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Old 09-25-2020, 06:50 PM   #1
fourthwall
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Default Do stants run a little warm?

Hi guys,

I've actually replaced the thermostat on both my cars now - an '01 SL2 and an '02 SL2.

The '01 SL2 had a cracked ECTS that was also replaced with a new ACDelco unit.

The '01 SL2 runs at a perfect 90C/195F all the time, verified by ODB2. It's exactly halfway between the two marks on the gauge.

The '02 SL2's new stat runs a little warm and seems to hop around between 200-205F. It's running the original brass sensor from the factory.

Will the second stat settled own, or is it fine? I'm not too concerned about running slightly too hot but given the radiator also serves as the tranny cooler I'd really like everything to be the optimal temperature.

Am I seeing just a mild over-read from an 18 year old sensor? Or is the stant running a bit hot?
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:39 PM   #2
laser3kw
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

I hear ya brother! Yes! they do run hotter. And, they are inconsistent out of the box. Yours running 200° ~205° shouldn't be to bad.
I too have used a ScanGauge and monitor several different parameters including water temperature.
I replaced the OEM many moons ago with a Stant 14279. The OEM (came with my SC1 from factory) ran 195° rock steady. The Stant ran 200°. Fast forward to my second Stant, it ran 210° out of the box and settled down to a steady 205° after a month or so. On my last change, I got a genuine(?) GM thermostat in an ACDelco box, with GM part number 21006065 and guess what? It was a Motorad housing and thermostat. It has run at 192°~195°for over a year. I would rather run around 195° as head cracking is a possibility with some models. Don't want to tempt fate.
Keep in mind, the ACDelco/GM advertises as 188° and the Stant advertises as 195°. Some suggest that the advertised temperature is the "opening" temperature and not the final running temperature.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

My Stant thermostat runs around 196-201 depending on how hot it is, slightly less in the winter. It’s been like that for a little over 2 years now. Definitely won’t harm anything running around 200 degrees, if anything it’s nice for the heat in the winter

The transmission should also be fine as long as it has the fluid gets changed every 30,000 miles. If you’re really worried about it, it’s not to hard to get a generic aftermarket trans cooler to use in place of the factory one.
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laser3kw View Post
I hear ya brother! Yes! they do run hotter. And, they are inconsistent out of the box. Yours running 200° ~205° shouldn't be to bad.
I too have used a ScanGauge and monitor several different parameters including water temperature.
I replaced the OEM many moons ago with a Stant 14279. The OEM (came with my SC1 from factory) ran 195° rock steady. The Stant ran 200°. Fast forward to my second Stant, it ran 210° out of the box and settled down to a steady 205° after a month or so. On my last change, I got a genuine(?) GM thermostat in an ACDelco box, with GM part number 21006065 and guess what? It was a Motorad housing and thermostat. It has run at 192°~195°for over a year. I would rather run around 195° as head cracking is a possibility with some models. Don't want to tempt fate.
Keep in mind, the ACDelco/GM advertises as 188° and the Stant advertises as 195°. Some suggest that the advertised temperature is the "opening" temperature and not the final running temperature.
Yeah the stant 14279 is the stant 14279. Mine has 188F/87C written on the stant box

So it would seem to me that 188F is crack open, 195F is fully open. Running 200F to me suggests that the fully open temp is a little too high - I can observe this by feeling the temperature difference between the two hoses at warmed up idle. The upper hose is red hot, too hot to touch. The lower hose is still ok to touch. If it was open they'd be equalized.

You can crack a head running slightly too cool?? I've heard of the SOHC cracking heads. From what I understand that was a corroded coolant feed line that went to the cylinder head - it rusted shut causing voiding in cylinder number 4 and cracking. You could always observe the failures around Cam journal #5.
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
If you’re really worried about it, it’s not to hard to get a generic aftermarket trans cooler to use in place of the factory one.
+1 on the trans cooler. Low Saturn always recommended it for the S-series auto trans - Low Saturn was one of maybe a half dozen folks that OldNuc would defer to on certain subjects. You've probably seen Low's saturn website http://www.differentracing.com/
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Thanks guys. While we're on the subject - what do we think of the rather geneous "on temp" for the fan being about 220F/105C? It seems a touch high to me. Most other cars have activated around 92C, and mine runs at 94 now! Safe for the engine, or should I install a fan bypass switch or similar?
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

GM cars from the 80s and 90s just run hot from what I have read online. If running up to 220 was bad for the engine it wouldn’t have been designed to do so from the factory. It may help longevity a little bit to be running closer to 195 more consistently, but that’s about it
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwall View Post
Safe for the engine, or should I install a fan bypass switch or similar?
The DOHC engine should be fine, have heard reports about SOHC heads cracking but not sure if slightly lowered temps would help. Thought it was a casting flaw or something.

The plastic on the driver side radiator cracks after a decade or so, reducing the temp swings might help longevity.

Always thought this was a cool modification, but was always too lazy to actually buy parts and do it. DIYguy's soft-on fan mod:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=122873

check out the odometer reading at post 19 in this thread. The OEM thermostat setting doesnt seem to have harmed his engine
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=164306

There's a pretty sizeable number of Saturns over 400k miles using the stock thermostat setup
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Last edited by alordofchaos; 09-28-2020 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
The DOHC engine should be fine, have heard reports about SOHC heads cracking but not sure if slightly lowered temps would help. Thought it was a casting flaw or something.

The plastic on the driver side radiator cracks after a decade or so, reducing the temp swings might help longevity.

Always thought this was a cool modification, but was always too lazy to actually buy parts and do it. DIYguy's soft-on fan mod:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=122873

check out the odometer reading at post 19 in this thread. The OEM thermostat setting doesnt seem to have harmed his engine
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=164306

There's a pretty sizeable number of Saturns over 400k miles using the stock thermostat setup
I'm actually quite familiar with the head cracking issue on the SOHC. It's localized overheating. The SOHC head has a coolant feed line to the cylinder head that is steel and has a bad habit of rusting shut. This causes starvation to the 4th cylinder and you get localized boiling and coolant voids - which cause a crack. You can observe it on post mortem on a SOHC by looking near cam journal #5.

But yes, I think you are right. 105C will not harm an aluminum block. In my experience with aluminum it is not so much a little too much heat that damages it so much as it is thermal shock. If you suffer a coolant loss incident and your block is surviving just on the oil that's in it and you pour a load of cold water in it, it's gonna be toast. But engines that are gently cooled down will live to see another day.

The only reason it struck me as odd is because my old Subie maintained 88C and the fan activated at 93C... which seems a lot more proactive than the Saturn's engine! But if the block can take it the block can take it. Longer fan life to boot.

I've added a slightly stronger mix of antifreeze at about 55/45% to reduce the vapour pressure in the coolant system at 105C to help preserve the life of that. Seems good enough to me.
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwall View Post
I'm actually quite familiar with the head cracking issue on the SOHC. It's localized overheating. The SOHC head has a coolant feed line to the cylinder head that is steel and has a bad habit of rusting shut. ..........
I read that before and didn't quiet get it. Do you mean the deaeration line? I don't think that is a coolant feed line, rather its purpose is to allow purging of trapped air back to the reservoir. Yes, it does clog and when it does, it can present irself as a overheating issue.
As far as fan temperature, I added a secondary fan control that I have set at 211°. I am more comfortable knowing my fan will come on and lower the temperature back to the 200° area well in advance of the 220~230°. Just my preference.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laser3kw View Post
I read that before and didn't quiet get it. Do you mean the deaeration line? I don't think that is a coolant feed line, rather its purpose is to allow purging of trapped air back to the reservoir. Yes, it does clog and when it does, it can present irself as a overheating issue.
As far as fan temperature, I added a secondary fan control that I have set at 211°. I am more comfortable knowing my fan will come on and lower the temperature back to the 200° area well in advance of the 220~230°. Just my preference.

How's your fan setup?

And yeah, it's a degassing line like you say. But blockage can cause localized boiling in that part of the engine as I understand it.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
The plastic on the driver side radiator cracks after a decade or so, reducing the temp swings might help longevity.
I have not had the issue on my Saturn, and it's on the original radiator, but I have had the issue with my truck. I think it's the upper hose bouncing that eventually stress cracks the plastic.... it's now zip tied down.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Do stants run a little warm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwall View Post
How's your fan setup?
And yeah, it's a degassing line like you say. But blockage can cause localized boiling in that part of the engine as I understand it.
I use this controller:
Fan controller link
I think there are others here with similar. It's been in place for several years and works very well. This model uses an inline, thread in sending unit. I made a lower radiator hose coupler with the threaded NPT port for the sender unit. Of course that means I had to cut a small section out of the lower hose to insert the coupler. I have it set to 211°, no real reason, that is the upper limit of the adjustment in the controller.
There are other controllers that use a probe that is inserted into the radiator cooling fins but I do not have an experiences with those.
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