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Old 05-22-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
black2002zx3
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leaking valve gasket led to therm. housing leak?

i saw a post saying that the valve cover gasket leak leads eventually to a thermostat housing leak well mine has come to that.... i see the gasket is under $30 to buy and had mine out today to clean around and check it out. its just old i guess. my therm. housing leaks off and on sometimes bad. i dont know much about the housing but i was wondering if its expensive to repair by myself? i see all the bolts for removal i can handle all that its easy but is it going to need a whole new housing or is it most likely a gasket, or something smaller?


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Old 05-23-2006, 01:41 AM   #2
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not really alot of leaky thermo housings. most of the time its an oring on one of the sensors or a plug in the housing.
replace your cover gasket and clean the thermo housing area real good and drive it for a bit and look if you see any leak. dont drive on the highway, city streets only, since hiway speeds tend to blow the leak all over making it really hard to spot the actual location. if i remember right, theres two sensors and a plug underneath toward the radiator side.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:58 AM   #3
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I had both of those problems on the 01 I used to own. Neither was terribly diificult to repair, I don't remember how much it cost to repair the thermostat housing. But on mine the leak happened when the area where the housing connects to the engine block cracked. I replaced the housing, thermostat and thermostat gasket while I was in there. I would recommend using genuine motorcraft parts, I started out with aftermarket parts and they didn't seem to fit right. Try this link for more info.
http://www.focushacks.com/index.php?modid=59
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:34 AM   #4
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I went through this on my '00 last year. My theory is that the additives in the leaking oil attack the o-ring that seals the thremo housing to the head causing it to swell. When my housing broke the o-ring had pushed itself through the very thin lip between it and the coolant passage, breaking the lip. This left a sizable gap for all of my coolant to drain out.

The housing and o-ring were not that expensive. If I remember correctly, they were less than the thermostat itself, or very close in price. I just had trouble getting my big peasant fingers in there with my wrenches to remove/install the housing bolts.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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oring is made of the same material the valve cover gasket is.
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:35 PM   #6
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I had this issue about 2 months ago w. my 2001 zx3. It took me about ~3 hours to take the thrmostat housing off, drive to the ford parts center, come home, install the old thermostat in the new housing, install it back onto the motor, and to refill my fluids.

don't let it continue leaking, it cost me so much for anti-freeze to keep putting it in everyday
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Old 05-27-2006, 01:53 PM   #7
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I just fell victim to this one....I am leaking coolant out from between the block and the thermostat housing.

Being that I am on a budget, I would like to entertain the idea of doing it myself vs. paying the dealer 200+ bucks once all is said and done.

My question here is: the three bolts that hold the therm housing to the block...what are the torque specs on those bolts? Be good to know, being that I am going into aluminum.
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
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called dealer to get the answer, lol. they told me, "till its tight"

guessing its prob not documented.
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Old 06-25-2006, 01:03 AM   #9
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Well, my car recently gave in to this problem...I had no idea that my leaky (more like just barelely seeping) valve cover gastket could do this. The thermostat housing is $49.99 at my local dealer. The o ring was completely broken, and looks to have swelled to the point where it doesn't even fit in it's groove on the housing. It also managed to crack the housing, letting my precious coolant pour out onto my driveway (But only at times, sometimes it didn't leak at all...strange). I guess I'll be replacing the valve cover gasket too...hadn't planned on it, but I don't want to be buying another thermo. housing.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:43 AM   #10
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"oring is made of the same material the valve cover gasket is."

Are you sure about this? I'm not saying it isn't, but some of these "rubber" compounds are oil resistant, while others are not. And they often have the same appearance, e.g., many years ago when I was a teenager and worked at a filling station, they accidentally put the wrong hoses on the gasoline pumps, and within a day they had swelled to twice their normal size. Unless you know the material specs, you cannot be sure the compound is the same.
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