Getting to the thermosthat

Tiny
KONABROWN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHRYSLER CONCORDE
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a 98 chrysler concorde. Am trying to replace the thermosthat. Have had to remove the aternator. The alternator would not come out. I have removed all the bolts and it will not come out. What is the deal. I needed to remove the fan casing to remove a bolt, will the removal of things end before I can finally get to the thermosthat. So the alternator is now out, the hoses are off, (which took 3 hours to remove because of the location of the top clamp), the fan casing is off, what problem will I have next? For my next car, What is the easiest car to work on? Please answer all questions in this post. Primarrily the what problems will I come across next?
Thank you,
Donna
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 4:13 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Which engine do you have? There was never a four cylinder engine used in the Concorde, and neither V-6 requires removal of the alternator. What symptom or problem are you trying to solve?
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
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It is a 6 cylinder. We could not get to the thermosthat without removing the alternator. It is overheating. The fan was checked. The fuses were checked. The resevoir was leaking and was replaced. The radiator was replaced a year ago. The hoses are fine. It boils in 5 min of driving. But the temp. Gauge doesn't read hot? This engine is so compact it is near impossible to get to anything. No leverage without something else being in the way. We are working on it in the street, not on a lift.
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 5:35 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You still didn't tell me which engine you have so I'm going to guess it's the 2.7L. It's thermostat is on the bottom by the lower radiator hose. You need to remove the alternator strut, but not the entire alternator. For the 3.5L, replacing the thermostat is a 15 minute job up on top.

I suspect you're wasting your time anyway. No engine will overheat in five minutes. Your clues are it's boiling in five minutes and the temperature gauge doesn't read hot. You will find there is no steam associated with that "boiling". In fact, the bubbles you see in the reservoir are most likely due to a leaking head gasket. The best way to prove that is to have a mechanic perform what I call the "sniffer" test. That involves drawing air from the radiator or reservoir through a glass cylinder with two chambers partially filled with a special dark blue liquid. If combustion gases are leaking into the cooling system, the liquid will turn bright yellow.
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
2.7 is correct. I stated that when I posted this. Sorry for the delay in the answer. The old thermostat is stuck open. I have the thermostat out already. Wishing I had a 3.5 cause 15 min sounds good to me. I won't even tell you how many hours we have been working on this. The car does steam. Right up the windshield with the hood closed. The water is clearly boiling. I took video, but must have erased it. I had a rebuilt motor put in 7 years ago, I hope it's not the head's However the residue is bright yellow. I could just cry about now. Would the head leaking cause it to overheat also? The steam was coming out of the tiny spout on top of the resevoir. Like a pressure cooker. I just don't know anymore.
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 6:34 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Change of diagnosis. If you do have steam, then it really is getting too hot but the thermostat would have to be sticking closed, not open. I hope a new thermostat solves that.
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 6:44 PM
Tiny
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Well I guess it is shut, not opened. Sorry. I sure hope it is the thermosthat too. So if it isn't that. I need a new car. So what is the easiest car to work on? Cause I don't want to have to go through this again. And thanx for your help!
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 6:47 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I have newer cars but my daily driver is an extremely reliable '88 Grand Caravan. For basic transportation and very good reliability, and especially if you want to survive a crash, look at a Dodge Shadow / Plymouth Sundance with the 2.5L four cylinder engine. For comfort I have a '93 Dynasty but it only has 4,200 miles as I don't drive it much.

For bigger or newer cars, Chrysler's 3.3L is tops, I have two minivans with the 3.0L. They aren't too bad either but stay away from the '96 and newer Caravans. On those, everything is hard to work on. By the time you get to '96 models, everything has way too many unreliable computers to do simple things.

I won't go into all the details here, but definitely stay away from anything to do with General Motors. I've written five-page articles on why they are the worst company to get involved with. I'm not a fan of Ford either but at least their business practices aren't quite as customer-unfriendly as GM's.

As for the imports, there is nothing worse than a Volkswagen or BMW. Toyotas are pretty reliable, and Hyundai, as a company, is very customer-friendly. Don't know about the reliability or serviceability of their cars. My preference is for Chrysler's Shadow / Sundance, Acclaim / Spirit, Dynasty / New Yorker, but I look at it from a mechanic's point of view as well as a consumer's. I too have to work on the ground.

Sorry to say Chrysler has built a whole pile of really good engines over the years, but the notable exception is the 2.7L. The Intrepid / Concorde is one of their hardest body styles to work on. Only the Stratus / Cirrus / Breeze is much worse. I haven't worked on many 2000 and newer models. I left the dealership after 1999 and went into teaching for nine years so I just watched my kids work on them.

As a general rule, the older the car, especially if you can find an early '90s or older, the easier they are to work on, the easier they are to diagnose, and the less problems they have. Once you hit the mid '90s they added way too many unreliable computers and electrical problems became real common and expensive.
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 7:12 PM
Tiny
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Caradiodoc,

I really appreciate your response. Great advise. I am still hoping the heads are fine. Working on this car has been a nightmare. Thank you for helping me out with my car trouble.

Donna
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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 7:19 PM

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