GrahamPaige29

Thoughts on Thermostat for '29 Graham?

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Hi guys.  Excuse my ignorance once again on this subject.  I'm restoring my 1929 Graham Paige Model 612.  It's similar to a Ford Model A.  My original owner's manual makes reference to the thermostat but the car as bought did not have one installed.  Am I correct in assuming it originally had one inside the hose connector on the head?  I curled the area in the pic. This isn't my engine but a similar one.  I'm wondering what the operating temp of this engine might be and if the rad is necessary since it will only be driven in warm weather.  I'm guessing you're all going to say yes since engines run better at specific temps.  Next question...can you fit a thermo inside the hose based on it's diameter?  I'm just not sure how it would fit in there....

 

Thanks.

 

Geoff

rad.jpg

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A thermostat should fit inside that black water outlet. You might find a little ledge or recess in the surface of the head under that fitting, in which a thermostat would sit. There would also be a wee recess in the fitting. There appears to be plenty of room in there. Show us the top of the head on yours, where this fitting would go.

 

The thermostat has two purposes. The first is to speed up warming up of the engine on starting from cold, hence reducing wear. The second is as you say, to attempt to keep running temperature at a specific level. Mine has a 71 oC thermostat, some had 170 or 180 oF thermostats.

 

Thermostats come is a number of diameters to fit under water outlets like that. Measure the diameter of the recess and head to your local parts shop - or look on line.

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Thanks Spinneyhill.  I'll take off the cap fitting and see what the diameter of that recess is.  I was looking around online and there was a lot of debate as to whether a thermostat can overheat your engine due to restricted flow but the other evil is the incorrect operating temp so I guess it's best to install it...

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It is also possible that the thermostat was just above the water outlet and , as you say, almost part of the hose.  Tractor Supply carries this kind of thermostat for older Ford 8N/9N tractors.  See https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/tisco-thermostat-b2nn8575a.  Dole originally supplied these; most were 160°F, very hard to find NOS ones now. 

 

You can get a modern equivalent from Meziere and put a modern Chevy-type thermostat in the housing with a temperature set point up to about 195°F.  See https://www.meziere.com/Products/Cooling-System-Accessories/Inline-Stat-Housings.aspx.  The housings are machined aluminum, well made and shiny, but a little black paint would help to hide it.  There are short Gates rubber adaptors to accommodate mating with odd radiator hose sizes - I got some from O'Reilly's.   

 

tom lewis thermostat 37president.jpg

Meziere thermostat housing.jpg

Dole inline thermostat sm.jpg

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12 hours ago, GrahamPaige29 said:

a thermostat can overheat your engine due to restricted flow

Sounds like a load of tripe to me. If it does, it is not open! And if it is open and the engine overheats, there are significant problems with the cooling system. Fix them!

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Sounds like a load of tripe to me. If it does, it is not open! And if it is open and the engine overheats, there are significant problems with the cooling system. Fix them!

 

Agreed. I just got my radiator rebuilt so I don't really see how a thermostat could "restrict" enough flow to overheat unless the radiator is already clogged up.

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Take off the rad hose base or thermostat housing and see if there is a recess to fit a thermostat. If there is go down to the parts store and find one with the same diameter. Don't use a 195 degree, get a 160 (summer) or 180 (winter). The 195 is for modern cars with sealed heating systems, your car has an open system and will overheat with a 195.

 

If a regular thermostat won't fit get the kind that goes in the hose. Or, if it is an odd size maybe a vintage parts specialist has one.

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I have used a 195 stat in my Pontiac for over 30 years (250,000 +miles) with no overheating problems.  When I started driving it in 1959 it had a 160 stat, I put in a 180 for the winter and never went back.  Later GM's started using 190's and 195's and I found the engine ran better with the higher temperature thermostat.  Did not even have a problem crossing the Mojave Desert and Death Valley in July.

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I'm surprised your Pontiac never boils over with a 195 stat but I bow to your superior knowledge and experience. You must take the trouble to keep your radiator and engine block clean. What coolant do you use?

 

I agree cars run better with the hot stat, get better mileage and the oil stays cleaner because it boils off condensation.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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I always use 50/50 tap water and ethylene glycol antifreeze.  Also as per the operators instruction book I only fill the cross flow radiator to just over the radiator inlet.  That leaves almost 50% of the rad capacity for coolant expansion.  I usually change coolant every two years or so and never have to add in between changes for at least the last 35 years.  There is a petcock just at the inlet but I find that simply squeezing the upper hose tells me if there is enough coolant in the system.

I have heard that split head Pontiac's were always boiling over and a friend who had two of them always complained.  I could not convince him not to fill the rad up to the neck because he was a "Service Station" owner/operator and knew better than GM.  He always carried a jerry can of water with him.

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There are people out there that request a 160 degree thermostat and think the engine is going to run cooler.

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Most cars of this era did not have thermostats,  I have a large hoard of early thermostats, if you can get me dimensions.  Also pines winterfronts were commonly used for winter motor temp control.

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4 hours ago, Curti said:

There are people out there that request a 160 degree thermostat and think the engine is going to run cooler.

 

Yes, the thermostat sets the minimum temp.

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I an not familiar with a 29 Graham but nobody has yet discussed the Slyphon shutter type thermostats. 

Did Graham use them?  Maybe they were only for more expensive cars? 

 

If you just add a thermostat to a hose or housing where one never existed, doesn't the system need a bypass path to circulate a little water until it opens? 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)

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Mine needed a 2 mm hole in the thermostat to let the air out from below, so the thermostat got hot with the water. The air pocket didn't get hot enough to open the thermostat. Otherwise no bypass. The idea is to heat the engine and its oil up as fast as possible for smoother running.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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