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ive got a 77 85 hp that got hot on one side , didnt blow any head gasket , but did discolor the head....im changing the water pump kit so that should help,and i do know the thermostat is opening ...but i was wondering , if thats not the proplem , what could it be?:banghead
 

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W'eve seen clogged water passages from salt build up alone. Your thermostat may be opening, but replace them anyway. They are alot cheaper then doing head gaskets at the least. You didn't mention the year, make, or horsepower, but if you have water bypass valves you may have the one on that head stuck open. when the high pressure bypass valve sticks open it will not allow the head to completely fill with water at idle speeds.
 
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