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Old August 23rd, 2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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thermostat yes or no?

just removed mine and want to know is it good to have or not? its a small 260 4.3. thanks
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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No I think you need one. If you are running to hot, try a cooler thermostate, or figure out why it is running hot.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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just put a new one in and a ride around the block i notice top hose was swollen bad.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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anyone else ride without a thermostat?
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Your engine will run the same temp without a thermostat as it would with the proper thermostat. The thermostat sets minimum engine operating temperature, once it opens the engine will continue to heat to its normal operating temp.

However, running without a thermostat will cause the engine to take much longer to reach its operating temp, which accelerates engine wear and decreases efficiency. You really want it to warm up as quickly as possible, which is what the thermostat does by excluding the radiator from the cooling system until it is needed. Most engine wear occurs when the engine is cold.

Upper hose being swollen sounds like a restriction in the cooling system, like the radiator. But are you saying the hose was not swollen before installing a thermostat?
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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thanks fo the good info.
it was swoolen before and after the new thermostat. will i be ok driving untill sat. any info will be good if i diy before taking it to the pros.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 07:08 PM   #7
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what does a stock 71 cutlass with a 350 2bbl take? I ask because I always hear guys switching the temps in the t-stats. why is that? any advantages? for example, your car takes a 180 degree t-stat and they'll switch it out for a 160... or is it the other way around? lol whatever i was just curious..
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Yep, need a stat for sure - a 180* is my preference.
How old is you hose? Might be ready for replacement.
An IR thermometer would be helpfult to find what temp your engine is really running at...
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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If your radiator hose(s) is swollen, you need a new one(s) NOW.

Don't mess around, unless you enjoy the sound of cars and trucks passing you at 70mph on the interstate as you wait for the tow truck.

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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #10
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Your engine will run the same temp without a thermostat as it would with the proper thermostat. The thermostat sets minimum engine operating temperature, once it opens the engine will continue to heat to its normal operating temp.

However, running without a thermostat will cause the engine to take much longer to reach its operating temp, which accelerates engine wear and decreases efficiency. You really want it to warm up as quickly as possible, which is what the thermostat does by excluding the radiator from the cooling system until it is needed. Most engine wear occurs when the engine is cold.
I don't agree, the purpose of the thermostat is to help the engine reach its proper operating temperature and maintain it. if your engine and cooling system are in good shape it probably won't ever reach normal temperature without a thermostat, and your car won't run at it best either.

Why did you remove the thermostat in the first place?, if you had overheating issues removing the the thermostat won't fix it unless it was the fault in the first place, the engine is designed to run with one and removing it won't fix a bad radiator, blown gasket, faulty water pump etc.

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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #11
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I'd say it depends on the temperature of your thermostat. If you have a 160 thermostat, the thermostat will not make the engine maintain 160 usually unless your radiator is massive. My car has a 180 but it will still reach its normal ~195 mark. Without a thermostat it would do the same thing, only it would take longer to reach temp.

I understand what you are saying though, OEM thermostats I believe are much closer to the normal temp of the motor they are for, so if the engine began to cool, the thermostat could regulate coolant flow through the rad and warm things back up. I just think it's rare on these cars, because most people are running colder stats it seems, so they are most likely always open. I do also agree that a cooling system in great shape may prevent the engine from ever reaching operating temp if it's not worked hard.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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Your engine will run the same temp without a thermostat as it would with the proper thermostat.
Absolutely wrong, and a common misconception. Part of the function of a thermostat is to restrict the flow to control the flow rate. An engine still *can* overheat with no thermostat, yes even one that runs fine with the proper thermostat.

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Most engine wear occurs when the engine is cold.
This is a totally different subject, but I don't believe this is true and is not the/a reason for faster warmups.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 07:59 PM   #13
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My car has a 180 but it will still reach its normal ~195 mark.
That's because you're in blazing-hot Arizona and have a run-down cooling system.

Here in Maine, an engine with a good cooling system will not get nearly that hot without a thermostat (or with one that is stuck open).

The thermostat does two things:
It maintains the engine at a temperature that will provide the most efficient combustion and the least wear, according to the design of the engine, and
It lets the engine get hot enough to throw heat into the passenger compartment in the winter.

If your cooling system is up to par (ie: will keep your engine at its specified temperature in Death Valley on a long uphill pull), then having an open thermostat should keep it well below operating temperature under any ordinary operating conditions. If it does not, then your cooling system needs work.

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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #14
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x2. No thermo will just make the car take longer to get to operating temp. If I run my car with a 180 or no termo it will still maintain approx 185 while doing 55 on a 75 degree day. In dead stop traffic it may creep closer to 200 but this will be the same with or without, trust me I have tried every trick in the book or should I say myth. They key to good cooling is a great cooling system.


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That's because you're in blazing-hot Arizona and have a run-down cooling system.

Here in Maine, an engine with a good cooling system will not get nearly that hot without a thermostat (or with one that is stuck open).

The thermostat does two things:
It maintains the engine at a temperature that will provide the most efficient combustion and the least wear, according to the design of the engine, and
It lets the engine get hot enough to throw heat into the passenger compartment in the winter.

If your cooling system is up to par (ie: will keep your engine at its specified temperature in Death Valley on a long uphill pull), then having an open thermostat should keep it well below operating temperature under any ordinary operating conditions. If it does not, then your cooling system needs work.

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Old August 24th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #15
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An engine still *can* overheat with no thermostat, yes even one that runs fine with the proper thermostat.
I do not mean to contradict this statement. In fact, I agree. The thermostat is designed to slow coolant flow even in the open position, allowing the coolant to absorb heat as it flows through the system. I know I said it would run at the same temperature with or without... My point was just that the thermostat does not determine normal/maximum engine temp, it determines minimum engine temperature. Maximum engine temperature is determined by how much heat the engine produces and how efficiently the cooling system can dissipate that heat.

I can't argue the wear point too much, but efficiency is generally reduced on a cold engine, and emissions increased. This may be less relevant here, since we are talking about older carbureted vehicles, without a PCM + sensors relying on engine temp to be able to enter closed-loop operation. But, any cold engine will still have excess condensation in the crankcase and that can result in sludge formation. I believe quick warm up is beneficial.
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Last edited by AZ455; August 24th, 2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #16
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... the thermostat does not determine normal/maximum engine temp, it determines minimum engine temperature. Maximum engine temperature is determined by how much heat the engine produces and how efficiently the cooling system can dissipate that heat.
Exactly.

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Old August 25th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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