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I just replaced: belts, pulleys, tensioners, hoses and radiator in my truck. Did a cooling system flush while at it. I have few skills (no skills?) but am bold enough to take on jobs like this. Have some observations to share.

- The thermostat housing has a shape and only goes on the engine block 1 way. There is no need to worry about having it upside down or remembering how to install it.
- The thermostats have 2 different heights and only fit into the housing 1 way. You don't have to remember which goes where.
- The thermostats are easy to install. Remember to grab them by the outside edge when pressing down. I used a bench vice to hold the thermostat housing and it was very easy to replace the thermostats.
- The thermostat housing bolts (4) and a ***** but not that bad. I used: 1/4" extensions, 8mm wobble socket, really good flash light and a magnetic gripping tool.
- I used the magnetic gripping tool a lot to start and retrieve small bolts
- The thermostat housing and hold down ring come out fairly easilly. I just kind of shook them a bit while jiggling them out and it worked. Not a technique at all.
- Loosen all 3 vertical egr clamps. Remove the bottom one to get the EGR bracket out.
- Removing the radiator was easy. Most difficult part was trying to tuck the AC condensor out of the way. I lifted out the old radiator and installed the new one by myself without any problem.
- Mishimoto makes a great radiator. Make sure you transfer all clips and rubber bumpers from old radiator to new. Be sure to use the supplied Mish bolts in any location your bolting someting toward the new aluminum radiator, because the OEM bolts are too long and can strike the aluminum and wear into it.
- I found the belts a big pain in the butt. Yeah, I even had the luxury of kneeling right in front of them with the radiator removed. I should have removed the fan but I didn't and ended up taking 3x longer to replace belts and pulleys on a really hot day. I also found the tensioners much harder to lever to create slack. Next time I'll definitely remove the fan. My belts were in great shape for 91k miles but there wasn't a better time to replace them.
- I did NOT remove the block drain plug, hidden by the starter, for flushing.
- I did a lot of flushing to be sure I got all the cleaners out. I mean I did a lot of flushing.
- I swapped out the block drain valve on the driver side for a fomoto valve and it made flushing so much easier. Ran a clear drain hose into a catch can and so I didn't get a bath every time I had to open the block drain. BTW ... I put the block drain plug back when finished as I did not want to leave the fomoto valve in place.
- I used Fleetguard restore and FMC VC9 as cleaners. Couldn't get restore plus in time.
- I made up a fill hose and plugged it into the heater return line to back flush the heater core. This hose is 3/4 inch tubing, a water shutoff valve to control line pressure, 3/4 inch coupler to plug the fill hose into the heater core return hose and a female hose connector. Worked great!
- I went through 22 gallons of distilled water after flushing out cleaners from the engine with a garden hose connected to a soft water faucet in the garage.
- I flushed the cooling system with the low temp thermostat removed. I've flushed the cooling system once before with both thermostats in place and I found it much easier to do the flush with the low temp thermostat removed. I'll always remove the thermostat in the future.
- There is debate about removing the thermostat when using cleaners. Remember though that there are 3 things that effect cleaning effectiveness. They are: concentration, time and temperature. As for me its a definite yes to removing the thermostat.
- I use CAT ELC in my truck. Good stuff but $$. I filled the truck and burped out air by squeezing the top hose. Then ran it up to temp to get thermostat to open and pull in more coolant, let it cool down, topped off coolant and then used an airlift tool to get any remaining air out.

The job took me a long time. I did the work over at a buddy's place and had to gather up tools and supplies to take over.

- 1/2 day to prep for flushing: pull thermostat, swap out block drain plug, setup tools, etc
- 1 day for flushing. 5 hours was spent just running cleaners or letting the truck cool down
- 1 day for installing belts, hoses, pulleys, tensioners and new radiator
- 1/2 day to finish up things, clean up my buddy's driveway and recycle stuff

Tools/supplies I found invaluable:

- magnetic gripping tool
- 1/4 inch extensions and 8mm wobble socket for all those fan shroud and thermostat housing bolts
- good flashlight; small, very bright, wide beam
- homemade fill hose for back flushing heater core
- fumoto valve

Hope this helps you if your wondering if you can do the job on your own. Of course you can. It just might take you a bit longer and you'll probably get laughed at for taking so long.
 
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