Yes that's way too much. I did it myself in about an hour and you'd be surprised how little work it is!
Remove tstat housing and hose clamps
Pull tstat out, put new tstat and oring in. re-assemble
Loosen coolant screw and let it all drain out then get a hose and run water into teh fill hole and run the engine at the same time with teh heater on full blast. Stop when the water coming out is clear. Then just fill it up with 50/50 water/antifreeze or what I did water and water wetter and did the fan delete!
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Mods: M50 intake manifold, BFP CAI, Fan delete, CDV delete, Clears all around, M contours, Clutch stop, Debaffled exhaust, CF BMW emblems