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Old 02-05-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
Ron/IA
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Default Thermostat - Which One?

I am going to install a thermostat in the Model A. Looking at the catalogs I see there are two different temps (160-degree or 180-degree), and two different mounting methods (in-hose or between water outlet & head).

It seems the 160-degree is most commonly used, but that the 180-degree is better for performance (comments from the catalogs, not mine or anyone I know). Also, any advantages or dis-advantages to in-hose versus between the water outlet & head (one catalog only lists in-hose type)?

I was wondering what experience others have had, which they prefer, and why?
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I have the 160 in the hose. I wish it was 180, befor I put in the stat the temp gauge would not move at all. now it runs at 160. one other thing is I have a leek less water pump and they say if you have a original radiator you need to grind off some of the impellers. I did not wont to do that. before I put in the thermostat it would puke water out, now it dose not puke...Brendan
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:31 AM   #3
AL in NY
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I run the Vintage Precision thermostat housing with a 180 degree thermostat. Here's their site: http://vintageprecision.com/products...ing/index.html
Also, here is a previous thread on this subject:
http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread...tage+precision
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AL in NY View Post
I run the Vintage Precision thermostat housing with a 180 degree thermostat. Here's their site: http://vintageprecision.com/products...ing/index.html
Also, here is a previous thread on this subject:
http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread...tage+precision
Ditto! (Except I run a 160 degree)
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Al - The VP thermostat cost is more than I want to budget for. But thanks for the info.

I read the previous thread, and found it interesting the information about hot spots developing by cylinders #3 & #4. I wonder if the vendors have tried to adjust the thermostat operation to prevent this?

Am I correct in understanding that when the thermostat does open upon reaching the set temp that there is a burst of water due to the hot spot? Thus causing the radiator to throw water out the overflow tube.

Can anybody expound on this?
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Makes sure your cooling system is working real well and go with the 180 thermostat in the hose. Your engine will run better than ever in this heat range.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I run a 180 degree in the upper hose. Tried a 160, but the temp never rose above 160! I believe 160 is too cold!
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I have seen other information stating the 180-degree thermostat will help the engine run better, but the cooling system needs to be in top shape. However, even (in my opinion only) a 160-degree thermostat will be warmer than an A engine without.

Right now, I can't make up my mind which one to get (160 or 180). I keep thinking about the "hot spots".

Does anyone else have experience with this?
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I have a 160 deg
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Dare I ask?
How is the engine affected by running too cool. I know SoCal never really qualifies as cold, but my Motometer never even regiseters a temp by the time I have driven to work on winter days. I assume, therefore, that the engine is running cool. I understand that there is more wear on engine parts during cold starts when the oil isn't up to temp or hasn't reached bearings etc. But after the engine is running why is it important to have a coolant temp of 160 - 180?
I've been driving my little coupe to work all week and just mentioned to my wife last night how much the car seems to love cold mornings. (The trans oil is thicker and so the car is quieter and the shifts are quicker). The motor has plenty of power warm or cold.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I have a 160 with the vintage housing. I am going to change to 180. For more heat to my header. The vintage housing is great.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Higher temps allow the fuel to vaporize better, resulting in cleaner burning & better gas mileage. Bill W.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Maybe others can give more details on cold versus hot engines, but I believe when the engine is running at the higher temperature; combustion is more complete. Also, the oil temp is higher and it flows more freely providing better lubrication.

The thing I was wondering about is the temp in the block being high enough to keep acidic fluids from not being dispersed. Thus causing premature damage to crank and connecting rod bearings. I know the crank-case temp doesn't get hot enough on short runs where the engine water temp doesn't reach maximum. (I hope that makes sense.)
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
Higher temps allow the fuel to vaporize better, resulting in cleaner burning & better gas mileage. Bill W.
Ahh, thanks.
I'm not too concerned about the engine wearing out or getting gummed up prematurely. Not that that might not be best, but my A engines have lasted a long time without thermostats. (My '31 PU has 102,000 miles on it now.)
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

For you guys who are not a working in the shop today 'cause it's just TOO DERN COLD in thar since it ain't heated, and got nuthin' better to do than git under your wife's feet, check this out. It's a seminar on jes the topic y'all been a ponderin':

http://rmaford.org/files/2012/01/Coo...tion_Final.pdf


Should keep ya out 'o trouble for a while.....Test tomorrow

18* here today.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Like others, I also have the VP thermostat housing. Can't get the thermostat any closer to the head than that assembly does.
Years ago I tried the thermostat with the 3 tangs, didn't stay put always ended up at the radiator!! Also used the thermostat soldered to a piece of SS tubing, it too moved.

Yes the VP costs more but its the best location for the thermostat on a Model A! And it will never move!
Had mine on for about 3 years and it works great.
On my temp gauge, you can see when the thermostat opens the first time, as the temp drops about 10 degrees and then comes back up to 170, have never seen the gauge move from that temp while driving. I run a 160 thermostat.

Save up and buy the VP unit you won't be sorry.
Regards,
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

I would also like to praise my VP thermostat. Once the housing is installed you can change thermostats if needed without the need to loosen the head bolts. I ran a 160 with a mechanical Stewart Warner gauge using distilled water, water wetter and additional anti rust and it pegged at 160 all the time. I did not like the water appearance for rust so switched to 50/50 antifreeze. With the 50/50 it now goes to 170 operating with my 160 thermostat which may be better anyway. I agree with Herb in the previous post, I think you would be very pleased with the VP setup. Give them a call and discuss their thermostat, I did and they are very happy to discuss the product without any high pressure sales. Ron I would be happy to discuss more about the VP at the next Hawk A meeting.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Thanks for the link to the Rocky Mountain A's PDF on Model A cooling. I will read it when I can.

It's 9-degrees here, and I have snow to move from the drifting that has occurred today.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

Wow, what an amazing presentation. Not much left to argue after reading that.
Leaves room for guys to do what they think is best, but gives you the data to make a good decision. Wonder if Grandad knew all that stuff.

Looks like I'll be flushing and refilling with distilled water and wetter this w/e.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:49 PM   #20
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Default Re: Thermostat - Which One?

If you mount are thermostat in the hose, put it close to outlet and hold it in place with a hose clamp. I originally put mine in without the clamp, it moved up to the radiator end of the hose, then would overheat because the block water would get hot before the hose water would get hot enough to open the 'stat.
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