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oil thermostat (wheel well) failure

My wheel-well oil thermostat has suddenly gone tits-up. Been working just fine, road and track, and suddenly tonight, 85 degree day, normal 30-mile road trip to the train to pick up my daughter, temp goes up to 250 and the oil lines to the front cooler are...well, cool.

Question: Is an occurrence of this sort the thermostat equivalent of a hung starter relay--i.e. you whack it with a mallet, it pops loose and never malfunctions again--or it this a situation that needs immediate thermostat replacement? I don't mind buying a new thermostat if that's what's suggested (after all, this is the gold-plated Porsche...), but I don't want to do it in haste if hundreds of you Pelicans have applied mallet to thermo and solved problem.

What say you?

Stephan
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Stephan Wilkinson
'83 911SC Gold-Plated Porsche
'04 replacement Boxster
Old 07-22-2004, 05:51 PM
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Hey, no problem. It was off two years ago when I rebuilt the car, I stripped all the threads then and it has nice fresh "thermostat-saver" nipples I can strip this time...

Stephan
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Stephan Wilkinson
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:01 PM
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I'm with Noah, the hammer didn't work for me either. You don't have to buy the entire thermostat, just buy the parts from inside and rebuild it. It is pretty simple. Just remove the cap and pull out the old valve and install the replacement. They are only about $50 or $60 instead of the hundreds the entire assembly costs.
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:08 PM
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You mean screwed off, as in lefty loosie, I assume.

Also, I'm assuming just to buy a $330 factory unit from our host is vastly preferable to buying a lot of little parts and trying to rebuild the thing--pistons, springs, etc.--wouldn't ya say?

stephan
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Stephan Wilkinson
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:10 PM
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Fintstone, it may sound like I was dissing you, but I wasn't. I posted my question to Noah before I saw your reply about rebuilding. I will consider doing the rebuild rather than changing it out.

Stephan
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:13 PM
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Also, I meant to say "corrode," not "oxidize."
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Eh? The oxidation is the corrosion - or at least 90% of it.
Old 07-22-2004, 06:28 PM
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Post some pics when you take it apart.
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:31 PM
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You might want to run a brake hone through it if you rebuild it.
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:32 PM
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Hmmmm...what I'm looking at is $330 for a change-out factory complete unit from Pelican versus $181 in parts, plus buying a brake hone to do some honing, to rebuild the thing. (It would be cheaper if I knew which of the two pistons had failed, but of course I don't.) Think I'm gonna go the easy and more expensive way.

Stephan
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:50 PM
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Boil it to see if it opens. I think there is only one parrafin valve. I tested mine. It's very obvious. You don't have to take it apart to test it.

Lee78sc
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Old 07-22-2004, 11:03 PM
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Oh yeah, also try cleaning the steel nut threads of old aluminum oxide with a dental pick. It's easy to do with the oil lines out of the car. I got mine clean enough to thread back on by hand using anti seize. Then I torqued them down. It was worth it. You get a lot of crud out of the troughs of the threads. I also dressed the thermostat threads. It's trouble when you see an extra cut on top of a thread peak.
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Old 07-22-2004, 11:11 PM
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I installed the new pistons/springs in mine a few years back. It wasn't all that hard, just very messy - but then the housing didn't leave the guard cavity and I certainly didn't hone it. Just slapped in the new pistons etc and I was truckin'...
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Old 07-22-2004, 11:15 PM
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If you do get a new thermo....make sure that you dont let some jackass "porsche mechanic" twist the hell out of the lines and break the lines leading to the cooler when removing.

dont ask me how I know this...
Old 07-23-2004, 12:08 AM
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Hey, >I'm< the jackass Porsche mechanic...and yes, a year or so ago, tightening one of the thermostat fittings, I did put a nice crimp in one of the lines. Noticed it happening soon enough to avoid damage, but I learned my lesson.

Stephan
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Old 07-23-2004, 05:30 AM
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Stephan mine had the same problem last year. I warmed the car up and tapped on the thermo with a wooden hammer till the oil started to flow. After a 30 minute drive i changed the oil and my problem was gone. Maybe it doesen,t work for you but it,s worth to try i guess.

Good luck,

Ed
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Old 07-23-2004, 06:05 AM
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You only need to replace the piston that you access from the side, not the bottom one. I bought my replacement piston, spring and seal as a kit for a little over $50, but it has been a couple of years or so ago. Since I did not have much corrosion, I didn't even have to remove the thermostat from the car. I just unscrewed the cover and pulled out the old parts and installed the new ones.
If you are more comfortable with a new one, or the housing on yours is already badly damaged...by all means, replace the entire thing. Just be careful not to damage you lines or it could get expensive quickly.
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Old 07-23-2004, 06:33 AM
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Flintstone is right. I just completed this on my 930 yesterday. thermo insert with piston and spring were $60 at my local dealer. you only need to take the side (larger) screw off. If you can't get it loose with channel locks or pliers, use a roto tool to cut the crush washer, and then break it with a screwdriver or pick. brian
Old 07-23-2004, 07:43 AM
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PN 93010715500-Thermostat rebuild kit. A large monkey wrench (like you would use on kitchen pipes) works well in removing the cap.
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:07 AM
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Thank you all for your excellent advice. Took the unit off the car so I could completely disassemble and clean it, and it is indeed the "regulator insert" that had failed (tested it by dropping it into boiling water--no joy). So all I need is that insert and two crush washers and I'm done. Interesting, by the way, that there was a moderate amount of crud--the kind of dark-gray paste you find stuck to a magnetic drain plug--on the end of the small, pressure-activated piston.

Stephan
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 930 Guy View Post
Flintstone is right. I just completed this on my 930 yesterday. thermo insert with piston and spring were $60 at my local dealer. you only need to take the side (larger) screw off. If you can't get it loose with channel locks or pliers, use a roto tool to cut the crush washer, and then break it with a screwdriver or pick. brian

Can you describe how you used the 'roto tool' to cut the crush washer without destroying the end-plug altogether..?


Cheers,

Jascha
Old 08-03-2007, 08:13 PM
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