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Challenger SRT Redeye
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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen owners switching out the 203 degree factory thermostat to a 180 degree.

Anyone done this update and what have been the results/advantages.

Thanks.
 

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Charger SRT Hellcat
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Are entertaining going to a 180, if so why? What are you hoping to accomplish.

Highly recommend against it because it affects the thermal expansion of the block and the piston rings will wear more than normal. This is a well known fact. There are many here that will argue it's okay and doesn't hurt the motor too much, but I will NEVER do this to mine. Some will go to 160 and really hurt the rings. So, what do you gain with a 180??… handful of more horsepower??… no one here has quantified any HP gain with a lower stat. Is it worth it?? I say no! Will it void your warranty... don't know, but you are purposely doing something that FCA may not like.

I've contributed to other threads on this same topic, so you can search on my name and various key words to see my previous comments. The right thermostat also affect coolant flow thru the block and supports proper heat conduction from the block to the coolant.
 

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If it was not worth while then none of the tuners would be switching. Your biggest gain will be keeping the engine cooler to prevent detonation. Problem is without a tune, it will throw a check engine light
 

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Challenger SRT Redeye
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Discussion Starter #4
Are entertaining going to a 180, if so why? What are you hoping to accomplish.

Highly recommend against it because it affects the thermal expansion of the block and the piston rings will wear more than normal. This is a well known fact. There are many here that will argue it's okay and doesn't hurt the motor too much, but I will NEVER do this to mine. Some will go to 160 and really hurt the rings. So, what do you gain with a 180??… handful of more horsepower??… no one here has quantified any HP gain with a lower stat. Is it worth it?? I say no! Will it void your warranty... don't know, but you are purposely doing something that FCA may not like.

I've contributed to other threads on this same topic, so you can search on my name and various key words to see my previous comments. The right thermostat also affect coolant flow thru the block and supports proper heat conduction from the block to the coolant.
Thanks for the feedback...I was curious to find out the reason/s why some owners are making the switch.
Anyone with a "positive" result from the mod?
 

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Challenger SRT 426
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176 Posts
Are entertaining going to a 180, if so why? What are you hoping to accomplish.

Highly recommend against it because it affects the thermal expansion of the block and the piston rings will wear more than normal. This is a well known fact. There are many here that will argue it's okay and doesn't hurt the motor too much, but I will NEVER do this to mine. Some will go to 160 and really hurt the rings. So, what do you gain with a 180??… handful of more horsepower??… no one here has quantified any HP gain with a lower stat. Is it worth it?? I say no! Will it void your warranty... don't know, but you are purposely doing something that FCA may not like.

I've contributed to other threads on this same topic, so you can search on my name and various key words to see my previous comments. The right thermostat also affect coolant flow thru the block and supports proper heat conduction from the block to the coolant.
How about supporting your 'well known fact' with some documents? The truth is that the wear difference between 180* and 200+* in iron block engines is negligible. All you have to do is search for engine wear vs temperature and you will find many, many examples to support that. Here is just one example; Cobra Valley's Balanced Thermostats

There are competing priorities for automobile manufacturers when they design these high tech machines. The reason for the high operating temp has more to do with emissions and the like than it does with longevity. That information is also readily available with a little research. These subjects are not really open to debate. But, as always, there are opinions expressed with no support in the real world.

With these engines able to last a quarter million miles and more in normal service, it is ludicrous to be concerned about what, if any, additional wear would occur with a 180* operating temp.

Our old race adage at the track was to have a cool engine with hot oils. Today, we have Killer Chillers, fresh air induction, and we insulate the intake from the engine as much as possible. WHY? Because cooler temps promote higher output. With today's pump gas, a 180* engine temp has some real performance advantages in our high performance engines. That is not up for debate either.

Other than a performance advantage, there is no other reason to drop the engine's temperature. But, if peak performance matters, then dropping the engine's operating temp to 180* will help performance with no drop in longevity.
 

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Usually, the 180* will throw a code because they length of time for it to reach operating temp takes too long. But everything I've read says that a 190* will knock 5-7* out of her and not throw a code. I've got a z32 300zx and those things run hot and are VERY cramped under the hood. One BIG problem with those cars is that the underhood temps absolutely kill wiring harnesses, plastics, and sensors. Having built tons of engines, I understand that today's engines are built with tighter tolerances and that operating temps are a big part of the design.........but as hot as these cats run, I can only see benefits to taking 5-7* out of them.
 

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The hot thermostat temps are done for emission purposes. Same reason why these things rev so high on cold start, its solely to heat up the cats and 02 sensor as fast as possible.

If you're not going to tune it, I say leave it stock temp.
 
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