thermostat 88 buick park avenue

I have an 88 Buick Park Ave. 3800 engine. I want to replace the thermostat. Sounds like a simple job to me. Until I look at it, the little bugger is under the Throttle Body. Is there a trick to taking it out without
totally dismantling the entire throttle body, or do I really have to do it that way. And if so, do I need to get a new gasket for the Throttle body to manifold, or will the old one be good? Thanks in advance.
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Dick #1349
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Get a gasket and pull the TB, not that hard, and clean around the throttle plate while you are at it.
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David J and Lynne J Shepherd wrote in rec.autos.tech

I guess I will have to. I went to the library this morning, hoping to get a good diagram of the the setup from All Data. No exploded picture of it. But, strangely enough they listed the time to do the thermostat as .8 hours. Which told me that it did not have to be pulled. So I went to the dealer and waylaid a technician there. He said that yes it would have to be pulled. And quoted me $250 bucks before taxes. Oh well, back to the engine. I will do this when I get the gasket, and I have a morning to work on it. The thermostat acts like it is stuck open, only reaching operating Temperature on warm days.

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Dick C wrote:

Very common. Causes horrendous gas mileage for the first 10 miles or 10 minutes of driving. I used to get literally 5-8 MPG when it was cold as the engine never got to proper operating temperature.
When it warmed up, though, it jumped up to normal efficiency.
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Joseph Oberlander wrote in alt.autos.gm

Yep, I bought the car over Labor Day of last year, and have not driven it a lot. I made a couple of longish drives in September then mostly around town, short runs, about once or twice a week all winter long. I have only recently started to drive it more, and on cooler days it doesn't heat up all way. As a matter of fact, I am not sure what the normal temperature is supposed to be. It has a digital dash, and the temperature readout is not marked, only a series of vertical lines, with a horizontal line that comes across indicating temp. Easy to see, but not greatly helpful. And the temp varies greatly with type of driving and ambient temperature. All winter it never went past the quarter point. But now that it is warming up it seems to run a bit above that, and hitting the halfway point when sitting in traffic. and of course, my gas mileage sucks.
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"Dick C" wrote

The quarter mark on the temp gauge is a fairly normal position on most GM vehicles as an indicator of when the t/stat opens up. Since you have electric cooling fans, it's also normal for the temp to stay there during the cooler weather, and then as the weather warms and you are sitting in traffic, the temp will begin to rise past the t/stat opening temp until it hits the cooling fan "turn on" temp. The difference between the t/stat "open" temp (92C) and the fan "turn on" temp (106-108 average) is what you see when the gauge creeps up to the halfway point or sometimes beyond.
As the weather warms up each year, we inevitably get a number of customers coming in complaining about overheating. And every year, the large majority of them are nothing more then the temps beginning to rise past the t/stat temp and up into the cooling fan "turn on" range. Of course, the easy way to see what the stat and fans are doing is to use a scan tool.
Ian
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shiden_Kai wrote in rec.autos.tech

Thank you for the info. I wasn't absolutely sure that it wasn't proper. It does seem a little bit strange. Interestingly enough, about a month after I bought the car, I had to drive across the state. On the way back there is a steep hill, about 10 miles long. Long enough to overheat any shaky cooling system. And on one of the hottest days of the year, I drove up it. The car never even got as hot as it does in traffic. Well, I won't worry about it, unless my car fails emissions. Thanks for the reply.
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"Dick C" wrote

Even pulling a long hill at speed will provide more airflow across the radiator compared to what you get in stop and go traffic (literally nothing). If you want to be sure that the cooling fans are working properly, just let the vehicle idle at your house and watch the temp gauge. You should see it rise until the cooling fans come on, and then drop until the fans cycle off. Note: turn your A/C off, otherwise the fans run all the time and you won't see the rise in temp. If the fans cycle on and off, this indicates that the fans are able to control the temperature.
In the old days, the suggestion always was to turn the A/C off in traffic. But on the vehicles with electric cooling fans, having the A/C on can actually modulate the temps better in traffic, as the fans stay on all the time and provide airflow through the radiator even when you aren't moving.
Ian
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shiden_Kai wrote in rec.autos.tech

Thanks, I should have known that. Interestingly enough, I never use my AC, but the one really long hot drive across eastern Wa. and I turned it on.
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shiden_Kai wrote:

I missed this.
If your car has over 120K miles on it, it needs four things ASAP:
1:the timing gear that year(and a few others) had synthetic teeth on it. To make matters worse, the "button" that holds the camshaft in proper alignment was also synthetic.
So, while it has a timing chain, it needs to be replaced at about 60-80K miles with real metal and bearing components.
Mine ate through the timing chain cover. Got pricey. The chain was stretched, and the main cog had *TWO* teeth left on it. The computers were compensating for the massive timing problems. The camshaft was also wobbling around and was slightly smooth in a few places. Car runs fine now, but valves make excessive noise.
I went for old-fashoined metal and bearing components as I didn't care about the engine being 10-20% noisier if it meant that I just had to replace a chain every 100K miles.
2:EGR valve. Get replaced. Have them clean out the entire port and system leading into it. This tends to get gunked up and causes all sorts of bad driving in cold weather. Basically it's like having the choke on all the time until it warms up. The give-away symptom is a very rough idle when first started.
3:MAF. These rarely last more than a decade. Symptoms of one failing(I'd not replace it until it starts to show signs, though) are inconsistent throttle control and varying response - kind of like how it feels on a motorcycle when you have crud in the carb. If you hit the accelerator and it lags or you have to keep the RPMs up manually to keep it from stalling at a light(or it stalls when you come to a fast stop), this is the likely suspect.
4:Fuel pump. Every ten years. When it makes really loud noises at 1/4 a tank or less, it's getting worn out. Loud is usually defined as bystanders can hear it on the sidewalk.(heh)
These three together can render a car nearly impossible to drive if they all are in bad shape. Poor starting, poor response, and when you do push it, there seems to be nothing much past 1/2 throttle.
Of these, though, #1 is the main reason these cars end up in the junk yard - it mysteriously stops running or barely does and they get rid of it.
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Joseph Oberlander wrote in alt.autos.gm

Thanks for the info, but my car idles smoothly, and runs like a dream. And it has 118,000 miles on it. I will watch out for the problems, though.
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Dick C wrote:

Now is the time to get the timing gear fixed. When it goes out, it will take the timing cover with it. That's a dealer-only $200+ part. Figure $400-$500 for the job(with metal components) and you'll never have to worry about it again.
Since the teeth are synthetic, it IS wearing down - just like brake pads do. There is no "maybe it's not happening to me" here - they designed it poorly to make the engine quieter.
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