Re: Running cooler than thermostat
If your temp gauge is accurate then my guess is your stat is stuck open. With alum heads my Nova runs typically 10 degs cooler than the Camaro with iron heads. I believe I used a 160 stat in the Nova and a 180 in the Camaro.
For reference the Camaro stays about 180/185 and climbs to 190/195 under extreme duty or very hot days. The Nova runs 170 normally and under extreme conditions will climb to 180/185 max.
Your engine will make a bit more power running a bit hotter, newer cars run 210 by design. I think the 170-190 range is perfectly safe, and the only issue I see with 200-210 is under hood temps can start messing with fuel delivery on a carb'd engine.
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