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> Changing the thermostat
rdx
post Mar 18 2011, 05:22 AM
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Hey guys, so I got the 160 degree Hypertech thermostat which I would like to change by myself, I'm not a mechanic so I would like to know if there's anything I should be specially careful about before I do it? I found some steps on the web and thought it might be pretty easy.. http://www.ehow.com/how_6332370_change-the...lt1-engine.html

I just wanted to ask you if you think it would be a good idea to do it myself or if I just definetely should take it to the mechanic for this? If I do it, do I need to flush the coolant out of the system before I change it or not? any other tips, caution, advice?

BTW, it's time for a throttle body bypass as well!

Thanks!


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Tyler
post Mar 18 2011, 11:49 AM
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I would drain about 1/2 gallon out of the radiator so it wont leak all over the Opti when you take it apart.


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024mula
post Mar 18 2011, 02:04 PM
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"I recently seen a 4th gen (1993 - 1997) Firebird at the local automatic carwash. This car wash has an undercarriage "blaster" in which it sprays water at high pressure at the undercarriage of your car. Remember, if you have a 4th gen (1993 - 1997) Firebird or Camaro V8, you want to avoid these undercarriage car washes. If you get your opti-spark wet, you will regret it. Anyway, I thought I would post this for those who do not know about the LT1 opti-spark and water".

Be careful don't get it wet.


This post has been edited by 024mula: Mar 18 2011, 02:09 PM


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rdx
post Mar 18 2011, 06:21 PM
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Ok guys! Thanks for the advice, so I'll drain some coolant before to protect the optispark and also I'll cover it in case I still get some coolant out when I pull the housing out.

Rodolfo


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Rodolfo



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formula90
post Mar 19 2011, 12:01 AM
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Easy Thermostat Changeout - ShoeBox

Click that link for a good guide..


like everyone else here.... protect the distributer from any coolant leakage..


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Me Too
post Mar 19 2011, 08:36 PM
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RDX,

Hope I'm not too late in answering this....The engine temp is set by the fan turn on, turn off temps. Those temps are set by the PCM programming, and not the thermostat. If you install the 160 thermostat, it will just take the engine longer to get up to temperature, but it will still get up to whatever it can, before turning on the fans.

Typical fan turn-on temp is 242 degres, and fan turn-off temp is 221 degres (93 thru 95 cars, not sure what the 96 and above cars use). Yeah, that is hot. The 160 thermostat won't help at all. But it will run cooler on the hwy. However, that is too cool for good gas mileage except on a very hot day, and definitely too cool for winter usage. Theory goes something like this: The 160 thermostat opens too soon and doesn't allow the coolant to stay in the radiator long enough to get cool. On a hot day, there is the possibility that it could actually cause the engine to heat up hotter than normal. Let me tell you the story of my car running in the Arizona desert south of Phoenix with a 160 thermostat, the Hypertech Power Programmer installed and the temp on the gauge at around 230F...re-installed the 180 thermo, set the Power Programmer to the recommended temps for the 180 thermo and ended those problems forever. Later had pcmforless set the fan turn-on/turn-off temps to what I've specified below and the engine ran great in town and on the hwy.

With the 180 thermostat, set the fan turn-on temp at 205 and turn-off temp at 190. The 180 thermostat is full open at around 205 or so and begins to open at 180. The 160 thermostat begins to open at around 160 and is full open around 180..give or take a few degres for both of them.

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rdx
post Mar 20 2011, 06:49 AM
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Hi Mee Too, thanks for your advice but it is too late hehe wacko.gif I installed the 160 thermostat in the morning, at first it was getting hotter than with the original but it was just a matter of opening the bleed valves and then I got it working fine, however as you explained, there was not a big difference in the average engine temperature and it took longer to get to the temperature but I did felt the car not that affected by the hot of noon as used too, maybe it's just a psychological effect but I do think it ran better. Take into account that as I live in Costa Rica the temperature hear goes from 77 to 86 degrees so it's pretty hot the whole year, today we had a pretty cool evening and ###### the car moved fast tonight!

So far I plan to drive the car with the 160 thermostat for a while and see how it goes and if I find the car heating more than normal I would go with the 180 then.

I also want to get the hypertech programmer so I would be able to set a lower temp for the fans to open and I'll also be able to fix my speedo which is inaccurate thanks to my rear end biggrin.gif

The fact is that even if the 160 thermo doesn't meet my expectatives at least I learned how to change the thermostat myself smile.gif Next mod will be the throttle body bypass which I tried to do today but those hoses are tight man! I have kind of high expectatives on this mod since it's hot here so I think the pass of the coolant thru the tb may be affecting my car's performance more than it would do in the US for you guys

By the way.. thanks a lot guys! I flushed some coolant out of the system before I changed the thermostat so there were no leaks that would get my opti spark wet so I avoided some troubles thanks to you, appreciate your help


This post has been edited by rdx: Mar 20 2011, 06:56 AM


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Rodolfo



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97 Formula
post Mar 20 2011, 03:07 PM
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I've been using the 160* stat along with the Hypertech Power Programmer for 10+ years with absolutely no issues at all. Runs much cooler on 90+ degrees days, and still produces plenty of heat for colder weather.

You definitely need to reprogram the fans to turn on earlier to get full benefits of the cooler thermostat. Since you plan on getting the Hypertech, another thing you can do with the programmer is reprogram your shift points and firmness (just don't pick increased firmness if you have a shift kit installed).


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rdx
post Mar 20 2011, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE(97 Formula @ Mar 20 2011, 03:07 PM) *
I've been using the 160* stat along with the Hypertech Power Programmer for 10+ years with absolutely no issues at all. Runs much cooler on 90+ degrees days, and still produces plenty of heat for colder weather.

You definitely need to reprogram the fans to turn on earlier to get full benefits of the cooler thermostat. Since you plan on getting the Hypertech, another thing you can do with the programmer is reprogram your shift points and firmness (just don't pick increased firmness if you have a shift kit installed).


Yeah I have the B&M Shift kit, I'll keep that in mind! Talking about the Hypertech... Can you actually gain some hp with it? Or the only benefits are the ones I know (Get trouble codes, fix the speedo, improve shift points, set the fans temperature)?


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Rodolfo



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Me Too
post Mar 20 2011, 07:32 PM
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Oh, that's right, you live in the tropics. If you use the Hypertech Power Programmer, with your air temps and the 160 thermostat all is well. Had one in my car for years, but removed it when we moved to upstate Illinois where the early morning temps can be -20F and then a 160 thermostat was way too cold. Freezing in your car is the "issue" I had.

Some say that a 160 thermostat is not hot enough to "burn" off contaminates in the oil, specifically...water condensation during short trips. You'll have to try it to find out if it works.
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97 Formula
post Mar 21 2011, 02:26 AM
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QUOTE(rdx @ Mar 20 2011, 01:11 PM) *
Yeah I have the B&M Shift kit, I'll keep that in mind! Talking about the Hypertech... Can you actually gain some hp with it? Or the only benefits are the ones I know (Get trouble codes, fix the speedo, improve shift points, set the fans temperature)?

Well, Hypertech does have an engine tune for 93 octane. But, some people say it does little or nothing. I have mine installed and am not sure if I really feel more power from it, but I definitely feel stronger shifts (in your case, you would leave the shift firmness alone since you have the B&M Shift Kit already firming up the shifts).

Other stuff you can do with the programmer is remove the speed limiter (if there is one due to lower speed-rated tires), and to change the rev limiter (I set mine to 6000 in case it approaches redline during shifts).

Also, search eBay for the programmer (they cost too much when new).


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1997 Pontiac Firebird Formula, Moroso CAI, 1LE Elbow, Hypertech air charger, HPP+ w/160* Powerstat (engine tune, earlier fans, firmer shifts), Relocated IAT sensor, Spintech muffler, SLP-spec fog lamps, Katzkin dark graphite leather, DRL's disabled, Custom Kenwood stereo,

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rdx
post Mar 21 2011, 02:56 AM
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QUOTE(Me Too @ Mar 20 2011, 07:32 PM) *
Oh, that's right, you live in the tropics. If you use the Hypertech Power Programmer, with your air temps and the 160 thermostat all is well. Had one in my car for years, but removed it when we moved to upstate Illinois where the early morning temps can be -20F and then a 160 thermostat was way too cold. Freezing in your car is the "issue" I had.

Some say that a 160 thermostat is not hot enough to "burn" off contaminates in the oil, specifically...water condensation during short trips. You'll have to try it to find out if it works.


Yeah that's why the 160 thermostat looked that attractive to me biggrin.gif Here you can notice how your car runs great during a cool evening and how it gets affected by the heat at noon


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Rodolfo



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rdx
post Mar 21 2011, 02:59 AM
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QUOTE(97 Formula @ Mar 21 2011, 02:26 AM) *
Well, Hypertech does have an engine tune for 93 octane. But, some people say it does little or nothing. I have mine installed and am not sure if I really feel more power from it, but I definitely feel stronger shifts (in your case, you would leave the shift firmness alone since you have the B&M Shift Kit already firming up the shifts).

Other stuff you can do with the programmer is remove the speed limiter (if there is one due to lower speed-rated tires), and to change the rev limiter (I set mine to 6000 in case it approaches redline during shifts).

Also, search eBay for the programmer (they cost too much when new).


Yeah man, they're way expensive wacko.gif

Do you guys know if there's another way to change the fans temperature without getting the programmer or there's no other choice? I'd like to know what options I have before I go and buy it


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Rodolfo



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rdx
post Mar 21 2011, 04:18 AM
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What do you guys think about this SLP fan switch?

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SLE-63011/?rtype=1

Only thing I don't like is that if you turn off the car and you leave the switch activated the fans will keep working and drain your battery..


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Rodolfo



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Me Too
post Mar 21 2011, 11:24 AM
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The best is the Hypertech, becuz everything is automatic. Or, what if you are driving in town and forget to turn on the fans and don't notice it. The engine will fine right up to the point it overheats. Ugh!
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rdx
post Mar 28 2011, 05:03 AM
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Well yesterday I did the TB bypass too so I now only have the fan switch or the Hypertech pending regarding cooling mods..

However the bird today started overheating and I noticed the coolant was boiling in the reservoir tube and I know this happens when there's air in the system so I opened the air bleed valves and turned off the car, but I was stupid enough to loose one of the screws banghead.gif .. Anyway... I let the car cool down and took it home, I just ordered the screws from Rock Auto.. I have a question for you guys on this, yesterday when I did the TB bypass I filled the coolant in the radiator and I opened the valves to do it just like the manual says, then I closed the valves, started the engine, let it iddle for 4 minutes, filled again but I put the cap while the car was started and the manual says you gotta shut it off and then put the cap on.. Do you think this caused the system to get air in? I thought I would prevent this by opening the valves and filling until I see coolant coming out of the bleed valve...


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Rodolfo



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