heat in a '88 2.3

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by dagenham, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. -My 2¢...

    ---If you can, scrap that POS, stamped steel, FailSafe or stant T-stat and get a RobertShaw, the only name in T-stats I will ever use, for as long as I can find em. Maybe the one you purchased is under warranty. If so, return it and put the $ toward a good one.

    ---Match your old one up to a Mr. Gasket even. Even if you have to ignore a rubber adapter that I never saw on a T-stat until around 1990. What was known as RobertShaw was owner by Cooper last I knew - but prior to that, stant owned them and did a terrible job, basically used the RS name to sell their own junk T-stats. Now MG has the design and functionality of the RS. Don't know exactly how that happened. Don't know if Cooper is part of Mr. Gasket or if they all fall into the Tenneco or Dana Corp family when we get to the root. All I know is that they have been tested and they work exactly like RSs did.

    ---RobertShaw was well known in the racing industry for response/accuracy and reliability (they're also the top name in commercial & residential HVAC controls). The T-stats operate (in reality they "close") at the temperature they are rated for and return to default (open) when they reach 6° below that specified temp. They do not stick part way, they do not open part way, close part way, they are either opened or closed and most of all, most importantly, they have the correct "bell" to fit the housing to properly direct flow to bypass and allow a thermostat to do what it is meant to do...

    ... which is, keep the water in the block until it has heated up enough to warm the oil, so the oil will become thin enough to do its job properly.

    Mr. Gasket T-stats that cross to the 2.3L
    4365 = 195°
    4364 = 180°
    4363 = 160°

    ---OEM was 192° (413-192) and you can often find them on eBay for dirt cheap, but T-stats have been known to go bad after 20+ years of shelf life, so your choice on if you want to buy cheap or pay the price of one Mr. Gasket from What-oZone's rack. When buying RS, stay away from the style that resembles the Stants and stick with the style that looks like the Mr. Gasket
    link to Amazon.com images, I am too tired to upload pics right now.

    Part number break down for RS:
    prefix = style/series
    suffix = temp
    413-160 (if available) was 160°
    413-180 (if available) was 180°
    413-192 was 192°
    413-195 (if available) would have been 195°

    -Note that stant is still using the 413 prefix.

    ---Screw the 50/50 mix suggestion and even a 50/50 mix when coolant & water comes in separate bottles. Even if some $20 from city hall, cracker-jack ASE licensed mechanic says it's "recommended" and mix your coolant at least 60/40 (I run 70/30 and did when I was in N. Michigan facing -20° ambient winter temps and 100+° summers without gelling issues). If you want to effectively combat corrosion, you have to combat the acids. To combat the acids, you need a better mix than 50/50 cause out of the bottle, antifreeze's composition is just barely above what's needed to protect an engine from internal corrosion. Never use tap water, always use distilled. It costs about 80¢ from Wal-Mart and ShellZone Concentrated Antifreeze runs about $12 at a local FlyingJ Truck Stop or similar. Ethelyn Glycol of course, so you don't have to worry about mixing the wrong red with your Propylene Glycol red crap that GM came out with cause they were skimping on material to make gaskets & seals.

    ---While you have the T-stat out, heater hose off, disconnect the other hose and with no more than around 20#, reverse flush the core with your garden hose, then direct flow the natural direction.

    ---I would also ask if you're certain the water pump is pumping and if you burped the bottom hose.

    ---I'm tired and goin' to catch a power nap. Hope you all had a great Turkey day and got to spend some time with those you love or doing what you love doing.
  2. AKA,
    Thanks for the info about the t-stats. i checked the antifreeze in the rad the other day and it was low so I just added staight antifreeze to it. It seemed to help a little but it hasnt got really cold yet to tell for sure. When it gets down into the 30's or even the 20's is when I'll find out for sure.
  3. Its 20 degrees here in Harrisburg PA so I know your pain dagenham.

    I picked up a Mr. Gasket #4365 Thermostat only to discover it does not fit like the factory T-stat nor does it work correctly when installed.

    Question: is the #4365 for the 5.0L or the 2.3L? It looks like it will fit in the 5.0L. :shrug:

    The 2.3L Thermostat is a radical design that locks into the water neck and does not install into the block. :nono:

    Question: AKA3Toes was Mr. Gasket #4365 intended for use with an inline thermostat housing? :shrug:

    Have you tried swapping the heater hoses at the heater core? Maybe the coolant is going in the wrong direction. I discovered I had no heat when I tried to install Mr. Gasket #4365 thermostat to the block to try and make it work. I discovered that for the heat to work on the 2.3L the thermostat needs to sit in the water neck downstream of the heater hose bypass. I also discovered if a "fail-safe" thermostat is not inserted properly, the side braces of the thermostat can block the heater hose passage and prevent most of the flow to the heater core. Yes the hoses will feel warm but you wont get any heat at the dash. :eek:

    Right now I have a new fail-safe 192 degree thermostat in the car and the heat is good and she is running cooler by about 5 degrees than with the factory original from 1992 in there. I put the 1992 thermostat in boiling water and it only opened fractionally so I needed a new one. Now I just want one hotter than 192 degrees. :nonono:

    I would like to use the 195 degree Mr. Gasket #4365 so I am open to ideas. I hope dagenham that your thermostat has shifted and that is your problem because you are two 10mm bolts and a gasket away from a solution. :rolleyes:
  4. I am 99% certain that the heater hoses are on the right way. I have actually been driving it off and on and it is making some decent heat.
    It just baffles me how my '84 SVO makes enough heat that I cant keep it on high for long and my '88 I have to run on high and barely keeps it comfortable.

    I think some of the problem is the glass from the t-tops obviously has no insulation and that is part of the reason it feels so cold inside the car.
  5. ---First let me add something I didn't before. Something I forgot when I just worked on mine again and something that gets heat to you pretty quick... which isn't really needed now, but future readers will benefit. Then I will strike through my text in the first reply, so the info will be there... JIC in the future, I find more information that allows me to compare and find the RobertShaw thermostat... it would be nice if BS went back to the automotive field and brought back their own part numbers. :rolleyes:

    ---Try burping the system by squeezing the bottom hose or pulling the Driver's side (LHD) up on a ramp and then fill the radiator. I have three times now had an air bubble trapped and a buddy of mine was laughing after I cussed about forgetting... saying "why didn't you call me and ask, they always had that problem". :mad: :Zip2:

    -As for the RS thermostat:
    ---All I can say is :censored: !@#$ :censored: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Accociation and their screwing up part numbers. The old RobertShaw # crossed over in parts matching and researching the other vehicles listed brought the Mr. Gasket number to light. I too purchased one only to find it's not the style that has the :censored: rubber seal around the T-Stat... and as you said, is suspended & locked in by two metal legs/tabs.

    ---My next journey when I have money to waste will be on a 2.0's thermostat housing, which is suppose to fit the 2.3L also. Looking at the mounting holes compared to Motorcraft diagrams for the part showed the extra, open bolt holes on the 2.3L to be a close match. It is very possible that that T-Stat housing is what was condemned as obsolete by our fine AAIA and what caused the screw-up with part numbers... and left us with this cheap-o tin outlet pipe from Factory Air... which I just had to replace as well as the !@#$ water pump I installed 8 months prior. Again...

    ... DON'T BUY CARDONE REBUILDS. Anything that requires a core is a rebuild. Doesn't matter if it says 100% new parts, they bead blast their cores and after so long, the tolerances are out of spec by a substantial amount. They mass-assemble and the workers do not have tools to measure tolerances, so... there was my less-than-a-year water pump with bearing grease oozing out from between the impeller shaft seal and housing.