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Old 07-08-2014, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Do I have an overheating problem , or

not . Truck is a `03 Screw , 5.4 with stock radiator , 3.53 gears and factory oil cooler ( 111,000 mile ) . I`ve been towing for years an 18 foot Featherlite tandem with dual axles/brakes and a controller , but not in the mountains , just rolling hills . Also have a custom Troyer towing tune on the ECM and a digital display direct from the ECM on coolant temp . mpg etc .
Load is a track car and total weight is in the 5000 lb range . Have had zero problems , tows great and gives 12 mpg doing it ..... however , this past week was a different story . Took my new Kawasaki Mule 610 to my mountain place , total weight was in the 2500 lb range , but the mountain has grades of 20 to 30% , maybe more in some places ( private roads ) . About half way up , coolant temp read 214 degrees ( normally reads 196 ) and at the top was up to 220 degrees . Dash gauge seemed to never move past normal reading .
Is this normal as temp was still climbing as I leveled off ?
If not , any suggestions .... flushing system , adding water wetter , fans etc ??
Plan on adding a larger tranny cooler soon and upgrading the brakes for coming down . I`ll replace rotors and go to the Carbotech pads , same brand as I use for my track cars .
Any other suggestions ??

Thanks guys
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
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what were the ambient air temps? and a cooling system flush never hurts
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:20 PM   #3
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are you sure it was 20-30%?

i went down a 20% (inclinometer verified) grade from yosemite and even just downhill my tranny spiked at 218(have a tranny cooler too). extreme grades like that will cause heat buildup. i didnt take that road going up, but im sure it wouldve been HOT, even unloaded. this slope was only a couple miles long, and 2/3 of the way down my brakes were cooking (even putting it in first had the truck trying to run down the hill - there was no transmission braking - 4.17 first gear and 3.73 axle)

your temps, on those grades, arent terrible. bigger cooler with a fan to cover the increased surface area is a good call.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:33 PM   #4
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I wouldn't say the temps are trouble but I would do some upgrades if you plan to keep the truck and continue to tow.

Coolant flush, new t stat and top with coolant. Just remember the less coolant more water you use the better it is in cooling. Is your clutch fan wearing out? As for the tranny temps, adding an additional cooler is a great idea. Key to keeping a tranny alive is clean fluid and low temps.

On my old 03 5.4L I bypassed my tranny lines going to the radiator, kept the stock cooler and added a Factory Tech cooler with a 8"SPAL fan and in Aug in bumper to bumper traffic towing this my tranny temps never go above 185 and it was turning 38" tires and supercharged.
Do I have an overheating problem , or-image-2261454188.jpg
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
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Just my thoughts: Not sure if you have a cooling issue or not, but towing up very steep grades is the hardest scenario for cooling. Engine is working its hardest and the low speeds of steep grade climbing pull the least amount of cool outside air through the rad. Instead of air pushing through the rad, the clutch fan is having to pull that air through. I would be inclined to say that everything is okay if you aren't experiencing issues in other towing situations.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
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Your truck is lookin' good
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys . Pretty sure the grade is in the 20 to 30% range in several places .... the Kawasaki Mule was struggling on seceral hills , but it was brand new and I didn`t want to push it too hard . They have at least one blown tranny ( seals ) a summer towing campers etc up there .
Good point on the ambient as it was in the upper 90`s that day and a bigger/more efficient fan may be in my future .
Reason I was concerned was that I plan to take the Cobra replica up there the end of the month and play on the back roads in the Blue Ridge . Don`t want to be one of those that blows a tranny or radiator on the way up .

Yes , I plan to keep the truck .... aren`t they just getting broken in at 111,000 miles ????
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:21 AM   #8
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A powerful electric fan like a Mark 8 or late F150 w a damn good fan controller like a Painless F5 would be a good start. Throw in the large double row offered on heavy towing packages and a superduty trans cooler and things will improve.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:51 AM   #9
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My 06' got up to 225-230 last year pulling my trailer with a 4 wheeler and hunting gear up the canyon (Dash gauge never went above 1/2 way though) I unloaded the trailer and drove back into town and had the coolant flushed and replaced the T stat and since then it's never gone above 205.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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I want to get this straight. You have the stock temp. guage in the dash and some where you have an aftermarket temp guage from an aftermarket controller. Everything was fine but now you have one guage reading normal (stocker) and one reading high (aftermarket). In other words, if you didn't have the aftermarket guage to compare the stocker to than everything would look O.K. Based on this I would look for the aftermarket guage going out of calibration or having the wrong calibration curve installed.

Both of these gauges should..should..be receiving data from the exact same sensors. It is not possible for one to read high and one to read normal unless something is wrong with one of them, one of them is receiving data from a different source, or one of them is out of calibration. Personally, I'd trust the FORD installed unit.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:00 AM

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