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I found this "how-to" page on how to accomplish this, I already purchased that parts, here's the link:

How to Replace a 1998 Audi Thermostat | eHow.com

Thermostat on 32v engines - super simple - AudiWorld Forums

in this particular "how to," it doesn't look like I have to remove anything except my intake manifold, however other DIY links have instructions to go as far as replacing the timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt, etc.
Can anyone help with exactly how to replace the thermostat on a 1998 Audi A8 4.2 quattro??
 

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I see no reason why you could not use Thermostat on 32v engines - super simple - AudiWorld Forums as your vehicle is <2000. Once you get into newer engines, it requires some serious work to get at.

Check out page 15: http://www.audipages.com/Tech_Articles/enginemechanical/A8timingbeltreplacement.pdf you can see the timing cover would not interfere with the removal of the thermostat, so I don't see why you would need to tear the whole front of the car down. That being said, when was the last time your timing belt was done?
 

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I just purchased the car a month ago, I'm not sure when it was changed but it will definitely be something I need done soon as well regardless, I just don't have the $1200 for all the labor and parts cost if the thermostat replacement had been behind the timing belt. Thanks for your reply, I'm going to purchase some coolant and give it a shot tonight ;)
 
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