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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In an attempt to reduce the time required to respond to multiple threads I'm listing thermostat (tstat) info in this new thread.

If you're not comfortable swapping tstats, or in running a cooler-than-stock tstat, there's no need to read further.
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Here's the full list of after-market thermostats I've used, or have had reported as working well by a forum member. All work in all LX V-8s, and the V-6s as well. I've received no codes with any. My coolant temps at the track when staging on hard days/nights at the track are always in the 160-170 degree range, so runs are consistent. Heat soak is now essentially non-existent.

Note that a GSM fan mod, or equivalent, is required to see temps approaching your tstat temp in town and at the track. Otherwise you'll run just as hot as with a stock 203, which does, in fact, run at a precise 203 EVIC degrees (fan mod engaged).
Note: Those running a Diablosport Predator tuner can use the programmable fan onset temp feature to precisely control coolant temp under moderate conditions.

Coolant temperature: With a fan mod (or at fast cruise) your coolant temp will be roughly ambient air temperature plus 100 degrees, or your tstat temp, whichever is higher. Thus on an 80 degree day, even with a 160 degree tstat, your steady state coolant temp will be approx. 180 degrees with a cooler tstat, as opposed to 203 degrees with a stock tstat.

Remember - you're getting into heat soak at 190 degrees. Every 10 degree rise in coolant temp above 190 costs you a tenth at the track. And costs you mileage, hence money, on the street.

Suggestions:

For daily driving the 176-degree Robert Shaw 383-170/Valucraft 4127, below, will be perfect for most of you. I ran a 180 exclusively in Alaska for the 3 or 4 years we were there with no problems. Even if I didn't frequent the track I'd be running this 176-degree tstat and using the GSM fan mod (Diablosport Predator tuner these days) to keep temps out of the extremes that they run stock. Our LX Hemis will let us know if engine temps are not warming sufficiently to flash off moisture and other contaminants from our lubricating fluids. For those desiring a warmer tstat, the Valucraft 4128, which runs at precisely 185°, with sufficient airflow, is, along with the 4127, available at AutoZone.

At the track run a 160-degree thermostat if you have one. A fan mod is essential here.*

Disclaimer: You'll find my discussion elsewhere of the need to allow fluids temps to heat sufficiently to flash off water and other contaminants. This is a track mod that happens to work for me in daily driving as well, due in part to my locale, and through judicious use (read "avoidance") of the fan mod until full operating temperature is reached. For me, that is 210-215 degrees, not the 227s we'll regularly see in stock form. Once weekly or so is sufficient frequency for these higher coolant temps.

185-degree thermostat for LX Hemis:
MotoRad 4128: This is the 180-degree sister tstat to our preferred 170 degree FailSafe. Pick one up at AutoZone (may require a 2 or 3 day, no cost, special order. Have the counterman go to their "Special Order" page and type in 4128, then select the only tstat from the list of items that pop up). For additional info on the special features of this fine tstat, see immediately below.

176-degree thermostat for LX Hemis (my personal favorite):
Robert Shaw 383-170, more commonly found nowadays as Valucraft 4127. Note: All 3 I have personally tested run at a precise 176 degrees (fan mod engaged). Made in Germany by Cooper Standard/Robert-Shaw, the tstat is stamped "MotoRad" and "Germany".
63.5mm vice stocker's 63mm. Requires small flat blade driver, or similar, to help tuck rubber gasket into receiver due to slightly tighter fit.
Heavy Duty, has brass dog-bone wobbler in air bleed hole. Orient bleed hole to highest point of the thermostat during install.
Fail-Safe feature insures thermostat valve moves to full open position in event of a failure, a safety feature lacking in the stock thermostat. More expensive at $13, but well worth it.

This, along with its 185° brother, the 4128, is the finest tstat available for LX Hemis. It is available through *any* AutoZone. The Robert-Shaw 383-170 can be quickly called up at any AutoZone parts counter by having the counter man go to their "Cross Reference" page and type in 383170. It will show up as RobertShaw, or perhaps as Valucraft. $12.99.

Alternately, you can have him go to their "Special Order" page and type in 4127, then select the only tstat from the list of 6 or 8 items that pop up.

Typically the special order will arrive within 2 or 3 days; there is no extra charge. The 383-170 AutoZone box says Valucraft and shows part # 4127.

Below are pics of the MotoRad 4127 as offered by AutoZone, compliments of wquiles.
Note: Most, if not all, of the MotoRad tstats now come in a Yellow & Black box marked "Valucraft", and will simply show 4127 or 4128 on the bar code sticker.

160 degree thermostat for LX Hemis (track use only, cooler weather only (below 70°)):
Milodon 16405. Note: The one I have tested runs at 156 degrees, occasionally 154 degrees (fan mod engaged, OAT below 70°). Available at Checker / Kragen / Schuck's Auto Parts stores. $12.99.
Note: This Milodon is a non-bypass tstat, and is therefore not a prescribed/recommended tstat for our bypass system-equipped Hemis. See this thread for more info on the differences between bypass (our type of thermostat) and the not-recommended non-bypass types of thermostats: ARE Cooling (Aluminium Radiators & Engineering P/L)

If anyone finds a bypass 160-degree tstat (one with the large disc on the lower end), please post that info to this thread.

Changing the tstat:
It's not necessary to drain the coolant system to change out the tstat, so I suggest you use neither Prestone's nor the service manual's method. Refer to the recommended change procedure, below (no draining, no bleeding, etc.). Beforehand buy a gallon jug of distilled water (recommended) or drinking water. You'll need a 13mm socket, with magnetic insert to retain the bolts, an extension and ratchet or breaker bar, plus 1 small-to-medium flatblade screwdriver (MotoRad 4127 & 4128 only) and a shop rag or two.

Meister tip: A one-gallon ZipLoc Freezer bag is ideal for catching the coolant released when the tstat housing and tstat are removed. A second person to hold the bag in position is required. (Keep the radiator cap tightly sealed until the tstat swap is complete and the housing is snugged down.)

Done this way no more than a couple oz. of coolant will be spilled. A shop rag or two strategically pre-positioned directly below the tstat housing usually catches it all.

1. Allow cooling system to cool to a temp your fingers can stand before servicing. Test at the tstat housing.
2. Using a 13mm socket and an extension remove the tstat housing.
3. Before removing old thermostat, note orientation of jiggle pin/bleed hole so the new thermostat, if so equipped, can be installed in the correct position. (This should always be to the top/highest point of your tstat.) Remove old thermostat by gently pulling or prying against center arch with screwdriver.
4. Remove rubber gasket from old tstat and place on new tstat.
5. Install thermostat with bleed hole at highest point.
6. With the 63.5mm 4127 & 4128 tstats you'll use a small flatblade driver, or the end of your pocket comb, etc., to help tuck the now-tighter gasket into the housing. Verify proper alignment & wobbler placement then push firmly in with finger tips to seat "fully". Note that it's both normal & OK for the gasket to extend beyond flush when installing a larger tstat. In fact, it's highly desirable, ensuring a very secure, leak-proof, fit once the tstat housing is snugged down on top of it
7. Replace housing; tighten slowly & evenly.
8. Top off coolant recovery system with straight distilled water, not a 50/50 mix of water & antifreeze. Your engine will run cooler and you'll still be protected to well below freezing. If in doubt, a $5 hydrometer will show your exact freeze protection point. Top off as needed as engine idles. Allow engine to idle till coolant needle approaches mid temp on the panel gauge. If EVIC equipped, monitor coolant temp in EVIC also. Snug the cap. Re-check coolant level frequently & top off as necessary over next several days, especially if only driving short distances.

Now that you are familiar with the steps, take a few minutes to view PowerWagon896's excellent LX Thermostat Changeout Video. You'll find that here: LX Thermostat Changeout Video - LX Forums

That done, you're ready to go!

Attention Canadian residents: The MotoRad 4127, 176 degree tstat, is available in Canada from PartSource, part # 302-170.
The MotoRad 4128, 185 degree tstat, is available from Canadian Tire, part #: 14-4038-6; Motorad part # 332-180.

*Note: If heading to the track before you get a Predator or get the GSM mod installed there is a cheap, simple, *manual* way to cause the radiator fan to run continuously, which is what you'll want it to be doing at the track. If interested, do a word search for ".25 cent fan mod". It involves 2 spade connectors and a 3" section of medium gauge wire. You can make it in 5 minutes. It's cumbersome to employ, and then to remove when the racing's over, but it is effective. 'Hard to beat the price also. (Be alert not to run your battery down running a manual fan mod. Starting your engine every 25 minutes and running it for several minutes is a good practice. And don't be at the track without a set of jumper cables in the trunk.)

ADDED - Simple fan mod For those not desiring the ability to disable ESP and Torque Management (the GSM mod) here is a simple do-it-yourself fan mod which 330toSRT8 found on Charger Forums and clarified. Here, with thanks, are his notes:

With all the parts in hand it should take less than one hour. Below is the schematic from nCHARGE that I used. I added a few comments to the image. This install requires several male and female disconnects for the connections. The sheet metal tab already has a 1/8" hole but will need to be enlarged to approx. 1/2" for most switches. The strip panel on the driver side doorway can be easily removed by pulling it (it is held by 2 tangs). Then remove the large panel under the steering wheel by removing the two screws and gently pulling (it is held by about 4 tangs). Removing these two pieces allows good access to route the switch wire and you can remove the entire piece of sheetmetal for easier drilling (held on my 4 bolts). Jim Turner's Fan Mod instructions contains photos of what I describe. http://arvizo.net/images/FanMod2.JPG
 

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lennoxavesosa said:
in short what does this all mean? can someone please tell me the advantage of running an alternate thermostat?
Ditto. I know a cooler engine runs better but it that all and are there risks involved? And did I read correctly...even if I switch the tsat I'll still need another mod(GSM) to make it worth while?
 

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300CUL8R said:
Ditto. I know a cooler engine runs better but it that all and are there risks involved? And did I read correctly...even if I switch the tsat I'll still need another mod(GSM) to make it worth while?
In the morning when you drive out of your garage you'll notice that your 300C /SRT has a lot of torque and feels like a 4-sec 0-60 run (feels like...no flames). After it warms up (210º-220º+) you might feel like you lost some power...cause you did. Heat kills performance.

If you can lower temps into the 180º/190º range on cool days on the freeway or use a mod like Meister's GSM then you can stay closer to that fresh in the morning feeling. Hey, $12.00 bucks is a cheap performance mod even if you don't install the GSM. You can always bypass your engine fan control and have it turn on and stay on all the time if you really want to save $$$ and keep things cool running around town.

Thanks for posting the tstat info page Meister!
 

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Damn. I did'nt know there was a 160 tstat available. Luckiley I did not install mine yet. I will be returning the 170 tstat and getting the 160 one instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorbs said:
...Heat kills performance.

If you can lower temps into the 180º/190º range on cool days on the freeway or use a mod like Meister's GSM then you can stay closer to that fresh in the morning feeling. Hey, $12.00 bucks is a cheap performance mod even if you don't install the GSM. You can always bypass your engine fan control and have it turn on and stay on all the time if you really want to save $$$ and keep things cool running around town.

Thanks for posting the tstat info page Meister!
And thank you, sorbs, for answering the mail! I appreciate it. :)

lennoxavesosa - As sorbs illustrated beautifully, the one-word answer for why we go colder is power. Which translates into better performance, which becomes better mileage, etc.

300CUL8R - Both a colder thermostat and a GSM, or similar, fan mod are required to do any good in off-dyno conditions (no mongo fan blowing through the radiator core) at the track or in city driving.

1. A lower temp tstat requires a healthy dose of air through the radiator core to have any effect. With no fan mod you'll still be running in the two-teens, even 220s, in heavy traffic, because the PCM, as currently programmed, will not engage the radiator fan (the larger of the two fans) until coolant temps are very high.

On the highway, even with no fan mod, you'll see EVIC-displayed coolant temps approaching the temp of your particular tstat.

2. A fan mod (with engine running) can only cool to the temp of the tstat, 203 degrees f with stock, the low 160s with my present tstat (thanks Gunky;)).

The combination of the GSM fan mod and a colder tstat is - as the current slogan says - priceless. At my most recent track event, with multiple runs - several of which were back to back with less than 10 minutes between runs - coolant temp as I prepared to stage was always in the 160s.

Note: If heading to the track before you get the GSM mod installed there is a cheap, simple, *manual* way to cause the radiator fan to run continuously, which is what you'll want it to be doing at the track. If interested, go over to lxforums.com and do a word search for ".25 fan mod". It iinvolves 2 spade connectors and a 3" section of medium gauge wire. You can make it in 5 minutes. It's cumbersome to employ, and then to remove when the racing's over, but it is effective. Hard to beat the price also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
marlinspike said:
So how low can you go without throwing a code?
Dunno, Richard, I've never gotten one.

I see no need to go cooler than a 160, even at the track, so I'll be staying at 160 unless and until a couple of CELs lets me know that I need to work back up a notch for the Winter.

Colder ambient temps will be more likely to cause a code to be thrown, the premise being that the colder the ambient air temp is the higher temp tstat you'll have to run to avoid getting a CEL. At least until we get a chip programmer.

The temperature delta will be the key.
 

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Meister said:
Dunno, Richard, I've never gotten one.

I see no need to go cooler than a 160, even at the track, so I'll be staying at 160 unless and until a couple of CELs lets me know that I need to work back up a notch for the Winter.

Colder ambient temps will be more likely cause a code to be thrown, the premise being that the colder the ambient air temp is the higher temp tstat you'll have to run to avoid getting a CEL. At least until we get a chip programmer.

The temperature delta will be the key.

so, being that I live in Florida, I'd probably never see any codes thrown..........hmmmmm

friggin mod list just keeps GROWING and GROWING
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
jconnolly1119 said:
so, being that I live in Florida, I'd probably never see any codes thrown..........hmmmmm

friggin mod list just keeps GROWING and GROWING
Ain't it grand! ;)
 

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An observation and a question:

1) I am fully convinced that keeping these engines 40 degrees cooler at the track is worth more hp than $3000 worth of exhaust work. I use the one cent fan mod, and it works wonders. The corollary is, I believe that in order to maximize the benefit of any performance mods, you need to run cooler temps. We put the 180 degree thermostat in my car for this weekends drags. I think I'll go get a 160 degree thermostat.

The question remains: What is the downside? Why doesn't DCX use a colder thermostat? Emisssions? Durability? Fuel mileage (mixture induced?)? Improper thermal expansion of parts? What are the potential drawbacks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
JMatt said:
An observation and a question:

1) I am fully convinced that keeping these engines 40 degrees cooler at the track is worth more hp than $3000 worth of exhaust work. I use the one cent fan mod, and it works wonders. The corollary is, I believe that in order to maximize the benefit of any performance mods, you need to run cooler temps. We put the 180 degree thermostat in my car for this weekends drags. I think I'll go get a 160 degree thermostat.

The question remains: What is the downside? Why doesn't DCX use a colder thermostat? Emisssions? Durability? Fuel mileage (mixture induced?)? Improper thermal expansion of parts? What are the potential drawbacks?
Emissions is a lot of it, JMatt. If you run an engine hot enough, even an out of tune motor is likely to pass emissions.

We're routinely running at well above optimum power output temps, as you've recently realized, at factory-decreed temps. By not continually running our engines at exaggerated temperatures we're reducing thermal shock and extending the life of our awesome Hemis, IMO.

From a pure practicality, engine health, standpoint the requirement does exist to frequently allow your lubricants to become sufficiently heated to boil off moisture and other contaminants. Do that regularly and avoid CELs and you're good to go.

You may wish to work on simply blocking part of your radiator's forward surface, as truckers have routinely done for the past 80 years or so. If you do that you should be able to run a 160 year-round.

Again, without airflow, a 160 will run the same upper 220s that a stock 203 does.
 

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JMatt said:
The question remains: What is the downside? Why doesn't DCX use a colder thermostat? Emisssions? Durability? Fuel mileage (mixture induced?)? Improper thermal expansion of parts? What are the potential drawbacks?
My race car engine builder friend told me when asked about going to a cooler thermostat for more power he said yes that'd work. When I asked if 160 would prevent things from expanding properly and oil getting up to temp and such he said 160 is "plenty warm" and that the 203 is just for more mpg. Though, he wasnt certain 160 would get the most power saying it varies from car to car. The thought is that maybe 170 might get a more complete combustion without adding too much heat. Anybody care to test the other temp thermostats on a dyno?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
marlinspike said:
My race car engine builder friend told me when asked about going to a cooler thermostat for more power he said yes that'd work. When I asked if 160 would prevent things from expanding properly and oil getting up to temp and such he said 160 is "plenty warm" and that the 203 is just for more mpg. Though, he wasnt certain 160 would get the most power saying it varies from car to car. The thought is that maybe 170 might get a more complete combustion without adding too much heat. Anybody care to test the other temp thermostats on a dyno?
Optimum power delivery temps, Richard, are in the band from approx 170-190 degrees f. The only way that one can have their coolant temps in the heart of the envelope, under high throttle settings, is to have your resting temp down around 160. The temps shoot up rapidly under WOT. A burnout brings one into the low to mid 170s and the brief-as-possible dash down the quarter mile will bring temps up to around 190 under standard ambient conditions. Picture-perfect coolant temp management.

Start low, and perform through the power band heat range.
 

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Man, considering how large the grill is on these I thought it'd have a huge radiator (I didn't really look) and wouldn't warm up so quickly (hmmm, in fact I was thinking warming up while being still, but you said warm up quickly at WOT. Is my car (I mean mine, not the one in my sig that's dad's, but my non Chrysler car) just an anomaly? Going WOT drops my coolant temps by about 10 degrees cause it gets the water pump going fast.
 

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Interesting...from http://www.thirdgen.org/newdesign/faq/thirdgen.shtml

Q: What effect will installing a 160 degree thermostat have on my TPI engine?

A: What effect the 160 stat has on the engine/computer depends on different factors. In terms of achieving closed loop operation, the oxygen sensor plays a more important role - it will not function until the exhaust temperature is at least 660 degrees F. To a degree this is a function of the coolant temp, so it is possible that abnormally cold coolant temps can prevent closed loop operation.

If the coolant reaches 160 degrees, there should be no problem, as the torque converter lockup AIR, and EGR function at temps over (approximately) 150 degrees F. The trouble is that overcooling (and subsequent chronic open loop operation) is much more likely with the colder stat, since you are running that much closer to the "crossover" temp. This is especially true in colder climates, where the ambient temperature can contribute to the overcooling problem. A 160 stat is probably not a good idea if the ambient temperature is below 75 degrees F, or if a significant percentage of the driving time is spent on the highway. In that case, go with the 180 instead.

Aside from loss of converter lockup, AIR, and EGR operation, overcooling can cause an abnormally rich air/fuel ratio, which at best will make your fuel economy and performance suffer, and at worst will destroy the catalytic converter. In any case, the colder stat is not much good without changing the temperature at which the radiator fan activates. During city driving, the fan will simply wait until the coolant reaches 225 degrees F to turn on, which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.
 

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Meister said:
In an attempt to reduce the time required to respond to multiple threads I'm listing thermostat (tstat) info in this new thread.

If you're not comfortable swapping tstats, or in running a cooler-than-stock tstat, close the thread now and move on. Flames are neither warranted nor well-received. Thanks.
=============================

Here's the full list of after-market thermostats I've used. All work in all LX V-8s, perhaps the 6 as well. I've received no codes with any. My coolant temps at the track when staging on hard days/nights at the track are always in the 160s, so runs are consistent. Heat soak is now essentially non-existent.

Note that a GSM fan mod, or equivalent, is required to see temps approaching your tstat temp in town and at the track. Otherwise you'll run just as hot as with a stock 203.

Suggestions:
At the track run a 160 if you have it. A fan mod is essential here.*

For daily driving run what you can get away with. I ran a 180 exclusively in Alaska for the 3 or 4 years we were there with no problems. Even if I didn't frequent the track I'd be running a 180 and using the GSM fan mod to keep temps out of the extremes that they run stock. Our LX Hemis will let us know if engine temps are not warming sufficiently to flash off moisture and other contaminants from our lubricating fluids.

Disclaimer: You'll find my discussion elsewhere of the need to allow fluids temps to heat sufficiently to flash off water and other contaminants. This is a track mod that happens to work for me in daily driving as well, due in part to my locale, and through judicious use (read "avoidance") of the fan mod until full operating temperature is reached. For me, that is 210-215 degrees, not the 227s we'll regularly see in stock form.

180 degree thermostat for LX Hemis:
Cross reference the Stant 180-degree thermostat #13078 at your local auto parts store. $8 or less.

170 degree thermostat for LX Hemis:
Prestone 383-170. Available at Checker / Kragen / Schuck's Auto Parts stores.
Made in Germany by Cooper Standard/Robert Shaw
63.5mm vice stocker's 63mm. Requires small flat blade driver, or similar, to help tuck rubber gasket into receiver due to slightly tighter fit.
Heavy Duty, has brass dog-bone wobbler in air bleed hole. Orient bleed hole to highest point of the thermostat during install.
Fail-Safe feature insures thermostat valve moves to full open position in event of a failure.
More expensive, approaching $20, but well worth it IMO.

160 degree thermostat for LX Hemis:
Milodon 16405. Available at Checker / Kragen / Schuck's Auto Parts stores. $12.99.

"These High Flow Thermostats greatly aid the proper functioning of a high performance cooling system. They are engineered to warm the engine to a proper operating temperature without making it run hot enough to lose power. Also the "Balanced Sleeve" design is highly recommended for use with High Volume water pumps. With other thermostat designs, the increased flow generated by High Volume water pumps can actually attempt to hold the thermostat closed. The "Balanced Sleeve" design equals the pressure exerted on the thermostat allowing its operation to be solely regulated by coolant temperature."

Changing the tstat:
It's not necessary to drain the coolant system to change out the tstat, so I suggest don't use Prestone's or the service manual's method. Refer to the revised list, below (no draining, no bleeding, etc.). Beforehand buy a gallon of red (Mopar) or orange (Universal) antifreeze and a gallon jug of distilled water or drinking water. You'll need a 13mm socket, with magnetic insert to retain the bolts, an extension and ratchet or breaker bar, plus 1 small to medium flatblade screwdriver (listed170 degree tstat only) and a shop rag or two.

-Allow cooling system to cool to a temp your fingers can stand before servicing. Test at the tstat housing.
-Using a 13mm socket and an extension remove the tstat housing. (Preferably over the drain grate at your local DIY carwash.)
-Before removing old thermostat, note orientation of jiggle pin/bleed hole so the new thermostat, if so equipped, can be installed in the correct position. (This should always be to the top/highest point of your tstat.) Remove old thermostat...
-Remove rubber gasket from old tstat and place on new tstat.
-Install thermostat into groove with cone point toward radiator and bleed hole at highest point.
-With the 63.5mm 170 degree tstat you'll use a small flatblade driver to help tuck the now-tighter gasket into the housing. Verify proper alignment & wobbler placement then push firmly in with finger tips to seat fully.
-Replace housing; tighten slowly & evenly.
-Fill coolant recovery system with a 50/50 mix of water and Red or new universal, orange, coolant. Top off as needed as engine idles, alternating between the coolant & the water. Allow engine to idle till coolant needle approaches mid temp. If EVIC equipped monitor coolant temp in EVIC also. Snug the cap. Re-check coolant level frequently & top off as necessary over next several days if only driving short distances.

*Note: If heading to the track before you get the GSM mod installed there is a cheap, simple, *manual* way to cause the radiator fan to run continuously, which is what you'll want it to be doing at the track. If interested, go over to lxforums.com and do a word search for ".25 fan mod". It involves 2 spade connectors and a 3" section of medium gauge wire. You can make it in 5 minutes. It's cumbersome to employ, and then to remove when the racing's over, but it is effective. 'Hard to beat the price also.
I'm no engineer but it seems to me that you will be experiencing more wear in the MDS mode because of the CTE of the engine will reduce the clearances at the colder temperature. It may run good for a few years, but could have an adverse effect towards the end of your waranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hemileejw said:
...it seems to me that you will be experiencing more wear in the MDS mode because of the CTE of the engine will reduce the clearances at the colder temperature...
Colder is very relative term, Hemilee. Most assuredly I want to be running "colder" than the factory-ordained high 220s to low 230s. That's way to hot to be good on the engine.

No one is being told to go to a colder tstat, BTW. As I stated, it's a track mod that happens, so far, to be working fine for me, in balmy Arizona, on the street. ;)

When a chip tuner finally arrives we'll be able to reset fan onset to a reasonable temperature and a lot of bandaids can fall away.
 

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You guys are crazy putting in a 160 stat. You're cylinder walls and rings are going to be wearing several times faster. If you want a Hemi that smokes and has blow by down the road then go for it. Just going from 203 to 180 will almost double your wear. Going from 180 to 160 will double it again. Read up on this before you leap. A 195 degree stat is about the lowest I would go on my SRT-8.
 
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