Hello and welcome!
On the driver's side of the car, follow the large-diameter hose that's attached to the top of the radiator back towards the engine. At the back of the engine, the hose takes a 90-degree turn and attaches to the thermostat housing, which is bolted to the head. You'll have to take a couple 10mm screws out from the housing that hold a ground wire and a bracket to it. After that, rmove the 13mm bolts holding the housing to the head, and you're good to go!
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Do I actually need to remove the radiator hose? It looks like there's a spring-loaded clip that requires a vise clamp, which I don't have. Is there a way to just removing the metal housing without removing the radiator hose? I tried pliers, but that alone, was a very tough fit. I don't think I'll have room with a vise clamp.
Yes, you can leave the hose connected and take the housing off.
Then just fold the hose back out of the way to replace the t/stat.
Hi there, I apologize for the long delay. You have been helpful with the previous questions. One last question, typically (ball park), how many labor hours should a mechanic be spending on changing the water pump on a Saab.
For the 2002 9-3 referred to in your question, our shop charges 3.5 hours to replace a water pump.
Wow, okay. The shop I took my car to is charging 7 hours. Which sounded funny off the bat, but my car isn't exactly driveable so I agreed to get the work done. Is there anything I can say or ask them when I pick up my car to try to reduce the total cost or is it too late, in your opinion?
You could ask them where they get their labor times from, and try to negotiate a lower price (nicely!). But legally, a shop can charge whatever they want for a particular job. If it's agreed to, unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do.
Thanks for all your help!