Need to replace thermostat. Which is the correct one 160 , 180 or 195 degrees and what manufacture?


Asked by Sep 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM about the 1986 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car is running too hot. I want to change the thermostat first then maybe the water
pump or the fan clutch?

25 Answers

at some point you had a coolant leak....someone refilled with hose water....wasn't changed and flushed back to coolant in time....rust happened...rust is blocking the radiator passages~

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the overheat is witnessed on the bottom of the hood...will look like someone vomited there...might you consider a block flush if you can capture the coolant and take it for recycling (regardless of contamination) yes the radiator...issued a technical error I tried to post it....well some prices for ya~

if it means saving this'll have to take out the "block plugs" or punch out a freeze plug to flush out all the rust-dust....there are harsh chemicals that you might "treat" the block too but if you can make a drive to the next city without overheating....that's all we ask.~


Stock was 195, sounds like you have the typical radiator flow problems, over the years the radiator tubes get plugged then you start to notice the engine running a little hotter than usual, if you have a good radiator core then you can have it rodded out and cure your problem, if the core is bad then a replacement radiator is needed. To check your fan clutch wait overnight and engine cold, try to spin the fan by hand, if it spins fairly free then the clutch is bad, if it only moves a couple of inches then the clutch is good.

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should write a book on "POST OVERHEAT TRAUMA"...which there are WAYS of saving your motor if this indeed is happening~ the waterpump....get a new unspoiled waterpump~ radiator, yes a new hoses that ain't got shit lining the walls of them~ freeze plugs if yours are rusted~ change all that so the coolant can flow...whether or not the t-stat is a 195 or needs to be without it...see if it's still might do that but would not bring the engine temperature to the correct temperature for optimal air/fuel explosion~

is there trouble with the electric fans comin' on?


I have no electric fans. My engine is stock. I just put in a new radiator,hoses,195 degree thermostat and fresh coolant. It is still running hot so I am thinking the fan clutch and water pump should be be replaced next? Thanks

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water pump would only come into play if it was dripping out the weep hole or the fins on the pump were so badly corroded they aren't pumping anymore- you might just run WITHOUT the thermostat in place and see does it still overheat?~

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What is "hot" temperature? I wouldn't have gone with the 195 stat is you are having cooling issues


Just take it out and go to pep boys or autozone. Show them or tell them your car and engine info.they will give you the right one .hopefully. well autozone will .pep boys screwed me over a few times


Their answers are probably more advanced. They helped me out tho because I have a blocked rusty radiator.thanks

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yeah...seen it a thousand times...engine overboils in a most inconvenient fashion (like in the school zone with BULLIES)...and only hose water is, you affect the temporary mend (usually by cutting some of the hose and puttin' it right back) ..but you're left with a coolant overboil stained hood and a cooling system full of water which immediately begins to eat the motor up and leave crumbly rust which chokes off coolant passages....which is where most of the overheats are....SO the correct mend would be to flush the block...and fill with 50/50 glycol/distilled water...after first changing ALL hoses (preferably Silicone which last forever, but cost more) has an online catalog for ones to fit your ride~

pep boys and autozone will be happy to sell you a chinese replacement part~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

get Bosch, AC Delco ----beck-arnley worldparts are crappy...had bad luck...NAPA guaranteed house brand usually works okay~ (probably chinese as well)....DO NOT settle for second rate replacement life is going to depend on this~!!


Thanks operator that helped me out a lot. Big ? Is can I change the radiator I need special tools. It doesn't seem to hard.I've changed my fuel filter and pump myself.what a pain in the ass that was.especially how low my car sits.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

no they are easy...the worst part is NOT getting coolant everywhere birds drink and die~ there should be a "petcock" (yeah, ugly name) or "bung" (worse) at the bottom...downtown that you'll need to release the coolant into buckets to take back to the auto parts store for recycling (they've got a special machine for this [hates oil]~ the American cars have two clamps with a single bolt...rubber containment and at the bottom simply slips into a cradle made of you know through the properties of thermodynamics expansion and contraction...hence the need for the isolation~

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Thanks again. Another ? When I bought the car I guess they lowered it. My exhaust and engine are sitting lower than the car from the side my car looks fine but if you look under I'm about another 2 inches lower. Is this from a shitty lowering job.will new springs bring the arms back up.Its almost like they just heated the springs.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

hmmm, if the exhaust hangers are doin' fine would have to guess the custom exhaust hangers you have are located slightly lower...nothing to worry about unless you're doing some off-roading~

if worried take the car to a "custom exhaust" place have them heat and rebend what you've got~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

if it ain't bumpin or clappin' against the body would just leave it alone~


Not only the exhaust.the A - arms or whatever brackets to each front tire scrape also.speed bumps are a bitch


How do you know so much.mechanic or just work on cars a lot.either way your info helps

yes...I was THE Sunday mechanic at "Greenworld" in my ass kicked plenty as a vehicle would get towed in...then the customer would LORD above you trying to understand what it will take to get it back on the road....many hours after dark...sometimes had $200 days (1993 dollars) far as reputation...I am judge_roy...the No.1 maintenance and repair your service...(till my wife comes home)~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

yes examine carefully the areas of contact....and beat the hell out of that area with a ball peen hammer...if that don't work heat the area with an acetylene torch till cherry red and proceed to bend this~...frequently use a mechanic's prybar for the big jobs~

Mick threatened to SHOOT JUDGE ROY...citing that I was a "space cowboy" and just makin' stuff my Mechanical Drafting Class in 1988, they tried to make fun of me by calling me "jack spratt - aristocrat"...not because being top dog is any fun at all, quite the reverse....enemies are made for no good reason....that's why the presence of operator_13, my role at yellow cab~

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