Do I really need a thermostat? - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Do I really need to run a thermostat if since I don't drive the car in the winter or is there another purpose for it besides quick warm ups?
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Most engine wear come from start up, so quick warm ups is reason enough to use a thermostat.

When driving at 70 MPH in not too hot weather, you don't need much cooling either, so some restriction of the flow through the radiator is a good thing.

Why would you want to run without one?
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Yes, you need one. I believe sludge may build up also. Do a search, this has been discussed a few times b/4. Here's one link I found.

http://www.fordmuscle.com/phpBB/view...=29371&forum=1



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Old 05-18-2005, 09:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Yes you need one..... Although I've run many ricers w/o them for a number of years, for instance, my 79 Toy 4x4 with the 20R. I did it because I knew it could handle it.

If you do run without one you will experience the temperature climbing after shutdown for a number of minutes. It will then cool off as a normal engine will, but you will loose the efficiency of the coolant transfer between the overflow tank and radiater if so equipped.

The engine will average about 20* cooler than when you had the thermostat in place....

It's your choice, but I'm assuming that wear and tear are an issue since I've been seeing thermostats installed in auto's for a 60 year period and longer...
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Beleive it or not, thermostats help a great deal when the car is in traffic. When you're just circulating coolant with no restriction, it passes relatively quickly through the engine, picking up a moderate amount of heat. It then goes to the radiator, where that moderately heated water moderately cools. The actual amount of energy transferred is fairly low.

Now with a thermostat, all the water exiting the engine is at least the rating of the thermostat, say 180 degrees. The hotter the coolant when it enters the radiator, the more total energy leaves the coolant while in the radiator (the bigger the temperature difference, the faster the flow of heat) so to a point, you want the coolant as hot as it can be (within reason and within the performance limits of the engine) as possible for the maximum heat transfer through the radiator.

In stop and go traffic, where there is only the air your fan is pulling going through the radiator, you need the most efficiency you can get, and that means hotter coolant temps in the radiator, which equals a hotter thermostat.

Without a thermostat, you can have issues with the car warming up (it could possibly never come up to operating temp) Or without a thermostat, the engine coolant temperature could misrepresent the actual engine temperature, because the coolant has not spent any time becoming acclimated to the engine temp. You could be overheating your engine and causing hot spots in cylinder heads and walls without your temperature gauge ever indicating so.

Now running without a thermostat is possible, and isn't guaranteed to mess anything up, if you let your engine come up to temperature, and pay close attention to it. But on a street car, you should definitely use a thermostat.
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Old wives tail?

"Or without a thermostat, the engine coolant temperature could misrepresent the actual engine temperature, because the coolant has not spent any time becoming acclimated to the engine temp. You could be overheating your engine and causing hot spots in cylinder heads and walls without your temperature gauge ever indicating so. "
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Quote:
On 2005-05-18 12:24, xbolt427fe wrote:
Old wives tail?

"Or without a thermostat, the engine coolant temperature could misrepresent the actual engine temperature, because the coolant has not spent any time becoming acclimated to the engine temp. You could be overheating your engine and causing hot spots in cylinder heads and walls without your temperature gauge ever indicating so. "
Not a wives tale...

I was trying to convey that in my message but got lost in memories.....
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Engines are intended to operate within a given range. Operating one too cold will hurt the efficiency and power output and will definitely cause oil issues

My 88 blew the thermo during winter (-28 celcius, bottom hose froze causing restricted flow --> overheat). I left it till spring because it was a fail-safe which in fact just means it fails into the open position.

Aside from a lack of heat in my car the oil in my spring change was just nasty. 6 months old and it looked like 5 years.

Don't chance it, thermostats can be done in an hour without too much pain!
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Quote:
On 2005-05-18 16:40, rnourse wrote:
Engines are intended to operate within a given range. Operating one too cold will hurt the efficiency and power output and will definitely cause oil issues
I hate when that happens...

But, an example of why to use one:

When for first designed the 351M/400 they used it in their race cars... Of course they had to put them in production cars as well due to the rules of the game....

Have yopu ever taken a head off a 351M/400?

If you ever do you will notice extra water passages in the top of the block that 'your' Modified has that are plugged with a round steel rod.

There are 4 or 6 of them that are blocked, (my memory fails me about the #) the heads you have just removed in your production line 351M are diffrent from those they raced with and will not have the adjoining water passages.

Ford rodded the passages due to the Modified running too cool when used for street applications. Therefore, having a thermostat to keep the temperature of your motor from getting too warm or too hot, is paramount to the longevity of your engine/motor...

Running it at highway speeds without a thermostat will build the temperature up a fair amount higher than what it would run with one, this being due to the high recirrculation rate and relative short time in the radiator cooling the coolant... You don't want to do this to your perfectly good Ford motor.

FE
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

What is the difference between no thermostat and one that is fully open at operating temp? Both are running at 160...
Also, why do they sell smaller pump pulleys to run the pump faster to cool your motor better? How can you overheat your motor without your guage reading it? It can only read what the coolant temp is...with or without a tstat, it still reads the temp of the coolant. The only way you can get a hotspot is when there is an air pocket. Whenever there is coolant in contact with a hotter metal surface (engine) there will be heat transfer. In reverse, whenever there is hotter coolant and cooler metal (radiator) there will be heat transfer...

"the engine coolant temperature could misrepresent the actual engine temperature, because the coolant has not spent any time becoming acclimated to the engine temp. You could be overheating your engine and causing hot spots in cylinder heads and walls without your temperature gauge ever indicating so. "


[ This Message was edited by: xbolt427fe on 5/19/05 6:24pm ]
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

a thermostat has nothing to with winter...

just gets the engine up to temp fast, which prevents engine wear, then opens when needed to keep the same temp
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Just go spend the $7.25 already......


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Old 05-19-2005, 09:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

I will but I wanted to see how long this debate-a thon was going to last.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

wonder how nice owr candian -40 wintrs are to engines...
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Do I really need a thermostat?

Quote:
On 2005-05-19 06:27, 351ciofgrunt wrote:
a thermostat has nothing to with winter...

just gets the engine up to temp fast, which prevents engine wear, then opens when needed to keep the same temp
bologna...

It is true, the thermo had nothing to do with my engine overheating but once it had failed into the open position (being a failsafe thermostat) it was akin to running without one. In essence the thermostat had nothing to do with winter but winter had everything to do with my thermostat failing!!

Running without a thermostat meant I was running significantly colder. My gauge starts at 130 and it never rose off the bottom after the overheat. Not ONCE ALL winter. Cabin heat was non-existant and defrosting the windows was impossible.

Winter + "no thermostat" meant I ran below 130 all winter long with the above noted results clearly visible in my lubrication system. The moment I change the thermostat come spring, cabin heat returned and the gauge went straight back to it's 'normal' place!
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