Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Carolina
My Ride: 93 Daytona Base
Engine: 2.5L TBI
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Re: 180 degree thermostat rethink
@ Dr. Johnny Dodge
It seems like you are describing the effects of a overheated condition. An engine running at the proper temp will perform perfectly even if it is 210* or 215*(which many new vehicles that is their operating temp), and I doubt the 15* degree change in operating temp is going effect your engines performance at all. Not to mention the alloys that are used in today's engines including the 90's are thermo dynamically more stable than those of the past, if they weren't how could an engine run for a 100k miles with an aluminum head and a cast iron block with out ever having to change the head gaskets, also how could an aluminum block engine even run with it's cast iron liners or thermo hardened cylinder bores. Your right there is a point where the engine gets too hot and it's performance will drop, but the 195* factory operating temp is not causing any extra drag on the engine because the engines tolerances are designed to work with that operating temp. And also our body temp is a lot lower than that of car's operating temp, not to mention if your body temp fluctuates much more than plus or minus 5* that can start complete body shutdown, your engine can operate perfectly fine at 10* or 15* higher than its normal operating temp. Not to mention the oil that manufactures spec for the motor is designated as such because of the operating temp(and other factors), when oil heats up it flows better, if it is cold it less likely to flow, now that 15* in oil temp will make a difference in engine longevity. I know for a fact in NASCAR they wont even crank the engine till the oil and coolant are both above 200*. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
An air cooled engine versus liquid cooled are two different ball games, they generally serve different purposes for the most part. An old radial piston engine is stuck out there in the wind there is air constantly flowing over the engine. Plus an air cooled engines operating temp is designated by the temp of the air around it rather than the degree that a thermostat opens at.
Unless you sit with your car running for extended periods of time, for example at a drag race where you thrash your car and then slow to a "crawl", you wont need the lower temp thermostat. The thermostat does not effect power enough, if any at all, to worry about it as a performance mod, but for cheap security to keep the engine from over heating at the drag track it makes total sense. And your factory cooling system is designed to balance the temp so that the engines metals stay thermo dynamically stable while not allowing over heating, if you don't trust that factory cooling system to your keep engines temperature under control from day to day then you need to build an entire car from scratch then.
I understand why you would use a 160* thermostat, you run your car all out for a few seconds then coast the car around to sit in a line for the next run. Or are running back to back heats. Not a lot of air flow when your just sitting still, so i see that your lower operating temp would save the engine from getting to a point of overheating.
Thermal expansion can be modeled as a function and that function is not continuous to infinity at some point the metal will expand to a certain point and either combust or melt. And I am sure with the money spent in R&D they would take those into account.
93 Daytona, Soon To Be 3.0