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Thread: thermostat sticking??!!

  1. #1
    Registered User 1 tuff z's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Rochester, NY [upstate!]

    Default thermostat sticking??!!

    i have been having a problem when the car is cold. once it is started and begins to come up to temp-the gauge continues past 180 and goes to around 210 before settling back to 180. it doesn't do it all the time and usually just when the car is completely cold. i have done the following to troubleshoot; replaced the t-stat [twice], ensured that i don't have air in the system [letting come up to temp-once antifeeze starts to circulate, then top off]. i have also run w/o the t-stat [temp seems to stabilize around 145-150, and don't experience the problem. i don't want to damage the head by seeing this temp spike each time i drive. does anyone run w/o a t-stat? if i do this, any problems? also, i run a 4 row rad, oil cooler and elec. fan, L28, p90 head, jcr supercharger setup. any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated!
    1 tuff z
    ls1 v8 t56 swap, holy crap is this car fast!
    z car club of rochester

  2. #2
    Registered User hmsports's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Thermostat

    There's a lot of differing opinions on the subject of running a thermostat or not. Their main purpose is to allow the engine to come up to quickly, and stay at the optimal operating temperature - especially in cold climates like Rochester.

    Not running with a thermostat, some people believe, can make the coolant run too quickly through the engine block and radiator such that it would not transfer heat efficiently. Many people say that the 'too-fast' theory is a load of malarky. In racing, we take a stock thermostat and remove all the moving parts and simply use the housing as a restrictor. I would not recommend running without a thermostat in a street car.

    Have you checked the gauge and all of it's electrical connections? What about your water pump? Also check to make sure the belt is adjusted correctly. I don't think you could have a clog in the system if the temperature comes back down to where it should be. You shouldn't have a problem with intermitent 210 temperatures. It ususally will take more than 230 to hurt the head. (Not saying that the problem should be ignored).
    Rick Hanson
    HANSON Motorsports

  3. #3
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    Dec 2001


    I agree, you definately need a little restriction to allow for the heat transfer in the radiator. Maybe with an aluminum radiator you could get away with not using a thermostat since the aluminum would allow faster transfer of heat than the stock radiator core.

    It could be possible you need to run an elctrice fan that kicks in at a slightly lower temperature also.

    Double check the temp gauge, and maybe replace the temp. sensor to be sure of what the actual temperature is. Especially if you are still using the stock electrical gauge. A mechanical gauge on a temporary hook-up would be an ideal way to get to the root of the problem.

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