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Why did my engine eat my thermostat?


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I took apart my thermostat housing to find this...


The thermostat was bent and pushed up off of the seat. The car has been running fine and has never shown any signs of overheating. This is a track car in which I am running a Rebello L30 with blocked heater circuit, aluminium 3 core rad and a 20psi cap.

Has anyone ever seen this sort of thing before? I don't want to just throw a new thermostat in there if this is a symptom of something else being wrong with the cooling system.


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I only saw it once. When the rad cap was off and the car started, the pressure blew water out of the rad filler hole like a volcano.

There are pressure gauges for coolant systems that you can use. Just fit one on with the motor cold then run until warm. Rev it occasionally during the warm up period to see if the pressure changes much while reving.

Merry Christmas!

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That makes sense Blue, but why would it just compress your water jackets when it was cold? I'm sure a blown head gasket could exert that amount of pressure in the right place, but why only when the engine is cold. I assume your engine is running OK Steve....right? Do you believe a water pump could exert enough pressure to damage a thermostat or freeze plug if it backs up enough pressure behind a closed thermostat or is that probably not possible?

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I am reading this with interest as I have a very similar setup: Rebello 3.0, aluminum 4 for radiator (heater core is not blocked off) and I have a 13 PSI cap. I had mine apart last summer and it looked fine. Are you running a diesel water pump?

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