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Old 02-03-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
KenSekiguchi
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Exclamation Possibly Serious JDM V7 EJ207 Coolant and Oil Temperature Issues.....???

Hey everyone, I have been having this issue for three days now. I went to go get my car washed three days ago and on the way home, I noticed that my OEM Coolant Temperature Gauge on the Center Gauge Cluster and my Defi Oil Temperature Gauge were slowly going down in temperature. About a mile later, the OEM Coolant Gauge needle was pinned at the bottom and the Defi Oil Temperature Gauge was reading significantly lower then normal, approximately 150*F.

Usually, when the car is idling during a cold start (warming up), which takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes to get hot, the hot temperature on the OEM Coolant Temperature Gauge is sitting very slightly above the Quarter Mark and my Defi Oil Temperature Gauge is reading an average of 195*F.

Now, I have never seen this happen before. When the Coolant and Oil Temperatures began to drop on my way home from the car wash, I pulled off to the side of the road and checked for any leaks underneath the car and in the engine bay, but I did not find any leaks or anything. I had also checked my oil dipstick and it was at a normal level for being driven. When I got back into the car after about twenty minutes of inspecting under the engine and in the engine bay, the coolant and oil temperatures were slowly getting hotter, but not to their normal levels. I also checked everything later that afternoon when the car was sitting for a few hours and the cold read on the dipstick was perfect and the coolant level in the reservoir was full.

I warmed up my car this morning, it was just idling in the driveway for approximately fifteen minutes. I checked the gauges after twenty minutes, the Coolant Temperature Gauge on the Center Gauge Cluster was slightly above the Quarter Mark and the Oil Temperature was at 200*F on my Defi Oil Temperature Gauge, both temperatures were normally where they are supposed to be.

So I took a drive around the neighborhood and the same thing began to happen. The Coolant Temperature and the Oil Temperature began to drop about fifteen minutes into the drive.

Sorry about the wall of text, but does anyone have any kind of insight as to why this is occurring? If anyone needs additional information as far as modifications or anything else, please let me know and I will provide it. Thank you in advance.

*** In addition to what I have typed above, when the Coolant Temperature and the Oil Temperature begin to drop, my idle goes from the usual, average 1,000 RPM to approximately 1,250-1,500 RPM ***

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Last edited by KenSekiguchi; 02-03-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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I feel like littering the forums this morning since I'm sitting at Starbucks doing nothing. I don't think the car wash did anything unless you noticed some water under the hood after you washed it.

Maybe you have thermostat that is stuck open not allowing your car to ever fully warm up.

Also when you sit at a stop light for a while does the car start to warm up and cool right off when you get going again?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tweeder View Post
I feel like littering the forums this morning since I'm sitting at Starbucks doing nothing. I don't think the car wash did anything unless you noticed some water under the hood after you washed it.

Maybe you have thermostat that is stuck open not allowing your car to ever fully warm up.

Also when you sit at a stop light for a while does the car start to warm up and cool right off when you get going again?
I always check my engine bay after a car wash just make sure that there is no excess or standing water in the engine bay.

I currently have a GrimmSpeed 160* Thermostat in addition to a Koyo Radiator.

As far a your comment about the stop light, there is some truth to that. When I am at a stoplight, the Coolant and Oil Temperatures do go up slightly, but if I sit in a parking lot with the car running for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, the Coolant and Oil Temperatures go up close to the levels that they are supposed to be at normally before this began to happen.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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I just replaced my thermostat yesterday because of almost the exact same thing. I actually got a CEL for coolant temp too low. My car had been running cool for a while, and switching back to a stock TStat solved the problem. The reason your RPM's go up is because the motor thinks it has to warm up. It also can cause you to run rich. I would say go back to stock temp (170) TStat and see if it fixes your problem. With the more efficient radiator and the 160 TStat, it's probably just getting too cold.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
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I'm with SR33, I'd switch back to the OEM thermostat and see how it acts.

All seems thermostat related with the engine cooling too much
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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I think the low temp thermostats are about the stupidest thing you can do to your car. The motor was specifically designed to operate at a very specific temperature range for best performance and the thermostat is designed to get it to that range as quickly as possible and keep it there. SR33 is spot on in his diagnosis. All a low temp thermostat does is to screw up your warmup cycle, it does nothing to improve your performance or motor operation under heavy use.

I see you are in Illinois and it is cold there right now so your low temp thermostat and big efficient radiator are just shedding too much heat.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SR33 View Post
I just replaced my thermostat yesterday because of almost the exact same thing. I actually got a CEL for coolant temp too low. My car had been running cool for a while, and switching back to a stock TStat solved the problem. The reason your RPM's go up is because the motor thinks it has to warm up. It also can cause you to run rich. I would say go back to stock temp (170) TStat and see if it fixes your problem. With the more efficient radiator and the 160 TStat, it's probably just getting too cold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnz-pj-410 View Post
I'm with SR33, I'd switch back to the OEM thermostat and see how it acts.

All seems thermostat related with the engine cooling too much
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeskywrx View Post
I think the low temp thermostats are about the stupidest thing you can do to your car. The motor was specifically designed to operate at a very specific temperature range for best performance and the thermostat is designed to get it to that range as quickly as possible and keep it there. SR33 is spot on in his diagnosis. All a low temp thermostat does is to screw up your warmup cycle, it does nothing to improve your performance or motor operation under heavy use.

I see you are in Illinois and it is cold there right now so your low temp thermostat and big efficient radiator are just shedding too much heat.
I considered going back to an OEM Thermostat, but even during the really cold Chicago weather this year, I haven't had an issue up until three days ago. I am thinking that the GrimmSpeed 160*F Thermostat that I have on there currently may possibly be a defective unit. Maybe a new one from GrimmSpeed may cure the problem. Maybe I'll just avoid the headache and put a brand new OEM Thermostat back in.

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lukeskywrx View Post
I think the low temp thermostats are about the stupidest thing you can do to your car. The motor was specifically designed to operate at a very specific temperature range for best performance and the thermostat is designed to get it to that range as quickly as possible and keep it there. SR33 is spot on in his diagnosis.

I see you are in Illinois and it is cold there right now so your low temp thermostat and big efficient radiator are just shedding too much heat.
It was specifically designed to run a certain exhaust, turbo, intercooler, octane, etc etc. But people change all these things.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
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your local air temp is too cold with your efficient radiator. I encountered the same problem on my v7 when i moved back east from AZ. Changing back to stock t-stat temp helped a bit with warmup but in the end, my PWR radiator holds ALOT of coolant to get up to temperature and hold it for around town driving.
Your rpms are shooting back up at idle because you are back in the ecu's "warmup" threshold where it checks your idle speed target against the coolant temp.

You can get a more accurate view by logging your coolant and oil temps in RR.
The longer your coolant stays above 180* , your oil temps will stabilize.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lukeskywrx View Post
I think the low temp thermostats are about the stupidest thing you can do to your car. The motor was specifically designed to operate at a very specific temperature range for best performance and the thermostat is designed to get it to that range as quickly as possible and keep it there. SR33 is spot on in his diagnosis. All a low temp thermostat does is to screw up your warmup cycle, it does nothing to improve your performance or motor operation under heavy use.

I see you are in Illinois and it is cold there right now so your low temp thermostat and big efficient radiator are just shedding too much heat.
I understand what you're saying about a defective unit, but running a colder TStat on anything other than a ridiculously modded and very hard driven car is not good. Listen to what the earlier poster said. Subaru designed your engine to function at a specific temp range. If they wanted it to run at 160 they would have designed it that way. I just had a faulty 170 TStat that stuck open with a Mishimoto radiator. I agree that it is wise to keep the motor running at its designed temp range. But hey, it's your car and you can do with it as you please.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #11
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It was specifically designed to run a certain exhaust, turbo, intercooler, octane, etc etc. But people change all these things.
Yes, but when you change many of those items you have to tune the car. Meaning you're changing computer programming to compensate. There is no running compensation for colder running engines.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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It was specifically designed to run a certain exhaust, turbo, intercooler, octane, etc etc. But people change all these things.
Yes, but the internal tolerances inside the motors such as ring gaps, bearing clearances, cylinder diameter, ect are a little bit different.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #13
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I think he was meaning it was designed to go with those parts because they tend to make the motor run hotter.

When I did my V7 swap I talked to my tuner about going with the 160 degree tstat and an aluminum radiator. I live in NorCal where it gets pretty hot during the summer.

He advised me not to go with the 160 because it was really just designed for track use. If the car is basically soley a track car and all it will see is constant abuse on hot asphalt then yah it would be needed. He said go with the radiator and leave it at that.

All good advise here. Keep the koyo and go back to a stock tstat. You really don't have a need for it anyways.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:01 PM   #14
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Even on a track car the thermostat should never close since it will be at operating temp the whole time. The thermostat does not in any way change the high temp operation of the motor it only screws with the low end during warmup and maybe cruising on a really cold day as the OP has found.

It always sounded to me like the lower temp T-stats are basically sold to people that do not understand how the thermostat and the cooling system work. I am in southern AZ and track my car whenever I can, so don't even try to convince me you need it because it gets "hot" where you live. Satan goes back to hell in the summer because AZ is too hot for him.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #15
KenSekiguchi
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Exclamation

The main reason that I bought the GrimmSpeed 160*F Thermostat was because I was planning on having a fairly active track season two years ago. At the time I also had an older Legacy which was my daily vehicle, but plans changed, the Legacy was sold, and due to medical reasons, medical restrictions stated that I could not drive at the track at all, and in regards to the medical issues, I am still currently dealing with those problems.

With already having purchased it and since it was already installed during my most recent JDM V7 Short Block rebuild, I just had not foreseen the issues that would have come with running a Koyo Radiator in addition to the GrimmSped 160* Thermostat during Chicago winters as a daily vehicle.

As recommended by everyone who has replied including a very good friend of mine who I just returned from his garage, I will be installing an OEM 170*F Thermostat hopefully within the next few days. Hopefully the issue will be resolved.

I do have another question though. Due to the lowering of Coolant and Oil Temperatures during driving, would it be deemed safe to drive my car with the lower Coolant and Oil Temperatures or should I just leave it in the garage until I change the thermostat back to OEM?

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #16
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If you can, it would be nice to let it sit. If you have to drive it, I don't think it would be that bad. Because it might run rich, you risk possibly fouling plugs, messing with a cat, or dirtying an O2 sensor. But those probably wouldn't happen if it was done for only a short time. As for engine internals, they're probably ok, but just drive sanely until you get it changed.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:41 PM   #17
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If you can, it would be nice to let it sit. If you have to drive it, I don't think it would be that bad. Because it might run rich, you risk possibly fouling plugs, messing with a cat, or dirtying an O2 sensor. But those probably wouldn't happen if it was done for only a short time. As for engine internals, they're probably ok, but just drive sanely until you get it changed.
As of now, I am currently still on a Break In Tune due to the fact that I have not bought the turbo that I plan on running on my setup ( planning on running an ATP GTX3076R ). Also, it's the dead of winter here in Chicago, I would rather tune the car when ambient temperatures reach at least 60*F on average.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #18
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If you change it in the next two days or so I would think you'd be fine. Also, there is a chance that it could be a bad coolant temp sensor, but that is pretty rare. So if changing the TStat doesn't solve the problem, then that would be your next look. It's like a $25 part and pretty easy to replace. After that you're getting into stuff you don't want to think about. Like head gaskets and heads. Just a little info if the TStat swap doesn't cure the problem. Honestly though, I think that will solve your issues. Good luck with everything.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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If you change it in the next two days or so I would think you'd be fine. Also, there is a chance that it could be a bad coolant temp sensor, but that is pretty rare. So if changing the TStat doesn't solve the problem, then that would be your next look. It's like a $25 part and pretty easy to replace. After that you're getting into stuff you don't want to think about. Like head gaskets and heads. Just a little info if the TStat swap doesn't cure the problem. Honestly though, I think that will solve your issues. Good luck with everything.
Either way, I'm changing the Thermostat back to a Subaru OEM Unit. If that doesn't fix the issue, then I'll change the Coolant Temperature Sensor. I know for a fact that it isn't the Head Gasket ( the rebuilt EJ207 has less than 1K miles on it ) or the Heads ( I bought brand new Tomei Phase 2 Heads ).

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:15 PM   #20
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I do have another question though. Due to the lowering of Coolant and Oil Temperatures during driving, would it be deemed safe to drive my car with the lower Coolant and Oil Temperatures or should I just leave it in the garage until I change the thermostat back to OEM?

--
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its safe to drive around, just dont go beating on it. You may notice slight oil consumption because the forged pistons have a looser tolerance prior to warmup than the hypercast guys. Change your oil when the weather warms up, you will notice the smell of fuel dilution in it too.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:15 PM   #21
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Either way, I'm changing the Thermostat back to a Subaru OEM Unit. If that doesn't fix the issue, then I'll change the Coolant Temperature Sensor. I know for a fact that it isn't the Head Gasket ( the rebuilt EJ207 has less than 1K miles on it ) or the Heads ( I bought brand new Tomei Phase 2 Heads ).

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Yeah, I figured the heads wouldn't be an issue with the recent rebuild. Hope everything goes smooth and you're back to running warm in no time.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #22
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its safe to drive around, just dont go beating on it. You may notice slight oil consumption because the forged pistons have a looser tolerance prior to warmup than the hypercast guys. Change your oil when the weather warms up, you will notice the smell of fuel dilution in it too.
Considering I'm still on a Break In Tune and the amount of money that I've spent on this current setup, I drive the thing like it's made out of glass. I have already noticed a very, very slight fuel smell when I check my oil daily.

Quote:
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Yeah, I figured the heads wouldn't be an issue with the recent rebuild. Hope everything goes smooth and you're back to running warm in no time.
Thanks. Hopefully everything goes back to running how it's supposed to.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:52 AM   #23
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I am running the grimmspeed 160 t-stat / Mishimoto radiator and have no issues. I bought it because in city traffic my car gets terribly hot. In the winter it does take longer for my car to reach optimal temp but that is only when I am driving on a nice flowing road with very low ambient temps.

In my opinion OP you need to burp your car. What maintenance has been performed recently? Also put a piece of cardboard to block airflow to the radiator as a test. If your car is getting too cold this will help t-shoot.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:53 AM   #24
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I am running the grimmspeed 160 t-stat / Mishimoto radiator and have no issues. I bought it because in city traffic my car gets terribly hot. In the winter it does take longer for my car to reach optimal temp but that is only when I am driving on a nice flowing road with very low ambient temps.

In my opinion OP you need to burp your car. What maintenance has been performed recently? Also put a piece of cardboard to block airflow to the radiator as a test. If your car is getting too cold this will help t-shoot.
I seriously doubt *that is the problem. First of all, he's been running a new rebuild for just under a thousand miles. A problem with air in the system should have shown up long ago. Also, air in the system usually does not equal predictability or over cooling. It is usually the opposite of both of those. But with that being said, it wouldn't cost him a thing to park it on an incline and crack the cap and try and burp it. It would be nice if that was all the OP had to do, but it seems like more than that.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:40 AM   #25
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I am running the grimmspeed 160 t-stat / Mishimoto radiator and have no issues. I bought it because in city traffic my car gets terribly hot. In the winter it does take longer for my car to reach optimal temp but that is only when I am driving on a nice flowing road with very low ambient temps.

In my opinion OP you need to burp your car. What maintenance has been performed recently? Also put a piece of cardboard to block airflow to the radiator as a test. If your car is getting too cold this will help t-shoot.
Turn your fan threshold down if you feel the car gets too terribly hot for you in the summer. However the car is ment to run that hot so it is more your perception that the car is "too hot", I very much doubt your water temp is higher than it should be and regardless the thermostat does not control that.

I have a 207 with an external oil cooler, Koyo and stock thermostat. On winter days less than 60F I have a hard time breaking 180F coolant temps and the thermostat on the oil cooler basically never opens.
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