How to Install a Thermostat on a 1984 Ford Bronco 2

Installing a new thermostat on your Bronco 2 can be done right at home in your driveway. The thermostat is what regulates the engine's temperature. A thermostat works like a valve and allows coolant from the radiator to pass through it to cool your engine when it gets too hot. If the thermostat on the Bronco fails and gets stuck in the open position, the engine will be over-cooled and produce cool air when your heater is on. When the thermostat is stuck shut, the engine quickly over-heats, causing damage to itself, along with the radiator and other cooling system components. Putting a new thermostat in yourself will require a few tools and can be done in one hour or less. The thermostat on your Bronco 2 is located just under the water pump on the lower left of the engine.

Tools Used: Lug wrench, Jack, Jack stand, Coolant drain pan, Flat head screwdriver, Socket wrench set, Shop rag, RTV silicone sealant, Thermostat gasket, Replacement thermostat, Torque wrench, Coolant

Install Thermostat

Removing the Old Thermostat

Loosen the lug nuts on the front passenger side of the Bronco with a lug wrench. Do not remove the lug nuts; only loosen them so they are easy to remove once the truck is jacked up.

Raise the truck with your jack. The bottom of the tire should be at least 8 inches from the ground. Slide the jack stand into position on the left of the truck jack. Raise the jack stand to accommodate the height of the truck jack and return the locking pin to the jack stand's support bar.

Loosen and remove the lug nuts from the tire. When you reach the final lug nut, hold the tire in position with one hand. This will stop the tire from falling onto the hub bolts and damaging their threads. Slowly remove the tire from the hub and set it to the side of your work area.

Slide the coolant drain pan directly beneath the drain cock on the radiator. Remove the radiator fill cap. Slowly open the drain cock on the radiator and allow the coolant to drain completely for 20 minutes. Once the coolant is drained, close the drain cock securely.

Slide the coolant drain pan to the left so that it is directly beneath the water pump. Follow the lower radiator hose to where it is secured to the engine below the water pump. Use a flat head screwdriver to loosen the securing clamp for the hose. Remove the hose from the thermostat housing slowly because there will be coolant inside it.

Remove the bolts securing the thermostat housing. Pull the housing out of its position slowly. Remove the thermostat and its gasket from the engine by hand.

Installing the New Thermostat

Use a flat head screwdriver to scrape off any residue on the thermostat housing and the cover. Use a rag to wipe down the housing and cover of debris.

Position the new thermostat where the old one was located. The spring on the thermostat should be on the inside of the housing, not facing toward you. Place a small bead of RTV sealant around the thermostat's gasket. Place the gasket into position on the housing. Make sure the gasket lines up correctly with the bolt holes on the housing. Place another small bead of sealant around the flat contact surface of the thermostat housing cover. Replace the housing cover over the thermostat. Make sure the bolt holes line up correctly.

Thread each of the thermostat housing bolts by hand. Set your torque wrench to 13 foot-pounds and secure each bolt one at a time. Return the lower radiator hose to the thermostat housing cover. Tighten the securing clamp around the hose completely.

Reposition the tire onto the hub assembly and secure each of its lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern until completely secured. Remove the jack stand and lower the Bronco onto the ground.

Refill the radiator with new coolant. You can use the old coolant again if you have recently changed the coolant. Replace the radiator cap, start the engine and check for leaks. Turn the engine off and check for leaks one more time.

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