180 degree thermostat - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-22-2002, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default 180 degree thermostat

I hear everybody talking about putting in a 180 degree thermostat. I was wondering if it even makes that big if a difference. I have the stock one in right now, i don't know what degree it is, but i can't remember a time that i've gone over 210 degrees. for most of the time i am running at about 190. it'* not that big of a difference, but i was just going to ask to see if you guys would think it'* worth it.
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:35 PM   #2
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It'* more critical for you, since you have the plastic intake on the NA models. They're prone to cracking. Heat is also bad for the intake seals/head gaskets, not to mention oil life. Your car will run at a SLIGHTLY more efficient rate with the reduced intake temps, too. I think you'll find that most of us are running the 180 (stock is 195), and thousands of GP'*, too. Some of the newer cars coming out of the factory have also switched. If you're planning on any mods to the car, you should do that first, but you should do it anyway. I also highly recommend adding a tranny cooler too. Both can be done for less that $50, and in under 2 hours.

As an example, one of the requirements before installing a Jet Stage 2 chip is the cooler thermostat. The 160 is not recommended unless you have a dedicated 'track car'.

For the cheap price, this is great insurance. Bottom line? My advice to anyone is that this should be the FIRST mod done, bar none. Even if you're not considering any other mods.
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:32 AM   #3
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How much do they run for? I most likely will get one put in towards the end of the winter if its highly recommended. So whats the damage gonna be?
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Old 11-23-2002, 12:35 PM   #4
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Kimmers, you probably have enough change in the couch cushions. The thermostat, seal, and gasket ran me less than $12 US combined. About an hour of work, but only because it took a little time to get the OEM gasket cleaned up. Our cars are very similar. I'd also recommend adding another tranny cooler. Less than $50. I'm not the only one around here running duals, and even though mine is SC like yours, I'm running cooler than Josh'* SSE next door. We're both running the same thermostat, but I have the extra cooler. That'* definitely a spring/summer project, but the thermostat can be done any time. Even your cold winters won't cause problems.
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Old 11-24-2002, 06:41 PM   #5
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did willen say that he'* got TWO trans coolers? wow. i am assuming there is room? these go in front of your radiator? excuse my ignorance.
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Old 11-24-2002, 06:56 PM   #6
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The SSE and SSEi already have a stock cooler, passenger side front of the radiator. I add another directly in front of that with a 1/2 air gap. Even though it'* mounted in front of the stock cooler and radiator, it still made a profound difference. I think VZE is running duals, too. Somebody else if I'm not mistaken. I knew I was gonna mod the hell out of this car, so I went for it.
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Old 01-30-2003, 03:48 PM   #7
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im no car guru... in any way... at all... where could i get a 180 installed. can anyone tell me a price on that after install? also, can i get a price on a tranny cooler after install too? thanks for any help!
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Old 01-30-2003, 03:53 PM   #8
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You're gonna get raped having that done. The thermostat is a one hour job with a socket set, pair of pliers, and something to scrap the old gasket. You pull 2 studs or nuts (depending on whether or not the studs decide to come out with the nuts), remove the upper radiator hose with a pair of pliers (you don't have to, though), scrape off the new gasket, install the thermostat with a new rubber seal, put on the new gasket and reinstall the housing. Parts go for about 12 bucks.

The tranny cooler is a snap by just following the directions in the box. I talked a couple guys through it here while I was drunk. No kidding. I'm not sure what these would run installed, but I bet the cooler would run you over 100 in labor. It'd take you an hour or two.
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Old 01-30-2003, 07:52 PM   #9
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when i had my new engine put in the place took out my old 180 thermo and put in the 195 again. so last night i went to the store bought the thermostat for 7 dollars candian and the gasket for .99cents. Went home coudnt find the drain on the rad so i sucked most of it out out of the top(i know i know so ghetto) then unscrewed the 2 bolts unattached the piece.scrapped off hte old gasket with my trust gasket scrapper. put in the new thermo slapped on teh gasket attached hte thing together tightend the 2 bolts back up and bamo done. I let it run a while to pop out the bubble of air as well.
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Old 02-03-2003, 03:19 AM   #10
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do ihave to drain the rad before i do the tstat install? someone said sumthin bout that...
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