Thermostat and head gasket on TO-35

   #1  

WilliamTO-35

Silver Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
217
Location
Northeast USA
Tractor
1955 Ferguson TO-35
First, some advice on a cooling system thermostat for a Ferguson TO-35, and ( I think) a TO-20 and TO-30. If you can't find an aftermarket tractor supply thermostat for your tractor, use one for a small block Chevy , almost any year. Way back , someone decided to standardize on 54 mm. diameter thermostats , and that's the size used on my Ferguson, and a lot of GM and Ford car engines . I wanted a 160 degree F thermostat, but the one from the tractor supply actually checked out at 178 F. I got out my box of old thermostats, and noticed that nearly all of them were the same size as the old Ferguson thermostat. I found a genuine 160 F thermostat at Summit Racing , Milodon brand, also rated as a " high flow" thermostat, and labeled as " all Chevrolet" and " all Ford".
Interestingly, it's a bit different in design, but physically identical to the 40 year old 180 F thermostat I took out of the Ferguson .
Now, for my head gasket question. I wanted to buy a Victor brand head gasket, which is steel on the block side, copper on the head side, and with a soft filler material in between . The Victor gasket ( now Victor Reinz) is no longer available, so I bought a Fel-Pro gasket set. The Fel-Pro head gasket is steel on the block side, and a fiber material on the head side. The original instructions with the gasket ( several years old) are to use a sticky spray gasket sealer on the steel side, but no sealer on the fiber side. That's good advice if the engine uses head bolts, since you may need to adjust the alignment of the gasket while you're getting the head and head bolts lined up. But the Ferguson uses long block mounted studs , so there's no gasket alignment isssue . I wonder, therefore, if using a spray gasket sealer such as a Copper Coat type on the fiber side would be a good idea. Fel-Pro keeps changing its mind on the issue , so they don't seem to be sure either.
 
   #2  

Jerry/MT

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
2,755
Location
North Idaho-The Palouse
Tractor
New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Kubota M4500
First, some advice on a cooling system thermostat for a Ferguson TO-35, and ( I think) a TO-20 and TO-30. If you can't find an aftermarket tractor supply thermostat for your tractor, use one for a small block Chevy , almost any year. Way back , someone decided to standardize on 54 mm. diameter thermostats , and that's the size used on my Ferguson, and a lot of GM and Ford car engines . I wanted a 160 degree F thermostat, but the one from the tractor supply actually checked out at 178 F. I got out my box of old thermostats, and noticed that nearly all of them were the same size as the old Ferguson thermostat. I found a genuine 160 F thermostat at Summit Racing , Milodon brand, also rated as a " high flow" thermostat, and labeled as " all Chevrolet" and " all Ford".
Interestingly, it's a bit different in design, but physically identical to the 40 year old 180 F thermostat I took out of the Ferguson .
Now, for my head gasket question. I wanted to buy a Victor brand head gasket, which is steel on the block side, copper on the head side, and with a soft filler material in between . The Victor gasket ( now Victor Reinz) is no longer available, so I bought a Fel-Pro gasket set. The Fel-Pro head gasket is steel on the block side, and a fiber material on the head side. The original instructions with the gasket ( several years old) are to use a sticky spray gasket sealer on the steel side, but no sealer on the fiber side. That's good advice if the engine uses head bolts, since you may need to adjust the alignment of the gasket while you're getting the head and head bolts lined up. But the Ferguson uses long block mounted studs , so there's no gasket alignment isssue . I wonder, therefore, if using a spray gasket sealer such as a Copper Coat type on the fiber side would be a good idea. Fel-Pro keeps changing its mind on the issue , so they don't seem to be sure either.

I know you didn't ask this question but why would you want a 160°F thermostat when the OEM should be a 180°F? The temperature rating is selected to give the best engine performance and to make sure that oil temperature is in the optimum range, water vapor, etc in the oil sump is evaporated, etc. If it were my tractor, I wouldn't do it. But it's your machine and you can do as you please

Following the gasket makers instructions is best. They designed and manufactured gasket, selected the material, and provided instructions on how to install the gasket. Why would you assume they were wrong? The fiber is most likely relatively soft and compliant and the steel is hard and somewhat non-compliant, hence the requirement for a sealant. Unless you are an expert in such matters, why second guess the folks who specialize in these things?
 
  
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#3  
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WilliamTO-35

Silver Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
217
Location
Northeast USA
Tractor
1955 Ferguson TO-35
It's been a couple of years now, so I suppose I should give an answer ! My factory TO-35 service manual says to use a 160 degree thermostat regardless of whether water, alcohol, or permanent antifreeze is used. I'm sure a 180 degree thermostat would also work, but I'm trying to take it easy on this old girl , and run it a little cool. I did find that I needed to drill a couple of 1/8 inch holes in the thermostat to allow some coolant circulation before the thermostat opens. Otherwise, the temperature gauge doesn't move a bit until suddenly the thermostat opens and the gauge shoots up to about 190 , and then settles back down. That indicated to me that there was a hot spot in the head developing before the thermostat opens. Drilling the holes now allows the temperature gauge to gradually increase , as it should. As for the head gasket issue, I'll soon find out if it seals ok, since I'll be using the tractor this summer .
 
   #4  

TomSeller

Super Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
8,582
Location
.
Tractor
JD, Massey, Kubota, Case
It's been a couple of years now, so I suppose I should give an answer ! My factory TO-35 service manual says to use a 160 degree thermostat regardless of whether water, alcohol, or permanent antifreeze is used. I'm sure a 180 degree thermostat would also work, but I'm trying to take it easy on this old girl , and run it a little cool. I did find that I needed to drill a couple of 1/8 inch holes in the thermostat to allow some coolant circulation before the thermostat opens. Otherwise, the temperature gauge doesn't move a bit until suddenly the thermostat opens and the gauge shoots up to about 190 , and then settles back down. That indicated to me that there was a hot spot in the head developing before the thermostat opens. Drilling the holes now allows the temperature gauge to gradually increase , as it should. As for the head gasket issue, I'll soon find out if it seals ok, since I'll be using the tractor this summer .

I have drilled holes in the Tstat before on older engines as you desribe and had it help. I can't see it hurting.
 
 
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