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Old 07-09-2010   #1
BigBadGTA
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

So tomorrow afternoon I am going to be removing the throttle body and changing the thermostat in my car. I am going to advanced auto parts to get a new throttle body gasket. Is there anything I should be worried about when removing the throttle body? Just un clip the cables on the driver side, un plug the sensors on the passenger side, and remove the four bolts? I did the coolant bypass, so no need to worry about that. Then when doing the thermostat, I have a few questions as well. Where is the petcock located exactly on these cars? Do you need to jack it up to get to it? Is it necessary to drain out some coolant, or can I just take off the radiator hose and have a bucket ready? I would really like to flush the whole system while I am at it. How hard is that? thanks!
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Old 07-09-2010   #2
Corp Z
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GTA Year: 1987
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Theres an easier way to get the coolant out. Go buy a 2 dollar hand pump from the the auto parts store. Open the rad cap. Suck out about a pint or so of fluid...just enough to drop it below the level of the t-stat. Keep the coolant in a clean container. Remove the old t-stat, use the suppled gasket and some dabs of t-stat gasket maker. Put everything back together and then run the car with the rad cap open and re add the removed coolant until no more ait bubbles can be seen. Re attach the cap. Voila. Worked for me 2 months ago when I did the IAC motor and T-stat at the same time.

If you want to flush the whole system then jack it up and drain the rad by the petcock. Pt cock is on one of the lower corners of the Rad...its easy to spot.

As for the TB removal you have it down right.
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Last edited by Corp Z; 07-09-2010 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010   #3
BigBadGTA
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Ok, thanks a lot. I would like to flush the system but I don't know if I will be able to do it tomorrow. That is a good idea about getting the coolant from the radiator cap, that is what I am going to do. Do I have to bleed the system when I am done with this, or just add it all back through the radiator cap? thanks!
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Old 07-09-2010   #4
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

As you can tell I am a beginner when it comes to doing this kind of stuff. I know what everything is, and what it all does but I have never taken it apart. I really want to learn how to do it, and I like doing it. My dad knows how to do it but he gets frustrated and pissed and the smallest things and is no fun to work on our cars with. I may try to flush the system tomorrow if I can get one of my buds to come over and give me a hand. But Im happy just doing the T stat.
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Last edited by BigBadGTA; 07-09-2010 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010   #5
YumikoGTA
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Why are you removing the throttle body? If you are removing that just to remove the thermostat, there must be an easier way. I am able to replace the thermostat in my GTA without removing the throttle body.

Ok....when I was learning how to work on my GTA which was very long ago, I had mechanic friends who told me about a lot of things. So I listened to them and followed their instructions. About the throttle body, they say to me not to use carb. cleaners inside it unless the sensors are all removed. They said to me that carb cleaner will damage the special coatings on the sensors and they will no longer work anymore. They also told me not to do anything with the TPS because it is very difficult to adjust it back to the way it is supposed to be.

They told me to use a special sealant that is sensor-safe for the thermostat gasket. I found the sensor-safe gasket sealant and used that as they instructed me to.

About the coolant, I have always removed a lot of it so when I put on the gasket sealant, it is clean and dry in that surface area so it will dry/cure properly. I am unsure if removing just a little is good enough, as I recalled, it seemed like a lot that I had to drain before the coolant level in the intake manifold area went away enough to where the area could be completely cleaned and remained dry until the sealant is completely cured.

Really I am soooo glad that I do not work on my GTA hardly ever anymore. It is always a lot of work regardless of whatever it is that needs to be done to it. Maybe I lost my patience with this stuff now, it is just so much work for me now. Afterall, I have been working on my GTA myself from about 1992 until 2004. And very minimal stuff from 2004 until now (oil changing, and easy things like that). Only because my GTA only gets driven less then 1,000 miles per year now and that has been like that since 2004.

Good luck and I hope that it works good for you.

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Last edited by YumikoGTA; 07-09-2010 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010   #6
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

I am going to remove the throttle body because there is no way for me to get at that first bolt on the thermostat housing with it on. At least i don't have any tools that can get in there. I thought there had to be a better way too, but I cant find one. I would prefer not to take off the TB. Thanks for the advice yumiko
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Old 07-09-2010   #7
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

I have been able to do it, I used universal joints and some extentions, also wrenches. It has been so long that I do not know exactly what I did to remove these bolts, but I do remember doing it before without removing the throttle body. The only bolt that I did have a problem to get to was the bolt that holds on the distributor in place. That bolt is very difficult to tighten/loosen. One of my friends who has a lot of tools had a special tool to be able to reach it.

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Old 07-10-2010   #8
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

A few tips.

1. The radiator drain cock is on the passenger side...but the fluid will run off to the driver's side, so jack the driver's side up to drain it.

2. To get the thermostat housing off, get a gear wrench and you should be able to get to it.

3. When I replaced my thermostat, I put gray RTV on it and it's been just fine.

4. If you plan to flush the coolant, make sure you BACKFLUSH it as well. You will need to blow the coolant out of EVERYTHING, including the heater core, so make sure you have the heat set to "on". To backflush it, leave the upper radiator hose connected to the thermostat housing, remove it from the radiator, disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator, and blow all the coolant out. Then take a garden hose and put it in the lower radiator hose. That will forward-flush it, and you can just hold it there until the water runs clear.

5. NOW you can replace the thermostat. Let the gasket sealer set for about 15-20 mins before you put it on. When you put it on, DO NOT overtighten the bolts. Tighten it just until the gasket sealer starts to "squish" out of the thermostat housing. Any tighter, and you're setting yourself up for leaks.

If you can stomach removing the fan shrouds and such, it's not a bad idea to drain all the sludge out of the bottom of the radiator. Emma's was NASTY, and it looked like mud (or worse!) coming out of the radiator.

Hope this helps! Good luck.
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Old 07-10-2010   #9
gorin002
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

i do nothing i can t do a thing

so how is it did you solve the problem
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Old 07-10-2010   #10
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Well I went out and tried to get off one of the bolts and the ----er snapped off. Now I ask what the hell do I do now? When I squeeze the radiator hose coolant comes out around the damn thing! I guess I'm ----ed?

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Old 07-10-2010   #11
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GTA Year: 1991
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Ouch!!! Soak the remaining bolt with Deep Creep by SeaFoam, and saturate so it soaks in. Then see if it will come out. Good luck, hth.
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w/305,231 miles
on the original motor!!!!
Time of Death on motor, 4:07pm on 05/29/2010.
Hp:211.2@4200rpms/Tq.328.5@2700rpms
Best et: 13.959@97.05mph
Best mph: 98.3
Best 60' : 1.875 on BFG Comp TA's w/ 32 lbs of air in them
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Old 07-10-2010   #12
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GTA Year: 1991
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Btw, Fel-Pro makes a tstat that is reusable. I dont remember the #, but I think its 1204, not sure though. hth
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1991 GTA Trans Am
w/305,231 miles
on the original motor!!!!
Time of Death on motor, 4:07pm on 05/29/2010.
Hp:211.2@4200rpms/Tq.328.5@2700rpms
Best et: 13.959@97.05mph
Best mph: 98.3
Best 60' : 1.875 on BFG Comp TA's w/ 32 lbs of air in them
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Old 07-10-2010   #13
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Dont panic dude, we all been there!!! Ive done far worse, Like Cliff said soak it in deep creep dont know whats in that stuff but it is the best!!!! If u cant work the screw out, an easy out will do the job. First most dont panic and just relax and take your time!!
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Old 07-10-2010   #14
BigBadGTA
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Damn it, I was really excited to change out that thermostat finally and get the car running a bit cooler. My smile turned to a frown in a matter of half a second, as soon as I felt the breaker bar jerk. I really hope that tomorrow I can get the other bolt off without it breaking because if it does I will be royally screwed. Ill go and get some deep creep tomorrow and soak both of the bolts before I attempt anything else. From what I see there is a bit of the threads sticking above the manifold that I might be able to clamp pliers or vice grips on. I want to know is this bolt factory? I have never seen anything like it before, The nut is actually apart of the stud. I thought that there was just a nut I was trying to get off, not the whole thing.



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Old 07-11-2010   #15
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Yup that's the factory bolt and I think your going to be screwed on getting that out. Pretty sure the aluminum probably bonded to the bolt, maybe you can get it out with a Easyout tool bit. You might have to drill and tap a new hole for a bigger bolt or helicoil it also, but don't worry to much it's not that bad of a job.

There is always the option of upgrading to a aftermarket base also
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Old 07-11-2010   #16
BigBadGTA
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Not what I wanted to hear. And I suppose drilling this out would require removing the plenum to get clearance for the drill? Now I am scared, this is going to end up costing me a whole bunch of money I don't have...
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Old 07-11-2010   #17
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GTA Year: 1988
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

I did get the bolt to turn a few times before It broke so I am hoping I can get it out...
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Old 07-11-2010   #18
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Hmm then you might get lucky with some spray.
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Old 07-11-2010   #19
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Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Keep at it with the penetrating oil. Don't be afraid of this stuff, it happens to the best of us. On my T-RAM install, I snapped one of the bolts that connect the plenum to the lower intake. Good job right?

Anyway, continue to soak it overnight and then try to go at it again in the morning.

That bolt scares the hell out of me. For some reason, it seems a lot more prone to rust than the other one. I replaced both my bolts with stainless steel hex bolts.
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Old 07-11-2010   #20
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GTA Year: 1991
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: So removing the TB, changing thermostat.

Yeah, just keep soaking it, over and over, while trying to turn the remainder of the bolt. If it doesnt turn put some more deep creep on it.
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1991 GTA Trans Am
w/305,231 miles
on the original motor!!!!
Time of Death on motor, 4:07pm on 05/29/2010.
Hp:211.2@4200rpms/Tq.328.5@2700rpms
Best et: 13.959@97.05mph
Best mph: 98.3
Best 60' : 1.875 on BFG Comp TA's w/ 32 lbs of air in them
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