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does it ever do it with the A/C off?

If no, I would look at the aux fan, fan switch, or A/C pump/pulley. If the pulley is seizing you'll want to get that taken care of before your accessory belt snaps.

If you get the same issue with the A/C off, I'd look towards the main fan, fan switch, water pump, temp sensor, and also do a check of the coolant. If it's contaminated (brown) or gritty, you have an issue.

It's process of elimination at this point.

You can check for proper coolant flow by letting the car warm up and touching the top and bottom radiator hoses (CAREFULLY). They should both be hot (upper will be hotter). If the lower hose is cold, then you aren't getting proper coolant flow, likely due to low fluid, a stuck thermostat, or bad water pump.
 

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the hardest part will be refilling with fresh fluid and burping the system. Not hard, just time.

Do a feeler test first, check to make sure all the hoses are hot after going for a drive. No sense replacing the Tstats if it's not warranted.
 
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