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I would make sure you have the air out of the coolant system by using the bleed valves on the engine, assure the coolant is full at the RADIATOR fill, and mark where the coolant level is in the bucket. I actually used part of an old upper radiator hose as a standpipe - sticking it in at the radiator cap- when bleeding the air bleeds as it gave more "head" , rather than the slow pour as it is so near the top level vs. bleed level. These are the 7mm (I think) screw things in the metal coolant tubes, one at the water pump housing, the other at the thermostat area, upper hose to radiator.

Just did it again last week with an upper hose replacement, works beautiful with no air pockets.

Once system is full, fill bucket to proper level, then, drive it, and monitor the bucket level after every trip, or before you start to drive off when cold.

No heat and pegged temp indication is often air in the system from lack of coolant, especially if heat and gauge return normal after revving the engine. It may be leaking somewhere, but see what happens. If you find a white residue on the oil fill cap on the valve cover when you remove it, you surely are getting coolant into the engine. Monitor this and the engine oil. I have found on a few of my GM cars, the residue appears on the rocker arms and oil fill cap before the oil degrades to the damaging coolant/oil/milkshake disaster. I suppose your indicators may vary!

Just trying to help verify if there is a leak in the system that needs repaired, or you simply have an air pocket.

And yes, thermostat is not a 15 minute job on the 3.4, but an hour or 2. I have had both issues on my 3.4.
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