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Heating & Cooling 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Heating & Cooling Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 07-15-2012, 01:51 PM
Steelers99 Steelers99 is offline
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Default Possible overheating

I have a 2004 Dodge 1500 quad cab with a 4.7. It was running really hot almost red line. I had the water pump and thermostat replaced, but it is still running about 3/4, is this normal range? It was while I was on the highway and it is really hot outside. It dropped to mid range once I got back into town. Is 3/4 too hot to be running at?
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:11 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers99 View Post
I have a 2004 Dodge 1500 quad cab with a 4.7. It was running really hot almost red line. I had the water pump and thermostat replaced, but it is still running about 3/4, is this normal range? It was while I was on the highway and it is really hot outside. It dropped to mid range once I got back into town. Is 3/4 too hot to be running at?
1st question is 3/4 of what? Assuming the Temp gauge is not marked in degrees, like just L (low) & H (high) with 1/4, 1/2 & 3/4 marks in-between, you don't know how high "high" is. But considering that newer vehicles come with thermostats set @ 205 or higher, H is probably way on up there & your oil temps generally run 20 hotter than the water temp.

It'd be best if you could check the temps with a real gauge marked in degrees, but a simple way to drop the "normal" operating temp is to go to a lower setting thermostat. But you're quite limited there because too much of a change will throw the electronics off -- i.e., if the electronic control system assumes a "normal" operating temp of 205 & you change to a 180 thermostat, the electronic engine controls "think" the engine isn't warmed up yet & you'd get a richer fuel mixture than you want. But if the truck came with say a 215 thermostat & you put a 205 in it, that wouldn't be enough to throw the ECM for a loop.

But again, best to check in degrees, not Low or High because simple L/H factory gauges aren't known to be very accurate to begin with -- I've got a work van that reads on the "high" side all the time, but really it's only running 185-200 and that's fine.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for the reply. You are correct, there is no temperature reading on the gauge itself. It just shows L and H and the needle was between the midway line and high (3/4). I just had the thermostat and water pump replaced. I will have to ask what type the mechanic pu in.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:42 AM
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are your fans kicking on like they should? that could be an issue as well. And art is right. If you have a lower or higher thermostat it can play with the ECM and not allowing the fan to kick in at the right temperature. Chances are you may have a faulty ECT sensor (engine coolant temperature) and if that were the case that one sensor can affect a bunch of other systems within the engine as well.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:00 AM
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His truck does not have an electric cooling fan for the radiator.

First, have you done any work recently that could have effected the cooling system?

Check your radiator cap, or replace it(they are cheap).

Since you have a new water pump and thermostat(ensure it's installed the correct way.... although I think it's impossible to put in backwards on the 4.7), next I'd make sure the coolant is the correct ratio(too much antifreeze and it'll retain heat instead of dissipate heat). A coolant tester at the auto store is ~$7.

Then make sure all the air is out of the cooling system. If you don't know how to do this ask and I'll explain.

Last would be you have a clog in the radiator most likely. Could get it cleaned(rodded), or just replace.

Beyond that it is major work, could be blown head gasket, etc. You'd probably notice other things though like contaminated oil, coolant level dropping without a leak, poor mpg or performance, etc.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:46 PM
RedneckMechanic RedneckMechanic is offline
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Another, albeit rare, problem may be the fan clutch. We had a Durango in here that was doing the same thing. Turned out that the fan clutch WOULD spin with the engine, but not fast enough. The clutch had worn out to the point where it wouldn't go into a full lockup when the temp got high.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:57 PM
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I would lean towards a partially blocked radiator core
your radiator is 8 years old
rust & old anti freeze can block your cooling tubes
if you pull your radiator out & take it to a radiator shop to get it RODDED OUT, they run a metal rod through every passage & then run pressurized water through those passages to completely flush the gunk out, then they reassemble the radiator, pressure test it, then paint it.
Then you take it home & reinstall it
New Hoses will help too, old hoses can collapse under pressure

when you have time, grab a beverage & view this video


another interesting video
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:28 PM
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I recently had this same problem and it wound up being air in the system. Since the Cummins takes 26 quarts (or 24) of coolant, there was alot of room for air. My truck temp was ranging from 191 to 230. As I was able to work the air out the temp began to regulate.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:52 AM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaussin View Post
I recently had this same problem and it wound up being air in the system.
That's an excellent point. For many years, most vehicles have had a "sealed" cooling system, if there's any air in it, you WILL have an overheating problem & it can take quite some time to get all the air to work its way out.

I'll use an older work van as an example -- the Temp gauge on it has "[ NORMAL ]" @ the bottom & if I pull the radiator cap off, start the engine & let it run, the needle on the gauge will get to the R in NORMAL before the thermostat opens -- coolant in the radiator isn't moving until then. Then if there's air in the cooling system, the coolant level in the radiator will drop & may even go down to where you see the top of the radiator core tubes -- like there's no coolant in it @ all. Add some water & you may get it spit right back in your face! You have to GRADUALLY add water (or anti-freeze) while the engine's running & the coolant / air is working its way thru the system until all the air works its way out.

That van doesn't have a plastic overflow tank on the side of the radiator, but most newer vehicles do & if the coolant's low, you should add it to the overflow tank & NOT take the radiator cap off. The system will "siphon" the coolant back in from the overflow tank, unless it's way too low to begin with. Point being you don't want to let any air get in the system to begin with & if it's low on coolant & you take the radiator cap off, you're letting air in that will take quite some time to work its way back out! I learned that many years ago the hard way!
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