Gen 1 Coolant temp gauge sensor tool

Walter Clark

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While changing over the coolant in my 1994, somewhere during the process of removing and reinstalling the thermostat housing I managed to break the molded-in connector off the temp gauge sensor. Removing the damaged one was not a problem with a 1/2"/13mm socket as the connector was gone - still in the plug at this point - however I realized that installing the new one required some sort of special deep socket that permits the connector to go well over an inch into the socket in order to engage the sensors hex nut.

Of the dozen or so 1/2" and 13mm deep well sockets I own all but one stops the 6 point cut into the socket 1/2" or less down. From there it is a reduced in diameter round hole. As the rectangular head of the connector is just shy of 1/2" on its long side and more than 1/2" across opposite corners of the connector body, it wont go into any deep socket that does not cut the hex faces a bit over an inch down the socket. I actually drilled one of my deep wells with a 1/2" bit before I realized that the connector is slightly over 1/2" measured diagonally across the housing and wouldnt go into a 1/2" hole.

I finally found one of my Craftsman 1/4" drive deep well SAE sockets does this and the sensor just barely inserted far enough into the socket to let me install the sensor. Unfortunately this is part of a set I purchased many years ago at Sears and I neither have any part number info to share nor any idea if they are still available (not likely since the brand was sold). Edit: The number on the socket itself is 43589. Comes up as still being sold, but the pictures look slightly different than mine. Might or might not have the extra deep cuts to the hex faces.

I searched the web for deep sockets that specify this feature or maybe specialty sockets for such sensors but came up empty.

Has anyone come across such a tool?

Thanks.
 

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