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Old 03-03-2006, 06:49 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Thermostat Replacement Results

I finally bit the bullet and replaced the thermostat in my 89 370 (Ford 460). It has had a tendency to run a little hot for my tastes, and had given my brother lots of trouble in the period before I got the coach from him. I bought a 160 degree thermostat several years ago when I was working on this coach for my brother. After I looked at what had to be done to swap it out, I decided to leave it in the glove box . Anyway, in my search for other 370 owners (we're up to 5 here on the Forum ), I came across Pat370. We had a phone conversation several nights ago, and he immediately asked if I had ever changed the thermostat. He then greatly encouraged me to do so. He did NOT say how difficult it was . Anyway, after spending the whole day yesterday climbing all over the open dog house, disconnecting tons of "life support" junk, cutting my hands, and generally having a very unhappy time - I finally got the job done without damaging anything but the connection for the tach (later fixed).

Today I took the silver beast out for a good run. Unbelievable difference ! Never ran over 175 degrees at 55 mph or in town. Of course no AC or heavy loads, but that's a good 20-25 degrees cooler than ever before. If things stay on a relative scale to the previous temps, I should be able to stay below 200 degrees even in the summer with AC running - based on the rise from the previous temps with a 180 degree thermostat. I have no idea if the same results would work for the Chevy 454, but I would strongly encourage the other 370 owners to switch to a 160 degree thermostat. All 2 of us ! One caution: be sure you have a 1/2" distributor wrench (for the thermo housing bolt that's conveniently located UNDER the distributor housing) . Probably good to have a helper (I didn't), and plan on taking the day. The results were well worth the effort, however .
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:28 PM   #2
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Great job, Tim! We'll make a mechanic out of you yet, even if it is kicking and screaming the whole way...
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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Great job Tim. Did the MH learn some new words?
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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Thermostat Replacement

Terry and Kent,

I thought I was an amateur mechanic until I got this beautiful monster. (By the way, Terry, I studied the pollution stuff on this thing, and it's definitely the worst case of the CA double pump mess you wrote about earlier - the setup that's so rare .) Just removing the dog house is enough to make me want to quit, but I have to admit there's a certain satisfaction that I got it done. No new words, Kent. I was alone, for one thing, and I figured the 370 Airstream designers were probably laughing when they put these things together - knowing one would have to be a little crazy to love them so much.

Thanks,
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:05 PM   #5
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Great job Noiva...I replaced the thermo on my 454 (79 Excella mh)...much easier than yours...the replacement went with a new radiator core, water pump etc...no help with heating until I replaced the thermo again...the new one was defective ( my mechanic advised that he had seen many bad but new thermos...now all runs cool...joe...
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:17 PM   #6
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Tim: someday I may need to talk to you about this. Did you take pictures??
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Old 03-10-2006, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralley
Tim: someday I may need to talk to you about this. Did you take pictures??
Ralley,

I'd be happy to discuss this with you. If you'd like, send me a PM or an email from my profile and we could arrange to talk by phone if necessary. I did not take pictures, but frankly, they would have been of little help. The Ford 460 thermostat location is not even close to the the GM that I'm assuming you have. Yours would be much easier to do. Ford's design for the thermostat replacement makes the MoHo engine location one of the most difficult to do. Since the 460 was only on the 1989 370, you should have a much easier time. Let me know if you'd like to go further with this.
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:53 PM   #8
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Tim, your original post inspired me to have my mechanic change out my thermosat on Airstream One on Monday. I've gone from running about 205 all the time to only ticking over about 175 around town and 185 on the highway AT 70 MPH!!!! It must be spring. I can't tell you how happy and relieved I am over this change in temp. I had a digital temp gauge on my old bus and it gave me much more confidence than the analog setup in this coach.
I had a fast run up to Fayetteville on Tuesday and the temp was steady and made me smile more than once.
As the housing is right up on the front top of the engine it's not the easiest to get to without drawing a little blood. So I left it up to the pro. I can generally earn more while he's working than what he charges, so I delegate some of the wrenching.
Got out this morning to service the generator and opened the side hatch to find that I had left my tool box in the Cadillac from the weekend trip to FL . Lucky for me my wrench wrap was there and all I needed was a 3/8's to remove my screen enclosure to get to the genny. A little oil top off and I was good to go.
I'm a happy camper, camping out tonight at the Fayetteville Wal-Mart campground.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:51 AM   #9
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probably mentioned this before, and its in other threads..but have you all tried using the coolant additives like CRC? Or Water Wetter? They work great.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ALANSD
probably mentioned this before, and its in other threads..but have you all tried using the coolant additives like CRC? Or Water Wetter? They work great.
Alan,

I have added Water Wetter about a month ago. Since I've also changed the thermostat in the same time frame, I'll never know for sure how much it helped, but it sure can't hurt. The thermostat change was rather dramatic. That 370 with the Ford 460 was really struggling with heat until I changed the thermostat.

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Old 03-16-2006, 09:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
Tim, your original post inspired me to have my mechanic change out my thermosat on Airstream One on Monday. I've gone from running about 205 all the time to only ticking over about 175 around town and 185 on the highway AT 70 MPH!!!! It must be spring. I can't tell you how happy and relieved I am over this change in temp. I had a digital temp gauge on my old bus and it gave me much more confidence than the analog setup in this coach.
I had a fast run up to Fayetteville on Tuesday and the temp was steady and made me smile more than once.
As the housing is right up on the front top of the engine it's not the easiest to get to without drawing a little blood. So I left it up to the pro. I can generally earn more while he's working than what he charges, so I delegate some of the wrenching.
Got out this morning to service the generator and opened the side hatch to find that I had left my tool box in the Cadillac from the weekend trip to FL . Lucky for me my wrench wrap was there and all I needed was a 3/8's to remove my screen enclosure to get to the genny. A little oil top off and I was good to go.
I'm a happy camper, camping out tonight at the Fayetteville Wal-Mart campground.
Glen,

I'm really glad the thermostat change was such a help. I had bought mine several years ago, but was inspired by another 370 owner to go ahead with the switch. So, I can't take complete credit for this, but I'll share it with Pat, the buddy who encouraged me to do the switch.

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Old 03-18-2006, 05:55 AM   #12
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One thing to keep in mind for those in more northern latitudes is that temp needs to be up in the operating range for carb chokes to fully turn off. You can really drain fuel and run funky if you run on your choke all day. That's part of the reason I waited until I felt the weather had changed here in the Carolinas.
So "don't go changing"... no singing...to a thermostat that is too cool for your area of the country, to early in the season.
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
One thing to keep in mind for those in more northern latitudes is that temp needs to be up in the operating range for carb chokes to fully turn off. You can really drain fuel and run funky if you run on your choke all day. That's part of the reason I waited until I felt the weather had changed here in the Carolinas.
So "don't go changing"... no singing...to a thermostat that is too cool for your area of the country, to early in the season.
I can't speak to the situation in northern latitudes, but here in Tidewater VA we almost never get weather that's cold enough to affect operating ranges, at least not in my experience. That 370 heads for upper temps just as fast as I turn it on . The 160 degree thermostat worked perfectly even in what we call cold weather (30s), but I will check the choke next run just to be sure. Thanks for the caution.
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