Temp sensor location? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Temp sensor location?

Not the one that goes to the engine computer, but rather the one that goes to the instrument gauge temp. I changed out my starter recently on my 96 RMW, and evidently knocked the wire connection loose. I could see it hanging down, but could not tell offhand where it plugged in to. Can someone tell me where it is on the engine? Can it be seen from above, or only from underneath? Sorry to have to post such a simple problem !
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rustbucket Ranger View Post
Not the one that goes to the engine computer, but rather the one that goes to the instrument gauge temp. I changed out my starter recently on my 96 RMW, and evidently knocked the wire connection loose. I could see it hanging down, but could not tell offhand where it plugged in to. Can someone tell me where it is on the engine? Can it be seen from above, or only from underneath? Sorry to have to post such a simple problem !
It's in the passenger side head between the #6 and #8 spark plugs. Usually best accessed from under the car but pull the front wheel and look thru the fender splash shield area as well.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I raised the car and removed the passenger side front wheel. From the wheel well, I could see the sensor. It seems to have a pin and a blade, both bent. I am not sure I can get a small pair of pliers in there to straighten them out. Also, there does not seem to be any sort of plastic housing for the elastic parts of the plug to fit into. So I am guessing I need a new temp sender.

Does anyone know offhand what the P/N for this might be? The connector is different from the one on the water pump, so must be a different P/N. When I look on (say) Rock Auto, all I can find are the sensors for the water pump location. Also, I presume that when I get the correct sensor, it goes into the water jacket, so I will have to drain the cooling system?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 10:18 PM
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Try searching using the word "sender" instead of sensor. You could drain system,but I've found if one is quick about it. Very little coolant is lost,even without draining system.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 06:42 AM
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the sensor has a blade that is easy to bend [finger tip] then slide on the plastic female connector. tough spot to replace so see if this works .

you most likely did not remove the starter wires when you dropped starter.............
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rustbucket Ranger View Post
...sensor. It seems to have a pin and a blade, both bent. I am not sure I can get a small pair of pliers in there to straighten them out. ...Also, there does not seem to be any sort of plastic housing for the elastic parts of the plug to fit into.

....Does anyone know offhand what the P/N for this might be? ....so I will have to drain the cooling system?
The plug and part are 20 years old. Treat yourself to new ones. It took me surprisingly short time finding it using BigBadWolf's Stickie in Prob/Maint.:
https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-213-7...ype=automotive

I've changed two from above. With a quality replacement the threads will be prepped with sealer - no need to drain anything. EDIT: Just don't dawdle getting the new one back in eh.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!

Last edited by 96 Black; 09-09-2017 at 07:56 AM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 09:00 AM
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Yeah I'd recommend you just throw a new sending unit in there as well. With age, bent pins ect, just replace it. The Sticky in the engine maintain. Section has a lot of part numbers and should have this listed.

Just like replacing a heating element in a hot water heater. If you keep the entire system closed, you should be able to qwickly swap out the unit without loosing much coolant at all.

I believe this is the correct sending unit and found this part number listed in the sticky for the gauge....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2522761...&ul_noapp=true

You should be able to cross reference that part number at parts store for their brand but I'd recommend Delco part for this.

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'95 Caprice SS conversion - Bonny Buckets - 96 Column, Shifter and Console - 3.73 Gear and Herter tune - Z/28 Cluster - Blazer OH Console - Green/Pink bushings - Chromed Impala Wheels - Eibach Springs and Bilstein Shocks - Corvette Engine Dress - the list goes on and still more to do...it never ends.

Last edited by 4DoorSS; 09-09-2017 at 09:13 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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96 black, 4door SS :
Thanks for those links. I wonder what the difference is between the two P/N's ? The pin arrangements look like what I have. Maybe I will buy one of each - they are cheap enough. & I better get a cork to stopper the hole in the block while I am fumbling around. Or maybe it is finally time to switch out the old coolant......
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 03:44 PM
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96 black, 4door SS :
I wonder what the difference is between the two P/N's ? The pin arrangements look like what I have. Maybe I will buy one of each - they are cheap enough. & I better get a cork to stopper the hole in the block while I am fumbling around. Or maybe it is finally time to switch out the old coolant......
There is no difference in the numbers. One is the customary 8-digit GM oem code, the other is the manufacturer's part no. The stickie shows both numbers together as ready reference.

You don't need a cork. Just don't fumble around. Confidence, man.

If coolant is >4-6 years old then maybe change it.. Search for a few of the changeout and flush threads. There's a good orderly method, -- and far too many haphazard ineffective ways too.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I got this fixed. I took off the passenger wheel to look in at the side of the motor. Once I saw what was what, I took the bent sensor out from above. About 1 or 2 pints of coolant came out, which I mostly caught in a tub. The old sensor did not have the plastic part which engages the pigtail -- must have broken off when the lead got pulled.

Anyway, the new sensor went in easily from above, and the pigtail plugged in without any issues. The dash temperature gauge now works, though it does seem to take a very long time to heat up, compared to my other cars. I wonder if the thermostat is stuck open? Also, when the engine is cold, the temp needle on the dash sits at about the first division. (It has always done this) I suppose that must be a mechanical flaw in the dial.

While I had the wheel off, I swapped out the three rearmost spark plugs and replaced them. I didn't see any reasonable way to get the front one out (or even to get at it) without serious disassembly, so I let that go till another day.

Thanks again for info and advice re this repair.
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