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Old 05-22-2013, 08:07 AM   #15
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Simply put, the thermostat is a valve that controls the flow of coolant to the radiator based on the temperature of the coolant. Once the water reaches a set threshold temp. the thermostat opens up and allows the coolant to flow. If the temperature drops too low the thermostat begins to close and restrict flow. The thermostat on a 454 Chevy is located under water neck that connects the upper radiator hose to the engine. Here's a video that may help:

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Old 05-22-2013, 05:10 PM   #16
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Great! Thanks 92Landyacht! That helps a ton. I guess I will go with the 160 degree unit from autozone then.

Failsafe/Thermostat (7200-160) | 1981 Chevrolet P30 Van 8 Cylinders W 7.4L 4BL | AutoZone.com

Are there any disandvantages to using a lower temp unit?
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:55 AM   #17
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No issues on an early model carbureted engine.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #18
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Hey Thanks for your help. I replaced the thermostat like a few of you suggested for a 160 temp one. The learning curve for someone who doesn't know much about engines is STEEP. I found its home and did the replacement with the cheap gasket and found that when replacing this part you have to clean clean clean the two metal pieces that go bolt back together. I had to do this 3 three times before being leak free. I also upgraded to the premium rubber gasket and thermostat gasket sealant. Leak free and in working order. Thanks for the explanation and video link too. It helped!
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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Glad I could help out.
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