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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having over heating issues for quite some time now. So I figured I would do a little maintenance on the coolant system to get it back up to par. I started with the thermostat since that seemed to resolve most others over heating problems. I didn't think we had any other options out there other than the oem 180 degree stock replacement thermostat but turns out I was wrong. Lingenfelter actually offers a 160 degree thermo of the LNF. Before installing the new thermo my car ran about 205 on a normal day with the occasional over heat and now it runs anywhere from 178 to about 184! I'm not sure if anyone else knows about the lingenfelter thermo but I figured I would share anyway.
 

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205 is the normal operating temp for a GXP. At 178-184 you may be running a little cool for the most efficient operation:thumbs:
 

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Mine runs between 196 and 205 all day long. It only gets above 200 if I have the heat on as the engine calls for more heat then...
 

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Be aware that the ECM has a "protection protocol" that does not allow you to pull full boost until you reach a minimum operating temperature, which is somewhere around 170-180.

Not sure I would go out of OEM parameters with the thermostat.
 

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We have had quite an educational process on what is "good" operating temperature in general and for the 2.0 specifically.

First, I was amazed to learn that the hotter the motor runs the less the wear, up to about 240 F. There have in fact been tests run by UPS that involved insulating their motors to force the temps up in the 230 - 240 area and they all lasted longer.

The internal combustion engine is based on the carnot cycle.
Carnot cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As a result, the greater the temperature differential between the exhaust output temperature and ambient the higher the efficiency.


All lead to the conclusion that running hotter is better.

The limiting factor is localized heat concentration that exceeds the tolerances of individual components and oil breakdown. Generally the rulling factor is breakdown of the oil, it looses its ability to maintain separation between moving surfaces. The generally accepted maximum temperature that modern oil can see and still do its job is 250 F.

As GS has stated, the ECM code is designed to maximize performance, including reduction of emissions. Until the ECM sees a temp of about 178 F if memory serves it will limit boost and it may even stay in "cat warmup" mode.

Running a 2.0 at temps below 190 is not a good thing.
It increases wear
reduces overall efficiency
products more bad emissions

The "optimum normal" temp that has been reported consistently for several years is 195 to 210 F. Some cars indicate 200 F, some indicate 197F and some indicate 205 F. All will vairy depending on settings and conditions.

Turning on the heater will generally raise the operating temp by 2-3 F.

Running under steady heavy load, even out of boost, will run the temp up to 210 or 215.

All are totally normal.

And if you carefully watch your temperature display, you will see it almost never stays at a single point. It is going up and down several degrees in the normal course of events.

Personally my opinion is that running a colder mechanical thermostat is not in the direction of goodness. The ECM is constantly trying to compensate for an issue that was operator generated.:grouphug:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So its better to run the car at 240 then at 180? I don't see how a higher temp is better for the car since 10 more degrees will trigger the coolant light to appear on the DIC.
Under load my car gets up to 195+ but at about 65mph the temps settle in the 180's.
 

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So its better to run the car at 240 then at 180? I don't see how a higher temp is better for the car since 10 more degrees will trigger the coolant light to appear on the DIC.
Under load my car gets up to 195+ but at about 65mph the temps settle in the 180's.
The LS3 cooling fans do not even turn on till 228 F.

Yes it’s generally better to run at 240 than 180. At 180 the ECM is constantly trying to get the operating temperature up to what it considers the minimum normal.

The design is based on longevity and meeting air pollution requirements. Running the system too cool is potentially as harmful as running it too hot. To hot being above 240 in my mind.

An ideal minimum operating temperature should be in the 195 to 200 F region. The maximum operating temperature should be in the 205 - 215 F range.

If you are not reaching at least 195, in my opinion, you are running the car too cool. If you are exceeding 240 on a regular basis then you are running the car too hot.

A well-tuned car with all systems functioning as designed will configure itself to achieve a minimum temperature of 195 as quickly as possible. A few minutes.

That same car will then vary between 195 and 210 during normal driving, even full throttle blasts.

Sustained high power demand can add as much as 10 F to the high end and still be in the normal range.
 

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Here are a few items found on a web search that might offer some further enlightnment

normal running temp for an LS3

What is the normal running temp for an LS3? Anyone know? Mine heats up to 220 when idle, then shoots back down to around 205-210?

250 or more and I'd start to get concerned. Guys that track their cars can see 260-280 under hard driving. I wouldn't worry about 220.
I'd still be worried about losing all the coolant while driving though. Low/leaking coolant in an aluminum engine (or any engine for that matter) is not something you want left unchecked for long.

in mine 2008 and cruise all day at 199 but get up to 210 at parade speed/times

I've driven in Las Vegas city driving 100 degree heat and it was at about 220, or up slow steep hills at the same temp. It seems like the system goes into ultra cooling mode at around 225 or so because I never seen it climb about 223.

Living in Utah, I need a heater that actually puts out decent heat during the winter months. Heck, it seems like it has been in the 50s and 60s for the whole spring so far.

Some GM cars will always say 210 even if it is 190-230. They did this because people would complain about a few degrees here and there


What is the normal operating temp for these cars in stop and go traffic? I live in So. Cal. and my 07 temp runs 195 to 220 in traffic. Is that normal if so I am going to serious look into the 160 thermostat.

Running the engine at a lower temperture will make it less efficient...Believe that the engineers at GM know what they're doing when they design your car to run at the higher temperatures that those of 40 years ago...

Lowering the temp isn't necessarily needed or even a good thing. The motor is designed to run at specific temps. I never had any trouble in all my years driving in AZ high temps. It's routinely 110 and above here all summer long

There is considerable more discussion here

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f59/average-temp-gxp-72881/#post1093194
 

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I'll take the easy route and say that if you are in fact over heating then you may want to see if your radiator cap ( or whatever it's called ) needs replacing but I'd but the stock t-stat in first. I had some over heating problems on another car and a new cap solved that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Then why do people at the drag strip do a cool down period in between passes?

As your opinion is a car should be "hotter" to run better I believe in "diminishing returns"
Yes, I think a car should reach a set temp before it should be driven hard but, I also believe a car should not be past a set temp before a hard pull.

All the thermo is doing is opening sooner. Once you have past the set temp for the thermo to open then its all up to your cooling system. My car still reaches 195+ under load, so in your opinion my car is in fact operating at normal temps. Only on the highway does my car settle in below 190
 

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Again: The OEM operating range is 190-210ish. And the ECM is programmed to withhold full boost command if you have not reached at least 170-180ish. Therefore, in my humble opinion; running the temp down to your OP of "178 to about 184" may confuse the OEM programming of the ECM. So if you observe any odd behavior (IE: car seems to not command full boost in certain situations, or car goes into "limp mode lite"): Then keep in mind that you may need to go back to an OEM thermostat. If it works like you have it, and you are happy; then call it good.
 

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I'm pretty sure the guys at the drag strip run with the belts off so the cool down period is needed for that purpose. we always did.
 

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Specific power can be greater at lower temperatures, and drag racers want more specific power. Efficiency and power aren't the same thing; efficiency is best at much higher temperatures, which is why the engine designers experimented with ceramics, which required less lubrication and could operate at very high temperatures. Unfortunately, they couldn't come up with a practical ceramic engine.
 

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Then why do people at the drag strip do a cool down period in between passes?

As your opinion is a car should be "hotter" to run better I believe in "diminishing returns"
Yes, I think a car should reach a set temp before it should be driven hard but, I also believe a car should not be past a set temp before a hard pull.

All the thermo is doing is opening sooner. Once you have past the set temp for the thermo to open then its all up to your cooling system. My car still reaches 195+ under load, so in your opinion my car is in fact operating at normal temps. Only on the highway does my car settle in below 190
I don't use a thermostat for drag racing, I use a restrictor instead. My ZL1 has hardblock in the water jackets to keep the sleeve distortion to a minimum and I use an electric water pump to free up a few ponies.
 

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From what I have learned in the past with other cars I have owned, installing a thermo that kicks on at an earlier temp will only make your cooling fans kick on earlier/sooner making your engine temperatures lower. Keep in mind this will most likely cause your fans to run allot more than they are supposed to causing the motors on them to burn out faster. Ask me how I know. ;) This happened to me when I owned a 2.0 dodge neon turbo. Almost the exact same LNF engine we have in our Solstice GXP.

If you have overheating issues, it's better to find the problem rather than fix it by using a device that will lower the temp prematurely.
 

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I would not say the SRT4 engine is anything like the LNF other than its a 16v 2.0l 4 cylinder... thats kinda like saying a diesel 7.3l is like a 454 because they are 16v 7.3l V8s...

But what do I know
 

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I would not say the SRT4 engine is anything like the LNF other than its a 16v 2.0l 4 cylinder... thats kinda like saying a diesel 7.3l is like a 454 because they are 16v 7.3l V8s...

But what do I know
Okay, so even if the engines are not the same. The fan motors WILL still burn out do to excessive use. Doesn't matter what engine any car has if the fans are constantly being used all the time.:yesnod:
 
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