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Thermostat Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Thermostat Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$150 to $200

Talent:

***

Tools:

E10 socket, T30 Torx, large drain pan, vice grips, large flathead screwdriver, small piece of chain, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2009-10)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4S (2010-13)
Porsche 970 Panamera GTS (2013-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera S (2010-13)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo (2010-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo S (2012-14)

Parts Required:

Thermostat, thermostat socket, Porsche lubricant, water pump gasket, 2 gallons of coolant, 2 gallons of distilled water

Hot Tip:

Make sure the mounting surface is clean

Performance Gain:

Proper engine cooling

Complementary Modification:

Coolant flush

Like most modern cars if your thermostat is starting to go bad, the vehicle will most likely show an error code before you will ever notice the part starting to go bad. On the Porsche Cayenne the error code is that the engine is taking too long to warm up. This is usually the result of a faulty thermostat.

While on older cars replacing the thermostat was something you could do in a few minutes in the driveway, that is not the case with the Cayenne. The thermostat is located behind the water pump in a housing between the two banks of cylinders. Replacing the thermostat may take you five hours the first time you do it. Also, Porsche recommends the use of a special Porsche tool for removing the old thermostat, which you cannot rent. This is why it can cost $2,100.00 dollars to replace a simple thermostat. We have developed a simple and safe, if not so pretty way to replace your thermostat and save yourself a lot of money.

You are going to need to safely raise and support the vehicle and remove the under engine tray and engine covers. Please see our article on safely raising and supporting your Porsche Cayenne as well as removing the under engine tray and engine covers.

While you should always give your cooling system a good flush when replacing the thermostat, if you have just recently flushed the system or do not have the time, this article will show you how to perform the job with a minimum of coolant lose. But you will still need to fill and re-bleed the system when you are done. Make sure to properly dispose of the old coolant. You are going to have to remove the water pump to change the thermostat. If the pump is working fine you can reinstall it; just make sure to install a new gasket.

The coolant pump and thermostat are located in the front of the motor between the cylinder banks.
Figure 1

The coolant pump and thermostat are located in the front of the motor between the cylinder banks. You will need to remove the engine covers, under trays along with the serpentine belt. Make sure to loosen the three T30 Torx screws on the water pump pulley (red arrow) before you remove the serpentine belts, as it is much easier to do while the pulley is under tension.

Open the cap on the coolant reservoir (red arrow) to break the vacuum in the coolant system.
Figure 2

Open the cap on the coolant reservoir (red arrow) to break the vacuum in the coolant system. Place a very large tray under the front of the motor.

Wiggle the pulley off the front of the pump (red arrow).
Figure 3

Wiggle the pulley off the front of the pump (red arrow). These can get corroded so take your time and make sure you do not damage the pulley.

There are five E10 bolts holding the pump to the front of the engine.
Figure 4

There are five E10 bolts holding the pump to the front of the engine. Make sure you use the correct socket (red arrow).

Here is a picture of the pump off the motor.
Figure 5

Here is a picture of the pump off the motor. Make sure to locate the E10 bolts that hold the pump in place (red arrows). There are several E10 bolts that also hold the timing cover on around the pump. You do not want to remove these and have coolant get into the timing cover.

Gently pull the pump from the front of the motor and be prepared for the coolant to come out quickly until it gets below the level of the pump.
Figure 6

Gently pull the pump from the front of the motor and be prepared for the coolant to come out quickly until it gets below the level of the pump. The coolant will splash off of the engine and components (red arrow), so make sure you have a large catch tray.

If you remove the pump in the opposite direction that it mounts, you can remove the old one and install the new one without removing any lines on the front of the motor (red arrow).
Figure 7

If you remove the pump in the opposite direction that it mounts, you can remove the old one and install the new one without removing any lines on the front of the motor (red arrow).

With the pump off you can see the thermostat and spring (red arrow) along with the large plastic intake socket that holds it in place (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

With the pump off you can see the thermostat and spring (red arrow) along with the large plastic intake socket that holds it in place (yellow arrow). While Porsche recommends you use their special tool to remove the old one, you can safely do it yourself using some common tools.

You will need to get inside the thermostat with a set of short vice grips and securely grip the center of the thermostat.
Figure 9

You will need to get inside the thermostat with a set of short vice grips and securely grip the center of the thermostat. Next, run a nut and bolt with a small piece of chain through the mouth of the vice grips. You are going to use the chain as a pry point to run a large screwdriver through. Using the harmonic balancer as a pry point, gently remove the large plastic plug from the front.

The plastic intake socket with two O-rings will come out first (red arrow).
Figure 10

The plastic intake socket with two O-rings will come out first (red arrow).

With the socket out you can reach in and remove the thermostat by hand (red arrow).
Figure 11

With the socket out you can reach in and remove the thermostat by hand (red arrow). There should be a sealing o-ring inside the pump that seals it. 

Porsche makes a very special lubricant that you must use when installing the new thermostat and socket.
Figure 12

Porsche makes a very special lubricant that you must use when installing the new thermostat and socket.

The new thermostat will have a seal on the front of it; apply the lube to the outer ring of the seal (red arrow) and push the thermostat back into the housing.
Figure 13

The new thermostat will have a seal on the front of it; apply the lube to the outer ring of the seal (red arrow) and push the thermostat back into the housing.

The new intake socket has two O-rings.
Figure 14

The new intake socket has two O-rings. You need to apply the lube to the two O-rings and then push the socket back into the housing until it is flush with the front.

When the thermostat and socket are in place in the housing they will be lined up against each other like the photo illustrates.
Figure 15

When the thermostat and socket are in place in the housing they will be lined up against each other like the photo illustrates.

If your pump is still good and you just removed it to get access to the thermostat, make sure to install a new gasket (red arrow) before reinstalling the old pump.
Figure 16

If your pump is still good and you just removed it to get access to the thermostat, make sure to install a new gasket (red arrow) before reinstalling the old pump. Installation is the reverse of removal. Do not over torque the bolts. You will need to add a little more than a gallon of both coolant and distilled water and bleed the system. Please see our article on coolant flush and bleeding for additional information.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Kel-Tec-Innovations Comments: on figure 11 is there a ring or gasket inside the housing that seals the thermostat to the body? I changed my thermostat 5 times and cold water is getting by. I pulled apart a thermostat without the spring so I can slide it in and out. I found lots of play and gap and felt like there should be some kind of gasket missing. Please view my problem with detail photos here. http://www.6speedonline.com/forums/cayenne-955-957/354927-cayenne-957-4-8l-v8-thermostat-water-pump-diy-2.html#post4465448

Please advise me on what part is missing and what to purchase. I attached photo of where I'm referring to. Thanks !
February 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There should be a sealing o-ring inside the pump that seals it. Yours may be worn. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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