160 vs 180 degree thermostat - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Currently running a 180 thermostat in my 350 w/Vintage Air, 4 spd new radiator, & dual 13" electric fans. Runs great at highway speed & temp is approx. 185 degrees. In traffic & at street speed seems the fan comes on more often than I would like. Have it set to go on at 195 & off at 180. Heard from some that converting to a 160 thermostat would help....but have always run a 180. Also don't have an overflow/expansion tank. Would that help.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 11:34 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

You're not going to run for long in traffic without a fan. At highway speeds the fan is not needed due to natural airflow thru the radiator but once you slow down you need a fan, especially with air conditioning. The thermostat won't control the max temp. Perhaps a 2 speed fan would be less noticeable. Or just put on a clutch fan with a proper shroud and forget about it.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 01:28 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

going to a colder thermostat won't make any significant difference, by itself - changing when the fan turns off to something cooler along with a colder thermosat might change how fequent it cycles, but it will stay on longer when it runs.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 01:44 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Adding to Mark above..
Quote:
Heard from some that converting to a 160 thermostat would help
Help what? the fans cutting inand out?
yeah most proberly would, but a really stupid idea...th idea of a thermostat is to warm up engines and the oil quickly to operation temps and maintian those operating temps in the range of where the oil does its job....and other things, efficiency of the engie etc/
So "fixing" the fans on/off (which are doing their job) by putting an incorrect running temp thermost in ....see where this is going?

And as posted so many times by so many, the factory nailed the design of the cooling system..pump radiator clutch fan shrouds....why fix something that not broke?
And if not working why patch it with more are electric fans rather than fix the problem which will be bloked cores...ineffect runing a radiator thats too small.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 02:09 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

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Originally Posted by markw View Post
Or just put on a clutch fan with a proper shroud and forget about it.
Yup. Many people who go back to the stock setup find their motor cooling efficiently. The difference another stat might make is if it is not opening all the way. SWheaton at T.Chevelle has a stat number that works well, can't recall it offhand. What radiator? Electric fans do not work as efficiently with stock radiators as they do with aluminums with fewer cores.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 11, 10:42 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Quote:
Electric fans do not work as efficiently with stock radiators as they do with aluminums with fewer cores.
I didnt know that...not suprised thu.....why?

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 11, 02:18 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
I didnt know that...not suprised thu.....why?
Not sure if the type of fan has an impact, but alu rads are more thermally efficient at heat transfer than copper/brass types for a couple of reasons.
- Firstly the lighter material allows a larger tube diameter - the wall thickness has to increase with pipe diameter, so gets too heavy with traditional style rads. Bigger tube, more cooling fin contact and surface area thus providing more efficient cooling.
- The lead solder joint used on copper-brass radiators reduces the efficiency of the heat transfer, whereas alum tubes and fins are welded, so you have the same material properties.
- Aluminium fabrication process gives a stronger and more durable structure, allowing the design to have better airflow through the radiator.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 11, 05:46 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

For the little amount of money a thermostat costs, put the 160 in and see what happens. You may just be surprised. If you are not happy with the results of the 160, put back the 180 in. No big deal. Good luck.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 11, 05:49 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

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Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
I didnt know that...not suprised thu.....why?
Leave the cooling principles of aluminum out of the equation. An electric fan cannot pull air through a GM 4 core as easily as it can through a 2 core aluminum. People install electric fans on a stock radiator and often encounter cooling problems. The clutch fan designed for the stock system performs better as you know Steps. The components in each are designed to work as a system, hence the name. People start screwing around with improperly redesigning them and their temps end up increasing. As has been read here countless times.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 11, 01:40 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Yeah I can see where u are going with that Scott...sitts with me.
Quote:
The lead solder joint used on copper-brass radiators reduces the efficiency of the heat transfer, whereas alum tubes and fins are welded, so you have the same material properties.
That doesnt..the area invoved in solder joints are not cooling areas on eith brass or Al radiators.
Quote:
but alu rads are more thermally efficient at heat transfer than copper/brass types
Thats what the marketing propganda from so called independant studies show...which in most cases is marketing propagada BS...And that copper /bras have afar higher heat co efficient than Al, and with thinner walled brass cores eficiency far greater,
And to that black makes a huge effect to heat transfer (chrome for show, black for track)

I do know modern cars use Al cores because of cost, and if one makes a brass/copper core identical as possible it would be smaller....that is the amount of difference in the price between copper and Al....manucture process of Al radiators is also far cheaper.
The marketting guys once again telling porkies

Quote:
For the little amount of money a thermostat costs, put the 160 in and see what happens.
Why? did you read my explantion reasons not to above, and if so what is wrong with that logic?

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 11, 03:46 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Steps - the research is out there in the public domain, but (as you pointed out) the source of some of the research may not always be completely unbiased....
I am not advocating aluminum radiators, I still have my copper-brass rad and eaton clutch fan combo, and would not change what has worked well for 40 to 50 years....
But to answer a couple of issues you raised, the solder I'm referring to on copper-brass radiators is the joint between coolant tube and cooling fins; and aluminium radiators are more efficient on a weight for weight basis than copper-brass, from the point of view of allowing larger pipe diameters (that need greater wall thickness to limit bulging under pressure). Most manufacturers nowadays use alum over weight:efficiency ratio, rather than cost.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 11, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Wow, didn't intend to start a battle of alum vs copper with my initial question on 160 vs 180 thermostats. I'm a believer that if the factory wanted a 180 thermo, that's what I'll use (using a Shaw 180). How about expansion/overflow tanks. Do they really help the radiator cool a little better, or just do a good job of sucking up excess coolant & sending it back to the radiator when things cool down? Another one where the factory didn't use them on my 68, but now everyone seems to have one (mainly with aftermarket radiators).
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 11, 11:24 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Yes a surge tank will prevent you from having to add coolant all the time and prevent little puddles everytime you stop when the car is hot. If you dont mind adding coolant and don't care about the puddles then keep it the way it came from the factory with the tube hanging down.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 11, 11:38 AM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

There is only a very small environmental reason to run an overflow tank or catch can on a car that was not innitially designed with one. My cooling system has not dripped, spewed or purged any coolant since 1999 with over 30k miles of driving.

What too many don't realize is the radiator on a car that didn't come with a recovery tank or catch can is not designed to be filled to the mouth of the fill neck. It's designed to be filled to about 2" below the fill neck. If you over fill the radiator it will spew a bit every time you get the engine warm and shut it down. It will stop doing that when the fluid level is correct (about 2" down).

If your radiator is not over full and you still have an overflow issue then the coolant is building up too much heat and pressure, your cap is failing or you have a hole in the system somewhere.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 11, 02:32 PM
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Re: 160 vs 180 degree thermostat

Quote:
Wow, didn't intend to start a battle of alum vs copper
You havnt read very carefuly and u will see bottom line we are on the same page...

And Dennis comment above spot on....or put another way, read the owners manual...even has pictures. And Im suprised if a 1st gen camaro owner hasnt the owners manual....even ordered a copy to throw in with a parts shopping list at some time.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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