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I agree that the thermostat cover probably is the source of your leak. It should be perfectly clean and smooth, since it mates right up against the cylinder head.

You can replace the thermostat without draining the coolant, though. I've done it several times. You just need to have your new thermostat ready, and act fast. You won't even drain the expansion tank if you're quick enough.
wow, you must be fast with that. Me, whenever I start taking the bolts out the thing starts leaking and a 2" hole?

seems easier to drain about a gallon out of the system and just take your time.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Just wondering if you all heard a faint scream coming from 'down under'? In fairness, I was pretty quiet!

So I cleaned both surfaces the best I could, torqued it down correctly, and I'm hopeful that this will solve the issue because the o ring was quite firm and old.

But, I went to tighten the cable back to the throttle body and the 10mm bolt broke in the thermostat housing...See pic

Any easy fix? Or am I going to have to take the thing apart again and try to knock out/thread another 10mm bolt through to get it out?
OR from my reading it appears to be for the purpose of 'grounding', so maybe I can find somewhere else to bolt it to? Perhaps under the top rightmost bolt of the valve cover? Not sure where else I could put it...

Edit: I found the head of the bolt and it had a few mm of thread left on it, so I've glued it to the broken thread. Hopefully this is a tight enough connection.
Edit 2: No good, put everything back together, refilled coolant and went to start car and the electronics went haywire - dash flashing randomly, park, drive etc. flashing randomly, engine fan came on and strange buzzing from inside the car.
Edit 3: Removed and reinstalled battery. Still the same. The only other thing I did of note was replace a xenon globe while the battery was out.
Edit 4: Alright, I've clamped the ground cable to the location in the below pic, which allowed me to start the car and get it in the garage.

clamp.jpg

If I get a proper clamp to make a tight connection (see below link), will there be any issues having the ground wire clamped to this part rather than the thermostat housing?


When I started the car, I noticed lights on the dash and the speedo not working (symptoms of a previously replaced abs module), so hopefully if I make a tight connection things will be back to normal, otherwise I might have fried it and will need to source a replacement abs module and replace the front of it again. :(
 

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those are the main grounds for the ECU, there is one on the thermostat housing, and two on the intake manifold. It doesn't surprise me that all kinds of things went haywire with no ground

The only alternative to taking the thermostat housing off and drilling and extracting that bolt is to find a way to extend that wire and ground it elsewhere. There's not a lot of slack so it's not going to be easy. I can't remember what else is in that area maybe the bolts that hold the lifting hook onto the head?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
those are the main grounds for the ECU, there is one on the thermostat housing, and two on the intake manifold. It doesn't surprise me that all kinds of things went haywire with no ground

The only alternative to taking the thermostat housing off and drilling and extracting that bolt is to find a way to extend that wire and ground it elsewhere. There's not a lot of slack so it's not going to be easy. I can't remember what else is in that area maybe the bolts that hold the lifting hook onto the head?
There isn't a lot of slack unfortunately. Can't see many places where it could be bolted down. I could try to ground it under the top right valve cover screw.

I've uploaded a picture above (right now held in with clips!) - I could get some clamp and mount it on this lip where the plastic engine cover would ordinarily slot over as per the picture. Would this be an appropriate grounding point?
 

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you just need a good grounding point, it really doesn't matter where it is.

There is a 10mm bolt that goes into the lifting hook (where you have it clipped in your photo) that holds thefront of the wire harness frame, it's just above the thermostat but kind of hard to reach. Can you get to that?

The other thing you might be able to do is put a larger tab on the end of the wire and bolt it under the 13mm that holds the thermostat housing to the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
you just need a good grounding point, it really doesn't matter where it is.

There is a 10mm bolt that goes into the lifting hook (where you have it clipped in your photo) that holds thefront of the wire harness frame, it's just above the thermostat but kind of hard to reach. Can you get to that?

The other thing you might be able to do is put a larger tab on the end of the wire and bolt it under the 13mm that holds the thermostat housing to the head.
Edit:

I've found the 10mm bolt you were referring to, so thanks for that! Initially I tried to put the eye terminal underneath the front of the wire harness frame, but it wasn't a tight connection. So I unbolted it, put the eye terminal in front, pushed the wire harness frame forward and managed to properly catch the thread and got it nice and tight.

Edit 2

Reset the cpu and wiggled the abs module plug and all is well. No more abs module error. Your grounding point suggestion certainly did the trick!

The leak looks like it is still present, however, so I'm back where I've started. Seems to be leaking a bit less and thermostat appears to be taking longer to get warm...

Would some sealant applied to the outside of the thermostat housing where it meets the block help seal it off and stop the leak?

I could tighten the two 13mm thermostat housing bolts a little more...but they have been torqued correctly.

I'm loathe to take it apart again!
 

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You are going to have to get that thermostat housing all the way off and clean it and the head mating surface good. And get a new rubber seal for the thermostat (actually get a new thermostat, they're cheap). That surface has to be smooth. If there are pits in the thermostat housing that could be the issue as well. If you need to replace it PM me, I might have an extra one laying around.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks Steve, I'll just need to take it apart again.

You are going to have to get that thermostat housing all the way off and clean it and the head mating surface good. And get a new rubber seal for the thermostat (actually get a new thermostat, they're cheap). That surface has to be smooth. If there are pits in the thermostat housing that could be the issue as well. If you need to replace it PM me, I might have an extra one laying around.
That's the problem, I can't seem to get the bolt out that connects the thermostat housing to the bracket, but I'll have to give it another go. I've installed a new rubber seal, and would've replaced the thermostat too, but I thought I had replaced it a couple of years ago -- it's an original motorad, so it must've been the previous car (can't get motorad over here).

Thank you, I might just take you up on the thermostat housing, but I'll give this one another go with a scotch-brite scourer first (rather than the plastic scraper I used) and go from there.
 
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