View Full Version : cooling

pete dimitri
06-09-2005, 05:21 PM
I have a 53 commander,i would like to know about the temperature reading on my gauge.my gauge reads c- ------ -h,the needle points to the 6th bar in 90 degree temperature.i have a 160 thermostat.is the car running to hot? what degree is it running at?thanks Pete

06-09-2005, 05:29 PM
Only way to get it right Pete is to get a meat thermometer, run the car with it stuck in the radiator and compare both readings. The gauges and sending units, (hell, the whole gauge setup), is notoriously errant.


06-09-2005, 07:40 PM
Make that a candy thremometer. Meat thermometer don't go much above 180;)
And bear in mind - just because you HAVE a 160 thermostat, that doesn't mean that's the temp your car's gonna stay at. That just means it OPENS at 160. 90 weather, I would expect it should run around 190 or so. An engine has to run hot to be efficient. Not OVERhot, just well warmed.
Further, the V8s tend to collect crud behind the last cylinders (we're talking inside the cooling passages here) and that can cause a hot spot RIGHT WHERE that temp sending sensor is![V] This can have the radiator running fairly cool while the impacted area is telling the sensor that it's not getting any cooling - cause it's not![:0]
That is why we talk about taking out the block drain plugs and maybe even the rearmost freeze plugs and digging around in the cooling jacket with screwdrivers, awls, ice picks, whatever - while repeatedly flushing water to dislodge the 50+ years of rusty crud that's inhibiting proper coolant action at the rear of the engine.
BTW - If you significant other is fussy about a clean driveway , don't do this block flush there.[:0]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

06-10-2005, 07:10 PM
Find a mechanic who has a laser thermometer; point and shoot. You can check the radiator temp, thermostat housing temp and temp at any point on the block, heads or manifold.

06-10-2005, 07:32 PM
This thread prompted me to check eBay, theres a couple cheap ones up for about $35. For that it's worth it not to go to the hassle of installing a mechanical temp. gauge to check my factory one. Obviously one can easily check calibration with some boiling water on the stove (assuming you know your altitude.) Thanks for the idea!


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop