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160 thermo

This is a discussion on 160 thermo within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello all, I bought a 160 degree thermo. for my 2002 TA two years ago but never installed it. I ...

  1. #1
    jcot72
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    160 thermo

    Hello all,

    I bought a 160 degree thermo. for my 2002 TA two years ago but never installed it. I live in Connecticut and drive it in the cold occasionally (well, quite a bit in the winter). I know the advantages of running the lower thermostat in hot weather, but what are the disadvantages of running it in the cold? What's this "closed loop" thing I read about?
    I don't think I'll do the TB bypass because of the cold, but I'm still contemplating the lower thermo.
    And yes, I do have a beater winter car also, but I just can't let the TA sit for too long a time. Plus it goes like a bitch in the cool air!!!!!!!!! Not too good in the snow though And the traction control is useless in the snow
    Thanx in advance for the responses.

  2. #2
    BlackHawk T/A
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    IMO running your engine from 180-200 is ideal, I wouldn't go lower for power/emissions/lubrication reasons. Believe it or not but your engine will actually make more power and burn cleaner when its hot (to a point).

    We had a thread like this going on camaroz28.com a few years back, interesting read.

  3. #3
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    If one subscribed to the "cold is best" theory then shouldn't our GM small blocks be making gobs of power frozen in a block of ice....No...as pointed out above ...our engines love and are made for op temps about 100c or 212 farenheit....
    I have my fans kick on high at 190...run Royal Purple Purple Ice....and have the stock thermostat....runs like a stripped ass baboon.....I'd pass on the 160 thermostat....

  4. #4
    Ugly but well hung, A-10 SS#1531's Avatar
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    1998 Camaro SS M6 Hardtop

    I disagree, my engine would lose noticable power when the eng temp went above 200 (which would happen as soon as I hit traffic whenever it was 70deg or higher outside). I've been running a 160deg thermostat for 4yrs now and my temps never go above 195deg (with reprogrammed fans) even in standing traffic at 100deg weather. My eng's power is much more consistant now, and I still get plenty of heat from my heater in the winter. I also have the T/B bypass and have had no problems with that even in 20deg weather. Maybe a 180deg thermostat would be a better compromise, but I definitely like the 160deg over the stock one.

  5. #5
    daveinsa
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    I need to make 10 posts

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    daveinsa
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    9 posts

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    daveinsa
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    8 posts

  8. #8
    BlackHawk T/A
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS#1531
    I disagree, my engine would lose noticable power when the eng temp went above 200 (which would happen as soon as I hit traffic whenever it was 70deg or higher outside). I've been running a 160deg thermostat for 4yrs now and my temps never go above 195deg (with reprogrammed fans) even in standing traffic at 100deg weather. My eng's power is much more consistant now, and I still get plenty of heat from my heater in the winter. I also have the T/B bypass and have had no problems with that even in 20deg weather. Maybe a 180deg thermostat would be a better compromise, but I definitely like the 160deg over the stock one.
    And how are you measuring this? Do some dyno runs...the proof will be in the results...

  9. #9
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveinsa
    I need to make 10 posts
    Hey Dave....glad you made it....folks this is Dave....firebreathing 05 GTO...
    guess he is testing....

  10. #10
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS#1531
    I disagree, my engine would lose noticable power when the eng temp went above 200 (which would happen as soon as I hit traffic whenever it was 70deg or higher outside). I've been running a 160deg thermostat for 4yrs now and my temps never go above 195deg (with reprogrammed fans) even in standing traffic at 100deg weather. My eng's power is much more consistant now, and I still get plenty of heat from my heater in the winter. I also have the T/B bypass and have had no problems with that even in 20deg weather. Maybe a 180deg thermostat would be a better compromise, but I definitely like the 160deg over the stock one.
    Hey...I am a big believer in what makes a guy fell "comfortable"...but...if that was my ride and I was losing noticeable power at those temps...my big ass would be tuning.....it's pulling too much timing and shouldn't be...lowering the temps is just a band aid...the real problem is the timing being pulled and the A/F resulting in lower HP.....Cause and Effect sometimes gets folks to focus on the effect and not the cause.....IMHO

  11. #11
    jcot72
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    Thanks guys. Maybe I'll just save the hassle and leave the stock one in. I guess I shouldn't fix something that ain't broke!

  12. #12
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    I ve got a monitor on my dash that is plugged into the on-board computer and the engine goes into closed loop at around 100 deg.F.That's not a consideration with the 160-what that means is the engine computer takes over control of the engine at 100 deg.F .Below that and it uses a preprogrammed set of values to run the motor-open loop-not an efficient way of running a motor.I've read that the 160 is too cold-the 180 would be better.I've left mine stock BTW even though in the summer I think it runs too hot at 200+.

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    I made more power with coolant temps at 170* compared to 185* on a comparison done at the same dyno shop over the course of two days.

    I use a drilled 160* stat and at the track remove it completely.

    This is an interesting read, not LSX but still GM:
    easyperformance.com/Tech_Info/Thermostat_Test_Content.htm
    Last edited by 11secondGTP; 09-26-2005 at 03:39 PM.
    ET: 11.23 Trap: 122
    Cam - IC - heads

  14. #14
    BlackHawk T/A
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11secondGTP
    I made more power with coolant temps at 170* compared to 185* on a comparison done at the same dyno shop over the course of two days.

    I use a drilled 160* stat and at the track remove it completely.

    This is an interesting read, not LSX but still GM:
    easyperformance.com/Tech_Info/Thermostat_Test_Content.htm
    But you don't have an LS1 so that doesn't apply to anyone else here...

    Sorry to dig this back up but I missed this post.

  15. #15
    Driving like i stole it!! dafizzman1's Avatar
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    Arctic White
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    is the myth that the 180* thermostat is better than the 160* in the LS1's true??
    If you have the means and the desire, be prepared to do whatever it takes.

    so far:
    suncoast creations functional ram air setup,pacesetter LT's/ORY,magnaflow,pro 5.0,hurst stick,LS6 cam,4:10 gears/stock rear(screaming for mercy!!!)
    -still more to come!!!!!!

  16. #16
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    From Vinci High Performance..... ( Boy knows his shit for sure)
    Proper Coolant Temperature and Camshaft Life!

    Have you ever tried to find what proper coolant temperature is for most automotive engines? There are a lot of people who think they know, but it is difficult to find specifics, even in textbooks. We know we want the intake air to be as cold as possible (for best power) because cold air is denser (there are more oxygen atoms per cubic foot). The coolant temperature, however, is a different matter. The internal combustion engine changes chemical energy stored in gasoline into heat energy that is focused on the piston tops. If the cylinder heads and engine block are too cold, they will absorb much of the combustion heat before it can be used to push the piston down the cylinder. If the engine gets too hot, engine lubricants can break down, as well as overheating of the intake charge can lead to detonation, etc.

    It turns out that coolant (usually a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water) has some fantastic properties that are ideal for use in engines. With a properly pressurized cooling system, coolant will not freeze until –30°F, and it won’t boil until +270°F (new oils don’t start to break down until well over 270°F). With these characteristics, engine designers have decided that engines should operate at approximately 210-215°F. Why, you ask? Well, it has to do with operating the engine at a high enough temperature to boil water out of the oil after the engine is cold started. If you have dew on the grass, it is certain that you have water in your oil, as the crankcase is open to atmospheric pressure! You can either remove the water by draining it out the bottom of the oil pan (remember the oil floats on water) or run the engine long enough and hot enough to boil the water out of the lubrication system. Years ago, coolants weren’t as sophisticated and engines were run at 165-180F, but the oil was changed every 1000 miles or so. That’s why many old timers think engines should run at 165-180F. Have you ever noticed that Ford doesn’t put temperature marks on their gauges? They just mark C for cold and H for hot and write “normal” through the center. If you hook up a scan tool to a GM, you will often find that the gauge reads much lower than the coolant temp sensor. That is because they know most drivers don’t understand how hot an engine should run.

    So what does this have to do with camshafts? Many enthusiasts erroneously think that the colder their engine runs the better! If they are not running the engine hot enough to boil the water out of the oil, the oil becomes contaminated and the lifter/cam lobe interface is the highest load point in the engine. Engines running too cool can contribute significantly to camshaft and lifter failure. Think about it: What good does it do to use the most expensive synthetic oil and then run the engine so cold that it is contaminated by water vapor??!! Another point, piston manufacturers’ piston-to-wall clearance recommendations assume you will be running the fully warmed engine at 200°+F. Run the engine too cold, and you could see some scuffed pistons because the cylinders had not expanded enough to provide clearance.

    If your engine will only run its best at the drag strip with the engine at 165°F, you probably have too cold of a spark plug heat range and you are probably jetted way too rich! If you keep the engine hot (not the intake charge), you will be using more of the heat energy in the gasoline to make power instead of just heating up your block. It does take “tuning know-how” to run an engine at 200-210°F, but you might be surprised how well and how long it runs when you do!! One final point - running a computer managed engine at 165°F compared to the factory 210°F will often cost you as much as 4 MPG. The reason for this is that the computer thinks that the engine is not off the “choke cycle” and it is still putting out a rich mixture! Check the science on this and don’t pay attention to the “old wives tales” of the past. Materials and lubricants are much better and different today than they were in the past!!

  17. #17
    Senior Member ninobrn99's Avatar
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    i think you should just let me paypal you 20 bucks and let me have it its warm here in san diego

  18. #18
    Driving like i stole it!! dafizzman1's Avatar
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    Arctic White
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    WOW!! that was good .
    but, i think im still confused. is it better to stay w/ the stock thermostat or the 180* for the LS1 as it seems the 160* is too cold?
    thanks

  19. #19
    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Stock would be my choice....

  20. #20
    Driving like i stole it!! dafizzman1's Avatar
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    Arctic White
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    thanks

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