songzunhuang » I just spent a really annoying weekend doing some major updates on the family SUV. I changed the timing belt, waterpump, tensioner, serpentine belt and drive belt pulley (tried – more at the end of this post). As I have read numerous times on the forums, it’s just about impossible to get the timing belt cover off without breaking the 90 degree plastic nipple that comes out of the top of your Thermostat housing. Why the heck would you put a thermostat in the timing cam area? WTF! OK, I digress.
So my project was stopped cold when the 90 degree nipple broke. I was able to find a metal replacement from my local auto parts store! It was a URO part #8636779K. The parts store charged me $31, but you can find it online at IPD or FCPEuro for half that. In the picture below you can see the broken black plastic piece with part of it still inside the housing.
The first order of business was to get the broken piece out of the housing. I drilled it out and then used a 7mm tap to clean out the threads.
After that, I used some thread sealant on the new metal part and screwed it into the housing. It looks so much better and is so much stronger at this point.
However, all was not well. I don’t know how the heck you are suppose to get the timing cover on with the 90 degree nipple fitting in the way. It’s supposed to go through a hole in the timing cover, but try as I might I couldn’t bend the plastic enough to clear the protruding pipe. It seems that you need to remove the ECU unit to get enough clearance to bend the timing cover (the timing cover has got a crease molded into it for the bend). That was just too painful. I just cut a slot in the timing cover with a Razor saw and was done with it. Here is it all nicely in place.
When you consider the fact that the hose fitting that connects to the nipple will block most of the cutout in the timing cover once it’s installed, I don’t think I compromised the protective qualities of the cover at all. This “side project” caused me to lose a day and several hours trying to research and figure out what to do. If you are doing your timing belt, just count on upgrading that nipple with a metal one. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
Also, removing the hose fitting on the nipple is tricky. I struggled with it until it broke off and I could inspect it closely. Here’s how to do it.
1. Press the fitting in (towards the engine).
2. Press the two tabs on opposite sides of the fitting. They have horizontal lines molded into it.
3. Pull back while keeping the tabs pressed. It should come right off.
Pressing those two tabs unlocks a plastic piece that hooks on a ridge on the nipple. f I knew this before, I may have been able to save that plastic nipple piece, but I doubt it.
Oh, and that drive belt pulley. I noticed mine had some slight play in it so I ordered a replacement from the parts store. When it arrived they had ordered the entire tensioner assembly! I would have still taken it except I noticed that they new pulley (Gates brand) also had slight play in it too! No way I was going to put that into the car. I’m going to look for an INA brand online. So ends the saga of my major service weekend. Good luck to you all.Thermostat 90 degree nipple fix