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Thread: Operating temperature

  1. #1

    Operating temperature

    Just wondering what the normal operating temp should be on my 1983 251. It was re-powered in 2010 with a 350 Mercruiser. When turning on the key to start the needle will go all the way down. After running a while it doesn't get much over 125-130 degrees. Is this normal? Thanks-Russ

  2. #2
    Sounds about right to me.

  3. #3
    Seems cold to me. My 305 thermostat is 160F. My gauge was reading low, ~130F. Replaced the sending unit, no change. I had to cut the gauge open and move the needle.
    I would think 180F would be about right for your engine. Do not believe your gauge. change the gauge first.
    1979 Chris Craft Catalina 251
    1977 Catalina C25 Sailboat
    1965 Chris Craft 22' Cutlass 327F
    And a really small dinghy.

  4. #4
    Yes was running about 130 in the canal under 2000rpms, but underway and cruising it gets to 160 and holds.

  5. #5
    footbrake, that indicates a problem. Your engine temperature should be constant regardless of RPM. I would check the thermostat.
    1979 Chris Craft Catalina 251
    1977 Catalina C25 Sailboat
    1965 Chris Craft 22' Cutlass 327F
    And a really small dinghy.

  6. #6
    Once it warms up , it is a constant 160 deg. Just takes a few minutes after leaving my dock in the canal to reach 160

  7. #7
    Mine runs about 160 degrees, up to cruising speed (15-18mph). Above that the temp climbs to 180 degrees (20-28mph). Not sure why it does that. The cooler is clean, impeller is good, and good water flow. It hasn't over heated so I just watch it if I go fast. haha
    1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina, with the hard to find factory hardtop!

  8. #8
    All, even with a normally operating thermostat, operating temp varies within the open/close range typically 160, 180 f . Boat weight, loading, ambient water temp, driveline efficiency effect engine temp too which in some circumstances I've experienced, can operate outside that range, but not too far both cooler and hotter. A good test is to vary running speed and see how the temp Guage responds. This takes patience as it takes time for the engine to respond to the loading change.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Diver View Post
    All, even with a normally operating thermostat, operating temp varies within the open/close range typically 160, 180 f . Boat weight, loading, ambient water temp, driveline efficiency effect engine temp too which in some circumstances I've experienced, can operate outside that range, but not too far both cooler and hotter. A good test is to vary running speed and see how the temp Guage responds. This takes patience as it takes time for the engine to respond to the loading change.
    This is my experience also. Thanks for confirming that hunch.
    1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina, with the hard to find factory hardtop!

  10. #10
    the faster you go the faster the water pump turns and the faster the water goes through your heat exchanger it doesn't have as much time to cool, if you want to run faster you will have to install another heat exchanger, works great

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