There have been concerns expressed lately, both here and on other sites, regarding increased engine wear associated with changing to a lower temperature thermostat than OEM specifications.
I copied this information off of Underdog Racing Developement's website. Even though it addresses the 3.4 V6 engine, I think the same theory should apply to any engine.
A LINK TO THE WEB PAGE FOLLOWS TEXT
What Thermostat do I use with my 3.4 L V6? Can I buy one from URD?
UNDERDOG RACING DEVELOPMENT recommends that you use a Stant 170 degree thermostat or a stock 180 degree thermostat in your 3.4 L 5VZ-FE. The Stant part is #14007.
Although we supply a 170 degree thermostat with our Fuel Kits, we are not selling the thermostat by itself. They are readily available from NAPA and Advanced Auto Parts. We donít want to overcharge you for an item that is easily picked up by you for less.
When engine coolant temperature is lowered in the supercharged 3.4 liter 5VZ, power marginally improves. You likely wonít feel much power gain in the seat of your pants.
There is some misinformation out there as to why a cooler thermostat increases engine performance. Some people think a cooler thermostat makes the engine run richer. It does not. It heats the air entering the engine less creating a denser fuel/air charge thereby developing more power. Cooler induction air is less prone to induce spark knock so the ECU can run more aggressive ignition timing resulting in greater power.
UNDERDOG RACING DEVELOPMENT experimented with two lower temperature thermostats available for the 3.4 V6 engine; the pricey TRD 160 degree thermostat, and the Stant 170 degree thermostat.
We have three minor concerns about the 160 degree thermostat. They are: Engine wear (very minor concern), fuel economy, and cold weather driving. Hot engine coolant enables the heater to keep occupants warm. How much power gain is worth freezing your bottom? NONE should be the correct answer for most of us. We have tested both units. The 170 degree thermostat keeps us nice and toasty. The 160 degree thermostat never gets hot enough in very cold weather.
Modern gasoline requires higher engine temperatures to burn efficiently and provides the best fuel economy. The correct water temperature is required for cylinders to achieve a minimum specific temperature in order to allow a fully homogenized air/fuel mixture to combust efficiently. The 170 degree thermostat reduces actual coolant temps from just over 190 degrees on our test vehicle to 180 degrees. Lowering coolant temperature in the engine any further may cause poorer fuel economy and reduced engine life through additional wear. There are better ways to make extra horsepower in our opinion.
In summary, UNDERDOG RACING DEVELOPMENT believes the Stant 170 degree thermostat increases engine performance, and at the same time it does not negatively impact fuel economy or potential accelerated engine wear. It is a cheap upgrade. Heater performance is also minimally affected. This is the thermostat we have decided to run in our own trucks. You can find it for around $13 at your local auto parts store.
CLICK THIS LINK FOR THE URD WEBSITE
Last edited by PowerWagon896; 06-13-2006 at 04:36 PM.
They basically say it's ok to go from stock 180 to 170, but not 160 for the V6, it's like our hemis, using the 180 is ok, but using the 160 is only for racing and not for daily driving, so it's ok to use the lower temp thermostat, as long as it's not too much cooler than stock it's fine.
basically good info. Years ago, Ford did the research and found that engine wear (specifically piston/cyl.wall) went up as temp went down. This was quoted in HP books about rebuilding engines.
So, if it's worth a very minor increase to you, give it a shot. Meister did a lot of R&D on this subject and published great info more relative to hemis.
You can bet the computer will notice and dial in an adapt sooner or later. The only question is will you like the result.
06 300C SRT8
Best ET-12.794, trap 110.9 All stock in negative D/A
My only complaint with my 170 tstat is the dash warning lamp being almost continuously illuminated because the engine never reaches 180 normally and consistently.
current ride: 11 Ram 2500 Megacab CTD 4x4 mod list: none... yet
previous rides: 09 Ram Crewcab 5.7L, 08 GC SRT8, 06 Magnum SRT8, 05 Magnum RT
Longhorn Band from Fall 90 to Spring 94
[quote=bmartin9122;689074]My only complaint with my 170 tstat is the dash warning lamp being almost continuously illuminated
I personaly have had 1 CEL W/the 383-170 Robertshaw. It was during slick road conditions, right around freezing & I was driving very consrvatively in "D". This is after over 16,000 miles of driving. Wifey has gotten perhps 6 CELs, always in "D". I drove 13 miles to work tonight in -6F to -10F temperatures W/O a CEL. After the coolant temperature stated to show on the gauge, I ran the heater in "recicutate cabin air mode" & stayed in autostick & kept the revs around 2000 RPM until the temperature gauge reached the 11 o'clock "hashmark".
Driving in autostick until the TSTAT opens @ 176* has eliminated CELs for me. Autostick eliminates MDS mode and allows the engine to warm up faster, especially when you keep the revs up by running in the lower gears & applying as much throttle as traffic/road conditions allow.
If I could find a similar "failsafe" design TSTAT in 180* I would install one.
I would do the same thing. I think a 180 Robert-Shaw would be a perfect balance for non-racers like me.
Last edited by bmartin9122; 01-26-2007 at 09:35 PM.
I run 180's in both of my hemis. I doubt if a 170 will give you much more power at the track. Before with the stock tstats it felt like a blast furnace under the hood. Heaters work fine in below zero conditions, no discernable difference in mileage with the 180's over stock. The truck stays at 180 at the track or heavy traffic, the magnum will heat up till the fan comes on.
FRI Sidewinder cam, Dynatec Headers , BorlaCatback , 93 octane dyno tune, 333rwhp/350 ft lbs, Police Pack Oil Cooler, SRT 8 Struts and Nivo's ,Hotchkis sway bars,B Woody end links, 295,000 miles, 275/40/20 Ventus ST's , 1/8th mile 7.707 sec /90.19 mph -- 05 QC4X4 Ram 205,000 mi . Never Trust a Fart
I've been getting thermostat codes with my 170 tstat ever since the weather cooled. These codes were only showing up with the SuperChip DTC checks, not as a CEL. However, lately I've been getting it as a CEL. If you're running the 170, and not getting a CEL, check your DTC's with the SC and see if there are still codes being thrown....
A really, really good analysis on post # 3
As was stated on another forum, cooler thermostat = cooler trans temp.
A Bonus !
Still have '06 300c
(wife told me to mod my own car)
Now moddin' '09 Challenger
Running the Robert Shaw 176 Stat. Got CEL yesterday, how do you clear?