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Thread: Overheating Problem

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    Overheating Problem

    All of a sudden I have a problem with overheating or almost overheating. Every time I'm in stop and go traffic or go up a big hill, the temp gauge climbs right up. I even had the check gauge light come on once!! The only way to get it to come down is to crank the heat and it'll go back down to normal after a few minutes of driving. I was thinking I'd start with a new thermostat? Any ideas or should I just have the radiator flushed and fluid changed? D has 160,000 miles on it and I've never had it flushed or drained. Any help would be great.

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    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    2001 with the 4.7

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    Check to make sure your electric fan is coming on?
    Also, if it's never had a thermostat replaced, it's well overdue. The thermostat is located where the lower radiator hose ties to the block. Be careful with bolts, they tend to snap off. Also make sure to use a factory thermostat and to place it in there correctly.
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    Senior Member dizzyD's Avatar
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    Don't know the area you live in, but has it been hot outside? (+90?) Southern Cali +100 days does make my engine run at temps around 190ish, but I also have a 180 thermostat in there.
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    No, upstate NY, and it hasn't been warm here. The truck temp is fine going down the road, even on longer trips when you're moving, but if it's stop and go or I go up a long hill, it goes up from normal to the high mark or above. I think I'm going to get a new thermostat and have the radiator drained and flushed out. Hopefully that fixes the problem. I'm also going to check the electric fan. Should that electric fan be running when the truck is at normal operating temps or does it only kick on as needed? Is there a secret to testing it?

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    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    the electric fan should run when the A/C clutch is engaged.

    your mechanical fan may be having issues as well.

    ?tom
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    Check that the fan clutch is working for the mechanical fan. You should feel it cut in and put a draw on the engine when it engages. I hate to say it, but at this mileage and no service, you're probably looking at a replacement radiator and possibly fan-clutch. At this point, I'd also replace all of the hoses that are involved with heating and radiator coolant (upper and lower radiator hoses, by-pass hose, heater lines, and new thermostat.) Hoses tend to get hard over time and weaken setting you up for a major mess when they blow. The coolant also wears out and doesn't protect from rust as it does when new so the radiator may be plugged up from rust. This rust will eventually start building up inside the engine's cooling passages and make it even harder for the engine to cool off and will also plug up the heater core so it won't heat the D in winter.

    You should also check that the radiator/condenser area isn't plugged with dirt/leaves that's blocking air flow and making the engine run hot. Good luck.
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    +2 on what Mweed said. There's one other test, get a infrared digital thermometer and hold it at various spots across the radiator. That's what my dealer did when diagnosing the radiator and he found hot and cold spots and pretty quickly was able to diagnosis the radiator needed to be replaced. It was a bitter pill to swallow (well $900 bitter pills to swallow to be exact) but his diagnosis was correct and I'm in service now. In addition to the infrared thermometer, look at the radiator from the engine side through the fan and check the cores and fins for cracks, splits or tears. A catastrophic internal failure will cause the fins to split from the internal pressure. This was the final diagnosis after repalcing the thermostat, water pump, and fan clutch which were misdiagnosed by PepBoys.

    Speaking of water pump, and since you have high mileage, if you're unsure about the condition or when it was replaced, you'll most likely have the water pump area torn apart and I'd recommend changing the pump while "you're in the neighborhood." Simple and relatively easy piece of mind for long term use.

    At the very least get an anti freeze flush but before wasting time and money getting mechanical parts replaced. Trust me, it maybe expensive now but if you don't get it done right, it'll cost much more later.

    Don't forget to get a good professional quality complete system flush AFTER all the items are replaced.

    I'd also go one step further and recommend replacing the factory spring clamps with normal screw tension hose clamps and a Goodyear Gatorback serpentine drive belt. If all of these items are factory original equipment, then you definitely got your money's worth out of them? especially with high items like radiator, water pump, fan clutch and hoses.

    Here are my recommendations
    1. Replace all the hoses? upper, lower, by pass, heater hoses, overflow. Use Goodyear if possible.
    2. Replace the thermostat.
    3. Replace the fan clutch.
    4. Replace the water pump (Bosch if able, but don't get it from PepBoys!)
    5. Replace the hose clamps.
    6. Good professional cooling system flush to include heater core, radiator, block etc.
    7. New Goodyear Gatorback serpentine belt.
    8. Replace the radiator cap.
    That's basically a new cooling system and it should last for quite a while.

    Others will chime in with more experience and knowledge, but make sure the mechanic reads and understands the "burping" procedure for the 4.7, there's a bleed screw on the upper hose fitting against the block for this. I haven't done it personally but understand it's extremely important it be done to remove excess air from the block.

    One last thing. I very strongly recommend against going to PepBoys, especially for cooling system work! (see the last sentence of the first paragraph) If you need more details, let me know.

  10. #10
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    Has it been burped? I know those were my symptoms and a simple burp of the radiator fluid fixed it per this board's recommendations. Not sure if it's the same for the 4.7 as it was for my 5.9.
    2000 Durango SLT 5.9 4x4

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