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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was going over my cooling system on my 1964 Chevy II wagon with a SBC 383 and discovered no T-stat in the housing. Anyone familiar with people doing this? is this a common thing or some old hot rodder trick? Should install a 180 deg t-stat I have laying around? Thnx This thing is a starting to be a can of worms...
 

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What is it running temp wise? I likely would put a new t stat in. Hard to say if it had issues with it, or if it was even good. They do help more then not, slowing coolant so it can cool off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is it running temp wise? I likely would put a new t stat in. Hard to say if it had issues with it, or if it was even good. They do help more then not, slowing coolant so it can cool off.
Im in the process of hooking up the efan, but It got pretty hot in the past. 200+ deg when pressure and heat blew the top rad hose loose from the hose clamps while driving.
 

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What is it running temp wise? I likely would put a new t stat in. Hard to say if it had issues with it, or if it was even good. They do help more then not, slowing coolant so it can cool off.
Slowing the flow of coolant actually causes the engine to get hotter. This is why the thermostat closed when the engine is cold. Raising the flow will cool the engine down, which is why the thermostat opens when the engine gets hot.
 

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My experience with my sbc was when really hot out, it would run hot without tstat in town, and be ok on the highway when more air was moving through it. The tstat help slow the flow in town and allow the cooler temp. I run electric fan and water pump. And if you drive in cold temps it may never reach a good operating temp. Put the stat in and experiment. Good luck!
 

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The tstat help slow the flow in town and allow the cooler temp.
Why would the t-stat close down to slow the flow when the engine is too cold? Why does the t-stat open to increase the flow when the engine is getting too hot?

- IMPROVEMENT RULE # 1 -Anything you can do to increase the coolant flow rate, within limits described, will improve heat transfer and cooling performance. Anything you do to restrict or reduce the coolant flow rate will hurt cooling performance.

https://www.enginebasics.com/Engine Basics Root Folder/Engine Cooling Pg3.html
 

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With no thermostat the engine is not kept at an optimal operating temperature. If there is an overheating problem without it there is a problem elsewhere in the cooling system.
 

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Slowing the flow of coolant actually causes the engine to get hotter. This is why the thermostat closed when the engine is cold. Raising the flow will cool the engine down, which is why the thermostat opens when the engine gets hot.
Its been my experience, that the stat will not fully close when operating; if good, but that doesn't mean its always going to be full open either, at all times, and I do not now what that % is. If the flow through the radiator is always full force, the heat may not effectively dissipate, creating higher and higher temps. They do not only function to warm up an engine quicker. And yes, many variables are at work for every vehicle like flow volume, by passes, temp of stat and nominal operating temp for the engine. Then you always have internal or tuning aspects to consider.

Why would the t-stat close down to slow the flow when the engine is too cold? Why does the t-stat open to increase the flow when the engine is getting too hot?

- IMPROVEMENT RULE # 1 -Anything you can do to increase the coolant flow rate, within limits described, will improve heat transfer and cooling performance. Anything you do to restrict or reduce the coolant flow rate will hurt cooling performance.

https://www.enginebasics.com/Engine Basics Root Folder/Engine Cooling Pg3.html
To get the engine warmer, quicker, reducing internal wear by unburnt fuels. To begin cooling the system. What happens when the engine and radiator are heat soaked and the radiator cannot cool the fast volume of water, because it circulates too fast? Milliseconds I would assume are better than nothing.

Regardless, I do not run without a t stat, I have had more issues without than with them.
 

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To get the engine warmer, quicker, reducing internal wear by unburnt fuels. To begin cooling the system. What happens when the engine and radiator are heat soaked and the radiator cannot cool the fast volume of water, because it circulates too fast? Milliseconds I would assume are better than nothing.

Regardless, I do not run without a t stat, I have had more issues without than with them.
Heat soak the radiator? That's the whole idea - get the radiator as hot as you can so it will dissipate more heat. Newton's law states that the rate of heat loss of a body is directly proportional to the difference in the temperatures between the body and its surroundings.
We seem to understand that in winter our cars run cooler, and it's not because we are making less power and heat in the engine. It's because the difference in temperature between the cooling air and the hot radiator is greater. In the summertime this difference is less, so the efficiency of the cooling system is less. To increase the efficiency you can't cool the air, but you can raise the average temperature of the radiator by maximizing the flow. It's not about how much you cool the water, it's about how much heat you dissipate, and this is governed by the average temperature of the radiator. If you slow the flow to get the outlet temperature lower, the inlet temperature will rise to maintain the average temperature. If you slow the flow through the radiator, you are also slowing the flow through the engine, which results in a higher radiator inlet temperature. Most engine temperature gauges are located on the outlet of the engine, so slowing the flow will result in a higher indicated engine temperature.

The average radiator, including the tanks, holds about a gallon, and if your water pump is pumping 60 gpm any individual molecule of water will be in the radiator for about one second. The cooling tubes hold a fraction of that, so we're looking at .5 seconds in the actual cooling part of the radiator.
 

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OP,

Thermal transfer from metal to fluid only happens so fast, T stats or restrictors serve a purpose. Let us know what you decide.

But heck, all I drive is air cooled cars. I could be wrong
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanx for the reply guys. I went ahead and installed one of those Stewart "Fail safe" 180 deg T-Stat I had laying around.
 

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Perhaps the air is going through the radiator too fast to pick up any heat...
Actually, The air is traveling so fast the friction is creating heat and causing the radiator to overheat. :yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::D




If ya can't poke the bear every now and then what good is your life??!!?
 

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Actually, The air is traveling so fast the friction is creating heat and causing the radiator to overheat. :yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::D
If ya can't poke the bear every now and then what good is your life??!!?
Where's the like button?
 

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Depends upon where you are. When I lived in Fallon, and especially Las Vegas Nevada, I never ran one in my Chevys and used 100% coolant. No problems. I’m near Seattle and use a 180 and 100% coolant. No problems.
 

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Always use a t-stat. It slows down the coolant so the radiator can dispel the heat. If the water is constantly flowing through the radiator, it can't get rid of the heat..Also, coolant can't cool if it's 100%, it needs some water in it...If you want to keep SOME coolant flowing, a little trick we used to use was to drill 4 1/8" holes in the flange of the t-stat. This will allow some seepage, but will restrict the majority of the flow so the radiator can get rid of the heat. I've been drag racing and stock car racing since the 60's, and we always used a t-stat.
 

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Always use a t-stat. It slows down the coolant so the radiator can dispel the heat. If the water is constantly flowing through the radiator, it can't get rid of the heat..Also, coolant can't cool if it's 100%, it needs some water in it...If you want to keep SOME coolant flowing, a little trick we used to use was to drill 4 1/8" holes in the flange of the t-stat. This will allow some seepage, but will restrict the majority of the flow so the radiator can get rid of the heat. I've been drag racing and stock car racing since the 60's, and we always used a t-stat.
It's actually the opposite of what you describe, more flow equals more heat dissipation, which means a cooler running engine.

Why is the thermostat closed when the engine is warming up? It's because restricting the flow reduces the heat dissipation so the engine can warm up. Less flow results in the engine temperature rising.

Why does the thermostat open when the operating temperature has been reached and we don't want it to go any higher? It's because increasing the flow increases the heat dissipation.

It all goes back to Newton's Law of Cooling, which states that the rate of heat loss of a body is directly proportional to the difference in the temperatures between the body and its surroundings. In other words, the hotter you make the radiator, the more heat it dissipates. You make the radiator hot by pumping coolant through it at a rapid rate, introducing a lot of turbulence in the process.

Here is a link to some excellent information on engine cooling, originally hosted by Arrowhead Radiator:

- IMPROVEMENT RULE # 1 -Anything you can do to increase the coolant flow rate, within limits described, will improve heat transfer and cooling performance. Anything you do to restrict or reduce the coolant flow rate will hurt cooling performance

https://www.enginebasics.com/Engine Basics Root Folder/Engine Cooling.html
 

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It's actually the opposite of what you describe, more flow equals more heat dissipation, which means a cooler running engine.
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You never stated if you do or do not run a t stat. Do you?

Wouldn't that be an engineered restriction design, serving a specific purpose?
 

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Perhaps the air is going through the radiator too fast to pick up any heat...
And you just answered your own question. If the fluid (water/coolant), is traveling too fast through the radiator, the radiator can not pick up any heat and get it out of the system.. To have a functioning cooling system, you must have a adequate radiator, a working water pump, a good shroud, and a working t-stat.. These are the basic 4 components, not mentioning hoses that don't collapse..
 
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