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2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 10-25-2005
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Stock thermostat

What temp is the stock thermostat on the 2.3?
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Old 10-25-2005
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From what I can see, it looks like they came with a 192 degree (which is usually just referred to as a 190 degree) thermostat.
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Old 10-25-2005
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Wow

Didnt think it was that hot.

On my gauge, it has the C NORMAL H

Starts on C, moves up to the O after some driving. Dont think gauge/sender is bad. Anyone change it out for a hotter one? What did you put in?
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Old 10-25-2005
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Yeah, the bottom of the range is pretty high already, maybe 120 to 140 or so, and the top of the range is probably 220 to 240 degrees.

Newer vehicles have problems with cooler t-stats sometimes as it keeps them from ever going fully into their normal control loops for engine control. However, I know a lot of people used to go to a 180 degree t-stat to get a bit more power. Maybe somebody with an older 2.3 has done that and can comment.

Too low is not helpful, though -- and too high is obviously not a choice either, lol.
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Old 10-25-2005
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Sometimes, going too cool, especially a place like ohio is a bad idea, a 180 thermostat is going to be half open all the time, in very cold weather it makes it hard for the engine to warm up, which is a bad thing, especially in a older vehicle.


Too hot can cause , obvously over heating problems.

Stick with the 190, it was put there for a reason. Ford didnt screw everything up.
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Old 10-26-2005
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I agree with both of you.Leave the stock temp t-stat.I just went through this on my 4.6 thunderbird.I put a 180 t-stat in it and the guage would never come off of the "C".The car seemed to run fine but I just didn't want it running that cold.I replaced it with the stock 192 t-stat and picked up 2mpg.When it runs too cold it also runs too rich,therefore burning more gas.Also there is the problem of the heat not working properly,or taking too long to warm up on cold mornings.Some chips or tuners require a lower t-stat for performance but I believe the tune has been adjusted for it.I also change mine in the Ranger about every 50K miles because they have a habit of going bad on the 4.0.Mine has had 2 go bad in 160,000 miles so now I change them as a preventive measure.
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Old 10-26-2005
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What would be the effect of -50 degrees? Will stock thermostat be the best? I have a block heater for my truck, and an oil pan heater, and Alaska is my cold air intake.
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Old 10-26-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC
I agree with both of you.Leave the stock temp t-stat.I just went through this on my 4.6 thunderbird.I put a 180 t-stat in it and the guage would never come off of the "C".The car seemed to run fine but I just didn't want it running that cold.I replaced it with the stock 192 t-stat and picked up 2mpg.When it runs too cold it also runs too rich,therefore burning more gas.Also there is the problem of the heat not working properly,or taking too long to warm up on cold mornings.Some chips or tuners require a lower t-stat for performance but I believe the tune has been adjusted for it.I also change mine in the Ranger about every 50K miles because they have a habit of going bad on the 4.0.Mine has had 2 go bad in 160,000 miles so now I change them as a preventive measure.
If anything, I will go hotter.
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Old 10-26-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanted
If anything, I will go hotter.
Well,I don't know if thats a good idea either.I would just stick to the stock temp t-stat.I think the highest I have ever seen is a 197 degree.Unless they make something hotter for colder climates but I don't think so.You definately don't want to run it any hotter than stock.Even if it is very cold out the truck will still get up to operating temp with the stock t-stat.
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Old 10-26-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC
Well,I don't know if thats a good idea either.I would just stick to the stock temp t-stat.I think the highest I have ever seen is a 197 degree.Unless they make something hotter for colder climates but I don't think so.You definately don't want to run it any hotter than stock.Even if it is very cold out the truck will still get up to operating temp with the stock t-stat.
Better fuel mileage with hotter.

Those with a 2.3, where on your gauge does the needle go to. Mine didnt even get to the Normal wiriting. Thinking it may be stuck?
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Old 10-26-2005
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ya mine doesnt even bearly get to N. nice to hear other peoples didnt also...
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Old 10-26-2005
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Keep in mind that the factory gauge isn't 100% accurate.The only way to know for sure what temp it is running is to try a mechanical gauge.But,I would just install a new,stock thermostat and see if the gauge reads any different.It can't hurt to install a new one and they are cheap.I don't know about the 2.3 but I can change the one in my 4.0 in under 15 minutes.Don't misunderstand me in that running hotter gets you better gas mileage.Running colder than stock will hurt mileage but running hotter than stock won't improve mileage over running stock temperature.The gauge does not have to run dead in the middle for it to be right.As long as it is in the "normal" range it is fine.You can't really compare it to another truck because there are slight differences in tolerance from truck to truck.Just for the record,my gauge runs slightly below half way all of the time once it is up to temp.
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Old 10-26-2005
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I have checked my temp with a different external gauge its running perfect operation temp its just the damn gauge is so low it pisses me off
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Old 08-26-2010
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dont want to derail this thread, but i was wondering what the norm temp range is, for the 2.3? i have a 302 in my truck but have the stock temp guage. truck is running hot (all the way to H), i changed the thermostat to a 180 and think i got all the air out of the system, but still running hot. it sounds like the 2.3 calls for the same thermostat as the v8 (192), so the stock guage should run the same if its a
4 or 8cyl, right?
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Old 08-26-2010
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get a fail safe thermostat

if it fails , it fails in the open position

hence no engine damage
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