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Wenneson
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
11:21:54

Subject: Overheating V8
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I've got a '95 Dakota SLT with the 5.2 V8 that has a overheating problem that wont go away. The engine temp climbs normally till about 1/2 gauge then when I stop at lights/get stuck in traffic, it continues to climb until it overheats and boils over. Running the heater full tilt and getting back to highway speeds will eventually bring it down into range, but even on the highway it seems to run hotter than normal.

This doesn't happen on cool days and happens slower if the A/C is off. I've only noticed it since the summer TX heat has kicked in. It was not like this the last summer or the last 4 years.

Here's what has been performed (in order):

New Radiator cap (two times), new thermostat (installed correctly), New water pump (old one's bearing was going bad), new serpentine belt, block test came back negative (3 times), radiator is less than 3 years old and looks very clean in the portions we can see. When it was flushed, it had very high flow through the radiator, so there were no apparent blockages. New fan clutch. The engine runs very smooth with no roughness and has lots of power with smooth acceleration.

I've read through all the posts on overheating and this seems to be a common problem with several different causes. None of which seem to apply to my situation. Any ideas would be appreciated.

I saw one post on thermostat opening temperatures and putting the orignal 195 degree thermostat back in (it currently has a 180 degree thermostat)I don't see how this could make a difference. If anything, it should stay cool longer. However, I am open to being educated on this.

Thanks,

Tom




Daksmack
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
12:55:13

RE: Overheating V8
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Im not sure about the 5.2 but as for cooler t-stats, sometimes if it stays open all the time the antifreeze will flow through the radiator to quickly. This wont allow it to cool enough.

Some racers go with out t-stats and use a plate with a small hole drilled in it. Go Figure.

Again, not sure if thats your problem, im just explaining the concept of the higher temp t-stat that may actually help cooling.



RocketRod
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
15:01:39

RE: Overheating V8
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I have seen a similar problem on my dak (5.2L auto/air) when it gets really hot in Atlanta. I have been troubleshooting it in a similar manner and I think it comes down to the A/C load on the cooling system. If I turn off my A/C the engine cools down to normal operating temp. (I have not had a boil over yet.) A thorough check of the A/C system is next (evaporator, drier, charge level, etc.) Please post if you find an answer...



EBL
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
15:37:59

RE: Overheating V8
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Hi there Wenneson, I just got over a problem like yours down here in Houston. I believe that the thermostat is the main problem in our systems... that and the TX heat.

I found that the thermostats that I was buying were opening up much higher than their advertized temperature. I found a fellow board member that had a spare Robertshaw thermostat (GT755-180) and it cured 95% of the problem. In stop and go traffic in our 95 degree heat, I can get up to 190-200, but it's nowhere near what it was before.

I replaced the radiator, fan clutch, put in a Flowkooler water pump, 16lb radiator cap, straightened out fins, flushed it... you name it.

Things you can check on you truck that I didn't see you mention are the lower radiator hose may not have a spring in it and may be collapsing. (Some of the newer ones sold at Auto stores don't seem to.) and water wetter may help.

One thing that I have not checked into that may be causing some overheating is the transmission. Mine is getting older and I'm sure there is some slippage. When in stop and go the problem has to be worse. If it is constantly pumping large amounts of heat into the radiator it may be slowly overwhelming the system. I hope this helps.

Have you emailed HotrodSJR yet? He is a wealth of overheating knowledge.

Matt



Cal
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
17:53:52

RE: Overheating V8
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Just went thru the same thing. A friend of mine said after motor gets hot, check the top radiator hose and then the bottom one. I did and i noticed the top one was hot and the bottom one was cool. He said it was the thermostat and he was right. Now it does not even go half way on the guage in hot weather and the A.C. on.! 96 5.2



96DAK
Dodge Dakota
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8/17/2003
19:57:33

RE: Overheating V8
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I had the same problem w/ my 96 with a 5.2
I changed everything cluth fan, rad, water pump, hoses, etc.
It turns out that on our model daks the rad is too small for the V8 ( I was told this by a "mystery" problem solver that works for dodge )
here in GA.
All I had to do was put in a mopar 195 Term. (not a P.O.S. from the auto parts store )
and replace the foam on both sides of the rad.
to eliminate any air leaking around the radiator this fixed my problem.



Nick
Dodge Dakota
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8/19/2003
16:47:40

RE: Overheating V8
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Same issue here, solved it with a severe duty fan, even with header heat it stays right at 195 in traffic.



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