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Old 12-03-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
54greg
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Default 54 Thermostat/Radiator Cap

What temp thermostat is stock for my 54-180? And what lb radiator cap should I be using? 7lbs? I'm not having any problems but my gauge is registering a little over 200 degrees. No overheating nor puking, I just want to make sure what to expect.

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Greg
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
YesA59
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Something is not right if you are running at 200 degrees. The 1954 Corvette manual says you should have a 181 degree thermostat if you are using antifreeze (145 degree thermostat if you are using water). My 53 only goes above 180 degrees when I push it hard going up a very steep hill. On normal driving I run at 180 degrees the entire time.

The stock setup uses a 4lbs cap. I used to have a 7lbs cap on my 53, and it worked fine. I recently found a 4lbs cap and put that on instead. Works fine too.

Russ
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:27 PM   #3
Vette Daddy
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Russ is right. 180 degree thrmostat.
This is the correct cap for judging. 4 lb.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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I think I might have a bad thermostat. I do have a 4lb cap just like you posted.

As always,

Thanks

Greg
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
Vette Daddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54greg View Post
I think I might have a bad thermostat. I do have a 4lb cap just like you posted.

As always,

Thanks

Greg
Good deal. Does it have the 778 numbers on it? If so, you are lucky. They are not always that easy to find with the correct numbers. They have been repro'd before but run out quickly.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #6
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Hi Brett,

I do have a 778 cap. I spend a full 4 years collecting what I could identify as the "correct" parts for a top flight car. I got a few duds but most of the parts I collected you, russ and roy have helped me identify and properly install. Tonight you showed me that the cap I spent so much $$$ on was correct.

Have a good nite.

Greg
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:48 AM   #7
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Roy Braatz discussed a while ago in the NCRS technical discussion board that the Blue Flame 6 Corvette engines that have the right engine/water pump will overheat if the soft plug is installed behind the water pump. While it should be installed for passenger car and truck applications it IS NOT to be intalled on the 6 cylinder Corvettes because of the water pump configuration. I found his post in the search, but it was an article he linked and it's no longer available.

Before I took my '54 out of service it was running about 200 degrees in traffic situations. I acquired a correct cylinder head for it and will be pulling the engine soon. The first thing I'm going to do is check to see if they last guy that worked on it stuck a soft plug in it.

RG

Last edited by Randy G.; 12-04-2009 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy G. View Post
Roy Braatz discussed a while ago in the NCRS technical discussion board that the Blue Flame 6 Corvette engines that have the right engine/water pump will overheat if the soft plug is installed behind the water pump. While it should be installed for passenger car and truck applications it IS NOT to be intalled on the 6 cylinder Corvettes because of the water pump configuration. I found his post in the search, but it was an article he linked and it's no longer available.

Before I took my '54 out of service it was running about 200 degrees in traffic situations. I acquired a correct cylinder head for it and will be pulling the engine soon. The first thing I'm going to do is check to see if they last guy that worked on it stuck a soft plug in it.

RG
If you have a freeze plug behind the water pump, it will probably run hotter than 200 degrees. Good to check though.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy G. View Post
Roy Braatz discussed a while ago in the NCRS technical discussion board that the Blue Flame 6 Corvette engines that have the right engine/water pump will overheat if the soft plug is installed behind the water pump. While it should be installed for passenger car and truck applications it IS NOT to be intalled on the 6 cylinder Corvettes because of the water pump configuration. I found his post in the search, but it was an article he linked and it's no longer available.

Before I took my '54 out of service it was running about 200 degrees in traffic situations. I acquired a correct cylinder head for it and will be pulling the engine soon. The first thing I'm going to do is check to see if they last guy that worked on it stuck a soft plug in it.

RG
If your a funatic like me this is the original design used for C1, the soft plug you read that I wrote about saved many people from over heating (thanks)

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #10
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In case anybody wants to read the original SACE article on the freeze plug problem , here it is: SACE Freeze Plug Article.

Russ
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:44 PM   #11
54greg
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Thanks Russ for the article link. I replaced my thermostat today. Car now runs a solid 180. When I checked the old stat it began opening about 185 and fully opened at 200. Turns out my gauge is pretty accurate.

Greg
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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