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Dodge Ram Radiator and Cooling



  • 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: 2,926
    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: 2,926
    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: 2,926
    Have you changed the thermostat?

  • yes!! nobody seems to know anything.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    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.
  • I have a 03' dodge 1500 quad cab 4x4 w/ a 360 motor. It has about 86,000 miles. I have just recently put alot of miles on it. Within the past 2 months it has been leaking coolant, and just within the past couple of weeks the transmission feels like it slips every once in while. (not often) It just started to overheat today, and by turning the heat up all the way it reduced the engine temp. back to normal. The front radiator also has been gumming up with coolant as well. Does anyone know what might be causing this, or what might need to be fixed?
  • hoveskeland
    I am from seattle, presently in alberta. when the van is cold it leaks coolant. no leaks warm. common?

    It is well below freezing. When parked warm over virgin snow there are no leaks. when left over night, and once very cold (-20 C) it leaks pretty steady. I am having no running issues just keep toppoing off antifreeze. I am two weeks into the trip from warmer climate. Leaks most from water pump but I can't tell if it is a hose clamp and the water is traveling. The clamps are all the tension kind as opposed to tightening with a screw. I don't know how to tighten these. Is this a common problem and...I assume if it were the water pump it would leak at the same pace or more when running warm or cold and while stopped warm or cold. I think the seal is contracting or something. Ideas?
  • I have a 97 1500 , I wonder if the thermostat is in the same place ? My trucks water temp guage runs hot (just below 260 ) then it will go below 200, then back varies the whole time, I get heat when it is "normal" and I get NO heat when it is HIGH.......... IDEAS ???
  • My new issue is with the water temp guage, the truck started this morning and the temp went straight to just below 260 , After I drove it a bit, the guage would surge back and forth between "normal" and just below 260 , I would not get heat at the 260 reading, but when it dropped I would get heat ??? I do not know where my thermostat is ???
    My old issue is I can not get one of my sparkplugs out, all the rest changed out great, one just simply refuses to let the socket slip around it, and it is the same plug ? I wonder if the metal protection cyclinder around the plug has caused a problem ?
    My brake lights and ABS light , and check engine light are all on, I lost brakes one day, and now they work fine, but the lights will not go out, I have disconnected the battery for a reset, but the lights come right back on with applied pressure to brakes ??
    My trailer brake setup no longer works either, is there a fuse or something ??? It will activate the trailer brakes when I manually slide the lever over, but will not automatically do it ?
  • I drove my 1999 dodge ram into town which is 20 min and everything was fine. I went into the store for 20 minutes and then came back out and turned on my truck and started driving and my check gages light came and my thermostat redlined! It had low rad fluid so i filled that and my oil along with everything else was good. when driving it home i had my heat on full and the thermostat would start to go down and the check gauges would shut off but then would jump right back up again! I have no clue whats going on and would welcome any sugestions
  • To add to it my truck wont start 5 hours later and it still says its redlining when you try to start it!
  • 95 ram 1500 v8 318 gas 130,000 Having a problem with the interior heat. It heats up for about 10 mins then while driving blows out cold. I also have noticed that when the heat does blow out i can not set the fan on high because the air will not be as hot compared to the medium setting. Last night i flushed the radiator for about 45 mins to an hr took about six sessions in that time. at first when i opened the drain plug nothing would come out so i had to shove a stick in the drain hole, that is when the rusty water oily junk came flowing. Now my girlfriend drove the truck to work this morning dont know if the flush helped but if it didnt what else can i do. Im thinking it cant be the heater core, not smelling antifreeze or seeing it on the floorboard plus the hose coming the firwall gets warm. Thermostat the truck is not overheating. Any ideas..
  • I have an 04 Ram 4.7 L 1500, the temp runs between the half way mark and the last mark before red, and if I turn the A/C on it runs hotter. If I turn the heat on it will bring the temp back down to the half way point. I have flushed and refilled the radiator and replaced the radiator cap.The fluid level in the resorvior has not moved since I flushed it. So in Florida this is not a good thing. 90 degrees and I have to run the heat. Can anyone guide me in a direction to fix this problem? I am thinking maybe thermostat.
  • fred92fred92 Posts: 2
    2004 cumming 5.9 HO I have replaced water pump do to leaking,thermastate,,fan clutch.Radiator flussed about every 75.000.It has 325000 on motor.matined.
  • I had something like your problem happen to me. I have an '02 with the same engine. I ran my truck too far and blew the radiator out of it. The dealership replaced the radiator, thermostat and fan clutch. I've changed the antifreeze and thermostat since then, also. For some reason, when the outside air temp was in the below 32 degrees F. area, it wasn't heating. I finally had to "burp" the coolant system. I guess, it had a pocket of trapped air within the system? I removed the radiator cap, while it was cool, and started and ran the truck, while sitting still, for about a half hour. It seemed to solve the problem. The thermostat is located, where the large hose attaches to the lower part of the engine. I hope, this has helped? I'm not a mechanic. Good luck.
  • Thank-you. I am attacking the thermostat Tuesday morning. In the mean time I am riding my motorcycle. I just fixed it.
  • dokkiedokkie Posts: 8
    I am trying to change the water pump on my truck. does anyone have any tips on how to get the hose off of the back of the pump under the air conditioning unit, it seems like it is just about melted on to the back of the water pump?? Where does this hose go to and how far back does it go? if i had to change this hose how would i go about it? I have got all other hoses, bolts and fan off this is the only thing holding me up any help would be appreciated. oh and i have a haynes book that i have read cover to cover with no help about this hose. :sick: i have read all over the net and this hose is called the by pass hose but no one seems to have any tips on how to get the darn thing off ! !
  • truck is over-heating when going up a incline or hill, when you go back down it cools down. I have changed thermastic,fan clutch, water pump, anti freeze, flushed raditor. Help me please
  • alanstevenalansteven Posts: 12
    my 2002 ram 4.7 runs hot whilst doing 70mph or above...especially when towing a medium weight load (at 60mph i must add speed in U.K.).I have replaced the thermostat to see if it was faulty.... and also the water pump that was faulty..and it still runs hot.(about mid way between med and hot)..the motor is reliable but I was wondering if this is just normal..up hill it runs hotter but not enough to have to stop..normal town driving its fine all day..its just troubling...
  • alanstevenalansteven Posts: 12
    hi ..i have the same problem and have replaced the same units but no solution as yet..mine is 2002..mine seems to just run hot but not over heat..lets hope someone knows..i had thought of fitting an electric extra fan in the bay ..i did think there might be a problem with the rad fan ...I presume it switches on at a given temp and wondered if I could lower the temp on it ? what do you think ?
  • 02 ram with 113000 miles 4.7 i am having a over heating problem it will idle without over heating but as soon as a drive it a few miles it over heats to a boil.I have changed the water pump,fan clutch and thermostat and have burped the system and also have flushed it out,can anyone give me any ideas on what to try next Thanks
  • I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 and on cold starts, in park, it sounds like my radiator fan is spinning double time. Its as if its a jet engine under there, like it is going to blow up. The only way it will go away is if i slowly press the accelerator ( still in park or in drive) and get the rpm's up over 2500 for about 45 secs. This doesn't only happen on cold starts though, it also happens randomly when i will come to a stop light or I am sitting in park after driving for quite a while. This happened in a 2003 Ram that I had and I didnt realize it one day and I just took off down a busy road and my radiator fan broke off busting up my radiator and bending my pullies. I traded the truck shortly after getting it repaired . I was just thinking it was due to high mileage. I never got diagnosis on it and now my 06 is doing the same thing. Any clue what is going on?? It may not be the radiator fan, but it sure sounds like it. My truck is really quiet normally when this happens it is abnormally loud and increases in sound as i push the accelerator until it seems to even out. Any help would be greatly appreciated
  • I have an 04 ram 1500 4wd quad cab, with a 4.7L engine. When the temp outside us upward of 85 degrees, and I drive over 70 mph, it will get hot, to the point of the warning light coming on. It does this in less than 10 miles.

    If I keep the speed under 70, or slow to around 60 if it gets hot, it will immediately come down. Also if I exit the freeway it immediately drops temp. It never gets hot in traffic or idling. Also, turning on the heater does bring the temperature down.

    I even tested by getting it hot, exiting the freeway on a side highway, dropped to 2nd and drove about a mile, mile and a half at 3000 to 3500 rpms. The temperature dropped to normal during that time.

    The water pump was replaced (failed) in Feb 09. The thermostat was replaced in May 09. The dealer can't find anything definitive, but thinks the radiator is clogged, should be replaced or at least flushed.

    It puzzles me, as I would think if it was the radiator, it would overheat at lower speeds. I don't want to spend several hundred on a radiator and have it not be the problem.
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