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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Working on a project car. Found PO had removed stat and put in this blanking plate.


I'm quite a noob yet but I'm pretty sure on a street car a thermostat is a good thing (maintaining the optimal running temp, not "as cool as possible", too cold is almost as bad as too hot, right?) So I'm thinking I need to put one in. Of course now I'm realizing there's different size stats? It's a '69 429 with lots of extra "stuff"; edlebrock intake and 1407 carb. I'm currently fitting an HEI distributor so went for this water neck. Still working on fitment.

https://www.carid.com/dorman/coolant-thermostat-housing-mpn-902-1033.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
yes, restrictor plate would be a better term, so should I put a t-stat in there or just put the plate back? Someone did a lot to the cooling system, aluminium rad, electric fan, "custom" expansion tank of some sort. I could "assume" they knew what they were doing and put it back and only go to a stat if there's issues. I don't have a lot of confidence in this car's previous owner, there's evidence of "questionable" work all over the place and multiple issues so I doubt they ran it enough to even know if their "custom" cooling system was worth a fart. I already know the heater core leaks like a screen door on a submarine.
 

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For a driver you are better off with a 180F thermostat. Buy a SuperStant, because they actually work for only a few bucks more.

FE engines typically run with a high-mounted pressurized expansion tank to keep the radiator completely full for better cooling, and it's far better for the radiator cores. The picture shows the stock location mounted directly to the intake manifold discharge, which has a vertical flange.

The discharge flange on yours is horizontal, so the PO probably had to make up something for the expansion tank. As long as it's above the level of the radiator and holds about a quart and has a legitimate pressure release cap you should be fine. Note that they typically run less than half full when cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
okay, will do, now the question is which diameter stat? I would love to get one on the way home from work but I suppose I should go measure the hole first. I was hoping to go for fire tonight and drive it a little bit, if the elcheap crappo HEI dizzy works, if not, oh well, there's worse things a guy could be doing then plinking around with old Fords.

Not sure on expansion tank levels, there was only a little coolant under the neck, the hose was empty and the level was right at the restrictor plate (and clear silicone was used as a gasket......of course)
 

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Later model FEs didn't use an expansion tank, that was only the early versions. A 429 never used one, and as long as the radiator fill point is higher than the engine water level, that is fine. The radiator works fine for that

That being said, a thermostat is a great idea. I tend to drill a small hole, very small, 1/16 at the most, to allow water and air to pass while waiting for it to open, especially the first time. It's much easier on the system, allows the thermostat to open more consistently and ensures there aren't any steam pockets to shock the heater core.
 
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