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Low temp Thermostat: Fact or Fiction?

This is a discussion on Low temp Thermostat: Fact or Fiction? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Okay, so a 160 degree thermostat opens 30 degrees sooner than a 190 but my ultimate operating coolant temp is ...

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    Junior Member Ponti-MANIac's Avatar
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    Question Low temp Thermostat: Fact or Fiction?

    Okay, so a 160 degree thermostat opens 30 degrees sooner than a 190 but my ultimate operating coolant temp is 212 - 218 degrees in which case both thermostats are open while the engine is up to temp. So my question is this: What is the advantage of a low temp thermostat once the coolant temp rises above 190 degrees? As far as I understand the low temp thermostat offers no advantage over the other once the coolant has inevitably reached a normal operating temp. Am I wrong?

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    blue
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    ttt - i'm pretty curious about it too

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    The water temp on the stock gauge is wrong it is true that the water temp is not 160 but it isnt at 210 either the block temp is high but Comb. camber is lower causing the gas/air mix to be cooler. It does increase the life of the rings but decreases the life of your cooling system. Its the same as cooler air more violent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ponti-MANIac View Post
    Okay, so a 160 degree thermostat opens 30 degrees sooner than a 190 but my ultimate operating coolant temp is 212 - 218 degrees in which case both thermostats are open while the engine is up to temp. So my question is this: What is the advantage of a low temp thermostat once the coolant temp rises above 190 degrees? As far as I understand the low temp thermostat offers no advantage over the other once the coolant has inevitably reached a normal operating temp. Am I wrong?

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    Member NHRAMAN's Avatar
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    SORRY---most LS1's run around 210* ...that is when stock fans kick in...for emmissions purposes...todays engines run way hotter than yesteryears.
    99 WS6 M6 NBM !Cags,!Cats,Vinci/Crane,Hurst,Detroit TruTrac,3:73,31 Splne,Edel.Race LT's,ORY,QTEC,Flow,ARP,Percy,MSD,SLP,AC/DELCO,Bosch,GMPP,Cntrfrce DF,Htchkiss,Susp.Tech,Lakewood,285's,Bilstein,Pro-kit,SLP,RK Sprt,A/Meter,Red Optima,Magnaflow S/S Tips,Hd Pins,Tint,Fire.Ex,[*4 Hot Rod Power Tours*]

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Well many will argue that an LS1 produces more ponies at 210...nope...heat is important in producing ponies for sure...but in the combustion chamber...the heat radiating to the block is a byproduct of that heat in the combustion chamber.....so with that humble opinion out of the way....
    A 160 tsat will make your engine run cooler...I dont give a shit what your temp guage sez....if it is a GM temp guage then it's a toy and not accurate at all....With a 190 tstat the 402 runs 210-215....a 160 tstat she never see's above 190 coolant temps....I run the high fans at 190 by the way with either tstat in....Car makes more power running a 190 temp than 215...hands down...no doubt....

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    Junior Member Ponti-MANIac's Avatar
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    I still am having a difficult time understanding how a thermostat which is a mechanical device activated by coolant temp has any impact on how high the coolant temp gets. Tstats react to coolant, not the other way around. Once a tstat is open it remains open so long as the coolant temp is at or above the tstat setting. The difference is one opens sooner than the other but ultimately the coolant will rise to the same high temp regardless of the tstat because of the combustion temps. I don't usually have a hard time comprehending shit but for those of you claiming that a 160 tstat will keep an engine running cooler all day long over a 190, I'm just not seeing it.
    I could put a 160 and a 190 tstat in boiling water on my stove and both will open but neither will stop the water from boiling, the ultimate high coolant temp remains the same.

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    Blown, Stroked, & Sprayed

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    It won't rise to the same temps when the fans are set to start earlier also.
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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    It's called aggregate heat. Same with a house A/C....you start to cool your house when its 80 degrees in the early morning...it stays cooler....try and cool it at 3pm when it's 105 you cant do it.....same with your motor...introduce coolant at a lower temp and the motor is cooler...you have lowered youre normal op temp.....
    Or fucking magic...whichever you like...bottom line is....lots and lots of folks run cooler with a lower tsat....and....as Ed pointed out...fans play a role in lower op temps also....

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    ArtistFormerlyKnownAsMac Silver Streak's Avatar
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    How do you control your fans.. is that part of a tune or can it be done another way?
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    Blown, Stroked, & Sprayed

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    Either through a tune. Or a fan switch.

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    Junior Member JROBINSON1016's Avatar
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    all right,one minute.first lets just say that when your thermostat opens the coolant starts to flow(you know,like through the radiator)therefore thats pretty much the temp its going to stay around,give or take(depending on how hot it is that day,how hard your running,if your in traffic,etc.)second of all,the fan's only going to be a factor in traffic or in town,because your moving air when your moving down the street(if you don't believe that,try sticking your head out the window at 55 mph,)pretty simple,the stat opens at a preset temp,coolant flows through the radiator & releases or exchanges the heat its picked up from the block,then re enters the engine to recirculate again.its not rocket science,as long as everything is functioning properly,and your radiator has the capacity to do what needs to be done,then you wont have any excessivly high temps no matter what temp stat your running.all in all,run the lower temp stat,youll make more power,& youll keep from frying your rings & bearings,"remember heat kills"

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    lmpounded SandmanWs7's Avatar
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    Check this out and see if it helps.

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system8.htm

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    Member Phlash_riot's Avatar
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    What happens when you completly remove the thomastat?

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Your engine will run in closed loop mode or a longer period than you want.
    Your motor needs to be in open loop and at op temp to perform optimum....thus the debate on what temps comes in to play...me I want to gain open loop at the bare minimum and stay there...

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    I've seen dynos posted that showed 2-25 HP gains changing thermostat temps, depending on the buildup and the heat ranges. Less heat makes more HP. Most engine sensors function at 150 degrees, and the computer ignores them until the engine reaches that temp. A 160 degree thermostat allows the sensors to work, and will open further at say 195 degrees than a 195 will. The hotter the coolant gets, the more the thermostat opens, allowing more volume of water to pass to the radiator. Thermostats aren't just open or closed. They open according to the water temp. Typically the thermostat begins to open 3 - 4 F above or below it's temperature rating (meaning a 180 thermostat will open between 176 F and 184 F.) and will be fully opened at about 20 F above it's initial opening temperature. A 160 would not fully open until about 180. A 195 would not open fully until about 215. Here's a very informative article that explains the cooling system well: http://www.centuryperformance.com/coolingsys.asp

    Bottom line? There is a gain when changing the thermostat alone, but to maximize it (around town) you have to reprogram the cooling fans to kick on at a lower temp too. Fans aren't really needed cruising 60+ down the highway, but in town when you're sitting at a drive-through or a stop light there isn't much air moving through there and the fans make a difference until you get moving again.

    Even if the gain is 2 RWHP (which is typical for dyno results I've seen posted on LS1 sites), you figure it's 2 HP and dollar per HP it's very reasonable. Consider the air box lids that add about 10 HP for $100. That's $10 per HP. If a 160 thermostat would give you 2 HP for $5, that's only about $2.50 per HP. It all adds up at the rear wheels, like porting or anything else.

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    Junior Member Ponti-MANIac's Avatar
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    Hey jag42420,
    Excellent explanation......I now have a much better understanding of the benefits of a lower temp tstat and will probably install one soon
    Last edited by Ponti-MANIac; 09-14-2006 at 06:21 AM.

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    ArtistFormerlyKnownAsMac Silver Streak's Avatar
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    Same here.. I guess I understood it that they were either open or closed as well.... <applause> Thanks.

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    Junior Member Ponti-MANIac's Avatar
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    A word of caution I just read on the century performance website about low temp tstats.
    Since 1971, most domestic car manufacturers have used 192 F or 195 F thermostats as original equipment. This permits the engine to operate at a higher temperature, which allows the cooling system to operate at its best efficiency and to reduce engine emissions. On performance applications it is sometimes effective to go to a lower temperature rated thermostat so as to compensate for the added power output from the engine modifications. But, you must be very careful when using lower thermostat ratings on computer-controlled engine applications. Because the computer relies on pre-programmed variables that are calculated by engine coolant temperatures as one of the variables, using a lower temperature thermostat without corresponding modifications to computer programming can cause problems.

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    ArtistFormerlyKnownAsMac Silver Streak's Avatar
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    Hense a tune to get the fans running right at the same time.

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    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Most people miss understand a thermostat......The only purpose basically is to warm up the cyl. heads. It's pretty funny I live in Phx. now and have worked at a speed shop for years and dumbass customers could never understand why after they put a 160' stat in the car runs hotter than a 180 or 195. The problem is Most of the time with a 160 the stat Never shuts so it is constantly circulating. The coolant NEVER stays in the rad. long enough to cool anything down. I thought it was ass backwards for a long time too. If your not changing the fan settings also your not doing much at all like others have said.
    Thats my 2 cents.

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