[Healeys] Thermostats

BJ8Healeys sbyers at ec.rr.com
Mon Sep 10 13:44:30 MDT 2018

Fred, I personally believe a 160-deg. F thermostat used in an effort to "cool down" a Healey is useless.  A thermostat responds only to the temperature of the coolant flowing through it by opening up to increase coolant flow, and once it is open all the way at 160+, it is out of the loop and can't open further to cool more.  I am on the NC coast where winters are mild.  I once tried a 160 (non-sleeved) because I had one that someone gave me.  My BJ8 ran so cold that winter that I actually had to block part of the radiator to raise it to anywhere near normal.  Up there in the NC mountains, that would be even more of a problem for you.

I use a 187 F (86 C) New Old Stock AC sleeved thermostat (AC part number 1572320) that I was able to score from lister Kees Oudesluijs.  I installed it along with an upgraded core in the radiator at the same time, so I can't really say how much improvement the thermostat alone did; but since the modification my car runs consistently at 170 - 180 in the hot summers of the NC coast, except when in stop-and-go traffic when it might make it to 190 or a bit above.  In winter, it runs at 160 - 170.  I can see the sleeve operate as the car warms up because the gauge will cycle between 160 and 190 until coolant temperature stabilizes.  That can take up to 50 miles.

A friend placed an order later with Kees for several of the 190 F sleeved thermostats.  I got one of those as a spare.  Don't know if he has any left, or can get more.  As far as I know, the only sleeved thermostats available from the usual suspects are 160s and I wouldn't waste my money on them.

I just Googled the AC part number and came up with this source:


Unfortunately, it does not post to the USA (but on the bright side, it offers free shipping!).  Maybe you could work out a deal with a UK lister to buy one for you and ship it to you.  £19.99 = $26.04 


Steve Byers


BJ8 Registry

AHCA Delegate at Large

Havelock, NC  



From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Fred Wescoe
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2018 8:38 PM
To: healeys
Subject: [Healeys] Thermostats




I have researched what I can of the archives and other sources and am still puzzled.  I cannot find any real answers and direction on the question of which thermostat I should use in my 66 BJ8.  Some answers indicate a sleeved thermostat and others say no sleeve.  Some say a short sleeve and others say only the long sleeve works.  Some answers indicate using a 160 degree thermostat while others propose 180 degrees and even 190 degrees.  Some even say the Moss sleeved thermostat does not work.


I am in North Carolina and drive the car most of the year.  Right now the car has a non sleeved 190 degree thermostat.  The car starts and needs to warm up, at idle, to almost full temp before it runs with no problems.  Otherwise it spits, coughs and has no power.  The car runs at about 190 degres except when I drive the mountains and of course stop and go traffic.


What is the consensus of thoughts as we approach colder weather?  And what are the sources and manufacturer for a good thermostat?


Thanks for the help,




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