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Old 07-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Hey guys,

I was wondering what temps you guys like to run at for best performance? whats the benefit on both sides of the range? My engine spec is on my signature, and because the iron heads and street high compression (yes new cars have 11.0) I have always chosen 160deg. The other day the temp got up to 190 when my electric fan broke in traffic and noticed it felt different but not bad, performance felt simular but idle with my cam rose up maybe 100-150rpm. Was wondering if the fuel was atomizing better?

So what do you guys say? On the dyno have any numbers been noticed to be better or worse? Any difference at the track?
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Run it as high as is practical.I personally run mine (67 Mustang) at 192 deg. Does that enhance fuel atomization? Yes. John--Las Vegas.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

For most internal combustion engines the ideal cylinder head temperature is 200 degrees. Later models use higher temps because they are controlled by computers and can regulate timing and fuel mixture to get the power and mileage needed. With carbureted engines keep it as close to 200 F as you can.
NOTE: a 180 - 190 F thermostat will keep it very close to what you want and need.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Contrary to what Paul just said, an engine will allways make more horsepower when the water is cold== I have tested this over 100 times, and it is allways the same. COLD water will make more horsepower == Have you ever seen a Pro Stock car warmup the engine before they make a run?? NO, NEVER==The only reason new cars run so hot is for less emissions and better fuel milege== Horsepower ===NO


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Old 07-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

I make dyno pulls around 140-150 degrees, then if you want to see the hp numbers artificially climb, run the water through the engine till it gets to around 100 degrees, then make a pull.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

For making the most power you want the water colder. In our drag cars they always, and I really mean always, run faster with colder water temps. We bracket race and it is critical to have the water temp be the same every run. If you can't get the water temp down then you must raise your dial because the car will slow down. Colder = faster every time. All that extra heat in newer cars is for emissions. You don't want that.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Four answers and a 50/50 split....Wasn't drag racing so much more fun when the only problem you had, was where to put the Line-Lock button ??
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Racer View Post
I was wondering what temps you guys like to run at for best performance? whats the benefit on both sides of the range? ... Was wondering if the fuel was atomizing better? ...

So what do you guys say? On the dyno have any numbers been noticed to be better or worse? Any difference at the track?
Well, according to the OP's original questions, the answers are there with no split I can see. The guys with dyno and track time answered the specific questions, including atomization and emissions. As far as additional "benefits on both sides of the range", I'll refer to my earlier post here for starters. Good questions.

David
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
Well, according to the OP's original questions, the answers are there with no split I can see. The guys with dyno and track time answered the specific questions, including atomization and emissions. As far as additional "benefits on both sides of the range", I'll refer to my earlier post here for starters. Good questions.

David
Let me see if I have this correct....He drives it on the street and ALL the dyno guru's say 140deg....My 428CJ won't even fart till 185deg.....
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

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Originally Posted by old gator View Post
Let me see if I have this correct....He drives it on the street and ALL the dyno guru's say 140deg....My 428CJ won't even fart till 185deg.....
That's right. Your CJ was built, broken-in at 185+ and tuned there, so it will of course run best there. If you were to rebuild it, break it in at a cooler temp and tune it there, it would then run best at that cooler temp, and likely with a bit more power than before. Point is, from a purely performance angle, cooler is better. On the street, cooler is still better, but with a few concessions for long-term wear, acid build-up, cooling system limitations, etc.

Whatever your choice, be sure to stay in the range you choose, so the engine (and especially the rings) do not try to re-seat to a new bore shape and other different dimensions due to heat changes. So for example, if you run at 185 normally, do not load the engine hard at 160 or 200 or the rings will actually try to re-seat, losing some of the original seal. You'll find guys who run hard too cold or hot from normal end-up with an engine that never quite runs the same afterward. A leak-down test will usually show increased blow-by with a lower percentage reading. You'll notice drag racers that "burn-down" on the line - but still make the run due to the pressures of competition - return to the pits and the first thing they do is a leak-down test to see if they lost any ring or valve seal. Hope that helps.

David
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

PSIG

Now that is a good post...I agree with it all....We always cooled down the Fords and made every effort to keep them that way when racing..but they were never street driven...He's already broke the motor-in...BUT I do agree with the theory on the cooler motor..Just don't want to see him heading off for a lower t-stat than he has...it's lower than I would use and I live in Fla..
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

old timers used to thow a bag of ice on the intake if they needed that little exstra ..
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

In general:

Ideal temp is colder for most power.

Ideal temp is hotter for best engine longevity.

JMO,

paulie
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

My engine 1-2 years ago ran at 190 degrees on the street with a 180 degree thermo. Lately it's been showing around 150-160 degrees on the hwy and creeps up to 180 when in traffic. Going to replace the temperature bung in Vic Jr to see if it's going goofy or not.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Ideal engine temp? 160,170, 190???

Water temp on the older style engines=185-195, newer ones=210 (emissions)
Oil temp which is important should be 185-195 all the time.
And then you have trans and diff temps too.
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