Let me give you some directions with better illustrations than you may have.
First, drain the cooling system.
Disconnect the heater hose from the thermostat housing.
Disconnect the 2 temperature sensor connectors from the thermostat housing.
Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the housing.
Remove the 2 thermostat bolts and pull thermostat housing off.
Remove the thermostat from the housing.
Do not become concerned if the thermostat tabs are not flush with the housing. This is normal and they will press into the housing when installed against the head. Install the thermostat into the water outlet connection:Press the housing by hand. Align the thermostat tabs into the recessed areas on the housing.
Reverse removal instructions for reassembly.
Fill cooling system.
I would suggest using new hose clamps. Any spring clamp should be replaced. be careful with plastic parts as they do become brittle as they age and will crack.
The 2 bolts are in the following picture.
Give me the VIN number so I can make sure there is no confusion on the year, or engine size.
Yup, 2000 ford ranger 2.5L SOHC.
Are you looking from the front of the engine? Right above the water pump?
There are 2 housings. One is for the lower hose and the other is the actual thermostat housing. You must look from the front of the engine.
Well, there are 2 bolts there... trust me. What I will do is open this question to all other experts so they may get involved and give you their input.
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I have enclosed the excate Ford instruction for replaing the T stat on your 2000 2.5 , Let me know if you need more help.
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Your not a pain in the illustrations but there are 2 bolts and you are missing something here. The instruction I sent you are right From Ford and are not wrong. Step back and have another look. If they dont match , then are you sure you dont have a 2.3?