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is a 160 degree thermostat worth it?

This is a discussion on is a 160 degree thermostat worth it? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Originally Posted by blackmetal I've heard they dont actually work unless you've had your computer reprogrammed for it. I don't ...

  1. #21
    Dcdrummer LS1buckey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmetal View Post
    I've heard they dont actually work unless you've had your computer reprogrammed for it.
    I don't think the pcm matters, The thermostat has a wax ball in it that melts at a certain temp opening the thermostat.

  2. #22
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    the tstat only controls the minimum temp the water will be. factory fan settings are 214* and 224* on. having the tstat open sooner just starts the water flowing sooner. until you reprogram the fans to come on sooner, the water still gets to 214*

  3. #23
    Senior Member karpetcm's Avatar
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    I just installed mine a few days ago with the fans tuned to come on sooner and i didnt notice any difference at all as far as performance and most people wont and you really shouldnt its not a significant power gain if any to notice the difference. The car does run cooler on my guages it doesnt show just how much cooler but i was told by Steve there is a reason for that on the LS1 cars but the car is running much cooler for sure. I was told many time on my 93 LT1 not to run my temps soo low, my temp would go to the first line from the 160 meaning a quarter of the way up if that and that was the warmest it ever got. I never had any issues with the car at all and had it that way for 4 years, it would also keep my Oil pressure up as well due to the engine running cooler but the cars oil pressure was that way even before the thermostat and the tune for the fans but the cars oil pressure would always be above the half way point and that was pretty rare for an LT1 since most of my friends were low, it also was high on the oil pressure even before the thermo, just was a bit higher with it. I havent check the oil pressure in conjunction with me installing the new thermostat and running the car cooler, i cant comfirm nor say 100% that its effected it in my LS1 yet.

  4. #24
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    The 160 stat in my opinion is a good thing to do. I run them in the entire fleet, old and new cars.
    I don't look at it as a HP gain. For me there are many other benificial gains with a cooler stat that alot of people overlook.

    If you run an automatic trans you have to remember it's only cooler is part of your engine radiator, and with an engine running well over 200 degrees all the time it makes it very difficult to get the trans temps down. Heat is the #1 killer of an automatic trans.
    A cooler engine will also result in a cooler transmission.

    Not to mention if you have a WS6 or SS with a power steering cooler you also get a cooler power steering pump, something road racers might want to keep in mind.

    You also get the benefit of cooler under hood temps,,,and on these computer controlled cars it could be a real godsend with IAT temps and cold air boxes that actually sit right on top of the radiator anyway,,,think about it.
    I also like the fact that with all the plastic crap under these cars nowadays like wire looms, sensors, fittings, clips etc....it just doesn't last very long under extreme temperatures,,,,go figure With cooler under hood temps it's much easier on this stuff.

    But if that doesn't convince anyone maybe this will make you feel better.

    The LS1 thermostats won't operate at 160 degrees anyway,,,they actually open around the 172 degree mark from what I have found logging on 2 different cars. With that said you can't set the fans lower than this plus there needs to be some wiggle room for the fan settings.
    So setting them around the 180-185 mark seems to work good for both of my 4th gens.
    With that said, even with the 160 stat you'll find the car actually runs around 180 degrees most all the time anyway. Still better than 215 degrees though

  5. #25
    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS1buckey View Post
    I don't think the pcm matters, The thermostat has a wax ball in it that melts at a certain temp opening the thermostat.
    What?????

  6. #26
    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99TransAmSLP View Post
    so a 195?
    Pretty sure that is what my post said....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    Pretty sure that is what my post said....
    The previous owner of my car didnt do jack except for the ram air hood. except while cruising my car stays at 180-195 area. Even in summer. It looks like it never has been removed. I know 98s are different and have working temp guages but mine never gets hot really, ive only seen it at 200ish on a 100 degree day in the drivethru somewhere. I need to replace mine. Now after the heater core change mine takes forever to warm up... so im about to go with a 195. Fan switch is all you need IMO>

  8. #28
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    yeah

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshieDoom View Post
    The previous owner of my car didnt do jack except for the ram air hood. except while cruising my car stays at 180-195 area. Even in summer. It looks like it never has been removed. I know 98s are different and have working temp guages but mine never gets hot really, ive only seen it at 200ish on a 100 degree day in the drivethru somewhere. I need to replace mine. Now after the heater core change mine takes forever to warm up... so im about to go with a 195. Fan switch is all you need IMO>
    You really need to log that with software to see whats actually happening, don't trust the temp gauge no matter what the year is.
    It's only good for telling you when you hit the "OH SHIT" it's over heating area.

    It may appear like 190 on the gauge but you'll find something very different when reading what the computer is picking up at the sensor.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    You really need to log that with software to see whats actually happening, don't trust the temp gauge no matter what the year is.
    It's only good for telling you when you hit the "OH SHIT" it's over heating area.

    It may appear like 190 on the gauge but you'll find something very different when reading what the computer is picking up at the sensor.
    I agree
    I've seen mine on a Tech II and the gauge was 10* cooler then what the PCM was reading.
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    Try this setup. A Mezeire Electric Water Pump, a 160 LT1-type thermostat (Required with the electric water pump), an underdrive, and fans reset. Will stay cool even in the hottest weather. Could even be too cool for winter. It works for me!
    Last edited by lonewolf37; 02-04-2009 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Spelling Errors

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    You really need to log that with software to see whats actually happening, don't trust the temp gauge no matter what the year is.
    It's only good for telling you when you hit the "OH SHIT" it's over heating area.

    It may appear like 190 on the gauge but you'll find something very different when reading what the computer is picking up at the sensor.
    I changed mine to 160 in 08' after fighting this for years, my gauge would never change once it was warmed up so you never know where you are at. I logged my new stat and it does operate around the upper 170's as long as you keep moving and climbs at red lights but never usually reaches 200 unless I'm stuck in a traffic-jam.

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    Junior Member slp1122's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9T8W66 View Post
    I agree
    I've seen mine on a Tech II and the gauge was 10* cooler then what the PCM was reading.
    according to hp tuners, mine was about 25 degrees cooler then what the gauge displayed.

  14. #34
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    lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS02 View Post
    I am not sure if that is totally true? Yet, when I installed mine and told my
    tuner he said when he tuned it he would adjust my fan kick on points also!

    I know there cheap, so they have to be worth it.
    My friend installed one in his 00 WS6 yet he still runs about 200 degrees.

  16. #36
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    So many arguments for/against a 160 over the years. I have a 160, and fans set low, because I have FTRA in mostly hot weather, and with a trans cooler in line. According to my owners manual mine came with a 180, was stamped 86*C inside - so is that the temp when it fully opens or starts to open? IMO once the thermostat "opens" the air flow through the radiator, ambient temps and fan temp settings regulate the temp. I'd probably get the same results keeping my stock thermostat and just lowering the fan low/high speed temps.

  17. #37
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2001NBMZ28 View Post
    So many arguments for/against a 160 over the years. I have a 160, and fans set low, because I have FTRA in mostly hot weather, and with a trans cooler in line. According to my owners manual mine came with a 180, was stamped 86*C inside - so is that the temp when it fully opens or starts to open? IMO once the thermostat "opens" the air flow through the radiator, ambient temps and fan temp settings regulate the temp. I'd probably get the same results keeping my stock thermostat and just lowering the fan low/high speed temps.
    Thats the crack open temperature. It won't fully open for another 10 degrees or so,,,,,roughly.

    I tested my stock thermostat and it didn't crack open until around 190 degrees.

  18. #38
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slp1122 View Post
    according to hp tuners, mine was about 25 degrees cooler then what the gauge displayed.
    Yep thats pretty typical. Just hard to read the gauge, it's only a guess really. When it starts at 100 degrees and the middle temp is 210,,,you can only assume that halfway is 155 degrees. With no markers in 5 degree increments like a good temp gauge has then it really becomes a crap shoot as to what the temp is. No sure fire way of knowing without software or some type of handheld scanner.

  19. #39
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSTODD View Post
    I changed mine to 160 in 08' after fighting this for years, my gauge would never change once it was warmed up so you never know where you are at. I logged my new stat and it does operate around the upper 170's as long as you keep moving and climbs at red lights but never usually reaches 200 unless I'm stuck in a traffic-jam.
    Thats cool. Thanks for the compliment. Glad to hear it's working for ya.

  20. #40
    Junior Member CrazyJ's Avatar
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    I put a 160 from hyperchip or something like that in my 98 and had computer tuned for it. runs cooler and at least in my head feels different if at least seeing it run cooler in traffic and racing. dont waist your money on the SLP one though get the hyperchip good luck.

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