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160 Thermostat / Pros/Cons

Old 04-19-2018, 09:49 PM
  #1  
TripleBlackZ06
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Default 160 Thermostat / Pros/Cons

At what point does it make sense to change the thermostat ? My car is almost stock with a tune & need some input on this . Its easy & inexpensive but would it make a noticeable difference , No heavy duty racing really just occasional spirited blasts with friends
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:28 AM
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Must_Have_Z
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How hot does your oil and coolant run during normal driving conditions? That will help answer the question.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:32 PM
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Drag racing....sure

spitited driving...no point
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:54 AM
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I am also interested, I want to do half mile and roll racing, would I need a 160 degree thermostat? If so, where can I find the cheapest one?
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:29 AM
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It never makes sense.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:23 AM
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I want to see a direct comparison. Eighth or quarter mile runs with just the thermostat change under same conditions or dyno runs.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:46 AM
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You should look into why people do it before wasting your time. Computer pulls timing at certain temperatures...thats about it.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:51 AM
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You need your engine (engine oil ) above 180 to lubricate properly. 200 is ideal. A 160 thermostat will likely prevent that.

Unless you're driving at or near WOT for long periods of time, I dont see a need
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:05 PM
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I am glad I asked , thanks for the input...
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:43 PM
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In racing it can play an enormous role

as a daily driver, typically the factory raises running temp as high as possible because this is how you extract max economy.

In between the two is the knowledge, that if you know what to do with the lower coolant that makes it worth having reduced economy, being able to weigh pros and cons of the difference.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:35 PM
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From personal experience, using a 160 thermostat won't prevent your oil from reaching 200F, not even close. I have a DeWitts radiator cooling my ~580 rwhp C6Z, with a 160F and my motor runs about in the low 200F range on 75 degree days. Plenty hot enough to get it flowing well, and to burn off any moisture, without being too hot and risk breakdown.

The reason I put this thermostat on my car is that my motor simply could not get the normal amount of timing for the Alpha cam/WCCH heads build at CPR, and even using an octane booster I was getting a small amount of ping on full throttle acceleration. What dropping from the normal stock thermostat to the 160 thermostat has done is to eliminate the small amounts of ping, using the same mixture of 1 bottle of Royal Purple Max Boost octane booster per tank of 91 octane gasoline.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by nuke61 View Post
From personal experience, using a 160 thermostat won't prevent your oil from reaching 200F, not even close. I have a DeWitts radiator cooling my ~580 rwhp C6Z, with a 160F and my motor runs about in the low 200F range on 75 degree days. Plenty hot enough to get it flowing well, and to burn off any moisture, without being too hot and risk breakdown.

The reason I put this thermostat on my car is that my motor simply could not get the normal amount of timing for the Alpha cam/WCCH heads build at CPR, and even using an octane booster I was getting a small amount of ping on full throttle acceleration. What dropping from the normal stock thermostat to the 160 thermostat has done is to eliminate the small amounts of ping, using the same mixture of 1 bottle of Royal Purple Max Boost octane booster per tank of 91 octane gasoline.

Your 160 thermostat eliminates your ping at operating temperature? What?
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
In racing it can play an enormous role
.

How?
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by reasonable suspicion View Post
Your 160 thermostat eliminates your ping at operating temperature? What?
Why do you run a colder plug?
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:18 AM
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Properly warmed/hot engine oil is essential for racing. Usually right around 212*F the boiling point of water, 200-220* is typical. It is the temperature where oil 'thins out' allowing it to become less viscous, flow easier. The oil must do this before you run an engine (ANY engine) hard, or high RPM.

Imagine trying to push cold syrup/oil through a tiny hole in a bottle. It doesn't flow very well, even at high pressure. So you might see 80psi or 100psi of oil pressure, but the engine bearings can be running dry because the oil is too thick.

this is where all the confusion is coming from when it comes to coolant temperature. People say, "don't run a cold engine hard it will reduce longevity" and it is completely true. But they are referring to the oil system, not the coolant system. Which sucks because you can see 180*F or 200*F on the coolant gauge and think your engine is 'warmed up' when the oil is still 125*F inside. OEM loves high temperature water because it helps warm everything up. Notice how they run it into the throttle body to warm it up as well. Having nice evenly warmed up parts ensures that air and fuel will be metered properly for smooth engine operation, and will achieve a high economy, even if it costs power.

This isn't an oil thread, so I won't elaborate on heating oil up, viscosity, racing w/ engine oil talk.
However we can jump to "how cold the coolant can be" and the benefits of colder coolant briefly.

When you put colder plugs into an engine you are making it easier for heat to get out of the combustion chamber and into the head/coolant. Heat moves because of a temperature difference, i.e. 80*F to 70*F vs 80*F to 20*F, the one with the larger spread of temperatures will change more dramatically. When we put these two ideas together for racing purposes it becomes clear: higher heat production of racing means we need to get more heat out of the combustion chamber, faster, which means we need a lower temperature coolant, a colder spark plug, and enough cooling flow/capacity to keep up with any commanded steady state operations.


It depends on the kind of racing. 1 mile is different than endurance racing. In endurance races a steady state is necessary. In drag racing you don't need a steady state; you can shut the engine off and let it cool down between passes.

The end result, or the goal I might say, is to keep the combustion chamber cool enough to prevent the catastrophic outcome of over-heated fuel, and to prevent melting/warping of the weakest engine parts. When some fuels become too hot (cough* 93 octane) they explode violently, blowing an engine apart (or a head gasket if you are lucky). High temperature can also warp and melt parts. Both of these things is possible in both racing and stock engines, i.e. if you overheated a stock engine on 87 octane dramatically it would probably explode in a manner similar to an overheated racing engine at WOT, the high temp fuel would explode something into pieces. So fuel choice plays an enormous role here. E85 burns "colder" keeps parts "cooler" is less likely to "explode violently" and you can run it at much higher temperature coolant than you could gasoline. But there still exists the instantaneous possibility of overheating the metal in an engine, say, the exhaust components, i.e. many turbines have inlet temperature maximum around 1380*F for example. So we have to consider what happens after the fuel/air is burnt and where is that heat energy going and how much of it is there.

One thing a racing engineer calculates is how many Joules/second an engine produces at its longest/peak output condition and ensures that yes, the cooling/oil system is up to the challenge. they are somewhat tied together, and yet not really. The liquids do not mix, but the heat they share comes from the same place. Oil carries just as important role as coolant does for removing heat. Many high power/displacement ratio engines (usually turbocharged OEM variety) have piston oil squirters for example to aid in oil-based cooling. I could spend month here giving little details; what you can take away from this is that both oil and coolant are 'cooling' an engine, that the oil needs to hit 200*F~ to get thin and be 'safe to run the engine hard' and that coolant aids in the warming up of an engine, the smooth operation and drivability/economy of the engine when it is HOT, and that it aids in heat removal from racing situations when necessary in racing, to whatever degree the engineer thinks it is necessary.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by reasonable suspicion View Post
It never makes sense.
This. All it does is cause more wear on the motor.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Unreal View Post
This. All it does is cause more wear on the motor.
sorry this is incorrect stereotype I address partially in the above post.

The engine is lubricated by engine oil, so it is important engine oil is up to proper temperature. Coolant at 180*F is of no more risk than coolant at 212*F to engine longevity so long as the engine oil is around 200*F~. An engine oil thermostat could be used to facilitate engine oil heating. Engine oil warmers are also available. there is no reason to say that having a lower T-thermostat will prolong engine oil reaching operating temperature as the devices to assist engine oil warming exist for us to use.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Kingtal0n View Post
sorry this is incorrect stereotype I address partially in the above post.

The engine is lubricated by engine oil, so it is important engine oil is up to proper temperature. Coolant at 180*F is of no more risk than coolant at 212*F to engine longevity so long as the engine oil is around 200*F~. An engine oil thermostat could be used to facilitate engine oil heating. Engine oil warmers are also available. there is no reason to say that having a lower T-thermostat will prolong engine oil reaching operating temperature as the devices to assist engine oil warming exist for us to use.
How many people use an engine oil thermostat to control oil temps? Whats more commonly used? Its a well known fact that hot oil, 200-230, lubricates better, coolant temp has a direct relationship with that
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:32 PM
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Which goes back to if you just add a 160, you slow the warm up, which causes more cold wear, but can be fixed by throwing more money at it, or just not spending the $40 on a t-stat in the first place. With a 160 or 180 my car runs at 195-198. Either way t-stat is fully open. Just one makes it take a lot longer to get to operating temp.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Millenium Z06 View Post
How many people use an engine oil thermostat to control oil temps? Whats more commonly used? Its a well known fact that hot oil, 200-230, lubricates better, coolant temp has a direct relationship with that

You can control oil to be whatever temperature you want, whenever you want. Race cars run 225*F Oil all the time with 168*F coolant. It is up to you, the owner, the engineer, to decide the best way to accomplish this.

No excuses when lowering coolant temp, not to control oil temp where you need it as well. If they can do it, you can do it. If you can't figure it out on your own, then don't attempt the change these things and leave it alone.
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