160 v 180 Thermostat - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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160 v 180 Thermostat

ASSUMING that the cooling system has the heat rejection capacity to pull the coolant temp down to 160 degrees or less, what would be the advantages/disadvantages of a 160 versus a 180 thermostat?
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 01:13 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

There is no need to ASSUME...the cooling sytem will pull it down to at least 120... Not therory, practice... that is how over built and efficient the orginal factory sytem is.
The only advatange of anything below 180 is if running an alternative fuel like CNG or LPG...and will not go into that here.
Petrol engines run more efficient at the higher temps, the oils and lubrication technology is designed to run at hotter temps...and the tollerance specs of the engine is designed to work it them.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 02:23 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

No need to run anything under 180 for a thermostat in a normal engine. In fact, it would generally tend to cause problems like condensation inside the engine.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 02:25 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

You want a 180 over a 160 stat to get the engine heat up to operating range but also so the cooling system can drop the coolent temps below the stat rating allowing the stat to close. I don't agree with Steps that the typical "factory designed" belt driven fan and pump system in our cars are capable of dropping temps to 120 in a running V8 (small or big block) except maybe in extream artic temps!

The 160 stat has gotten popular because modern engines like the LT1 and LS1 are computer controled and by running a 160 stat and telling the computer that, the computer will dial in a small amount of extra advance. The 160 stat will keep the engine a few degrees cooler so the engine won't detonate or ping from the added advance.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 05:18 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
You want a 180 over a 160 stat to get the engine heat up to operating range but also so the cooling system can drop the coolent temps below the stat rating allowing the stat to close. I don't agree with Steps that the typical "factory designed" belt driven fan and pump system in our cars are capable of dropping temps to 120 in a running V8 (small or big block) except maybe in extream artic temps!

The 160 stat has gotten popular because modern engines like the LT1 and LS1 are computer controled and by running a 160 stat and telling the computer that, the computer will dial in a small amount of extra advance. The 160 stat will keep the engine a few degrees cooler so the engine won't detonate or ping from the added advance.
I agree. Nowhere here in Vegas you ever gonna see 120* Except on the way up to 200*

I used a 160* in my Blown C5 Vette primarily to give the system a bit of a head start over the stock 192* stat. and push another couple degrees timing.

I run 180* in my non LS small and big blocks and have not reallu found any advantage to running a 160*. it does get into the teens in the winter months and the 180* is better to bring it up to operating range.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 06:14 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Coolant temperature regulation is used to keep engine/combustion chamber temps at a happy spot for the particular setup. Extreme tunes, high cylinder pressures, etc. need more headroom from the cooling system to stay out of detonation if fuel octane stays constant. Ever see those later model car chips or tuners? About all they do is add more timing than factory and usually have tunes for factory T-stat and 160 degree T-stat. Years ago some manufacuturers recommended different thermostats for summer and winter. My '49 Pontiac is like that. Using a lower temperature thermostat when not needed only wastes fuel due to combustion efficiency going down.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 08:24 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

I have always used a 160* thermostat and will continue to do so. Works for me.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 08:31 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Thermostat only determines the minimum temp. If the engine wants to run 190 all the time it does not matter whether the thermostat is 160 or 180.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 08:51 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

I don't know much but I've been observing...

I was once told that oil doesn't work well below 165 degrees F.
If the system can't keep the temp below 180, a 160 t-stat means little.

Extrapolate from the above.

Oil may have an ideal temp range.
If your stock system can't keep the temp below 200, a 180 t-stat changes nothing.

Note that I switched the conversation midtemp...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 12, 10:26 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

I can tell you from experience, if your system cools properly you do NOT want a 160 stat. As a matter of fact you may not want some companies 180 stats.

Here's my experience; new years eve day, coming back from family party alone, around midnight. Car is running so cold it did exactly what some else said, Condensation in the pistons. Thank god I got it home. I see you live in my general area so you know all about extreme heat to freezing cold weather.

I switched to a 180 Holley stat and it still ran too cold. I think it opened too early and never even reached 180 degrees. I switched over to a 195 super stat and it doesn't go past 200. I figure if GM PUTS 195s in there then it works for me.

Of course, you didn't tell us what kind of engine you are running. That sometimes dictates which stat too.

Btw, if you need any thermostats, let me know. I have 160,180 and 195 Holley stats, all with less then 200 miles on them.

Last edited by Shady350; Oct 3rd, 12 at 10:42 PM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 12, 01:12 AM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Quote:
I don't agree with Steps that the typical "factory designed" belt driven fan and pump system in our cars are capable of dropping temps to 120 in a running V8 (small or big block) except maybe in extream artic temps!
Quote:
Not therory, practice
Yep when I popst that I mean that...I have done a lot of experimenting over the last 30yrs on fuel thermostats on petrol and Altrnative fuels...
And yes the stock cooling system IS that bloody good.

Quote:
I switched to a 180 Holley stat and it still ran too cold. I think it opened too early and never even reached 180 degrees.
I dont know about holly stats... stats dont just open close , there are other paremeters such as rate of opening, the restrction... do not under estimate the science of a stat...get an aftermarlet one off the shelve, just because it is temp rated doesnt mean it is suit able in your engine....
And it is not that uncommon to have a faulty stat... aftermarket, straight out of the box.
Always check operation before install... nothing worse than a come back in the workshop.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 12, 03:37 AM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

You T-stat cycles open/closed for the temp it was designed.
IF the T-stat is open all the time (160* in a 185* system) the coolant would just keep flowing and never really cool off properly.

Too cold is bad since it won't allow the oil to "burn off" condensation and gases from the combustion process.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 12, 04:56 AM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Almost weekly at Team Chevelle there are overheating issues for a variety of reasons. SWheaton repetitively suggests an AUTOZONE 15356 /160 STAT With a bipass hole drilled, among other system requirements. Many issues have been successfully resolved. So what's the definitive t-stat answer? It seems everyone is right and everyone is wrong.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 12, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shady350 View Post
I can tell you from experience, if your system cools properly you do NOT want a 160 stat. As a matter of fact you may not want some companies 180 stats.

Here's my experience; new years eve day, coming back from family party alone, around midnight. Car is running so cold it did exactly what some else said, Condensation in the pistons. Thank god I got it home. I see you live in my general area so you know all about extreme heat to freezing cold weather.

I switched to a 180 Holley stat and it still ran too cold. I think it opened too early and never even reached 180 degrees. I switched over to a 195 super stat and it doesn't go past 200. I figure if GM PUTS 195s in there then it works for me.

Of course, you didn't tell us what kind of engine you are running. That sometimes dictates which stat too.

Btw, if you need any thermostats, let me know. I have 160,180 and 195 Holley stats, all with less then 200 miles on them.
327 .030 over, Z28 intake, (measured, actual) 11.5:1, .032 quench, , 20 initial, 18 cent all in @ 2200, 12 vac advance, 750 DP, headers into low restriction mufflers, 205 cc angle plug aluminum, 250/250 .605/.610 110 LSA, 3/4 filled block, stacked plate oil cooler, 405 RWHP @ 6500 RPM. 160 stat, temp sender in intake manifold.

With reduced heat load on stock radiator, cooling system easily keeps temps at stat rated temperature, in ANY ambient condition. Oil temps are about 150-160 as well, in fall temps and about 10-20 degrees higher in summer temps.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 12, 10:37 PM
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Re: 160 v 180 Thermostat

The thermostat simply maintains the correct operating temperate for the engine.

What is the correct operating temp? The correct operating temp heats the oil above 212 degrees (boiling point of water) which will cook out the liquid water that collects in the crankcase upon cool-down. Then this water vapor is removed via the PCV system.

If you have enough of a cooling system to bring the coolant down to 160 degrees with a 160 thermostat, the oil temp will never reach the boiling point of water. Hello sludge. Hello corrosion. Hello shorter engine life.

This is the reason that the engines in cars or trucks that only take short trips, meaning the engine never reaches operating temp, don't last nearly as long.

160 degree thermostat? Bad idea. Doing away with your PCV system? Another bad idea.
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