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-   -   -= Thermostat Installation Question =- (

JeepgirlTX 03-05-2004 10:22 AM

-= Thermostat Installation Question =-
::: NOTE: Names of people and businesses have been changed up for their privacy ::

I had repair work done on my 1995 Jeep Wrangler (2.5L), at N*** T****, in Dallas, on January 24, 2004. The radiator was replaced as well as the thermostat. A few weeks later, on Monday March 1, 2004, my jeep started to over-heat and blew radiator fluid all over the motor.

I immediately got the Jeep to a VERY reputable shop, called SB, in Dallas. When their mechanic started to look at the water pump (it was blown out), he discovered that the thermostat was installed backwards. This caused massive damage of up to $1000; head-gasket, seals, water pump, on and on. This faulty installation could have damaged my new radiator.

The owner at SB called me IMMEDIATELY, and took photos of the thermostat mis-installation, at my request. The Owner told me what he found, and suggested that I call this other guy up and tell him what one of his mechanics did. They decided to leave the Jeep on the rack until they heard back from me or N*** T****.

I called the owner at N*** T****, where I only had that one repair done, and the Owner told me that there is no physical possibility that the thermostat could be put in backwards.

At my request, the Owner who runs SB, called N*** T**** and spoke to that owner. SB went into detail in describing to N*** T**** the issue and went as far as noting the markings that showed where the thermostat was hitting incorrectly. After they hung up, the owner of N*** T**** called me and said, "Tell you what, if you tow it to my shop I will fix all of this for you, for $400." I declined to pay anymore money to N*** T****, due to the original damage that was caused to my vehicle, due to his shop's negligence.

I explained that his faulty installation of a $15 part just cost me $1000, and that I would never go to his shop again. I believe that the incorrect installation of the thermostat was done on purpose, to force me to go back to his place, and thus pay him more money. The owner of N*** T**** noted on my receipt "Possible head gasket problem", however he never showed me any tests that were run to back this up. I do believe that N*** T**** was committing a fraudulent business practice, by setting my vehicle up for failure.

After retrieving my vehicle from N*** T****, I had tests run on the integrity of the head gasket and there was never any signs of a damaged head gasket. I watched and checked for signs synonymous with head gasket damage. There was never any white smoke coming out of the tailpipe, nor was there at any time bubbles in the coolant. There was never any liquid dripping from the tailpipe. The oil was checked regularly, and there was no sign of discoloration or signs of coolant in the oil.

I rarely drove the jeep after that, due to getting layed off. The first time I did any kind of hard highway driving was the other day. Most of my driving has been a short trip to the store. Our weather up until this week was for the most part, cold.

On Tuesday afternoon, the owner of N*** T**** drove over to SB and to look at what their mechanic found. The owner of N*** T**** even made a remark to the owner of SB about the thermostat being in backwards and how coolant would never flow correctly with it installed like that. The owner of N*** T**** then left the shop.

Two days later, after not hearing back from the owner of N*** T****, I called him. I again inquired what responsibility N*** T**** was going to take for the damage to my vehicle. The owner became clearly agitated and stated that he wasn't at fault and that SB sabotaged the thermostat to try to take advantage of me. He again stated that there is no physical possibility that the thermostat was installed incorrectly. He went as far as to say that he had a document from a Jeep dealership backing him up.

I think that this guy is full of crap, and that a thermostat can indeed be installed backwards. I wanted to ask the board here though for input on if that thermostat can be (even by force) installed backwards.


Tippy 03-05-2004 11:09 AM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
If the thermostat in the 2.5 mounts the same as the 4.0, there is no way you can put it in backwards. There just isn't the room. The reason is that the block side of the thermostat is long. It has the spring on it. If you put it in backwards (short side in), the housing/neck assembly that bolts onto the block and holds everything together won't fit. It just doesn't have the clearance inside to accomodate the large spring assembly. The neck assembly will be about a 1/4" from making contact with the block. Now this is on a 4.0/4.2. Not exactly sure on the 2.5, but I find it hard to believe that you can put in backwards.

Now if the new thermostat was bad (does happen) and it stuck closed, the engine would heat up faster and fluid wouldn't circulate through the block. The pump could over pressurize the radiator and blow it out the over flow. It should go out the over flow long before any damage is done to the block. But if your pump was bad, then I doubt that would happen! Was the water pump squeeling at all, like it had a bad bearing? That is where they commonly fail. I think your second shop is pulling your chain.

WILL 03-05-2004 11:18 AM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
the engine would heat up faster and fluid wouldn't circulate through the block. The pump could over pressurize the radiator

[/ QUOTE ]

The pump can't over pressurize the radiator. It is a closed system. The only thing that will raise the pressure is the rise in temperature.

Tippy 03-05-2004 12:26 PM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
DUH! I new that! Sorry. Fifty lashes with a folding chair! [img]images/graemlins/chair.gif[/img]

But, if it is stuck closed, it will heat up faster as it can not circulate. Just the opposite of when it is stuck open and it won't heat up. I hate it when that happens in the winter!

gjk392 03-05-2004 12:31 PM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
There was a post a week and a half ago from a board member who was getting shafted by another company that he purchased a working tranny from, but proved to be otherwise. Both buyer and seller were in California. He ended up using the small claims court approach to settle the matter. I believe his situation is better now and he has a working tranny. Small claims works really well here.

I would take this approach. I'm sure the laws differ some what from Ca and Tx, but it can't be that much.

I'm sorry to see you in this kind of situation and it really infuriates me to read posts like this. I work hard for my money, ok some days not as hard as i should, but to blatantly screw people out of their hard earned cash just is one of the lowest things people can do. Reasons like this is why i don't pay people to work on my Jeep. As much as i piss and moan and loose my temper at my Jeep I still go back to it. It has never left me stranded and i remind myself of that when i get mad working on it. In short - BE YOUR OWN MECHANIC. I just put in one piece axles, lock right lockers and new brakes last week. Except for the brakes that was a first for me. I didn't make any mistakes that i know of yet and it only took me two days.

Good Luck

JeepgirlTX 03-05-2004 01:34 PM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
I spoke to a couple of dealerships today, and was able to ask a couple of their mechanics if it was at all possible to install it backwards. They all said that it was actually possible. I am going to pursue this further, and I have papers in hand right now to fill out for a small claims court case. Thanks for the input everyone. Wish me luck!

WILL 03-05-2004 01:44 PM

Re: -= Thermostat Installation Question =-
Good luck. Keep us posted.

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