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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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Well, according to the scan tool, it is getting somewhat close to 'normal' temperature. 177 is definitely not 190 or 195, but at least it is not way cold.
Are you sure you are getting flow through the heater core?
I would try removing the return line from the heater core, and see how much flow you get at something like 1500 RPM.
It might be the water control valve (a known failure item) may not be opening all the way, or you have have a partially blocked heater core.
Any chance the heater hoses are routed incorrectly ( since it started about the time of the engine exchange )?

Rod J
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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And....did that solve the issue?
Inquiring minds want to know....at least mine does ;)
Rod J
 
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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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I always thought that small hole was to allow trapped air to pass through, so as to not allow an air pocket.
Some thermostats even had a small 'wiggler' device in that hole, to help keep it from getting plugged up.
Either way, it is designed to be there, and I agree it is not causing your cold running problem.
Some thermostats have a second diaphram at the base. I think Mmusicman posted a photo of one recently.
I do not know which style our vans use. The manual does not show anything but a general drawing. I have never had a need to look at, or to replace one.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 
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