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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default Grille cover for winter on 96 GMC

    I have a 96 GMC, fresh crate engine installed in September, the engine is running too cold as per my mechanic even for winter weather in NY. It was running at 199, was told normal op temp should be 210.

    put in a new thermostat, radiator cap and a coolant temp sensor and now its running 190-195. Colder than before.

    I see vans and trucks all the time with what appears to be factory or aftermarket covers over the grille but I have no luck finding one for a 69 Yukon,

    Years ago I had an E350 that I would slip a piece of cardboard between the grille and radiator but the Yukon isn't open behind the grille so the cardboard trick wont work.

  2. #2
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    FIRST get a thermal infared temp gun and determine the actual temperature at which the engine is running. Factory temp sensors can vary 20 degrees as they are designed to keep a steady needle on the gauge and not reflect large temperature changes during normal operation. This also assumes the sensor and gauge are even close to correct. Once you know the REAL temperature then begin to resolve you problem if you even have one at all.

    What temperature is your thermostat "supposed" to open? It's stamped on the thermostat. Want to check it? Drop it in water on the stove with your wife's cooking thermometer in the water and watch to see at what temperature the thermostat opens. The thermostat regulates the temperature and the water flow.

    10 degrees low on operating temperature is no big deal in my opinion. The fact that your temperatures changed with you changed a bunch of parts is NO SURPRISE if you are looking at the factory gauge.

    Quit changing parts and find out where you stand when beginning to diagnose to see if you really have a problem to start with!

    A grill cover is band aid to a problem that may not exist!
    Last edited by vintageracer; 12-15-2017 at 05:36 PM.
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


  3. #3
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
    FIRST get a thermal infared temp gun and determine the actual temperature at which the engine is running. Factory temp sensors can vary 20 degrees as they are designed to keep a steady needle on the gauge and not reflect large temperature changes during normal operation. This also assumes the sensor and gauge are even close to correct. Once you know the REAL temperature then begin to resolve you problem if you even have one at all.

    What temperature is your thermostat "supposed" to open? It's stamped on the thermostat. Want to check it? Drop it in water on the stove with your wife's cooking thermometer in the water and watch to see at what temperature the thermostat opens. The thermostat regulates the temperature and the water flow.

    10 degrees low on operating temperature is no big deal in my opinion. The fact that your temperatures changed with you changed a bunch of parts is NO SURPRISE if you are looking at the factory gauge.

    Quit changing parts and find out where you stand when beginning to diagnose to see if you really have a problem to start with!

    A grill cover is band aid to a problem that may not exist!
    actual temperature was determined via SnapOn scanner connected to OBD2 and running the Yukon on the parkway for 20 minutes and getting a realtime reading. The core of the issue is that when the operating temp drops, the truck runs rich. Pull over and let it idle a few minutes and let temp climb a few degrees and the rich condition goes away. This wont be an issue in the summer when its 90 degrees out but right now its real cold here in NY so yeah a wintertime fix is what I need. That's why they make those grille covers for vans and trucks. Theres a reason for their use.

    Hence my mechanic suggestion of a thermostat replacement. The stock thermo is 195 degrees. They don't make one hotter.

  4. #4
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgross2006 View Post
    actual temperature was determined via SnapOn scanner connected to OBD2 and running the Yukon on the parkway for 20 minutes and getting a realtime reading.
    You are still depending upon a sensor in the truck to provide you with the temperature reading displayed on the scanner and therefore making an assumption that the temperature reading shown is actual.
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


  5. #5

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    If you are really worried about it, take off the 4 Philips headed screws that hold down the fancy plastic cover and slip a piece of cardboard in.

    Personally I think that unless you are towing, a stock motor should be within about 5 degrees or so of the thermostat rating. Throw a bit of weight behind and and hit a 5% grade for 10 minutes and it will probably get warmer then you'd want it to. Gm runs a lot higher radiator caps to allow for greater thermal expansion before it boils over, allowing you to run a slightly smaller radiator.

    I ran my tbird up in Montana for a month or so during winter. With 800lbs worth of tools plus a back seat full of luggage, I had no problems with heat. In the mornings it was -27 and the high only got up to -18f with a 40mph wind. Day we left we hit 1f, I was pissed.

    6 months later, I was back home in Utah running the a/c with 110f temps. I didn't put any cardboard in it, didn't suffer any gas mileage issues, and did not overheat. Unless you are getting a too low engine temp tripping a check engine light, let it be.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

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