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As part of the 120k service of flushing the coolant, I decided to change the thermostat because I needed something to do. Pretty easy job, you will need:

2 gallons Toyota Pink coolant ($22 each)
A few gallons of distilled water for the flush part and to top off
10mm socket
12mm socket
14mm socket
Several socket extension bars of varying lengths
A new thermostat, I got mine from Toyota for $21
A new thermostat gasket, $4 at Autozone
A new water pipe gasket, $2 at Autozone
A small inner diameter hose (3/8"?)
A flashlight
About 2 hours



The procedure:

1. After the engine is ice cold (I let it cool overnight), remove the front splash shield and drain the radiator and engine block of coolant.

Radiator drain:


The engine block drain is next to the oil filter, easy access from under the car


I connected a 12" hose to the lower circle in the picture for it to be a controlled direction drain. The brass bolt above it is a 10mm, it took a couple turns to open up all the way.


The radiator and block took a while to drain, about 2 gallons came out.

2. While those are draining, take off the engine cover and upper air filter housing, including disconnecting the MAF wiring harness. I left the vacuum hoses attached.

3. Remove the lower housing through the three 10mm bolts on the bottom


You need to disconnect the wires that are supported by the backside to take the box out of the car, sorry I forgot to take a pic of it.

I also had to take out this 12mm bolt behind the intake housing:


It all looked like this:


4. Remove this 14mm bolt, it allows you to pull out the water pipe leading from the thermostat housing:


Pull out that pipe, it takes a fair amount of effort.

5. Next, disconnect the coolant temperature sensor wiring harness (at the back of the housing) and the three 10mm thermostat housing nuts (the other two are not visible)


Another view of the bolts that extend from the block through the housing


6. Because I didn't disconnect all of the hoses and wires down there, it took a fair amount of twisting, pulling, cussing, and more pulling to get the housing out of there. This leaves you with just the thermostat:


Note where the jiggle valve is, the new one is supposed to be mounted at the same angle.

New and old thermostats (new on the bottom):



Because I'm uber anal/OCD, I tested the new and old thermostats in a pot of heated water to make sure they were the correct temperature. Just use a cooking thermometer to get the water temp, both the new and old ones for me started to open at 180 degrees and were fully open at 195.

7. Install the new thermostat gasket around the new thermostat, and the new water pipe gasket. I was able to do it without removing the pipe:


Install the new thermostat at the proper angle, thermostat housing and nuts, push the water pipe back into the housing and re install the pipe hanging bolt removed in step 4. This pretty much completes the thermostat change, just put the air filter box back in and the bolt behind it and close off the two drains that you opened.

If you are also flushing the system, install the thermostat housing and water pipe without the thermostat and fill the radiator with a couple of gallons of distilled water and let it run, then drain it, then refill, let it run, etc. Do this until the drain water is as clear as you want it to be. Don't forget to turn on the cabin heat to clear out the heater core.

I poured 1.7 gallons of the coolant into the radiator and poured the rest into the coolant recovery tank that I emptied with a pump. Let it run for a minute, SLOWLY remove the radiator cap, and top off with coolant or distilled water, repeat until full/all air has evacuated the system.
 

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If you are also flushing the system, install the thermostat housing and water pipe without the thermostat and fill the radiator with a couple of gallons of distilled water and let it run, then drain it, then refill, let it run, etc. Do this until the drain water is as clear as you want it to be. Don't forget to turn on the cabin heat to clear out the heater core.
I did a coolant flush full (ie, changed green to red, for example) before in my 1mzfe. Just happen to notice distilled water and toyota Pink coolant. Toyota Pink is 50/50 (do not add water). A drain and fill is done with pre-diluted coolant. A flush, where all the old is drained, cycled, and repeated until somewhat clear, is refilled with a concentrate of Toyota Red or aftermarket equivalents. Mixing Pink with water reduces the concentration or refractory index. (You can get a refractometer on ebay).

Here is post with calculations for the 1mzfe. You can just plug in your numbers for the capacity of your radiator. I used the same procedure for our other toyota and honda cars. I would not go below 50/50 but did go little higher on the coolant before on purpose (52/48):
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/104-5th-6th-generation-2002-2006-2007-2011/410203-coolant-drain-flush-2004-v6-1mz-fe-camry-2.html#post8796306 (post 19 is calculations, 29 is completed flush with pics)

I could be wrong though if only 1 gal is used, but it would "slightly" reduce the concentration from 50/50, then? Even though you added some water and drained out (and then repeat distilled water if you wanted it more clear), the circulated water did dilute what is in the system (esp with each add of distilled water).

Just a question. Other than that, great diy. Thanks.
 
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