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Old 02-14-2014, 01:13 AM
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Thermostat Change on 3.6

Got a'12 JK Sport. Anyone out there changed their thermostat? I realize that a hot engine burns fuel better and the T-stat warms the engine up faster, but I live in Hawaii, cold for me is nothing for some of you. My JK runs about half way on the gauge with no problems yet. I was just wondering about a colder t-stat for times like driving on the sand, where the engine heat tends to rise. Thanks.

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Old 02-14-2014, 04:35 AM   #2

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I don't recommend installing a different rated thermostat!
Your engine is designed to run the best and most efficiently with the existing thermostat rating.

I have spent some time in your beautiful state, and have visited several times most of your Islands. Your temperatures should not be causing your coolant to ever go past the center mark on your gauge. If it does, then I would have it checked out, because it should not be doing that.
Make sure that your overflow bottle has coolant in it, and that you have a good radiator cap. Several have had defective radiator caps, that will not draw the coolant back into the radiator when cooling down.
Make sure that you keep the bugs washed out externally, because that will reduce your air flow through your core.

Did you remove your Air Dam, because that seems to be a cause for reduced cooling? Several on the Forum have reported a reduction in cooling when doing this, in warm climates.

I live in Phoenix, and my 2013 Wrangler has seen ambient temperatures in traffic of 115 plus, and I drive it in our mountains with temps mid-summer in the 90s, and mine never goes past the center mark. (That includes off road usage in mid-summer). I also run with a couple of 2012s and another 2013 and only one of them ever has had any heating issues, and his just had air in the system that needed to be bleed out.

So good luck with your Wrangler, and enjoy your Beautiful State..........

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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Not the same engine but I put a colder stat I my daughters liberty and it threw a code. Turns out it wouldn't come up to a certain temp and in that case it throws a "coolant temp too low".
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #4

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I would not mess with changing the thermostat. The engine was designed to run efficiently with that thermostat. Changing it can cause increased fuel consumption, and possibly other problems. It might even throw a code. If you ever have any warranty issues related to the engine cooling system it might cause you problems getting repairs under warranty.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:10 AM   #5
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+1 on not changing it. The engine is designed to run at a a given temp and I find that my 3.6l is not happiest until warmed up fully.

The thermostat opens and closes as necessary to pass coolant to the radiator in order to maintain a given temp. If you are working your Wrangler hard enough to excede the systems capacity (temp rising above the middle mark), a thermostat is not going to help. Most normal situations should not create this scenario, on or off road.

If you are in deep sand or mud, and moving along slowly at high engine power levels the potential to overheat is certianly there without some major cooling modificaitons (Ie. external radiator)
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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I changed the stat on my 2006 to a 180 and noticed an improvement in performance but wonder if a change in the 2014 would trigger a code!
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:16 PM   #7

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What is misunderstood quiet often, is that changing the thermostat to a lower rated opening number, will not help a cooling system that is running to hot or overheating, because of a lack of cooling system capacity, for a given duty cycle!
So if you install a 160 degree, 180 degree, or leave in the 195 degree, it really doesn't matter, if your temp is hitting 220 degrees, because all of the thermostats would have already been in their fully opened position!
So the thermostat is not the cause, unless it is sticking closed, but rather more cooling system capacity is needed.

That can be calculated in the radiator's frontal square inch, thickness of core, fin design square inch. Plus your cooling fans pitch and the speed that it turns (RPM). Also shrouding plays a part into it! And not to forget, the speed that the water pump pushes the coolant through the radiator core.

So installing a lower rated thermostat is not the answer..........

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