It sounds like you are replacing the HDD part of the Fusion Drive set with a SSD. No, you don’t need the inline thermal sensor in your system.
FYI: You still have the other part of the Fusion Drive the Blade SSD which is mounted on the other side of your logic board iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Blade SSD Replacement
Frankly unless your HDD is failing I would replace the Blade SSD first. That way I can hold onto my stuff on the HDD and by setting the Blade SSD as the boot drive holding my Apps I will have a real screamer of a system! I would recommend going with a 480GB or 1TB drive. The bigger drive if you are composing music or editing videos.
Make sure you use the correct tools (rotary cutter) and follow the iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2638 Display Replacement guide to take off the display assembly. It’s very easy to damage it in the process of taking it off! Don’t forget the adhesive strips you might want to get a second set just in case!
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