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"normal" operating temps? and hot center console

Joined
Oct 30, 2001
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2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Two questions for the price of one post!

1. What are considered to be the "normal" operating temps for coolant and oil? I've done a search of the forum and found that the thermostat doesn't turn the fan on until the coolant reaches 220, but is it OK to let the engine run at the 220-225 range? Doesn't coolant boil at 250? Also, haven't found any data on what a good oil temp is. I installed the factory oil cooler, so the temps vaguely mimic the coolant temps, but I don't know what's good or bad. Running Mobil-1 10w30 synthetic.

2. My center console around the shifter and cup holder has been getting H O T lately (as the weather warms). Is this normal? It feels (back of hand measurement) to be about 120-125 f.

Thanks...
[RICHR]
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
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8,236
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Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
rrubel said:
1. What are considered to be the "normal" operating temps for coolant and oil? I've done a search of the forum and found that the thermostat doesn't turn the fan on until the coolant reaches 220, but is it OK to let the engine run at the 220-225 range? Doesn't coolant boil at 250? Also, haven't found any data on what a good oil temp is. I installed the factory oil cooler, so the temps vaguely mimic the coolant temps, but I don't know what's good or bad. Running Mobil-1 10w30 synthetic.

It's normal for the L-98 to run in the 220&#176 range; coolant will boil at 212&#176 if it is not in a pressurized system, and you can change the boiling point by adjusting the pressure on the sysytem.

You can install an aftermarket temperature sensor to turn your fans on sooner and you can also install a lower temperature thermostat to lower your running temps, but I'll not get into the pros and cons of that here; I'll leave that to those who are sure to follow with their suggestions as to how to approach that issue.

2. My center console around the shifter and cup holder has been getting H O T lately (as the weather warms). Is this normal?

In a word - YES! :L Do as Len is going to do, add the layers of insulation. Oh, and don't spend mucho dinaro for that thin "space-age" stuff; it may lower temperatures, but it don't do squat for sound deadening, and you pay an arm and a leg for it! :eyerole

_ken :w
 
C

c4ever

Guest
With StageII chip and 160 stat I run 180 moving and 190 in traffic. On a real hot day(FL) 200 tops in traffic. Fan turns on at 174.
Oil temps are about 180-190 and can rise to about 215 on a hot day in traffic.

Before the chip change I ran at 220 to 230 all the time with fan kicking in at 228. Way too hot for my liking.:nono Oil ran hotter also.

Some will argue the car was built to run that hot. Every man must choose his own path.:cool
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
c4ever said:
Every man must choose his own path.:cool

The zen of engine maintenance... that says it all right there :)


Thanks for the replys, folks. I think I'm going to look at a 180 thermostat and some of that insulation stuff. It gets relatively hot and humid here in the summer.
[RICHR]
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
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Hermosa Beach, CA
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Hey Rich, any time you can add some insulation to the cockpit of the Corvette, you'll thank the gods you did it and wonder why it took you so long. :L

_ken :w
 

Red73BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2001
Messages
241
Location
Defiance, MO
Corvette
1969 dark red convert
Heat barrier strip.

Rich, my console would get so hot , my wife wouldn't have to shave her left outside leg for a month. :L
I bought a heat barrier kit from Smart Parts (217-482-3393) last year at Blooming Gold for $70 +tax. like Ken said "you'll thank the gods you did it and wonder why it took you so long" Now I can drive to work (40 minutes) and the console is just warm to the touch. A huge difference with inside the cockpit temperature.
Gary
 

Edmond

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Louisiana
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2003 Z06
My coolant runs at about 189 when I'm moving and usually gets up to 214 or so when the fan kicks in. My oil temp. is usually in the 170 area.

A little off the subject, but I notice that when my fan turns on to cool the engine, the tach starts jumping. Any suggestions? It jumps so high that the little red engine oil pressure warning light comes on!
 
B

Bill C

Guest
rruble

You need to keep your engine hot enough to boil out any moisture that collects in the crank case. When the coolant temp is around 180 to 200 that is fine. any thing below 160 for an extended period of time is bad! The emissions work best when the coolant is between 200- 220. thats why a stock Vette runs in that range.

A cooler engine keeps the engine compartment and intake manifold cooler. For every 1 deg of intake air temp that you decrease you get a 10% increase in total power. Too cool and you start to promote wear and tear inside the engine and loose power because your combustion chambers are too cool to be efficient. 175-185 is what I like. 200 in dead stop traffic!
Using Mobile 1, I wouldn't worry too much about the oil temp as I would about the coolant temp. That oil can withstand alot of temp before it starts to break down. 220 won't hurt it one bit.

There is such a thing is TOO cold of an outside air temp. I drove my 98 to an inside swap that was about 100 miles away. This was in January and it was 4 degrees outside when we departed that morning. :crazy The car got 5-6 MPG less on the trip because it had to inject a lot more fuel into that DRY, COLD air to get the same air to fuel ratio. Wide open throtle didn't seem to have as much power. I guess the injectors were working as hard as they could to keep up with the exter demand!

Bill

Like RED 77BB said! The extra insulation is WELL worth the effort!!

Bill
 

Redbob

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Dec 5, 2001
Messages
239
Location
Cross Roads, Texas, U.S.
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'89 dk red coupe
Rich:
FWIW, at 70 MPH, level road, my oil temps are 105F higher than ambient. That is, if it's 70 out, oil is at 175F. If it's 105 out, oil is at 210F.
The temp differential is greater at higher speeds, less at lower speeds.

And regarding coolant boiling points: contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, the only coolant that boils at 212 is pure water. Add anti-freeze and the boiling point goes up; increase pressure (like putting a cap on the radiator, for instance) and the boiling point goes up. Boiling point varies about 1 degree F for 0.3 psi increase or decrease in atmospheric pressure, over a narrow range of course.
 

Trance_LT4

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Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
140
Location
Suffolk, VA
Corvette
Red 96 LT4 coupe
I believe its for every 10 degree drop, you get 1% increase in power.......10% for every degree seems too good to be true.
 
D

Drewser

Guest
According to my trusty rusty shop manual...

The coolant boils at 262* in a pressurized system. 15 psi of pressure will increase the boiling point of a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze/water to a boiling point of 262* as long as there are no leaks in the system, ie. holes in hoses, cracks in heads or gaskets, ect.

In my vette I try to keep the temp at 170*, more or less. When it warms up the oil temp stays somewhere around 220* (+ or - 10*). This has been debated endlessly. Some say too low, but for my purposes it serves me best. I have a 160* stat in so my temps will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20* lower than the stock 180* stat/fan switch.

For what it's worth...
--Drew:w
 

Redbob

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Cross Roads, Texas, U.S.
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'89 dk red coupe
And of course there are variations between model years:
my '89 has a 190 thermostat, and the cooling fan comes on at the incredible temp of 228F ! if left to its own devices.
Not being able to leave bad enough alone, I switch mine on manually when it gets over 160.
 

Trance_LT4

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Messages
140
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Suffolk, VA
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Red 96 LT4 coupe
My 96 suffers from the same problem, the cooling fans are lazy, and most times won't come on until 230. Once, when I suffered a coolant leak, they kicked on at 250 (and ran for 2 seconds while I ran from under the hood to the ignition to turn off the key). So I've ordered myself a hypertech programmer III and a 180stat, so I can manually set the fans at a much lower temp. It normally behaves, and sits around 205 right now, but it will sometimes get twitchy and wants to go up past 230. We'll see what happens with the programmer, 180 stat, and some redline water wetter.
 

Redbob

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'89 dk red coupe
Almost sounds like there's a problem with your coolant temperature switch if the fan cut-in temp varies that much.
Also, I'd say good luck with the "Water Wetter"; I tried it with a thoroughly-flushed system, along with the recommended amount of antifreeze, and saw no difference in engine temps.
I have seen recommendations that you pull the rad and check for rat's nests and such blocking the airflow, and spend a few minutes straightening out any bent fins.
 

FrankM

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Derry, NH
Redbob said:
Rich:

And regarding coolant boiling points: contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, the only coolant that boils at 212 is pure water. Add anti-freeze and the boiling point goes up;

I believe water always boils at 212° at sea level. Water still boils when it is mixed in another substance. i.e. moisture in engine oil, Maple Sap. ;)
 

jeepie

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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
162
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Dunmore, Pa.
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1991 Coupe Blk/Blk
When I first got my car it was winter so no problem, but the next summer I noticed that the temperature would run right up to @ 230 until the fans came on then it would only cool down some. This scared the poopie out of me, I had to turn the A/C on when stopped in traffic just to keep it from going way high. This is what I did, first I took the radiator out and cleaned it, I didn't think this would do much since my car had 40k on it. When I opened up the radiator box there was not too much stuff in there and I figured great I took this all apart for nothing, but when I pulled the radiator and looked through it it was at least 60% blocked with beach sand. It took me quite a while to clean it out, I should have just replaced it. I also installed a 160deg. thermostat and hoses. I also had the chip reprogrammed to have both fans come on at 180 and off at 170. I will have to wait till summer to really test it but I did have it running in the gargage and the temp gauage never made it half way, before it would run right up to @ 230.
Good luck.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Re: According to my trusty rusty shop manual...

Drewser said:
The coolant boils at 262* in a pressurized system.

Change the pressure on the system, the boiling point changes; i.e., the higher the pressure, the higher the boiling point (to an extent). ;)

_ken :w
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Tis true Ken

I was referring to a system with 15psi. If you increased the pressure you would increase the boiling point.
 
V

vetsvette

Guest
Hot console?

I had to pay extra for the optional coffee cup warmer.
;)
 

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