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Old 01-14-2013, 10:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 94/95 1.6 16V thermostat

Hi guys, recently figured out my sputter problem (VSS and airleak) and then EGR and the engine is running great.

Sunday we went out snowbashing and it was cold, really cold (-10F to -5F). I put a cover over the outside grill to help get the radiator temps up a little.

My thermostat is working but I wonder if it's sealing closed as good as it could. I have two temp gauges, the stock gauge and I added a gauge with numbers. Where I put the 2nd gauge sender it must read water temp into the engine (or out of the rad). The water into the engine without the cover on the grill would never get above 100F. With the shield it would get about 110F and the heat would work noticeably better.

Before I go change the t-stat and hope, I was wondering if anyone else has experience with this engine in very cold conditions.

Note, in normal cold around here (20F-30F) the heat works great.

At all times, the engine gauge shows temp (no numbers) maybe slightly below the normal operating temp but not much.

Note this is a Sidekick 1.6 16V in a samurai. The radiator is an upgraded aluminum unit. Original 1.6 16V mechanical fan.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Where is your gauge with the numbers? The temp coming out of the radiator (bottom right) would be the coolest of any reading - if the radiator is doing what it's designed to do. Normally at the bottom right, with my car heated up, the temp would be around 120F or so, and my weather here is nowhere near 0F!! I prefer an IR thermometer, as you can get readings from all over the cooling system.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi BEX, You can see the added temp gauge sender on the lower right of this photo...

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Old 01-15-2013, 10:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmm....what thermostat do you have in the car? The 180f or the 195?? Presumably the 195 would be better, allowing the car to heat up a bit more before the thermostat opens. -10F is pretty darned cold, however. Hopefully someone else on the forum used to these cold conditions might give some opinion, as your car heats up properly during less severe conditions.
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'91 Tracker 8V, 1.6L, 5 sp, 4wd, 2dr, conv, CAMI, horribly rusty
'97 Suzuki Vitara 8v, 1.6L 5 sp, 4wd, 2dr, tintop, horribly purple
'61 NSU Quickly - 150mpg

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure on t-stat 180 or 195 as I've never replaced it. The engine temp gauge doesn't have numbers.

which temp is correct for the car? I assume 195.

The engine never over temps in the summer, the radiator upgrade really works, even crawling up steep mountain trails 3mph for 1/2 hour. So I could go 195 if 180 is called for. Not sure what that would do to the computer and or emissions?

EDIT: I looked in rock auto for a thermostat and they are all 180.

Probably should stick with 180???

Last edited by flashboiler; 01-15-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 195F thermostat will allow the car to heat up a bit faster, and the thermostat will not open until 195F is obtained. If you decide to change the thermostat (or you might want to check what you have, in a pot of water on the stove to see if/when it opens) you will need to make sure that you have the proper gasket - your car would most probably have the 4mm thermostat housing, so that you would need a 5mm o-ring on the thermostat, so that the thermostat is not floating around and allowing coolant to bypass it. Presumably you flush the cooling system once a year? Check that the anti-freeze will protect you for sub-freezing temps? Have a proper 12psi radiator cap on the radiator, for the proper pressure? Etc., etc.
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'91 Tracker 8V, 1.6L, 5 sp, 4wd, 2dr, conv, CAMI, horribly rusty
'97 Suzuki Vitara 8v, 1.6L 5 sp, 4wd, 2dr, tintop, horribly purple
'61 NSU Quickly - 150mpg
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