Thermostat Test

Posted by Willy-N on Thursday, June 19, 2003:

In Reply to: why don't you test your thermostat posted by mike stone on Thursday, June 19, 2003:

Original article by G.T. Koldjeski can be found at

Mike; I have checked all the other parts already, haven't tested it in water with a thermometer. Just found this site with a good check list and gives me a lot of things to check. It also states most 218/230 had the 160 stat and I got the number "Gates #30026" here is a copy of what I found; "Cooling System Check List Most 218/230 flatheads use a stock 160 degree thermostat and will run all day long in the 160 –170 degree range. I have driven a P15 across the California desert in 100 degree weather at 60 mph and the water temperature climbed to the 200 degree range. These vehicles have large radiators with sizeable coolant capacity so overheating is not a common experience. In fact, I have found them to be a bit on the cold hearted side. So if you are seeing temperatures above the 170 degree without extenuating circumstances such as towing or climbing hills, your engine is telling you something is wrong. Ignoring the warning signs will almost always lead to engine damage ranging from burned exhaust valves to a cracked block or head.

Cooling Check List
Phase 1 are quick checks for common problems with easy fixes. Break out the tools and plan on a Saturday for Phase 2. Phase 3 are those really tough problems that unfortunately are usually expensive to fix. Good news is they don’t occur that often

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

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