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160 thermo vs 180 thermo vs stock?

This is a discussion on 160 thermo vs 180 thermo vs stock? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I swapped out the stock thermostat in my Z28 for a 160. Now, I'm getting a thermo for the WS6. ...

  1. #1
    Lord God King Bufu Raven98Z28's Avatar
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    160 thermo vs 180 thermo vs stock?

    I swapped out the stock thermostat in my Z28 for a 160. Now, I'm getting a thermo for the WS6. I thought the stock was 210 but the guy at autozone said it was 187?? Anyways, they couldn't get me a 160 so I went w/ a 180. I liked how my 160 ran cool in the summer. It sucked in winter, though... took a while to blow warm air. I didn't have to reprogram the fan to gain the benefits. Since I run highway most of the time, I was almost always at 160, and only went up a little when aggressively driving in city traffic. I'm hoping the 180 will be cool enough to notice better air charge and warm enough to not suck in the winter. Anyone have thoughts on this?
    THEN: 98 Z28 A4 2.73 FRA STB SFCs LCA Relocators LowSprings DAPHR SLPBilsteins Descr.MAF EGRCut-off Lid Eradispeeds - Daily Driver includ. 3 yrs on the German Autobahn!
    NOW: '02 WS6 M6 LOTB BMR STB, SLP bolt-in SFCs, !spare/jack, !rearseat, SLP lid, Battery Relocation

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    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    I went with the 160.
    Just needed the computer programmed to kick the fans on at 160 degrees.
    2008 Trailblazer SS
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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos
    I went with the 160.
    Just needed the computer programmed to kick the fans on at 160 degrees.
    160 degrees sounds a little too early for the fans to be triggering. Although the thermostat is set up for 160 degrees, the fans should be set to trigger within the 185-200 range...

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    i run the 170* with modded housing for a bypass from vinci. i have the fans on a SLP like switch. keeps it around 170 in the traffic.

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven98Z28
    Now, I'm getting a thermo for the WS6. I thought the stock was 210 but the guy at autozone said it was 187??
    You're confusing the setting of the stock thermostat, with when the fans are activated to trigger via the PCM. Stock thermostats are rated at around 187 degrees, with the PCM set to trigger the fans to come on at 215 degrees.

    Ultimately, in summer conditions, switching to a 160 degree thermostat will do absolutely nothing (it only adds to the warm up time), without resetting the stock fan setting to trigger much earlier...

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    Junior Member Duke of Cruel's Avatar
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    Hi Raven,
    you got the right thermostate, the 160 is only for heavy modified engines.
    In your daily driver you will use a loty of your fuel energy to warm up the block all the time, with exessive fuel consumption as one of the downsides.
    DoC

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    My '01 came with a 180 according to the owners manual, was stamped 86*C on the inside - which I believe is 187.
    Last edited by 2001NBMZ28; 06-19-2006 at 12:05 PM.

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    Junior Member 2001shpcamaro's Avatar
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    fan

    It really screws up you fuel curves manually turning the fan(s) on and off

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    The stock thermostat is 187 degrees. I think that is way to high to run and engine, so I installed a 160 degree thermostat shortly after i purchased my car years ago. It runs a bit cooler in tha summer and is still warm enough in the winter.

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    Likes twisty roads bene's Avatar
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    Its good to reset the fan settings when you do 160-180 stat. I'm getting mine reset with delete of AIR/EGR/O2 rear codes for 75 bucks.

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    Member Fran D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    ...Ultimately, in summer conditions, switching to a 160 degree thermostat will do absolutely nothing...
    I beg to differ. My 160F thermostat keeps the car at a steady 185F (vs 198F) while driving in the worst of summer conditions. I've only moved the fan settings by 20F, so they don't come into play unless the car is not moving in traffic or starting up after a heat soak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    ... (it only adds to the warm up time), ...
    This seems antithetical to me. Given Newton's Law of Cooling (which, can also be applied to heating), we know the rate has nothing to do with the absolute temperature, but rather the differential between the object (undergoing heating or cooling) and the temperature of the ambient surroundings. Given two vehicles, one with a 160F thermostat and one with a 187F thermostat, both begin warming from the same initial temperature, their rates of warming will be identical. Granted, the 160F thermo opens sooner to mitigate the final temperature, but the same process takes place for the 187F as well. However, since I have a lower end point with the 160F, the effective warm up time is shorter, not longer. Unless, of course, a new physics has been discovered.

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    Member Fran D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Cruel View Post
    Hi Raven,
    ...In your daily driver you will use a loty of your fuel energy to warm up the block all the time, with exessive fuel consumption as one of the downsides.
    This is also a curious statement. I have experienced no downside in fuel economy by going to a lower thermostat. By what mechanism would the 13F change in operating temperature affect fuel mileage? Given the temperature of combustion, the difference in the "cooling" rate is a measly 0.5%. I think the primary benefit of keeping the valve seats cooler and, therefore, the mixture cooler entering the cylinder to mitigate detonation far outweigh any imagined detriment.

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    I beg to differ. My 160F thermostat keeps the car at a steady 185F (vs 198F) while driving in the worst of summer conditions. I've only moved the fan settings by 20F, so they don't come into play unless the car is not moving in traffic or starting up after a heat soak.
    If you're going to "quote" me, at least try to quote my words completely next time (you left out the reasoning behind why I stated that). I stated that switching to a 160 degree thermostat will do absolutely nothing without re-setting the stock PCM fan settings. Even if you eliminate the thermostat entirely, the fans will still not go until 215 degrees is realized. You'll still run hot during summer conditions. The fan settings must be reset to take full advantage of a 160 degree thermo install....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    Given Newton's Law of Cooling (which, can also be applied to heating), we know the rate has nothing to do with the absolute temperature, but rather the differential between the object (undergoing heating or cooling) and the temperature of the ambient surroundings.
    Newton must have forgotten to explore the principles behind "Closed Loop" and "Open Loop", as well as conclude as to why engine management systems needs to run at certain temperatures, in accordance to factory PCM settings, to obtain a proper AFR of 14:7, and to avoid slipping out of Closed Loop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    However, since I have a lower end point with the 160F, the effective warm up time is shorter, not longer.
    You clearly misunderstood what I was touching on above. A 187 degree thermostat will allow the engine to reach 187 degrees faster than a 160 degree thermostat will. Thus, allowing the PCM to reach it's factory Closed Loop setting faster, while allowing the driver to then drive his or her car quicker. This is what was implied when the term "faster" was utilized...

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    Member Fran D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    If you're going to "quote" me, at least try to quote my words completely next time (you left out the reasoning behind why I stated that).
    There is no limitation on the usage of the quotation utility that I know of, so I will continue to use it at my discretion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    I stated that switching to a 160 degree thermostat will do absolutely nothing without re-setting the stock PCM fan settings. Even if you eliminate the thermostat entirely, the fans will still not go until 215 degrees is realized. You'll still run hot during summer conditions. The fan settings must be reset to take full advantage of a 160 degree thermo install....
    Understood, but still not an argument with which I agree. I have stated that under cruise, my car maintains 185F (as opposed to 198F) without the intercession of the fans. The contention that absolutely nothing happens without re-setting the PCM fan settings is rendered non sequitur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    Newton must have forgotten to explore the principles behind "Closed Loop" and "Open Loop", as well as conclude as to why engine management systems needs to run at certain temperatures, in accordance to factory PCM settings, to obtain a proper AFR of 14:7, and to avoid slipping out of Closed Loop...
    To be quite frank, Newton wouldn't have given a rat's ass about Closed or Open Loop. The physics would not change. I'm at a loss to understand what any of the above has to do with the rate of heating (or, cooling). Regardless, I am in Closed Loop when the coolant temperature is ~93F, which has not been changed from the factory setting. I am in no danger of slipping out of Closed Loop with my 160F thermostat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
    You clearly misunderstood what I was touching on above. A 187 degree thermostat will allow the engine to reach 187 degrees faster than a 160 degree thermostat will. Thus, allowing the PCM to reach it's factory Closed Loop setting faster, while allowing the driver to then drive his or her car quicker. This is what was implied when the term "faster" was utilized...
    Well, if you wish to base the core of an argument on the proper interpretation of an implied inference...well, then fine.

    But, as previously stated, Closed Loop occurs well before any of the set point temperatures, for any of the thermostats we are discussing, are reached. Therefore, by that clear inference, Closed Loop would occur at approximately the same time (and, certainly, well within the design tolerance of any of these thermostats as to make any temporal difference unresolvable).

    I will agree that a 187F thermostat will reach 187F faster than a 160F thermostat (just as one may agree that 9 is less than 10). So what? Why would one care how long it would take a 160F thermostat to reach 187F? Perhaps this is another case of an improperly interpreted inference. Let's try this. Given two thermostats. 160F and 187F, with the design goal that the former allow one to operate at 160F while the latter allows one to operate at 187F. They both start heating at the same time. Who gets to their set point first?

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    There is no limitation on the usage of the quotation utility that I know of, so I will continue to use it at my discretion.
    You can obviously use it any way you'd like, but it doesn't change the fact that you didn't include when I added "re-setting the stock fan settings" being needed to realize any difference with a 160 thermo, only for you to then embellish on how you're settings were in fact altered...

    In fact, to quote part of you're arguement; "I've only moved the fan settings by 20F", this is exactly what I'm referring to. This is what would be needed to realize the benefit of a 160 degree thermostat. Keeping the fan settings at the 215 'stock' trigger point would be a complete waste of one's time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    Understood, but still not an argument with which I agree. I have stated that under cruise, my car maintains 185F (as opposed to 198F) without the intercession of the fans....
    To be quite frank myself, I could see such temperature readings (under cruise, lets say highway), with a thermostat thats completely stuck in the closed position. The block would continually be air cooled. Let's focus on stop and go, city driving...

    Running a stock thermostat, with the fan settings bumped down to 195-200, is more than adequate for most LS1's. Running a 160 degree thermostat, with the fan settings bumped down to 185-190, is ideal. However, running a 160 degree thermostat, without touching the factory fan settings, would be a complete waste (which is why most aftermarket companies advise you to do so)...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D
    Regardless, I am in Closed Loop when the coolant temperature is ~93F, which has not been changed from the factory setting.
    Sure about that?
    Last edited by Street Lethal; 06-26-2006 at 08:29 AM.

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    Evr sena bdgr killa snak? Roastem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran D View Post
    Well, if you wish to base the core of an argument on the proper interpretation of an implied inference...well, then fine.
    OK Mr. PhD, we all know you are intelligent by now, so please lay off the "sequitor" crap, damn, you got me running for a dictionary over here.

    200 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which fuel is consumed most efficiently (thus less pollutants initially) in an internal combustion engine, and that is where most engines from the factory will have normal operating temperatures. I still got the stock thermostat in mine, and it runs like a champ. I would hate to change something that would give me a dismal amount of benefits for a whole lot of headaches in return.

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roastem
    OK Mr. PhD, we all know you are intelligent by now, so please lay off the "sequitor" crap, damn, you got me running for a dictionary over here.
    Most people honestly refer to it as mental masturbation...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roastem
    I still got the stock thermostat in mine, and it runs like a champ. I would hate to change something that would give me a dismal amount of benefits for a whole lot of headaches in return.
    I think what people don't realize, is that by installing a 160 degree thermostat (with the stock fan settings of 215 still being in play), the PCM doesn't miraculously cool the engine down to 160 degrees. The only difference here is, the new thermostat is designed to "open" at a much cooler temperature, allowing coolant to circulate earlier...

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    Evr sena bdgr killa snak? Roastem's Avatar
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    Well, Dr. Fran can mentally masturbate like a motherf*cker.

    If I was as good at regular masturbation as he was at mental, I wouldn't need a woman at all!

    No offense Dr. Fran!

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    Member Fran D's Avatar
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    Sorry, for some reason the editing tools are not functioning properly within my browser at the moment. I'll reply later when they are.

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    Evr sena bdgr killa snak? Roastem's Avatar
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    Man, don't get mad now, I was just giving you a little ribbing.

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