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thermostat or no thermostat?

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  • thermostat or no thermostat?

    my 59 squarebird overheated and sprung a leak in my overflow tank. Installing a new overflow tank and got a suggestion to remove the thermostat for the summer to increase water/coolant flow. Anyone ever do that? recommendations welcome! thanks!

  • #2
    Looks like you're treating the symptom and not the problem. I would never run an engine without a thermostat. I have A/C and the Temp gauge will move to the limits in Summer in stop and go. I'd seek a permanent solution like an electric fan or a 6 blade flex fan if your radiator isn't the problem.



    • #3
      A thermostat is not only designed to control temperature, but it also controls the flow rate through the radiator. If the flow is too fast through the radiator, it does not have the dwell time for proper cooling. In the old days when it was more common to remove a thermostat, the cooling system was typically corroded which slowed down the flow and could help in overheating problems. If your cooling system is in good shape and clean, I would not recommend removing the thermostat. Using a 6 bladed fan is a better option or an electric fan if you converted to an alternator. This is really the best option. Our old Birds have a tendency to run hot, especially in stop and go traffic. There are posts that say adding an oil cooler can also help, but I have no experience in doing this.


      • #4
        If you stop and think about how a thermostat works, it is helping your motor most when it has just started and is still warming up. Once up to operating temperature, it may be open all the time for all we know. But you need it early on to protect the motor from low temp wear,

        Did you know: you can buy a thermostat that stays open should it fail??

        A 6 blade fan is an easy improvement. A shroud takes more effort but can help.

        Until you are sure it all runs correctly, a numerical temp gauge is valuable information. Or get a temp gun and calibrate your factory gauge.

        The overflow tanks are a poor design and can easily leak. You can adapt post 1960 tanks easily , which have better reinforcing ribs. Whatever you use, take it to a good radiator shop and have it repaired and tested. Resist the urge to fill it right up to the top - follow Ford instructions on the level or your stress the tank .

        Good luck!
        1958 Hardtop
        #8452 TBird Registry



        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnG View Post
          ...The overflow tanks are a poor design and can easily leak...
          I will attest to that. Over the years, I must have repaired and reinforced a dozen or more. So far, they hold up very well. (I haven't heard otherwise.) - Dave

          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan


          • #6
            in fact Dave overhauled and reinforced one of mine years ago and it has been fine since. Which is alot more than I can say about the ones I took to assorted radiator shops. The 1958s seem to have been the weakest - - the tank could flex under pressure and weaken the joints. By the early 60s, Ford had modified the design to include reinforcement ribs. Not overfilling it allows for a decent air pocket which acts as a cushion when the pressure builds up.
            1958 Hardtop
            #8452 TBird Registry



            • #7
              Kayak, you can get the expansion tank repaired, then do as I did. install the 160 degree thermostat, opens sooner, then a flex fan although if like me you install a shroud (get the 2 piece off a 61 bird, you likely won't need the flex fan since the shroud makes the biggest difference. But should you install the flex fan you'll need a spacer since the fans sits too far back to make a difference. 1.5" is what I used. Never overheat again!
              South Delta, BC, Canada
              1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
              Red Leather Interior!
              Thunderbird Registry #61266