Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Real 351 Cleveland thermostat

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, May 26, 2020.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 995


    Having cooling problem with the 351c in my 1955 tbird
    The brass restrictor is in place and no thermostat
    Thinking a thermostat may help slow the flow through the radiator and give more time to remove some heat. Anyone have a part number for the correct thermostat? Thanks, stay save
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907


    I guess the difficult part is figuring out what the engine is out of? Then you can get the parts store to look it up for you. The problem is they might ask you for the VIN letter code for the engine, instead of asking Cleveland or Windsor.

    Maybe try to get one for a 400 engine from the late 70s, instead? then you wont get one for a Windsor.
  3. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 522


    What is your cooling problem? 55 T-Bird, maybe it gets hot in traffic but is okay on the road? Do you still have the fan shroud? How hot is hot? Does it push water? I'm a fan of running thermostats, but they only control minimum temperature. I have a 57 with the original Y block. It does run up to the high/normal side of the gauge in traffic, but it never pushes out any coolant. I also found that the Ford gauge is at best an approximation of the engine temperature. My car had a flex fan when I first got it. Very noisy, and marginal at moving air. I've since changed to a clutch fan setup which works much better. More air flow and only runs as needed. The little birds tend to run hot it traffic, comes with the car design.
    squirrel and egads like this.
  4. Most, if not all, overheating, running hot , etc, are in fact , undercooling. IF the radiator is doing its job properly , all will be good.

    My 2 cents.


  5. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 526


    Use a high flow thermostat, the good ones have oval by pass holes in the main plate. Brass Works sells them, Robert Shaw is the best brand name although they private label for others.
  6. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,604

    uncle buck

    Do a search on the Pantera forum or try one of the Pantera parts dealers. It's a very common problem because of cooling system the design. The "correct design" thermostat has been obsolete for years. You can buy a thermostat to fit, but it isn't the correct design. When I had my Pantera there was a guy modifying the Robert Shaw thermostats to properly work and he sold them to the Pantera parts dealers and also on the Pantera forum.
    loudbang and sidevalve8ba like this.
  7. The Cleveland engine takes an odd thermostat. It has a special hat that seals against that brass restrictor plate when it opens to circulate all the water through the block. Ford no longer services this part. Most parts stores will sell you the wrong one. Ask me how I know! :rolleyes::eek:. I did see this on ebay though. Don't know anything about the vendor.
    deathrowdave likes this.
  8. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,859


    The Cleveland takes a special thermostat. When it opens, it closes off a port in the block, below the thermostat, as the Cleveland thermostat is in the block, not the intake manifold. Pantera mechanics used to pull the brass insert, that is in the hole below the thermostat, and solder in a copper penny. The penny must be older than 1986 as the newer pennies are not solid copper. With the penny installed, a cheaper and more readily available standard type thermostat can be used. If the hole below the thermostat is not plugged, the water keeps circulating in the block and doesn't have a full pass to the radiator. This was a feature designed to get the block up to temp faster by having it circulate in the block before thermostat opening. Run this motor without a thermostat and not plugging the hole below the thermostat = overheating!
    loudbang likes this.
  9. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 143

    Dusty roads

    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  10. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,253

    from NKy

    D80FE61E-1F2D-41A1-8B90-31E0D36E118D.jpeg It has been said many times already , the C and M motors take a special stat and must have the brass piece installed in the block or she will never run cool
    George and sidevalve8ba like this.
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,287


    bingo on the last 2 posts!
  12. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 143

    Dusty roads

    Both the C & M require the thermostat. But ONLY the Cleveland requires the brass insert.

    351 M Block


    351 C block

    deathrowdave and sidevalve8ba like this.
  13. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 995


    Maybe just do the penny thing. I installed a 3 row aluminum radiator, with the shroud and large electric has not overheated yet, but gets up to 190* around town on a 85* day. It has the brass disc in the block. I very seldom use a thermostat, only drive it in warm weather. I knew about the penny modification, but somehow slipped my aging mind. Thanks for the help.
  14. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,287


    Saw a study that said cyl wall wear is 3 times more with a 160 vs 180 to 195 thermostat. Should run it the way it was designed.
    Truck64 likes this.
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,153

    from Ioway

    That's crazy talk!

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.