1994 Ford Escort BROKEN THERMOSTAT HOUSING BOLT

Tiny
KATIE_IS_REBEL
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD ESCORT
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 66,312 MILES
Ok, I usually do most of the work needed to be done on my cars even though I am a girl and even though I don't always know exactly what I am doing. Everything I know is self taught. I am by no means completely ignorant when it comes to working on a car, but in all honesty I DO ask a lot of questions if I am unsure about what it is I am doing. With THAT being said.
my 1994 Ford Escort Wagon (1.9L engine, 4 cyl, 5 speed manual trans, front wheel drive) has been running hot when stuck in "stop-and-go" traffic so naturally the first thing to check is the thermostat. Well, my last car was stolen about a month ago along with ALL MY TOOLS which were in the trunk, so I sought the help from someone I know, asking to use their tools to do this job. Well, just like a majority of the guys who have been around when I am about to or am working on my car, he felt he needed to do it himself and proceeded to do so before I even got outside. And what usually happens when someone else works on my car instead of me happened. HE SCREWED IT UP! Somehow he managed to get one of the thermostat housing bolts part way unscrewed AND THEN BUSTED IT OFF! So part of the bolt is still in the housing which means that the housing is now loose and has coolant seeping out on a constant basis and when I drive it and the coolant gets warm, it then bubbles out of the spot where its now a little bit lose! Not a lot is coming out in either instance, but it its still coming out! My number 1 question is if this is going to damage my engine at all if I continue to drive it like this? I mean, is my engine taking in air that's going to cause it to malfunction? How damaging and what sort of damage will this cause? Also, any suggestions on how to get the broken bolt removed? Thank you in advance for any and all help that's provided!
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 10:49 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Remove the housing completely. If you're lucky, you can fit a stud extractor over the broken bolt. If not, you'll most likely have to drill it and then use a screw extractor/ez-out to remove the bolt.

Yes, it can damage your engine if you don't fix it fairly soon. How damaging depends on how log you let it continue. Damage like a blown head gasket.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 12:41 PM
Tiny
KATIE_IS_REBEL
  • MEMBER
Lovely. Any sort of guess-timation how long before that worst case scenario would possibly come into play by any chance? I only ask because its already been a week. Plus this all took place right before I left on a trip that I had to drive roughly 8 hrs there and then 3 days later drove 8 hrs back. I wasn't told of the broken bolt incident until about half way thru the whole trip when I noticed the bubbling and called him and asked him about why it was doing this, that he informed me of what happened and that the task was never completed as far as putting the new thermostat in! . What an idiot! I couldn't believe he didn't tell me KNOWING I was doing this on purpose because I was going to be driving over 800 miles over the following few days.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 12:59 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
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As long as it hasn't over-heated yet, you should be OK. I would get it fixed and sealed up with new coolant as soon as possible.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 1:32 PM
Tiny
KATIE_IS_REBEL
  • MEMBER
Ok. Job is completed as of this morning! Man, what a pain in the butt that was! Actually, it really wasn't all that bad, just a few bolts that weren't exactly easy to get to and easy to keep slipping off of is all. But it appears I have successfully removed and replaced all parts and all seems to be in working order! (So far at least!) Thank you very much for your help!
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Thursday, August 13th, 2015 AT 2:15 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
My pleasure. Happy to be able to help. And congratulations, you have just completed a repair that many professional mechanics wouldn't try. You should be proud.
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Friday, August 14th, 2015 AT 10:55 AM
Tiny
KATIE_IS_REBEL
  • MEMBER
Really! That's AWSOME! Thank you for telling me that. Absolutely a confidence booster no matter which way you look at it!
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Monday, August 17th, 2015 AT 12:14 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
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You're very welcome. I've only done it a few times myself. It isn't easy at all.
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Monday, August 17th, 2015 AT 5:41 AM

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