Why would a 308 GTB be missing a thermostat???? | FerrariChat

Why would a 308 GTB be missing a thermostat????

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by christopher, Jan 11, 2004.

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  1. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
    Ontario California
    Full Name:
    Hello Ferrari Folks,

    A quick question if I may;

    While looking at a low milage 79 308GTB, I uncovered the fact that it was absent of a cooling system thermostat. Interesting to note that the car runs excellent, and shows no sign of overheating at all. Is there something that the absence might be covering, as in a problem??

    Thank you, Chris.
  2. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    That isn't a good sign. I had just the top of the thermostat in mine as someone thought this would help it run cooler like in a Ford. In my QV without the thermostat it would run hotter as the water would bypass the radiator. At speed it was ok but at idle it would get warm. I then checked the thermostat just to find out it wasn't there. I put in a new therm. and car runs right at 195 and my fans actually come on when they should which didn't happen before since the rad. was ice cold from no getting the flow.
  3. Mike Florio

    Mike Florio Formula Junior

    Jun 19, 2003
    NW Rural Nevada
    Full Name:
    Mike Florio
    It depends on where the car is located. If its a warm climate year-round I don't see a problem. But if it ever gets below 40 for a while it will cause the engine to run cold, which means inefficently.

    I had a thermostat fail on me a couple of years ago. It failed wide open in the middle of winter. On a 20 degree day it never got above about 10% on the temp meter. It ran super rich and I had no heat. Fixed that one really quick!
  4. Dave328

    Dave328 Formula 3

    Nov 24, 2002
    Full Name:
    Was the car in an emissions-testing state? We don't test down here, but I do know that a few degrees engine operating temp either way can make a big difference in the tailpipe readings.

    Just a thought.
  5. Dale

    Dale F1 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dale Juan
    Hi Christopher,with no stat in i would say the coolant is just going round the by-pass route and picking up some cooled water from the rad return pipe,
    put a stat in so the by-pass system can shut down when the engine is up to temp and the rad will do its job and in the mean time look after your engine,the by-pass system may have been blanked off for some reason thats why you may have a good cooling circuit,
  6. joeyy

    joeyy Karting

    Nov 11, 2003
    long island
    Full Name:
    the last owner was probably just lazy and never did it right. you can now correct that mistake.
  7. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    Yes without a thermostat on a 308 the water/coolant will bypass the radiator.
  8. Matt Morgan, "Kermit"

    Matt Morgan, "Kermit" Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    Ferndale, WA
    IMO it would be best if you replaced it with the right thermostat. Removeing thermostats has been an ongoing arguement in other fields of performance autos. Too often I have seen that the motor will actually be more prone to overheating without it. Often the thermostat is replaced with a disc that has an oriface in it to allow a "metered amount" of coolant. Much trial and error to get consistant, as there is no adjusting a drilled hole.
    On a side note, your motor is designed to run at a certain temperature. Thermal Expansion rates of the different materials vary, and in order to insure that everything is working together, with correct tolerances, it needs to be at that temperature.
    One cause for concern I would have is the fact that the colder motor will not be as able to shed the moisture that accumulates in the oil. causeing acids to form.
  9. LSU348

    LSU348 Formula 3

    Dec 19, 2003
    Sugar Land
    Full Name:
    Yea...and that means check everything with a microscope...what else did he do wrong or cheaply?

  10. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    "While looking at a low milage 79 308GTB, I uncovered the fact that it was absent of a cooling system thermostat"

    Did the owner volunteer this info?
    did he give a reason?
  11. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    Right, without a thermostat, the car will not pump water tot eh radiators, and will overheat in a triffling. The race cars insert a threaded plug to divert all the water throught the radiators.
  12. christopher

    christopher Formula 3

    Nov 29, 2003
    Ontario California
    Full Name:
    Thanks to all that responded!

    Interesting to note that the seller didn't know why the vehicle was absent of the thermostat. Yes, the car came from Calif. where is a smog state, maybe because of smog? Thank you everyone!!!

  13. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    By all means, get a thermostat!

    I've had two experiences running without a thermostat:

    1. My Alfa-Romeo heated up on a trip from Irvine to Sacramento, so I stopped in Bakersfield and took the frozen thermostat out. Then I proceeded to Sacramento with no thermostat in very cold weather. Air coming from the heater inside the car was almost ice cold. Luckily the cold water running through the hot engine did no damage.

    2. Was not so lucky the second time. Taking my Skipjack, powered by a big block Chevy (blueprinted too), to Catalina Island one day and it overheated because of a frozen thermostat. So I did the same thing I did with the Alfa, took it out. Bad mistake. The cold ocean water racing through the engine blew both head gaskets and the engine pan filled up with ocean water and the motor died.

    What a !@#$% mess, stuck halfway between Long Beach and Catalina in a boat with no power. Coast Guard towed us in (cost $100). Valve jobs on both heads, new head gaskets, seals and other parts plus had to pull the engine to drop the pan in order to rinse all the salt water out of the engine cost another $400. Luckily, the heads and the block weren't cracked.

    All that work plus $500 in damage because of a $6 thermostat. After that, people used to ask, "Why do you have so many thermostats on this boat? There's one in every drawer." My answer, "Because they're only $6 and mind your own !@#$$% business."

    Lesson: Pay attention to thermostats, it's the cheapest part on the car but it can cause serious damage.

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