Nasty Thermostats? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Nasty Thermostats?

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by RoadWarrior, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    Anyone else having problems with crappy thermostats?

    The one I had in earlier this year was maybe 18 months old, and the sealing ring went loose and sucked into the bypass, probably contributing to a fustercluck cooling system failure that ended up costing me a head.

    Now a mere 6 weeks after getting that all back together, with a new thermostat (Motorad brand I think) and in the meantime the heater core busting out, and being replaced, (Fresh coolant, and system was flushed at time of head replacement) the car seems to be taking a damn long time to warm up. Immediately after heatercore replacement for a week maybe, the car warmed up well and the heat seemed hot, the outdoor temperature was a little higher, but now the heat seems very weak and the car takes a long while to warm.

    I'm thinking F*%@^%@#%!!!! can't need ANOTHER thermostat already can it?

    I'm gonna run it up on the ramps next opportunity, to put the heatercore low in case it trapped a bubble.

    I guess other possibility is there was some loose punchout in the new heatercore that's blocking it up now or something, but being of a suspicious nature, I did give it a good shake and blew it out before installation.

    If it goes on like this the only part of the cooling system that I won't have replaced will be the damn engine block. (Everything twice if you count whole ownership)

    Road Warrior
  2. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    Two things. First, please clarify "the car takes a long while to warm"..... This can be taken two ways, and perhaps you MEANT both ways..... the engine temp takes too long to warm us? or the auto interior takes too long to warm up [due to heater].

    I'm aware both could be a problem, but which are you experiencing?

    Secondly, a thermostat to me is such an important component that I order a "Premium" one of a good name brand. Not familiar with the brand you mention, and I'm certain there's a few "good" brands out there but I'm familiar with Stant brand. They've always been OK for me. But you'll see on RockAuto they only cost a dollar and change more than the "standard" Stant quality.

    So good luck with the air burping too.

    LarryR
  3. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    Yah it's both.
  4. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    How is your radiator cap? Does your engine get up to "normal" temperature eventually?

    LarryR
  5. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    yah eventually, about 30 mins running now as opposed to 5-10. To get all the way up to "normal" which is about 1/3 gauge. Rad cap was new late last year. Was not cooling efficiently with old one, ran about 2/5 gauge, boiled into overflow easily.
  6. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Was the new thermostat made in China?
  7. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    I dunno will see if I have the package...

    The manufacturer http://www.motoradusa.com/ of course claim they make teh bestest thermostats in teh world evar.
  8. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    You didn't buy the "fail-safe", did you?

    If you did, that's a good clue to your slow heating up now.

    LarryR
  9. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Of course they claim to. They all do.

    http://www.motoradusa.com/about-us/
    Fishman manufactures automotive thermostats and caps from their 250,000 square foot facility in Israel’s Western Galilee.

    I would still buy a made in USA if I could. And even then, I'd test if before install (put in pan of boiling water and see if it opens properly).

    According to the internet, these things are famous for sticking open:
    http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php?topic=23878.0

    More complaints abou tthen:
    http://www.gmforum.com/general-gm-chat-88/motorad-fail-safe-thermostat-269434/

    Bad reviews on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorad-7200-...dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    A mechanic complains about their crappy product and warranty:
    http://www.twoguysgarage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6256

    More complaints about them at Bob is the Oil Guy:
    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2791449

    Bad review on Canadian Tire:
    http://reviews.canadiantire.ca/9045/0143714P/no-motorad-thermostat-reviews/reviews.htm

    More complaints about them on PT Cruiser site:
    http://www.ptcruiserlinks.com/forum...-fail-safe-thermostats-not-wise-decision.html

    Glad you brought this up, since I now know what not to buy. I would buy Motorcraft or Stant.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
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  10. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    I too have had good luck with Stant thermostats. I put another brand in my '88 Pony a few years ago and ended up taking it out because the spring was too weak allowing it to open too soon.
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  11. RoadWarrior

    RoadWarrior FEOA Member

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    Don't think I have the failsafe..

    Developments...

    Seemed a lot better this morning... :rolleyes::meh::poop:

    So now no idea whether it burped or the thermostat got wedged temporarily.
  12. John Sawyer

    John Sawyer FEOA Donator

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    I know this thread might now be considered "old", but I though I'd add my recent experience with thermostats in my 89 Pony.

    A couple months ago (June 2014), I replaced my old thermostat (a Motorad, 192F) while I was replacing my old, very deteriorated water pump. I got the car in Dec 2013, and I didn't know the condition of many of its parts, so I figured it made sense to replace the thermostat while replacing the pump, just to be on the safe side cooling-wise. It turned out to be stuck open (better than being stuck closed), which might have been to my advantage given the bad condition of the water pump's impeller blades, which looked like swiss cheese. I replaced the Motorad with a Stant Superstat 45829 (I actually bought it from NAPA Auto, which uses the part number THM-547095). This is one of the thermostats listed as premium on Rock Auto's website. The package and the thermostat itself are marked as 192F, but Rock Auto lists it as 195F. It's been working fine ever since, opening and closing when it seems it should, though the only confirming temperature measurements I've made so far were by back-probing the ECT sensor with a voltmeter--the 192F Stant opens when the ECT measurement is around 212F, which means that either the temperature at the ECT sensor is normally about 20F hotter than at the thermostat, or the voltage-to-temperature chart for the ECT sensor isn't very accurate, or my ECT sensor is off, delivering the wrong voltage for the temperature it's at (maybe I should replace it and see if the new one puts out different voltages).

    The "Superstat" brand is also marketed by different companies than Stant, including Murray and Gates. It seems to be one of the better thermostats. It's supposed to remain slightly open from the start, to provide some cooling immediately upon startup, but not so much as to prevent the engine from reaching operating temperature--in fact, they claim faster engine warmup (mine has been allowing a normal time to operating temperature). After that, it's supposed to vary how open or closed it is, to regulate the temperature more evenly than the average thermostat, which just opens or closes depending on the target temperature. The Superstat also has a jiggle pin which is supposed to help burp air in the coolant. However, I don't know how well the Superstat actually meets these claims. The Superstat's specs don't say whether it has a failsafe feature that locks it open when the coolant gets so hot that the engine overheats, but maybe this is a good thing not to have, if as mentioned on this thread, many thermostats with this feature lock open too early in their lifespan, even when the engine hasn't overheated. I'd still rather have a thermostat lock open, than lock closed.

    While shopping for a thermostat, I found that Rock Auto's listings for my Pony are conflicting, with some listed items saying 192F-195F is the OEM temp, and other listed items saying 192F is a non-OEM, alternate temp. Rock Auto's listing for the Motorcraft thermostat for my Pony is 190F. Autozone's thermostat listings for my Pony say the OEM temp is 192F, and after reading some corroborating info on other websites, I chose 192F.

    Here's Stant's description of the Superstat:
    "Unlike conventional thermostats that continually open and close to achieve the proper operating temperature and flood the engine with coolant, the Stant SuperStat thermostat has a patented v-notch, non-linear design that reduces cycling by precisely metering the amount of coolant needed to maintain proper operating temperature. The v-notch provides a small initial flow. As the engine heats up, the v-notch gradually opens wider, metering coolant into the system until the desired engine temperature is reached. The early flow of coolant minimizes the “cycling” of temperature allowing the engine to run a steady temperature, resulting in higher efficiency.

    "Superstat premium thermostats have:

    Heavier frames and springs
    Larger heat motors
    Precision temperature control
    More efficient engine operation
    Faster engine warm up
    Fewer emissions
    Better fuel economy
    Patented Weir valves (the unique Weir valve provides a higher flow of coolant to the radiator than any other thermostat on the market.)
    The high strength stainless steel flange is burnished to a bright finish for additional stress relief and added corrosion resistance."
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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  13. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Good read. At the moment I an trying to decide between a Stant 13820, Stant 45820. and Motorcraft RT1140.
  14. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    when in doubt.. go oem.
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Ended up ordering the SuperStant.
    The general consensus on the internet was to go OE or a SuperStant (Stant 45820), and that the Motorcraft is often a reboxed Stant anyway. The real reason I was doing as much research is that I already know that a LOT of aftermarket thermostats are crap, and wanted to know if the regular Stant was still good or crap. Some reports of regular stants were made in China, but that might vary as per the application. Now if I could go to a store and look at both and decide there who knows what I would have picked.

    A lot of the brands seem to be reboxed Stant or Motorad.
    I.E.:
    Gates, some NAPA (Napa Premium)= Stant
    Almost everything else = Motorad
    Autozone shows pictures and part numbers that match Stant, but that doesn't mean that they are Stant, since they are probably Motorad with Stant pictures. Yes, this is based on personal experience. I could not identify the not premium NAPA stuff, but at least the Stant comes with a thermostat gasket, where as Motorcraft may or may not.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  16. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    you are correct about the branding.. but in some cases there are differences.. for example the goodyear tires you get at costco aren't the same as the good year store. it is built to a price point. the oem stuff is built to last until atleast the end of the warranty period.
  17. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    In another thread denisond3 mentioned using this SuperStant in his fleet of Escorts. That and various personal accounts on the internet seemed to be positive.
  18. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    On one of the Stant array of webpages they say they make 82% of their own thermostats and rad caps in the USA. Somewhere in VA I have an old Stant thermostat products catalog. Deep in the small print they mentioned one of their subsidiary manufacturers; which was a well known maker of heating control products going back into the 50's. I cant recall the name though.
    I have bought quite a few of Stants 'superstant' units.

    As for tires: The DOT code on the one sidewall starts off with a two character 'plant code' that tells where the tire was made. http://harriger.com/tires.htm is the place I go to for that info. But the brand or name of the tire on the sidewall doesnt tell you anything. Any maker can use a mold that says Michelin or Sumitomo on the side, or is blank.
  19. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Probably one of the ones here:
    http://www.stant.com/index.php/english/about-stant/history-heritage/1981-1998/
  20. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Now that my old brain has had time to think about it - and had a big gooey donut, I believe they had some of the product line made by RobertShaw Inc.

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