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Old 10-06-2019, 09:02 AM   #1
Road Journey
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Default Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

Have nice restored 36 Ford. Had the usual overheating problems but better since Skip Haney water pump mod. Also radiator pressurized with Skip's valve. Not certain how functional this is now.

No thermostats.

1. What are pros & cons of thermostats? Car is not driven in winter.

2. Can thermostats IN ANY CASE actually make a car drive cooler?

Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:37 AM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

Don't think there is any way a thermostat would make it run cooler. The thermostat(s) are there to get it up to operating temperature quicker and maintain a minimum temperature. If it is running hot something is not working correctly.

First, what are you considering overheating? Is it boiling over? How are you checking the temperature?

There are several things that can contribute to overheating, the fan, no fan shroud, something blocking the airflow. Block that is not cleaned out. Timing issues with the engine. Etc.

A good operating temperature is 185 to 190 deg IMO. Higher is ok if you are not having boil over problems. I would think you would want at least 180 deg thermostats, maybe 185.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

I agree with JSerry in that there has to be an underlying problem for you to be having over heating issues.
As there was never any shroud, that is not to be considered. There were engine pans that may have aided in the circulation of air beneath the hood. I know in '39 & '40, those engine pans were designed to aid the cooling. I've seen the engineering report.
I'd suggest you follow JSeery's advice and methodically check exactly what you have prior to "tossing" Band-Aids at it. You will find that going at this (any problem) methodically is nearly always the most efficient way to properly diagnose and subsequently repair anything.

Thermostats are not necessary. I have found from personal experience that at times they help cooling. Other times, not so much.
When I have installed them, I use 155 units as they have always proven to have the best effect.
Get yourself an infrared temperature gun and test various spots on the radiator and heads.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

The only way a thrmostat could possibly help cooling is by removing it to allow a little less restriction, but some will argue that the water might too fast, thus not cooling efficently and may make the engine run even hotter. I've never experience the later, however.

The temperature rating of a thermostat will only open itsef up faster or slower from a cool start, but once the engine is up to operating temperature, the thermostat is open no mater what the rating of it is.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

It depends a lot on how efficient the radiator is, and as mentioned above, how clean the inside of the engine is. Every situation is different. My avatar when my newly rebuilt engine was installed (block was Redi-stripped) even though it had some performance items like Merc crank, Ross pistons, etc without thermostats the engine would NOT get above 110 degrees. This was on a hot day (for here 80 degrees) and running up through all RPM ranges and idling. Ran terribly. I put 180 degree stats in and it consistently runs great and occasionally will get up to 190 but never above.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce_roadster View Post
It depends a lot on how efficient the radiator is, and as mentioned above, how clean the inside of the engine is. Every situation is different. My avatar when my newly rebuilt engine was installed (block was Redi-stripped) even though it had some performance items like Merc crank, Ross pistons, etc without thermostats the engine would NOT get above 110 degrees. This was on a hot day (for here 80 degrees) and running up through all RPM ranges and idling. Ran terribly. I put 180 degree stats in and it consistently runs great and occasionally will get up to 190 but never above.
You are correct (of course) that every vehicle is different.
The vehicles I build are done correctly from one end to the other. Those get thermostats installed just as the factory did.
Other vehicles that I simply repair for folks may have a number of items that are in less than optimal condition. Those seem to be the ones that require more trouble shooting to get operating satisfactorily.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Thermostats Recommended for 36 Ford?

Henry was renowned for being frugal...but he fitted thermostats to all vehicles coming off the line...so, he must have deemed them a necessary expense.
My experience running pump in head engines, as your 36 is, is that at sustained high speeds, those pumps tend to push coolant out the cap/overflow. Thermostats fitted into the top hoses help to restrict this somewhat. I run thermostats in my 35, drive it hard and fast, and never, ever experience any coolant issues.
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