Yesterday's commute was a nightmare....stop and go for 2 hours and car stayed between 220 and 230 degrees the entire time. Needless to say, need some advice on which thermostat works best (160,178...), and any installation tips would be appreciated as well.
I don't think another thermostat will help you if the one you have is fully opening. If you go with a thermostat that opens sooner (at a lower temp) the thermostat will still be wide open at 220 degrees. I hope this makes sense.
Just changing the stat will not do anything for you in traffic unless you purchase a fan controller, or have your computer reprogrammed by either a Powerloader or sending you computer out. Vinci makes a unit that many people sell, I had one before I got my Powerloader and it works great, and you can adjust what temp the fans turn on. On a 90 plus degree day my car will never go over 205 degrees and runs between 190-200 in normal driving, and slightly cooler on long highway drives. I will have my computer reprogrammed on my new Z06 due to the engine change and run the cooler stat as well.
I know exactly what you mean MARZ06. I'm considering getting one myself. I kind of shopped around the other day, and think that the 178 degree would work best. I was going to get both the thermostat and the adjustable temp. sensor together. That way, the fans would kick on at around 200 or so to cool the engine down, instead of 230+.
I had the Hypertech chip and the 160 degree thermostat on my 92 conv., that works wonder. I love it.
Even though GM designed the engine to handle that kind of temperature. Just knowing that your car is taking that kind of heat torture, although it's not suppose to hurt the car, but it sure hurt me. I noticed the engine and the tranny making loud noise (sounded like the valvetrain) when the temperature is above 200 degree. It never make any noise when it's under 200 degree. Some people said that it's normal, and the noise is from the fuel injector. I don't care if it's normal or not, I don't like my car making noise. I think the engine last much longer running at a lower temp. too.
If all you want to accomplish is to keep your coolant from going over 200F while idling, just turning the AC on should suffice. If that's not acceptable, the right solution is a fan controller or programmer, as others have mentioned. A lower temp thermostat will reduce operating temperature to the extent that crusing temperatures on cool days will be well below optimum. Having the engine running at 160-170F is not exactly most desirable either, as best thermodynamic efficiency is actually achieved at higher temperatures.