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Heating & Cooling 2nd Gen Dodge Ram Heating & Cooling Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011, 01:45 PM
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Default overheat going uphill ONLY

I have been struggling with a cooling issue for aver a year now and cannot figure this out. I have a 1998 ram 1500 5.2 4x4 5spd. It runs at about 180 and can idle with the AC on in the summer without getting above 210 all day. When ever I go up a long steep grade the temperature gauge climbs quickly and pegs, warning lights come. The coolant level never goes down and it doesn’t boil over or steam. It quickly cools down as soon as I begin heading downhill or flat road. I have a 180 degree thermostat in but I began having this problem when I replaced it last year.

Things that I have replaced to try to solve this:
Coolant sending unit
Fan clutch
Thermostat
Plenum gasket replaced
Bled air from system by parking on an incline with rad cap off.

Is it possible that the water pump is not performing well enough to move water through the systems when the vehicle is on a steep grade with the nose up?
I know that the Cat converter is bad from the rattling sound it makes, Can backpressure cause and overheat like this if the engine is under load? It does not pull hills with much power but my last truck was a Cummins 5.9 so I would expect much less performance here.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:37 PM
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I'd be more inclined to think a few rows in the radiator may be restricted.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:02 PM
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I'm going to check it for cold spots today. That would be nice if it just needed a flush.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:58 PM
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My radiator slowly clogged up, and at first it would heat up when loaded like a hill, then cool when unloaded. Then it just got worse and ran hot all the time, where I could place my hand on the radiator and sense zero heat.

Since I am 800 miles from home and having to tow a trailer the whole way when i move back I just replaced the radiator. A flush may do the trick for you if you find cool spots.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:31 PM
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The radiator had about 25% of the surface cool, mostly near the drivers side lower corner when I checked it last night. I've seen new radiators for around 100 on ebay and not much more than that at the local shops. I'll probably just replace it. I flushed it last year with the prestone kit and it didn't seem to do anything for the radiator or the heater core (that is another issue) no leaks but weak heat.
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