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Old 10-09-2017, 07:56 AM   #1
gary678*
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Default Thermostat use-yes or no?

I currently am not using a thermostat and my 4 cylinder runs at 135 to 140 degrees. Will my car run better using a 160 degree thermostat?
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Considering your location where you likely get some severe winter weather, it will be advantageous to use a thermostat to get your operating temperature up to normal range quickly. With no stat and cold weather, you likely will run all day long at cooler temps which is not good for the engine.

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Old 10-09-2017, 08:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

We wrote this up in the Model A Times a few years ago. The current fuel mixture requires 160 degree or better operating temperature for a clean fuel burn. The Model A will operate in the 140 degree range so you need to elevate the temperature to maximize the fuel use.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Yes
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Of all the no-brainer decisions regarding a Model A--or any car--this has to be Number One; YES! IMHO
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Just after picking up my 29, I drove it about 13 miles from home to my shop. I checked the head temp and it range from 125 to about 140. I want to a dd a vintage hot water heater so I will include Vintage Precision's thermostat housing, using the tapped ports for my temp gauge and supply line for the heater.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

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Originally Posted by slammin View Post
Just after picking up my 29, I drove it about 13 miles from home to my shop. I checked the head temp and it range from 125 to about 140. I want to a dd a vintage hot water heater so I will include Vintage Precision's thermostat housing, using the tapped ports for my temp gauge and supply line for the heater.
That's 'zactly what I did. My only comment is that, although the unit comes all painted up real pretty, the metal may not have been prepped or primered; the paint's peeling off of mine with some rust under it after only a few years. Nonetheless, I'd use it again.

Steve
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

I am very happy with my Vintage Precision Thermostat and Housing. Keeps engine at best temp for efficient combustion, etc. Some folks have put a stat in and claim that their engine overheats... If that is true them 1. It was already overheating . 2. a Stuck Stat but then it will really overheat fast!. Be careful when installing a temp probe in the VP housing. Some are too long and will block the stat and then it will overheat! The APCO gauge probe is the correct length.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

I use the Vintage Precision t-stat housing with a 180 degree t-stat. I use the ports on the VP unit for a hot water heater and a temperature gauge.

Always runs between 180 & 190. Never more than that. Couldn't be happier with this set-up.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Thanks everyone! I will start with a 160 degree thermostat. Gary D.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

160* works good for me for many years
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Just to add another view.

I have never used a thermostat. I don't drive Model A's in winter offen. Mainly because I only run with water. In sixty years I have never had one of our cars overheat or run poorly once up to operating temperature.

Car was designed to run without thermostat. There are a lot of Model A's around. Henry liked simple. Enjoy.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

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Originally Posted by WHN View Post
Just to add another view.

I have never used a thermostat. I don't drive Model A's in winter offen. Mainly because I only run with water. In sixty years I have never had one of our cars overheat or run poorly once up to operating temperature.

Car was designed to run without thermostat. There are a lot of Model A's around. Henry liked simple. Enjoy.
This is a popular viewpoint, and it's certainly true that the Model A is a durable and forgiving car. I would only add that I suspect your cars have often never really gotten up to optimum operating temperature. Henry didn't really have a lot of choice about "liking simple" in regard to designing the car to run without a thermostat: reliable thermostats weren't invented until the mid-'30s. As soon as they existed, Ford and all other car manufacturers adopted them. Before that, the more expensive cars rigged up variable shutter arrangements to control air flow through the radiator, because even back then everybody knew that getting that motor up to an optimum temperature asap was a good idea if you could do it.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

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Originally Posted by steve s View Post
This is a popular viewpoint, and it's certainly true that the Model A is a durable and forgiving car. I would only add that I suspect your cars have often never really gotten up to optimum operating temperature. Henry didn't really have a lot of choice about "liking simple" in regard to designing the car to run without a thermostat: reliable thermostats weren't invented until the mid-'30s. As soon as they existed, Ford and all other car manufacturers adopted them. Before that, the more expensive cars rigged up variable shutter arrangements to control air flow through the radiator, because even back then everybody knew that getting that motor up to an optimum temperature asap was a good idea if you could do it.
I don't disagree with your comments. I can only mention again what my experience has been. We have owned one Model A for over 40 years. Never a heating problem. Thousands of miles driven, some in high summer heat. Our other Model A's also were fine.

Sound engine, good radiator and water pump, correct timing, right weight oil. If as Henry built it or at least close to it. Will go another 90 years, assuming they can still buy gas.

I don't think a thermostat will help add to the longevity of engine. They already have lasted 90 years. Enjoy.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

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Originally Posted by WHN View Post
I don't disagree with your comments. I can only mention again what my experience has been. We have owned one Model A for over 40 years. Never a heating problem. Thousands of miles driven, some in high summer heat. Our other Model A's also were fine.

Sound engine, good radiator and water pump, correct timing, right weight oil. If as Henry built it or at least close to it. Will go another 90 years, assuming they can still buy gas.

I don't think a thermostat will help add to the longevity of engine. They already have lasted 90 years. Enjoy.
Well, we sure can't argue with success! Other than their being demonstrably essential for my after-market hot water heater to work, all I know about thermostats is what I've read. But, be that as it may, as a fellow long-time Model A owner, I would be interested in your experience on another issue. (I've owned my car since 1960, but it was out of use for 22 years while life intervened.)

What has been your radiator experience? Specifically, I've long suspected that a major cause of Model A radiator failure is use of regular (waterproof) grease in the water pump. It's almost impossible to know when you've added just enough grease, and I believe that much of the years-of-excess grease has to wind up in the radiator tubes. Ford recommended water soluble grease to prevent this, but I suspect that few people do. I'm curious if you've gotten decades of service from your radiators as you have with the motors, and what your lubrication practice has been, especially since you mention you've never had overheating problems.

By the way, I'm a big advocate of using thermostats to prevent UNDER warming of the engine, but I've never been persuaded that thermostats are useful to prevent OVER heating.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

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Originally Posted by steve s View Post
Well, we sure can't argue with success! Other than their being demonstrably essential for my after-market hot water heater to work, all I know about thermostats is what I've read. But, be that as it may, as a fellow long-time Model A owner, I would be interested in your experience on another issue. (I've owned my car since 1960, but it was out of use for 22 years while life intervened.)

What has been your radiator experience? Specifically, I've long suspected that a major cause of Model A radiator failure is use of regular (waterproof) grease in the water pump. It's almost impossible to know when you've added just enough grease, and I believe that much of the years-of-excess grease has to wind up in the radiator tubes. Ford recommended water soluble grease to prevent this, but I suspect that few people do. I'm curious if you've gotten decades of service from your radiators as you have with the motors, and what your lubrication practice has been, especially since you mention you've never had overheating problems.

By the way, I'm a big advocate of using thermostats to prevent UNDER warming of the engine, but I've never been persuaded that thermostats are useful to prevent OVER heating.

Thanks!

Steve
No argument from me, just my view of things.

I am not against spending money on cars, maybe more than I should.

Our 29 has had a couple of new correct radiators over the years, greaseless water pump, correct two blade fan and engine side pans, new hoses every few years, plus regular flushing. Also only water with rust inhibitor. Drained in November, back in commission in May. All major services are done by Model A specialist, not me.

I remember working at a local service station in the early 60's and removing thermostats from cars for the summer than putting them back in in the fall.

Heat can be a problem for engines. Take a look at cylinder temperature charts and what the raise of temperature does to your motor oil on cylinder walls.

I will not be around in 50 years to see results, but I wonder whether it will be found out that a thermostat added life to our old L heat engine?

Our 29 is not a trailer queen, but is a very well cared for, kept in heated garage, never left in sun, has not seen rain in over 40 years, and driven around town all summer (never on highway).

If you get a car that we have had, it has been very well cared for. Never a problem with overheating, even during Fireman's Parades.

My first car was a 1931 Sport Coupe that my parents gave me at 12 years old. Enjoy.

Last edited by WHN; 10-12-2017 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:55 AM   #17
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Many of us have improved the cooling capacity with new larger radiators and water pumps. I replaced an aging radiator with a Berg. It is great but... also had new water pump. Pushing up hills (we have a lot of them around here) I discovered quickly it was throwing water out the overflow on tours. Lost over a gallon on one very steep hot tour. Ok ... my solution: Installed VP housing and Stat. 1. Gets to 160 quickly and temps stay stable. 2. Stat slowed the rush of water that was overwhelming the radiator and pushing out of overflow. Now after two years on hilling steep tours I have yet to loose any water from the radiator. My truck did not overheat going for short local trips but touring demands are much different than trips for ice cream.
Your results may vary.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

I also have a Berg radiator, VP thermostat housing with a 180 t-stat, and a James Rupert Leakless water pump. And we have lots of hills here as well. Haven't had to add coolant since the last time I drained it.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:03 AM   #19
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Default Re: Thermostat use-yes or no?

Carl, is your water pump made any different than the ones sold by the vendors? Did you buy if from this man?
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