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1920 Cadillac thermostat


Guest Michael Patris

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Guest Michael Patris

I have a 1920 Cadillac Model 59 (59 horsepower) seven passenger touring car with about 60,000 original miles. It has been well cared for and the leaking waterpumps have just been rebuilt and installed. The mechanic tells me (I don't have the ability or time myself to work on the car) he could not find the original type thermostats, so he just put everything together without them and said the car would be fine. Okay, we live in Southern California and there is rarely if ever a freeze problem, but if I use this car for parades and because it only goes 35 miles per hour anyway, should I be concerned or insist on having SOME type of thermostats installed? What say you sage members? Thanks, Michael.

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Guest 19caddylimo

I have some experience with these theremostats and your mechanic is correct; they're hard to come by. Your car should be just fine without them. Remember, the job of the thermostat is to promote faster engine warm-ups so, amongst other things, the fuel can vaporize a little faster. This would help the engine run a little smoother prior to it coming up to full operating temperature. But you live in a warm climate, so it should be fine.

They were also put in place so your heater would provide heat prior to the engine warming up. But since our cars don't have heaters, it's really a mute point.

Dick Shappy Classic Cars back east is a big-time Cadillac guy. I've seen waterpumps and thermostats in pictures on his website. I've had some dealings with him and his shop and he's a pretty good guy. If you'd like to track down a thermostat, he'd be the one to talk to.

Good luck. Let us know how it worked out.

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Guest De Soto Frank

Gentlemen -

How does the thermostat on your early Cadillacs function ( water-throttling or radiator-shutter control), and when were they first employed ?

If it is the "Water-throttling" type, is there a bypass pipe / circuit to allow water to circulate within the block while the engine is warming-up ?

( Wasn't aware of engine thermostats going back this far...)

Thanks ! :cool:

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Guest 19caddylimo

Frank,

There is a thermostat located in each of the water pumps, so they're definately controlled by water temperature. They're a "bellows" style and by applying heat to them, they expand and contract to open a valve which let's water flow throughout the block.

Each of the cylinder banks has three radiator hoses, and without tracing the flow of water to each of them, I believe that you're correct about one of them being a "bypass" hose.

I believe that all of the original Cadillac V-8's (1915 onwards) incorporated thermostats. I don't know if the four cylinder cars had thermostats. Can anyone else confirm this?

Good luck on your project.

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Guest Michael Patris

Thank you all for the input. I will put the thermostat issue to rest. Since I have the attention of some of you Cadillac guys, here is another question: Where was the jack stored? I don't have a jack for the car and I know there were different jacks for different years, so what am I looking for and where will I be storing it?

Thanks again! Michael

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Guest De Soto Frank

19Caddy Limo - Thanks for your reply, Very helpful !

Michael - Didn't mean to "hi-jack" your thread - good luck with your '20 Cadillac !

:cool:

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Guest 19caddylimo

Michael,

The jack stowage varied, depending on the model. My Limo has the tool box under the front seat, which included the jack and the hand crank, etc. On some other models, there was a toolbox located on the right body apron. It resembled the battery box cover on the drivers side, but inside was stowage for the tools and the jack, etc.

Also, some of the cars had items that were stored on a tray that was attached to the inside of drivers door, but that was for hand tools only as this space wasn't large enough for the jack.

I hope this helps.

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