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Old 08-14-2010, 07:26 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 2,970
Jim, I would definitely replace the thermostat unless it was replaced recently. Whether or not to replace the upper and lower radiator hoses depends on their condition, same for the accessory belt tensioner. You may want to replace the accessory belt while you have it off, again depends on the condition. If you notice fine cracks it's time for a new belt. Better to replace the accessory belt too soon than have it fail while you're driving.
Fred Hoelzle
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 44
Thank you, that definitely helps. Sounds like the tensioner normally wears and is not a classic part that fails or something that should be replaced on every 94 E320.

I changed my mind about the water pump for now and will wait to see if the shavings return after a coolant flush. I did find that the fan clutch is bad - I learned here how to test the fan by trying to slow the fan while the car is running (I used a rounded flashlight handel). The fan stopped spinning so I knew it needed to be replaced. I also discovered that the other popular test discussed here for this fan is not as reliable. This alternate test is to spin the fan while the car is off and if it free wheels then it is bad. In my case, it only turned 1/4 rev. so I initially thought the fan was still good. After replacing the fan clutch the temp stays at or below the 100 deg C mark (below the 100C mark on the highyway at the 100C mark in stop and go both with AC on).

I learned that the auxillary fan is primarily for the AC condensor which is front of the radiator and get extremely hot under normal conditions(apparently there are 3 set points for the auxillary fans, but the majority of the run time is for the AC condensor temp). I may still purchase the "cool harness," if they are still for sale, and decrease the temp even more while using the AC.

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