Originally Posted by Goatboy
Wouldnt a lower running temp engine have the potential to last longer? My average running temp is about 160 with temps maybe getting up to 180 with alot of stop and go in town during the summer. When I first got my truck, it would reach up into the 200 range but when I changed over to full synthetic oil, I havent gotten anywhere near that. Truck heats up enough to turn heater on withing the a couple of miles. Not hot air by any means at that point, but warm enough to warrant turning it on.
Well a cooler running engine wouldn't exactly have the potential to last longer, remember that engines are engineered around thermal expansion among other things. Overheating and underheating are both bad things, not only in the fact that one leads to detonation and pinging while the other leads to excessive unburned fuel. What engineers are do, have been doing, and will continue to do is engineer engines that can operate at there peak thermal efficiency but within the parameters of fuel type, fuel consumption, and avoiding overheating. This is very hard to do which is why many engineers recently have been spending more time with volumetric efficiency because it is much more effective, this is the reason for the increase in super chargers and well mostly turbo chargers, it's also cheaper to just throw a turbo, cheap horsepower. But for some instances like the mustang jet, they most likely threw a super charger on the engine for the horsepower because that engine is really designed around torque and it's at the low end of the spectrum so horsepower without a super for that engine wouldn't be very high. So throw a super on there and you increase torque and hp throughout the band where most of the top end power is being produced by a super charger. It is a very economical and effective way to build and engine, there engineers where very smart with designing that engine.
But anyways, the thermostat temperature is going to vary. If you are doing all out racing you are obviously going to want to keep a cooler stat because the engine will heat up rapidly. I always say keep the engine in the 180's-190's. If you build an engine with the idea of a 180F stat, then make sure the ECM is programmed for that temp and the A/F is corrected for that temp.