what is the normal operating tempearture for a 1961 corvette

Asked by Aug 25, 2015 at 02:48 PM about the 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

4 Answers


That depends if you have the winter thermostat or the summer thermostat, winter is around 185 to 190, summer is around 180 to 185. HTH

Thank you. I just purchased the car and I am not much of a hands on guy . The car runs hot and occasionally leaks fluid from what I think is the bottom of the radiator. The oil is clean and don't see any leaks on the hoses. The car does not have an overflow tank. That's on my list to get done. I just don't want to do ( or not do) something that will damage the engine . thoughts ?


A 61 should be one of those good old copper radiators, it might need rodded out and the tanks repaired, if it is too far gone then replace it with another copper radiator, it will cost more but they are great radiators for your vette. Overflow tanks were nonexistent in those days, if a car started to loose coolant out the hose it was a sign that something was wrong with the cooling system, just make sure the fan shrouds are in good condition for proper air flow. Check the water pump, what you think may be a leak from the radiator could be the weep hole leaking on the pump and running down the lower hose. HTH

1 people found this helpful.

Take what tennisshoes said. These old cars are very simple and easy to work on. If it is all original, have the radiator checked for leaks, hoses for freshness, and water pump for no leaks. Make sure the timing is adjusted correctly as it could cause the engine to run a bit hot. Also make sure the radiator cap is good. It should be a pressure cap that will open and allow fluid to run out if the engine gets too hot and the radiator fluid expands. Cars that old with copper radiators can corode inside and the radiator needs to be worked on. Not anyone can do it now-a-data. Go to a radiator shop that knows old cars, to ask to check the radiator. Antique car repair shops are a good source. If the mechanic was in WWII, that is who you go to.

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