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Old 04-28-2016, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Another thermostat question...

Hi - late posting, but if anybody could answer, I'd appreciate it. My 2011 Crossover is due for a coolant flush and give it's advanced age of 5 years, I'd like to replace the thermostat as a precaution. I got a new one thermostat from NAPA (here in the US) which as a rubber seal wrapped around it.

Is this the only seal needed or do I need one for the housing too? I'm confused since it would seem redundant and is difficult to find.

How difficult is it to change. I gather it mounted underneath on the water pump. Is this a real knucklebuster or not so bad? Does one need to remove any parts to get to it?

Thanks - anyone knows and can take a few minutes to answer, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberman01 View Post
Hi - late posting, but if anybody could answer, I'd appreciate it. My 2011 Crossover is due for a coolant flush and give it's advanced age of 5 years, I'd like to replace the thermostat as a precaution. I got a new one thermostat from NAPA (here in the US) which as a rubber seal wrapped around it.

Is this the only seal needed or do I need one for the housing too? I'm confused since it would seem redundant and is difficult to find.

How difficult is it to change. I gather it mounted underneath on the water pump. Is this a real knucklebuster or not so bad? Does one need to remove any parts to get to it?

Thanks - anyone knows and can take a few minutes to answer, I'd appreciate it.
i had the dealer do it. it was there for another reason. that is the thermostat. i tried to do it. but, i said "no way" its like almost a pain in the a**. tight spot. I would have gotten frustrated, no patience, etc... If u r a patient person, like working on these motors go for it. but if not, i def highly recommend a prof do it.
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your quick reply. I'm a mechanical engineer who started as a mechanic in high school before I went to college and got my degree. So, yes, I'm patient, but at 60 I'm not as flexible and strong as I once was. Waiting for other replies on the details. The RW420 manual (covers up to 2010, I think) doesn't show a separate gasket for the hose outlet cover but does mention the need to replace the "o-ring". Since the 2011 is slightly different, I'm wondering if the o-ring was replaced with the slip-on/over rubber gasket that came with the new thermostat I bought.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Had a look at a 2011 parts listing and it shows both the J20a and J20b engines. I assume this was the change over year ?
Either way, put this together..

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Old 04-28-2016, 01:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Darrel - thanks!! Yes, in 2011 their was a bit of a redesign I think. But the drawing still shows no outlet cover gasket and the thermostat I got looks exactly like the one on the right. So, I'll pull the bottom shield this weekend and have a look - if it doesn't look too bad, I'll drain the coolant and change the thermostat.

I was planning to flush the coolant system (and power steering) anyway. For all I know, the old thermostat may be good for another 100k miles. I'm still stuck back in the 70's when thermostats failed frequently, particularly on the British cars I loved (midgets, MGs, Triumphs, etc.). We used to have to replace everything more often then, hoses, spark plugs, starters, literally everything. Then the Japanese came in with little cars that seemed to last twice as long...
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Follow up: I put the little 2011 SX4 on ramps and removed the skid plate under the engine. Lying on my back, I could barely see where the lower radiator hose connects to the water pump. I decided to just carry the thermostat in the car in case I need it on the road.

I think one may be able to R&R the thermostat, working almost blind in a really tight place. Perhaps when I was younger I would have taken the challenge. It might be easier with the car on a lift rather than lying on the floor. If one took the long route by following the water pump R&R procedure, well it may get really long since removing the exhaust manifold is generally a job for a shop.

If the pump goes some day, I'll definitely stick in the new thermostat and recommend doing that. Otherwise, I've lost some respect for Suzuki engineering since this is ridiculously hard for a minor component that fails on occasion.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberman01 View Post
If the pump goes some day, I'll definitely stick in the new thermostat and recommend doing that. Otherwise, I've lost some respect for Suzuki engineering since this is ridiculously hard for a minor component that fails on occasion.
A weak excuse might be that the 2l motor would have started life in the Vitara as a north-south engine. There may have been more room.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks - that may explain it. There's always a work-around. For example, the thermostat could have been put in-line in the lower radiator hose ala Fiat 850 Spyders (I think, it's been a long time). Anything but where it's currently mounted.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is/was more room on the Vitaras and you can reach the thermostat easily - having said that I have a 98 with the J20 engine and it still has the original thermostat.
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