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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to see which thermostat you guys use for cars that see track? I've been using two so far. Milidon, which seems to be extremely inconsistent as far as when it opens up, and Autozone brand (Duralast, I think), which feels like it's either not flowing enough water, or closing up as soon as I give it full throttle. I wanted to see what does everyone else use for track duty. Is anyone running with out a thermostat at all? I've heard that on SBC, some road race guys don't run thermostat at all, but a small restrictor to slow the water down just a little bit for better cooling.

Just a little background on the car. It's a daily driver so far, so thermostat would be nice to have just to have heater as an option. Car sees on average 10 track weekends a year.
 

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Just using a parts store stant, worked fine on track with my stockish (headers, intake, roller rockers) motor, the cooling system as a whole is more taxed with my 331 with HCI and headers on hot days but I doubt it has to do with the t-stat.
 

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The whole "dwell time in the radiator" theory is bs... more water flow = more cooling. That said, I run a tstat in my racecar - without one my engine runs too cool in the spring/fall. I run a 180º high flow from robert shaw - I drilled a couple extra holes in it too as I do not run the bypass hose. Seems to work well, this past weekend was a real test as we were racing in 104º weather...
 

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I run a Mr. Gasket 180 degree thermostat in my windsor. I just got back from Mid-Ohio where it was 94 degrees and she didn't go above 200 degree coolant temps.

Ofcourse you have to have an entire cooling system capable of expelling the heat. With a good cooling system I doubt even an autozone thermostat would hold anyone back. Fluctuations in coolant temps are usually more of a fan issue (airflow) than a t-stat issue.

I'm surprised at your bad experience with the Milodon t-stat. I have used one before and was very happy with it. In fact I think the Mr. Gasket and the Milodon t-stats are pretty much the same, if not exactlly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yeah, with Milodon, it just never seems to be on target. I've got a 160 degree in there, and it went from running cooler than 150 on the hwy to running around 180-190. I like how much flow the thermostat provides, but it just does not seem to be very consistent.

I've been reading on CC as well, to see what other people are running and quite a few people are having good results with just a gutted out Stant, as a restrictor. I've got one sitting on the shelf, so I've done just that where I gutted the whole thing out, and I'm probably going to put it in this weekend just to see how it works on the street. Another thing I'm working on right now is making the heat extractor hood with the GT500 vent. I've had one in the past, but crashed it unfortunately before I had a chance to do any track testing. Hopefully I can be a little more careful this time.

As for other cooling mods, I've got a custom built aluminum radiator, which I shielded off and blocked off completely from losing any air sideways, and Setrab 920 cooler with fan pack. Using -8 lines, which some say are too small, but my motor is almost completely stock, so I don't think it's that much of a restriction.

Edit: Car is still a street car, so I still have AC.
 

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I've been using the MotoRad Fail Safe t-stat, 195*. My motor is 8.5:1 compression and my butt-dyno says it runs better above 180*. Problem is the t-stats don't last long in my car. 1 track day, and it's toast (stuck open). The car has a 2 row aluminum radiator, 93 Cobra grill opening, stock fan w/ SSP clutch, no AC & I have 3 different water pump pulleys that can be swapped on; stock, 93 Cobra & ASP underdrive. There is an Auto Meter mechanical water temp gauge, it's installed in the front of the lower intake. Only one track day have I gotten it to run nearly 200*. It's usually 175*-190*. I'm not complaining but it runs very cool during normal driving. I tried a Mr Gasket 195* when the car still had AC and it NEVER warmed up. What gives? Time for a new temp gauge? Time for multiple temp gauges? The stock "make your heart skip a beat when you turn on the lights and it gets 'warmer'" gauge is not hooked up.
 

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Everyones setup is different and so not all the same T-stats will do the same in everyones car. For myself I found out that not running a t-stat on the track works the best. I spent years trying different set up's on and off the track. During the winter time I do use a 180 to get the car up to temp quick. And since I still drive it on the street it's critical to use it in the winter because if I don't use one the car will not pass 150 on the gauge. During track events I run the car for 30 minute sessions. About 10 minutes into a session the car is well above 180 anyways so the use of a t-stat is worthless. It would be wide open anyways if it was in there. I opt to leave it out and benefit from the extra flow of water. I use a Fluidyn radiator with a fan from a new edge Mustang and the radiator is boxed in. In the worse heat here in Florida at Sebring in August the car won't get hotter then 220. That's a victory for me after years of research and trial and error.
 

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The whole "dwell time in the radiator" theory is bs... more water flow = more cooling. That said, I run a tstat in my racecar - without one my engine runs too cool in the spring/fall. I run a 180º high flow from robert shaw - I drilled a couple extra holes in it too as I do not run the bypass hose. Seems to work well, this past weekend was a real test as we were racing in 104º weather...
very interesting,
forgive the cut and paste from the other thread,
but to set up the question (in red, below) :

how much do the underdrive pulley's hurt?

i have steeda 25% iirc
no heater, no a/c
pure water, with one bottle water-wetter
autometer gauges
road race car,
big fluidyne radiator, (not yet boxed in)
and no air dam floppy thing underneath radiator,

was hitting 240*F at road atlanta in june, so i bailed halfway through the race,
i had JUST replaced the motor, after throwing a rod there in march,
so i wasn't ready to RE-replace a motor.

sunday morning, we made a small faux-airdam from 2 ply of a rubbermaid garbage can
(don't ya' wish EVERYTHING was made, like rubbermaid???)

i saw a 20*F drop from just that, and it was only ~3.5" tall, and JUST as wide as radiator
interesting,
when tuning the new engine (c-head swap) i saw a 10 degree difference between the datalogger, and my autometer gauge.

i forget which was higher,

anyways,
if both sensors were at about the same place, seems like they'd be about the same temp, (instead of 10*F different).

do the 98's have different locations of the TWO sensors??

more pertinently,
my engine swap, involved a long block from an 05 aviator,
hence the c-heads.

i wonder if those 4.6's had a bigger difference in the two sensors?

thoughts?
so the guy who did my motor swap, owns his own shop,
has a fox body stang with a $28,000 chevy ~582 c.i.d, which runs in teh 7's on motor,
and in the 6's on nitrous.
so i FIGURE he knows what he is talking about.

yes, i know drag racing is different from road racing,
and THEY can run with epoxy in their water jackets, and NO radiator, etc, for a short run.


so,

when he put in my fluidyne,
instead of a cooler thermostat, for which i asked,
he put in a "flow restricting washer"

while discussing it, he was saying "if it still runs to hot . . ."
i interrupted by saying " . . .put in a less-flow-restricting-washer"
he corrected me by saying "NO. Put in a MORE-flow-restricting-washer, to slow water through the radiator" (ed's "dwell time")

i thought, hmm, maybe that makes sense,

ed apparantly says BS,

what to do??

how much does THIS part of my cooling (or lack there of) puzzle explain my temps on saturday and sunday in june??

p.s.
car is a 98 cobra,
as above with an 05 c-head aviator 4.6 mod motor
 

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Another "cut and paste".... from Stewart Components, makes of Stewart high flow water pumps... full thread here...

Stewart Components - High Performance Automotive Cooling


Tech Tip #3 - Thermostats & Restrictors

Thermostats & Restrictors
We strongly recommend NEVER using a restrictor: they decrease coolant flow and ultimately inhibit cooling.

A common misconception is that if coolant flows too quickly through the system, that it will not have time to cool properly. However the cooling system is a closed loop, so if you are keeping the coolant in the radiator longer to allow it to cool, you are also allowing it to stay in the engine longer, which increases coolant temperatures. Coolant in the engine will actually boil away from critical heat areas within the cooling system if not forced through the cooling system at a sufficiently high velocity. This situation is a common cause of so-called "hot spots", which can lead to failures.


Doc, I'm betting you box in your radiator so all the air goes through it, maybe open up your hood so the air doesn't get trapped in the engine bay, remove the t-stat completely (as a test) and your overheating problem will disappear. But I don't know anything about mod motors, so this might not work. But it works for pushrod engines.... Running a good oil cooler helps too...
 
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