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  1. #1
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    SVO's: '86 2R

    Question on thermostat and water neck

    When I pulled the upper radiator hose off, the water neck was pretty eaten up, so I decided to go new. I got a Murray water neck, and it looks very much like the OEM neck I have. Don't remember the t-stat I got, but it looks much like the one that came out. When trying to fit the t-stat up into the water neck, it's a tight fit. I even broke out my mallet to tap the t-stat up into the recess that's cut into the neck for it. It still seems a bit low, since the two little tabs on the bottom of the t-stat don't quite contact the water neck.

    The question is, is this supposed to be such a tight fit? Are the two tabs supposed to rest against the bottom of the water neck? I'm thinking of popping the t-stat back out and putting some dielectric grease on the rubber seal to help things fit in there better. Is that a good idea? Thanks.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  2. #2
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    SVO's: 86 1C
    I have only done a few 2.3L t-stats in my time, but I don't remember having to fight to get one into the housing, only getting them out. Sounds like there are some 'sloppy' production tolerances going on with your pieces. May want to run down to your local auto parts store with the water neck and see if you can test fit some other t-stats to see if the issue lies with the t-stat or water neck. I always felt that the t-stat should seat fully into the housing to get a proper seal, to help ensure a proper heat up and get a good seal between the neck and head, but as long as it doesn't let too much leak by, I don't think it could hurt too much.
    Ted
    86 SVO Mustang
    17 Cooper S Clubman ALL4

  3. #3
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    I'll probably do that. It looks like the seal actually seals against the bottom of the 'notch' in the housing, so any 'tapping' I'm doing is driving the metal housing up into that area. It looks like the two legs that stick down are supposed to rest against the block, forcing the rubber seal to seal against that notch. Maybe all I need to do is just adjust those legs so they fit snuggly against the side of the housing. I may also try that and see how flat things sit on the block. I'd think there would be either a notch in the housing to accommodate those legs, or a notch in the gasket so it's sitting directly on the block, but that's not there, either.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  4. #4
    OVER-BOOST!! Erics SVO's Avatar
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    SVO's: 85 1C, 85.5 1B
    I remember way back when I got the 85 in 2010, I found the water neck eaten up when i did the stat also. I got what I could in short notice and wasn't real happy with the one I got. I think it was a "2.3" generic replacement part and was aluminum. Didn't have much $ at the time and IIRC a couple of you guys here sent me a good steel ones on the cheap. I think the one for the 85.5 is fine. It's in the pile o' parts I got with it. Working on reassembling the head now. Boport cam from Chip, and some rollers from Fred. Since none of that was with it... Who knows what else is missing. At least i have the good head bolts.
    Last edited by Erics SVO; 02-06-2020 at 09:22 PM.
    -Eric
    85 1C, 85.5 1B
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  5. #5
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    The Murray t-stat housing actually looks pretty good. It's aluminum, with a pressed-in steel tube for the cooling line to connect to. I think it's the t-stat that's the issue, but could be the combo. The t-stat tabs seem to be a bit long, but may flex/compress enough to provide a good seal for the rubber gasket and fit in the groove in the housing. There's a recess cut in the housing to accomodate those tabs. It looks like on the old assembly, the tabs on the t-stat were compressed between the housing/gasket/block, squishing the gasket enough to accomodate those tabs. I see a big opportunity to warp/crack the t-stat housing with the old config.

    I'/ve spead the tabs on the t-stat out a bit, and will set bot in my vise to see if I can compress the t-stat enough into the housing so that the tabs sit comfortably in that recess. We'll see.

    I guess I should get the crappy cell phone out for some photos to make this thread complete.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  6. #6
    OVER-BOOST!! Erics SVO's Avatar
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    SVO's: 85 1C, 85.5 1B
    Quote Originally Posted by gbeaird View Post
    I guess I should get the crappy cell phone out for some photos to make this thread complete.
    Potato camera?
    -Eric
    85 1C, 85.5 1B
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  7. #7
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    SVO's: '86 2R
    No, it's an iPhone... um.... 5.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  8. #8
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    Didn't find the Felpro 35114T thermostat gasket in my pile-O-gaskets, so ordered another. Got it in today, and while I was picking it up, I checked with another Murray t-stat in the parts house inventory. Same fit, so I guess I got the best they have. Here's how it sits in the housing:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Those 'legs' should compress into the gasket some, and compress the rubber gasket on the top of the t-stat so everything works. I'll be carefully tightening it down on the block.

    I assume the Felpro gasket goes on dry. Does anyone use sealer on the t-stat bolts? The rubber bead on the gasket body doesn't surround the bolt holes. Thanks.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  9. #9
    OVER-BOOST!! GAboySVO's Avatar
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    I put mine on dry. I think the bolt holes for the T-stat housing are blind holes, so you don't need sealant on those threads. The water pump is a different story. You will need it on the water pump bolts and on the tensioner spring pin stop. It goes into the oil galley.
    Mike S

    '86 SVO 9L Leather
    '86 SVO 9L Road Warrior
    '96 300ZXTT

  10. #10
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    SVO's: '86 2R
    Thanks, Mike!! I'll do that.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  11. #11
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    Okay, so while I was supposed to be troubleshooting the Dakota, I figured I'd 'just bolt the t-stat housing on'. The gasket is offset some from the thermostat housing hole, no matter how I turn it. I went ahead and tried to bolt it on, but with the gasket sticking out toward the bottom, it hung on the A/C bracket. While fiddling with it, not understanding why the gasket didn't center on the thermostat hole, I pulled the old housing out of the pile of soon to be pitched parts and layed the gasket on it, ligning up the bolt holes. The center hole matched the housing exactly.

    Sooo, looks like I have a t-stat housing that's just mostly sort of going to fit the car. Does anyone know of a brand that makes a housing that's an exact fit? Murray is NOT it. Thank you.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  12. #12
    Administrator SVOeric's Avatar
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    SVO's: 86-1C & 86-1E
    I've been keeping my mouth shut, but I had a lot of issues with thermostats, and sealing (not leaking, but allowing coolant get past the thermostat)
    I had a lot of issues with getting the car up to temp, or getting the heater to work because of that. NOS thermostat housing was the only way I was able to finally get it to work correctly.
    Eric C
    SVOCA Webmaster

  13. #13
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    Eric, did you just luck out on a NOS housing, or is there a source? Thanks.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  14. #14
    Administrator SVOeric's Avatar
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    SVO's: 86-1C & 86-1E
    why I kept my mouth shut.. my issues were 8+ years ago ... so NOS housings were a slight bit easier to find.
    Eric C
    SVOCA Webmaster

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