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I have had thermstat replaced, heater core and complete system flush, no anti-freeze leaks, water pump and pressure checked, fan clutch seems to be good, new belt (not slipping), hoses not collapsing, new radiator cap, not throwing any codes out. A/C off or on no difference. 318 w/AOD, 108,000K, radiator full and overflow tank level when cool. Why in the heck does it overheat so easily, so fast? Can't get 8 miles across town in traffic without over heating! The shop where I take it can't seem to figure it out either. Any ideas?......Anyone?
 

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It is the job of the radiator via the thermostat to cool the engine heat; you mentioned everything is good, but a clogged or restricted radiator would tend to overheat the engine as the flow could be too low for decent cooling; if the radiator if full of bugs , it won't help either; if the airflow in the radiator is "deflected", it won't help; in other words, the radiator does the most cooling, assisted by the pump and thermostat...something to look into. Another source of heat, is a bad head gasket, but that's your last option.
 

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Look for a real radiator shop
not a garage that works on vehicles that also does radiators
a garage would remove your radiator & send it out to a real radiator shop

A real radiator shop can diagnose the problem & give you a quote
A vehicle as old as yours will have at least some blocked tubes

The real radiator shop will have 2 prices
One price if they pull your radiator, the other price is for you removing the radiator & taking it to them

The real radiator shop will first diagnose the issue while it is still in the vehicle
IF the flow is restricted, & the radiator needs to be taken out
They put the radiator into a Vat of chemical after removing the 2 tanks
They let the chemical work on the blockage & then they remove the radiator from the vat & run a metal rod through every one of the radiator tubes, the process is called Rodding Out,
After that process is done, they return the radiator to the vat of chemical
Then run water through the tubes, then blow it out with air
After that is done, they put the tanks back on & pressure test it for any leaks

If everything seems to be OK, they will paint the radiator
If it has some leaks, they repair them
If the radiator is to bad to repair, they don't get a whole radiator, they either just replace the radiator core or they can just replace either one or both of the tanks

I pull my own radiators after the initial diagnosis
Labor rates add up fast

Your radiator should have
Tank Construction: Plastic
Core Construction: Aluminum
At a radiator shop a replacement radiator may cost $180
At a auto parts store it will cost more like $280

I don't always agree with this guys methods, but this video shows Rodding Out radiators at home, without using the Chemical Vat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acaRwmmfapA
 

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108K? How does the exhaust smell? It's due for O2 sensor replacements. If the exhaust smells like raw gas at all, you're running rich, which can cause overheating.
 

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Can't get 8 miles across town in traffic without over heating!

Does it over heat on open road doing 50mph? If not then it's not enough air flow threw the rad.


fan clutch seems to be good

When you first start the truck rev it up to about 1500rpm, You should hear a roar from the fan. If you keep the rpm up the roar will stop shortly after. If it's not behaving like this the fan clutch is bad.
 

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Blocked up radiator is my bet.

New Spectra radiator from Autozone is $140. Honestly, a radiator is one of the easiest things to replace on the truck; you should be able to do it yourself in an hour.

There is also the possibility you've got a bunch of build up in the water jacket restricting flow through the block/intake manifold. Chemical treatment is the only real way to get that out.
 
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