my two cents for this DIY:
First another question: What do you guys clean off the aluminum where the thermostat and water pump seal up against the engine? Mine are looking pretty corroded and I'm not sure what to clean them with or how?
1. Order new bolts for your thermostat P/N 11 53 1 740 317. They are cheap to replace and probably rusted bad like mine were anyway.
2. When removing your ET, you don't have to remove the bottom most water hose - it stays attached to the ET carrier. I had to take a hammer to the bottom of my ET (hammering UP) to remove mine...this was after trying to get that bottom hose off for over an hour, thinking it was what was holding it on. It wasn't. I went as far as to remove the alternator cooling vent duct to try getting that bottom hose off - to no avail.
3. Make sure that you give yourself time for the unexpected. I.E. when removing the water pump, one of the bolts from the thermostat that I was using to loosen it got stuck then snapped. Luckily I was able to jiggle the water pump free anyway.
4. Make sure you have ALL the parts before you start. I did not, and my car is now sitting in the garage opened up. I need new thremostat bolts (hopefully the stealership has them in stock) and I forgot about my A/C belt tensioner which hasn't come in yet from Amazon.
5. The Bentley manual is neat - but don't rely on it for all the details - they are missing for this DIY.
Most of my components were date stamped on the tags. All that were had a date of 2004. My car was built in Sep of 2004, so they were all original. Most were in pretty bad shape and would have failed soon I'm sure. So if you are double thinking this like I was, I say do it. It will save you from an emergency repair and high dollars if anything is blows out on the highway and you overheat or are stranded.
Thanks again for this site! I'm not done with my coolant overhaul yet, but feel pretty confident that with a little patience and time, I'll get it all completed and put back together by the weekend.
Stay safe and warm - looks like most of us on the east are in for a cold snap.
Last edited by caleb6; 01-16-2013 at 10:28 PM.