hello again , getting ready to change my thermostat in my 1990 corvette c-4, stock L-98, due to overheating problems. someone told me, it would be ok to put in a cooler 160, rather than the 180, might come on quicker, in traffic, etc. is this a good idea? will it effect other things in the car? can anybody help with this? only had the car a week,and have a handful of issues already, this one, need to fix first..... love the car !! any vette people out there? THANKS, KMAC.


Asked by Nov 19, 2014 at 02:53 PM about the 1990 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair


6 Answers


if you r jst changine the thermostat for outside temp reasons it shoud be fine the temp rating for the therm is just the temp of the amtifreeze has to b b4 it opens

Ballpeen Hammer

I have a 1988 L98 that was altered by a previous owner. He put in the 160 degree thermostat and wired the fan so it turns on with the ignition and stays on. I drive a lot in stop and go city traffic in the summer and have never had an overheating problem.

John Carson

The engine is made to work best at a set temperature of the engine, and give the best gas mileage, power and emission reduction. This would be at 180 degrees. The 160 T. will work, but your emissions, will go up, the gas ignition will not be at it's best so will lose power, and you will have to consume more fuel to move the car. If you are having overheating problems, check to make sure the fans are working properly. One fan will kick on around 190 or so, and above that both will kick on when the engine gets hotter around 210. Water boils at 212 but due to your system being an enclosed sealed system, it will not boil until much hotter. If you turn on the A/C, both fans will or should turn on. Since your car is new to you, and is 25 years old, check the coolant level, and check for proper color. That may need to be changed out, especially since winter is coming on. Then when the engine is hot, look at the radiator hoses and see if they seem to be larger (expanded ) due to being old and in need of replacement. Old hoses also will collapse and prevent the proper flow of coolant to reach either the engine or radiator. Make sure all the bugs and butterflies are cleared from the radiator and air will flow freely through the radiator. Is there a fan shroud on the radiator to direct the air from the fans pulling it through the radiator? Have the pressure checked to make sure there is sufficient flow of coolant. Just because your over heating, does not mean your thermostat is bad. You can also have a good mechanic use a heat gun to read where the hot spot in the engine is. It also could be a sensor that is bad, giving bad readings to the gauge. Thais also will screw up the information to the computer and give a bad mix of air/fuel to the engine that in the long run will do damage to the motor. Have fun.

Best Answer

Great ideas, could be a little process, but that's part of the fun, otherwise everyone would be cruising in Vettes, thanks for the help.... great forum, you'll be hearing more from me, Ha!!! Happy Holidays.

Bob Nielsen

Kevin My fan runs almost all the time.But stay with the 180.I have problems with mine right now.Its in the driveway on jack stands.Getting ready to change the fuel filter.But I really don't think that's the problem.I am driving fine when its cold and once it gets warm it starts starving for fuel and its like running on 4 cylinders.And when this happens it gets hotter than hell.No water pump problem or thermostat problem .I am thinking maybe a sensor .This all started when I went thru a puddle when it was raining.I'm lost

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John Carson

Some Corvettes have the air pick up near the front air damn. I have seen them go through a street puddle and the nose goes a bit under and water is picked up and brought into the engine. This water will get into the cylinder, and the water turns to steam creating more pressure in the cylinder that it can stand, blowing a hole in the pistons. If I were you, I'd have the cylinders pressure checked. This may be giving strange readings to the computer and it is trying to compensate for maybe internal damage. One guy destroyed and entire engine driving through an intersection that had running water in the street gutters and sucked water into the engine. Also check the oil and make sure there is no water in the oil. It will be a milky color if there is oil and water mixed together. Not wanting to alarm you, just letting you know what could happen. The fighter air planes of WWII had water injection for quick acceleration but they were made for it and the water was measured injected. It was before Nitro injection. A real steam engine in the sky.

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