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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
couple of quick thermostat questions, guys. is it a good idea to have a 160* stat even with a stock chip? (i don't know for sure what chip is in mine, i was told that buick installed a performance chip in it when they gave the car to the first owner, elliot forbes robinson, a nascar driver i guess) it seems to run a little warm in traffic, and the summers here can be brutle! also, is it worth it to order a stainless housing while i'm at it? i'm sure that my housing is fine as the motor was rebuilt 1500 miles ago. i've heard different opinions on the whole temp thing, so i want to do the best thing. THANKS DUDES!!!
 

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wh1-t said:
couple of quick thermostat questions, guys. is it a good idea to have a 160* stat even with a stock chip? (i don't know for sure what chip is in mine, i was told that buick installed a performance chip in it when they gave the car to the first owner, elliot forbes robinson, a nascar driver i guess) it seems to run a little warm in traffic, and the summers here can be brutle! also, is it worth it to order a stainless housing while i'm at it? i'm sure that my housing is fine as the motor was rebuilt 1500 miles ago. i've heard different opinions on the whole temp thing, so i want to do the best thing. THANKS DUDES!!!
A thermostat sets the min operating temp.. Once it's open it's up to the fan settings to maintain whatever operating temp., the chip is designed to operate them at.

While 205dF is a bit high, for some, it is the designed oem operating temp..

Dropping the temp., *can* min., a car's tendency to detonate. It may use a richer Power Enrichment AFR at the lower temp..

The cooler you run an engine's temp to ambient, it greatly increases the time the fan has to run to cool things off.

Now, with all that said, *MANY* people use 160s. I run a 180dF, and don't have detonation problems, but I've done some work to achieve that.

If you're running a stock or almost stock chip, then a 180 is decent compromise, assuming your not hitting the knock sensor. The thing you want to find out is what temp., your fan is set to come on at.
 

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I will give a much less technical answer, although I believe there is good science behind the above reply...

I have a stock chip, and noticed a slight improvement from the butt dyno after the 160 deg stat was installed. Better throttle responce, and so forth.... Might be hard to quantify with actual test results/numbers, but definately there, IMO....
 

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Here's another "less technical" answer, although Bruce's answer was right on. The thermostat is pretty much wide open when it gets past it's temperature marking. So, if the car is running at 200, it will still run at 200 with a 160, a 180, or a 190 thermostat. The thermostat will make a difference when it's cold enough outside for the engine to "level off" at the set temp for the thermostat, but when the weather is too hot for that, one thermostat is pretty much the same as another- they will all be open wide. The stock chip has high temp setting for the fan to come on, about 208, so an aftermarket chip would probably help more than another thermostat. Or, if you want to run the stock chip (not recommended) you can add a switch to turn the fans on high sooner.
 

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Right. I should have stated I have a manual control switch for the high speed fan in the car...

Using that, the car will hold ~ 160 in some pretty hot weather (80's 90's, ..),turning the fan on at stop lights, etc..

What I really put that switch in for was to hold the temp down while in the staging lanes, although I don't really use that feature for that purpose too often....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys, i think that helped clear things up for me. i've got a laser temp reader, so i'll try figuring out when my fan comes on (it seems to run alot) and go from there!
 

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Larobj63, My guess is that your cooling system is better than wh1-t's. His seems to be like mine- in really hot weather, it wouldn't get down to 160, even with the fan on high. Mine will level off around 190, even at highway speeds, when the temp is in the 90s. That's good enough for me, so I haven't felt like spending $$ to get a better radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
now that i think about it, i thought that i saw a thread once where someone mentioned that they used a 4 row radiator from a V8 regal. would this be a cheap alternative for upgrading the entire cooling system?
 

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There have been a lot of threads about alternative radiators. I think the cheapest good upgrade is to use an F body radiator. They are aluminum, and are lighter than the Buick radiators, but they don't have both the oil cooler and the trans cooler. They are pretty much a "bolt in". Getting a new core for the stock radiator is another good route, without the weight savings. I don't think the best cores have four rows, though. Nick M., at Arizona GN, has them, and Kenny Holmes, in Iowa I think, used to have them. Somewhere there is a post which provides data on many alternatives, including number of rows, diameter of tubes, and flow area. I'm not sure if that was on this board, or the "other" turbo Buick board.
 
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