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Unread 04-24-2006, 03:21 AM   #1
Rich Z
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Default Thermostat snake oil?

Sometimes I feel old and maybe technology is advancing faster then I can keep up with it. But other times I wonder if maybe things are really just the same but marketing has just improved tremendously.

I'm sure you all get as many Corvette catalogs as I do, and nearly all of them have these lower temp thermostats either singly or with some sort of "performance package", claiming that using this thermostat will lower your engine running temps and subsequently increase the power of your engine.

Well, you know, I went through this same thing with my '66 GTO many moons ago, and what I discovered was a bit different then what they are telling us. What the temperature ratings of the thermostats indicate is the temperature at which the thermostat opens in order to allow coolant to start circulating in the engine. It's use is to allow the engine to reach proper operating temperature as quickly as possible, which is a pretty good thing in colder climates during the colder periods of the year.

However, no matter what temp thermostat you have, 160, 180, 200, etc., once it opens up completely, then the engine will reach it's operating temperature regardless of when that thermostats opened up. It's just that the 160 degree thermostat will open up sooner then the 200 degree one will. But in ALL instances the operating temperature of the engine will be the same in a very short time, regardless of at what temp the thermostat actually began to open. The ONLY way I found to help decrease the running temperature of an engine that has anything at all to do with a thermostat is by removing it completely. That's because all thermostats will cause a restriction in coolant flow. However, since modern engines may be designed to operate at the temperature that we get them from the factory, in fact, this may not be a real good thing to do.

So is this thermostat hype just snake oil, or have things changed dramatically since my earlier high performance days? Seems a lot of companies are touting the virtures of these lower temp thermostats, so either they are all really off base, or perhaps I am.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 10:47 AM   #2
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I had a 160 in before I cahged the cam and the water temp would stay around 175 and oil temp 180 max.

I have been told the the oil temp should go over the 200 mark to get rid of the moisture. I have since replaced my water pump with and LS2 and the thermostat that comes stock. I think 183?

Water temps stay under 200 and Oil hovers bet 197 and 207.

I do have a larger radiator with an oil cooler.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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Hmm, this brings a question to mind. At what temperature does a thermostat CLOSE?

Yeah, I have always thought that a cooler engine is a better engine, but I'm not so sure that is true any longer. Seems like the incoming air and fuel should be cool, but that doesn't go for the bottom end of the motor.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Z
Hmm, this brings a question to mind. At what temperature does a thermostat CLOSE?

Yeah, I have always thought that a cooler engine is a better engine, but I'm not so sure that is true any longer. Seems like the incoming air and fuel should be cool, but that doesn't go for the bottom end of the motor.
Snake oil IMHO. The points you bring up in your first post are correct ie: once the thermostat opens as the engine approaches operating temperatures, it remains open an the cars operate at the temps. suggested by IVO. A thermostat that opens at a lower temp doesn't effect operating temps at all. And yes, these engines expand as they warm up and in doing so achieve the proper tolerances between piston, rings, cylinder walls, and etc. throughout the the motor. Until those tolerances are met, the moving parts have more play in them and you have a greater tendency for say, piston slap and such. I NEVER push my Z till the oil temp (which I almost constantly monitor) reached 190.
I think you're right, it's snake oil..........Tom
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Unread 04-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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get a Handheld Tuner, turn the second fan on earlier, just my 0.2 cent
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Unread 05-27-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
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Hmm, I am discussing this issue with a tuner over on CF ....

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show...p?p=1555450356

Is this guy on the beam with what he is telling me? He is implying a feedback system of some sort between the coolant system and the thermostat. I've just never heard about this sort of thing before and flies against what I have learned about thermostats. But I'm willing to admit that I don't know what I am talking about. It just doesn't SOUND right to me....
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Unread 05-28-2006, 11:07 AM   #7
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Rich I have been following your post over on the CF. The MECHANIC NOT TUNER that you are talking to IMHO is nothing more than a con man, and is nailing the gullible public with his BS. Here is a guy that does not own a Dyno, and talks people into thinking they gained substantial horsepower. He pays the bills over there and many of us have been warned that we cannot question him, or get involved in his many threads. He sells you a thermostat and road tunes your car based on his vast amount of knowledge. You walk away believing you got this great running car but you have no way to verify what he did. He consistantly tells people how bad the PROVEN tuners are and how much better he is. This with no proof of his mods at all. Did you happen to notice he has also ASSumed the name of one of the top tuners in the country? Maybe you also noticed that all of his tunes are posted by new forum members, interesting stuff, read some of the crap he spews, the guy needs to go away. This is just my opinion however, there are many of us there that share this opinion but we are no longer allowed to call him out on his scam.
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Unread 05-28-2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16again
Rich I have been following your post over on the CF. The MECHANIC NOT TUNER that you are talking to IMHO is nothing more than a con man, and is nailing the gullible public with his BS. Here is a guy that does not own a Dyno, and talks people into thinking they gained substantial horsepower. He pays the bills over there and many of us have been warned that we cannot question him, or get involved in his many threads. He sells you a thermostat and road tunes your car based on his vast amount of knowledge. You walk away believing you got this great running car but you have no way to verify what he did. He consistantly tells people how bad the PROVEN tuners are and how much better he is. This with no proof of his mods at all. Did you happen to notice he has also ASSumed the name of one of the top tuners in the country? Maybe you also noticed that all of his tunes are posted by new forum members, interesting stuff, read some of the crap he spews, the guy needs to go away. This is just my opinion however, there are many of us there that share this opinion but we are no longer allowed to call him out on his scam.
Well you know, that is kind of sad. I can understand a site wanting sponsors for the financial support, but they can't be forgetting their roots in the process. It's the MEMBERS who come there that make a site. If you start choosing $$ over the truth, then I think the site has lost sight of what this is all about.

Anyway, that tuner/mechanic guy approached me via email and wanted my phone number to talk to me in person. I have declined. Personally I don't believe my understanding of how a thermostat is faulty. But interesting to know that I am walking on thin eggs going head to head with him in public. Thanks for the warning.....
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Unread 05-28-2006, 01:58 PM   #9
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He wants to speak with you so he can PRIVATELY con you. Many of us have called him out publicly, we were then warned of the forum rules and all our posts were immediately removed. Notice he calls himself the VETTE DOCTOR, I believe assuming the identity of one of the best tuners in the country, helps him in his SCAMMING of the unassuming Corvette Enthusiast. I have no problem following the CF rules and I know we crossed the line in our responses to him. I just wish there was a way to publicly prove his con game without the banning that we have been warned about. Hopefully he cons the wrong person and he just goes away soon.
Bob
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Unread 05-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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Rich....I can not believe you did not pick up on his bull from his second post. He claims that "Florida" people should use a 160 degree thermostat but he has no accurate explaination as to why. "The stock stat in a C5 is like 187 or something.....but,....at what temp do stock C5's run at....a lot more....." quote from Chuck. Since he is a "tuner" and giving advice as to why you should use said thermostat he should be able to accurately advise you why you should a 160 degree thermostat. His answer of the car has a factory 187 or something is garbage. He does not even know what the factory unit it or the factory running temp or the optimual running temp. Without that information he is just talking out his butt. Then add on the information that he "tunes" without a dyno he is totally full of crap. A dyno is the best format for tuning a car next to the race track. Nobody can tune a car safely or to the car's fullest potential on the street. I say tell the quack to fly a kite.

As for the thermostat...it's job is to keep the car within it's proper operating tempature. Coolant is absorbs the heat and removes through the radiator. The thermostat opens with the coolant reaches a predetermined tempature allowing the coolant to flow.

If you do not have an overheating issue then don't mess with the thermostat.
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