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1996 4.9 auto overheating

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:36 AM   #1
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Default 1996 4.9 auto overheating

My truck tends to run hot when towing my 20' boat (bout 3500 lbs). Doesn't get into the red but pretty close. No obvious leaks. Appears to have an aftermarket transmission cooler mounted in front of A/C condensor. Replaced the thermostat & coolant - same results. Has bout 170k miles. I've owned it for past 50k - no cooling repairs done by me. Any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
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Because it has an aftermarket tranny cooler, then it probably did NOT have the factory towing pkg, which included a bigger radiator. So the first step is to be sure the engine fan is working as designed. If the fan is doing its job, then I'd probably save my scheckles until I could replace the radiator with the biggest one that will fit.

With the new radiator, never use tap water. Flush with distilled water, then add enough concentrate antifreeze to be at least half the total capacity of the cooling system (but not more than 70%), then top off with distilled water. Do no use ready-to-use (50/50) antifreeze for a fresh fill, because you'll wind up with less than a 50/50 mix. (Some of the distilled water you used to flush the system won't drain because it's in the block and heater core.)
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew EcoBoost, 6.5' bed, Platinum White/tan, Leer 100XQ camper shell, Nomad Joey 196S TT, CarMate 7x14' enclosed cargo trailer, three other utility trailers, plus a retired 2000 Keystone Sprinter 25RKS 5er we rarely tow now. ProPride hitch on the TT. Reese Strait-Line hitch on the cargo trailer.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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Smokey probably nailed it.

You could try adding a K&N cold air induction kit, that would help the engine breathe easier which may have positive results in keeping your temp down.
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