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My temperature gauge never reads above 1/4 no matter how long i run the car. Heat is only delievered after a few miles of driving. The car never over heats and no idiot light shows, should I be concerned. I am assuming that 200 degrees would be normal operating temp.
 

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Your gauge may not be accurate.
 

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My temp gauge never reads above 1/4 no matter how long i run the car.
NOT a bad thing - a GOOD THING!
GM programmed most LT1 cars to run much hotter in stop'n'go & much cooler on the highway ...
unless it has a big ol' mech fan ...
If your car runs the same operating temp on the highway as in stop'n'go traffic, it's a GOOD THING!
Heat is only delivered after a few miles of driving.
(Not many IronBlock IronHead gasoline engines still left on the road.)
Owned 4 Caprices w/LT1, a Fleetwood, also driven several Caprices (LT1s & L99s) as a cabbie in Long Island.
In subzero winter temps it can take up to 12min to reach full operating temp (obviously, usually less).
If heat isn't warm enough after 10min, don't be afraid to:
a) block off the bottom 25% of the radiator (do this cleverly, gain up to 3MpG highway)
b) put away the center airdam for the winter
c) check coolant condition
d) check temp blend door operation as well if you can't hear it swinging.
The car never overheats
AWESOME! Or normal ...
and no idiot light shows. Should I be concerned?
Devils' advocate for a minute.
1. Do you know if the idiot light works? If not, by all means, check it yourself.
Simple as 'Key ON' without / before starting the engine, see if the light lights up.
If not, go get it electrically checked.

2. If the coolant looks less than brand spankin new, it won' hurt to drain it and add fresh coolant.
NOT DEXcool! Use what I call 'oldscool'.
Should refresh coolant every 2 years on a reverse cooled LT1 anyway regardless.
Remember to burp it!
assuming that 200 degrees F would be normal operating temp.
If you ask GM:
the primary electrical radiator fan (if car has 2 electrical fans) stays OFF until the coolant hits 225F.
LT1 cars with a primary MECH fans, however, never let the engine reach 212F under normal circumstances.

Ask anyone who got their pcm reprogrammed, they pretty much share your assumption:
203F-212F is preferred operating temp for most LT1s, nevermind size, door count, or traffic conditions.

3. See #2 above?
If your car typically runs UNDER 185F in stop'n'go, the previous owner may have used a 160F thermostat.
Do BOTH your fans run CONSTANTLY, NOW?
Don't just guess what the temp needle is trying to say - check that with a LIVE scanner.
If you get an OE 180 tstat - NOT a misprint (or even special-order a 195 tstat) - and your fans run CONSTANTLY, you'll need your pcm reprogrammed once the 180 or 195 tstat is installed.
(Some people who run 160F thermostats have lowered their fan-on thresholds under 194F.)
Your temp gauge may not be accurate.
After 26 years, if the gauge is not accurate, safer to assume it's UNDERestimating coolant temp.
EVERY Caprice I've ever driven with a temp gauge that turned out to be inaccurate, UNDERestimated.
 

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If your car typically runs UNDER 185F in stop'n'go, the previous owner may have used a 160F thermostat.
Do BOTH your fans run CONSTANTLY, NOW?
Don't just guess what the temp needle is trying to say - check that with a LIVE scanner.
If you get an OE 180 tstat - NOT a misprint (or even special-order a 195 tstat) - and your fans run CONSTANTLY, you'll need your pcm reprogrammed once the 180 or 195 tstat is installed.
(Some people who run 160F thermostats have lowered their fan-on thresholds under 194F.)After 26 years, if the gauge is not accurate, safer to assume it's UNDERestimating coolant temp.
EVERY Caprice I've ever driven with a temp gauge that turned out to be inaccurate, UNDERestimated.
Ant tip on where to order a 195* thermostat?
 

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You should be able to get one at almost any parts store.
 

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You should be able to get one at almost any parts store.
Not for the 1995 to 1996 Gen II LT1. All they have is 165 and 180.

For the old school Chevy small block the standard thermostat is 195, but that thermostat will not work in the reverse flow Gen II engine.
 

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Late model Vortec 5.7's use same thermostat. So one can get a 195 stat ,but will run hotter as it does with any/all thermostats installed due to it location on the inlet side of motor. Rather than the outbound port on the Vortec motor.
 

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If, where you live, 50% H2O in your coolant is dangerous, use a 307-195.
Otherwise use a 307-180.

If you want a thermostat designed to fail OPEN, 7307-1xx.
 

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I have plenty of heat even with a 160 stat. If heat is ineffective even with a 180 stat?
I suggest you have other problems than choice of thermostat.
 

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I
have plenty of heat even with a 160 stat.
If heat is ineffective even with a 180 stat?
I suggest you have other problems than choice of thermostat.
If you live where the ambient temp gets under -30°, would that be one of those problems?
Which is to say, I don't necessarily disagree with you.
 

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If car sits outside ,and temp of interior is -30? Definitely takes awhile to warm up regardless.
Suppose one can find an extreme example to illustrate whatever point they want to illustrate.
Imagine the number of folks who keep their car outside in -30 weather is quite small ,if any.
 

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If car sits outside, and temp of interior is -30? Definitely takes awhile to warm up regardless.
Suppose one can find an extreme example to illustrate whatever point they want to illustrate.
Imagine the number of folks who keep their car outside in -30 weather is quite small, if any.
Again, I agree. My point was in regards to anyone who drives in -30 weather; that being, that's the only weather scenario that I can think of where the use of a 307-195 (or 7307-195) thermostat would be reasonable.
 
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