator,hope this helps you out
Drain the radiator, follow the top radiator hose to the engine, it is connected to the thermostat housing. Loosen and remove the two bolts, lift the housing and remove thermostat, make sure the new thermostat goes back in the exact same way, tighten bolts, make sure pepcock is closed on radiator, refill radiator, start engine, run heater on full blast, add coolant as needed.
Follow the top hose from your radiator to where it goes into the engine block, it should be located right under where you attach the hose to the block. Usually 2 bolts should be able to remove to cover. Pay attention to how it is seated and which dicetion the flow is so you can replace the new exactly the same way.
I think you could be right about there being air trapped in the system. Or the heater core(radiator) is plugged. Either way you need a pressurized radiator coolant pump to put the coolant in without air being trapped. Although,i have seen it done by jacking the vehicle up high enough that the radiator was now higher than the heater core level, and then the coolant was put in. But this is dangerous to try.
Drain coolant at the radiator drain. Remove air intake hose and MAF sensor assembly. remove throttle cable bracket and disconnect cable linkage. Remove throttle body bolts and disconnect coolant hoses to throttle body. Loosen heater hose pipe and remove heater hose from rear of pipe. Remove radiator hose from thermostat housing. Remove top thermostat housing bolt. Loosen and almost remove lower thermostat bolt. You will need to slide your wrench and hand under the exhaust crossover pipe to gain access. Loosen the bolt until you can remove the thermostat housing, it should be slotted to clear the bolt. Replace the thermostat and reassemble. Bleed cooling system using the two bleed screws (one on thermostat housing and the other on the passenger side of the engine where the heater hose pipe comes out above the water pump.