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Dodge Ram Radiator and Cooling



  • Water pump and/or plugged heater core/plugged radiator? When you fall back on the rpm's in city stop and go driving, it sounds like the hot water isn't getting pushed through your heater core and radiator. Sounds like either the water pump isn't pumping, or the water flow is impeded in the radiator or heater core...heater core would be my last bet, since it overheats...
  • Hey Leo I have the same problem have you found out whats wrong??? email me at
  • alpr1993alpr1993 Posts: 2
    did the 2003 ram 1500 slt 4.7 4x4 have a trans cooler as factory parts or was it an option?please advise. also where do i get the factory specs/parts for my vin#
  • alpr1993alpr1993 Posts: 2
    wheres a good truck chat room? everythings singles!
  • hoskhosk Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 dodge ram 1500 quad cab with a 4.7 L v8 engine. It is over heating but it is not the thermostat or the sensor. A mechanic checked it. I took it for a short drive and it started getting hot and was leaking a lot of water. I had not been running the ac at all. when i pulled in and checked it i was able to touch the coolant tank and it was still cold but underneath it was hot. It seems like the coolant isn't circulating. I was told by a friend it was my water pump but how can i be fully sure?? What are the signs??
  • moparblue2moparblue2 Posts: 86
    make sure thermostat is in there the right way. the water push's from bottom to the top. alot of people put them in wrong so no water flow
  • 1996 dodge ram 2500 360 gas motor 4x4--245,000 miles with same motor and tranny.--- over heats when going uphill or pulling load(220 to 250 deg) but will cool down slowly going downhill back to 200 deg(190 in winter) hot days over 90 deg it heats up to 250 deg. In winter gets up to 230-235.

    Changed radiator, thermostat(failsafe), water pump, timing chain, temp sending sensor, temp gauge, flushed radiator, fan clutch, catalytic converter, O2 sensors, radiator cap, no milky oil on dipstick, tranny shifts good, engine lacks some power/quickness, radiator fluid needs 1 cup replaced every 1000 miles, engine runs smooth,#5 spark plug misfires according to the obd computer? what else could it be??
  • think I have found problem:
    changed thermostat
    changed plugs, wires, cap and rotor

    motor runs better
    still runs hot==then after stoped hot truck(240 deg) I felt the radiator core:
    bottom cold up to the middle towards top then middle to top was very hot

    radiator was only 2 years old. my friend who used the truck put that stop leak stuff in the previous one that had a small leak. so I think the new one only 2 years old collected particles from the stop leak in a narrow area in the new radiator causing the problem.
    I will flush the system to get more out and pull bottom radiator hose off when cool to quick drain engine of junk. then put new radiator in.
  • changed radiator still holds 220-230 temp I give up? anybody have an idea. only thing could be is temp sending unit to new temp gauge? i guess
  • i have a 97 dodge 3500 diesel it keeps overheating under load only i have pressure washer the radiator changed thermostat , waterpump flushed radiator and no help i need to figure this out the next thing shop said was maybe fuel anyone everheard of this seems like process of elimination at a large expence anyone had this problem and fixed it thanks kim
  • i have a 96 ram 1500 and replaced the radiator,thermostat,waterpump,and had a cracked head and replaced it as well,truck runs better but still over heats.anyone have any suggestions?also how would i know if the heater core would fix the problem?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    First, it would be helpful to know the engine and transmission type, as well as the mileage. Also, what type of maintenance and repair history?

    Second, what is the overheating symptom description? Does this vehicle overheat at idle, at road speed, etc.? Are you experiencing any coolant loss?

    Third, the heater core will not influence an overheating problem unless there is a leak which permits a loss of coolant.

  • thanks dusty i assumed , i have a 12 valve 1997 f350 diesel with automatic, it overheats only under load i have change the waterpump and the thermostat twice and pressure washed the radiator I thought about having the radiator taken out and check to see if its plugged but haven't done that yet because it only heats up up hill and pulling one place said may be it the fuel but thats just a guess and its running fine i just can't pull a load it over heats going up hill on the flat its ok any ideas appreciated
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Overheating under load conditions indicate the inability of the cooling system to transfer heat from the system to the air, or that some powertrain dynamic is generating more heat than the system can dissipate.

    I am not intimately familiar with Ford F-series, especially diesels, but my first recommendation is to check the operation of the electric fans, if this vehicle is so equiped. The electric fans usually contribute to air movement under low speed conditions only, but if under load and low speed the lack of operating electric fans can cause this.

    A more likely suspect would be the radiator itself, either being clogged or the cooling fins losing bond with the cooling tubes. This is most often associated with overheating under load conditions. If you haven't performed periodic maintenance on the cooling system, this is a more likely candidate. From what I hear about F-series PU, the system should be flushed every 50,000 miles.

    If an automatic transmission, its possible the transmission could be generating too much heat for the system. If this were a GM truck, I'd say there's a 5% chance that this is a candidate, but I've never seen this on a Ford automatic.

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,
  • engine 318 ; transmission=stock automatic and its the 3rd one i put in ; millage =100,00,biggest problem ive had is the overheating ,it will idle fine but as soon as i get going the temp gage goes up and antifreeze starts leaking from the water pump. i thought it was the pump so i replaced it but that hasnt fixed it...........need help!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Have you changed the thermostat?

  • yes!! nobody seems to know anything.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    What year is the vehicle?

    Will the coolant level drop if it just sits and idles for a long period?

    I guess I'd recommend starting with a pressure test. You need to rule out a bad head gasket or cracked head, rare on a 318, but it does happen. If this is an older vehicle the radiator could be clogged or starting to unbond.

  • replaced thermostat in my 96 dodge ram 360 gas motor 3 times, and on third try repaced radiator. temp goes to 215-220 and stays there. was at 200 before over heating problem. thermostats vary alot.
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