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Flathead and thermos

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  • Flathead and thermos

    This is a duplicate posting from the newsgroup. Wanted to see if I could get as much help as possible with this issue.

    Moved from the very high temps of Texas in June with a '60 Lark. Did
    fine with the 160 degree thermo until it started getting cold here in
    Pennsylvania. About three weeks back I installed a standard issue 180
    degree version. Noticed it was about half the depth of the older

    Needless to say - did not work too well. After install, temp went to
    just over 3/4 and then the thermo finally opened. Drove it gingerly
    around and it would bounce back and forth between just above and just
    below 3/4.

    Shop manual shows original application with heat sensor just above the
    top of the head in the thermo housing. New thermo is way up inside and
    is obviously not getting the heat it needs to work properly.

    Here is what I might try next. Throw away (store in box to be found
    years later) metal spacer and find a piece of radiator hose that fits
    perfect into housing. Cut in two and put new thermo in the middle.
    Want to space the new thermo's heat sensor just above head as shown in
    shop manual.

    Anyone done the same? Anyone see any potential problems? Other
    suggestions (other than getting rid of the 170 for a V8)?

    Thanks ahead.

    My 7E7 - Restored by my Uncle in 1995

  • #2
    It's been a long time since I've driven a 170 but I drove a couple for many years in Pennsylvania with no thermostat problems.

    If memory serves me, the spacer fits in the gooseneck and holds the thermostat down against the head. The thermostat should not be "up inside" the housing.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


    • #3

      Thanks for the reply. Maybe not enough little sixes around to get anymore replies.

      Actually, I think the reason that the housing itself is as tall as it is because the thermo needs to be some distance from the block. With the thermo down in the bottom, it would only be less than an inch from the top of the combustion chamber. It would open pretty quickly and not allow the coolant to reach its optimum temperature.

      I think at this point I am going to try placing the thermo a lot closer to the bottom of the housing and see what I get. Maybe I will luck out and hit it right the first time.

      Anyone else like to chime in?

      My brother's 7E7 - Restored by my Uncle in 1995


      • #4
        Just to add my 2 cents, you really do need the spacer as Rockne said.
        I'd also go back to the 160 degree thermostat. That's what I run with my '59 Lark VI. The car runs well and no overheating. I even drive it in the Winter as long as there isn't any salt on the roads. By the way, I live on Long Island about 50 miles east of NYC.
        Just as aside, if you have the original temp. sending unit on your block, you may wish to replace it with a new one. I thought that my car was overheating last Spring. I replaced the thermostat and the temp gauge still indicated way up to HOT. When I replaced the sending unit, all returned to normal.

        '59 Lark Regal Hardtop
        '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
        Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club