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Old 07-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.


A serious pet peeve of mine. I have had numerous vehicles that liked to overheat. First was a toyota truck which introduced me to thermostats. Make sure it is new. Second, 2000 landrover discovery. Wettable water, an additive. I am not sure what it does but it works. Third, "86 4runner, bad clutch fan. Fourth, 1969 Mustang w/ HiPo 302. This one was the real learning curve. Radiator too small. Sheared pulleys. Inadequate flex fans. I tried everything. I ended up replacing the radiator with an aluminum one with twin electric fans which required an electrical upgrade. I tried everything to cool this baby down in Texas and the electric fans are definitley your friends.
The taurus and mark VIII fans are the way to go in addition to your stock stuff. They can be had for cheap and installed with heavy duty zip ties. With a little research on the ford forums you will even see learn how to install a temp sensor and relay so the thing runs automatic. Change all your fluids, including tranny if the tranny does not have it's own radiator. I'm splurging on Schaeffer products. You may want to invest in rodding out the radiator as well. Do anything that will help transfer heat thru and away from the radiator.

Check websites/forums of people who like to increase horsepower. They all seem to have overheating issues. It makes you wonder if engineers have a fear of radiators
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Performance cars, hotrodding, dragracing etc have their own set of problems and solutions as well as their very different goals. Electric fans are put on to reduce the parasitic loss and save space, no real other reason. There is a HUGE difference between a 3k lb car that you are cooling and a 25k lb bus, its almost like telling someone to transplant their Mustang engine into their semi truck because it is so fast and powerful. I know everyone is trying to help but suggesting to throw money and parts at a problem on a stock bus that probably did not overheat new from the factory doesnt do a whole lot of good to him or anyone else reading. Fluids dont need to be changed until they are ready and it isnt cheap on a diesel. Just because oil has 10k miles on it or the coolant has 100k does not mean that it is bad, that is part of what sampling and testing will tell you. Its not a bad idea to try free solutions, its stupid to change parts without finding the underlying issue.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:20 AM   #13
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

The performance car example was just example. The links were to give him an idea where the information is and more importantly "HOW" to deal with it. Perhaps I should have qualified my statements with "if all of the obvious has been done, then there are options." I have not dealt with a hydraulic fan but it doesn't sound cheap on time or money to retrofit.
I do not own a rear engine bus but it seems apparent they have their own set of overheating issues for obvious reasons. When engineers are overruled by the marketing department is is up to the individual to make it what it should be. In a rear engine it is apparent by comments made here that the cooling tolerances are tight and you will see problems if all is not perfect. The Landrover I owned was like this. Give it a cross look and it would give you the CEL.

So Case, by the numbers, these are the steps I would take(the list is flexible, change at will)

1. Clean the fins on the radiator(s)
2. Make sure all air flow within and into the the engine compartment is not all. MAKE SURE THE AIR FLOW IS FLOWING THRU THE RADIATOR NOT AROUND IT. There should be foam material in between radiator and other items(acting like a sealer caulk) and usually a shround. CFM doesn't do anything if it is not completely directed THRU the radiator.
3. make sure belt is tight
4. New cap
5. New Radiator fluid...flush, flush, flush some more. Pay attention to what is coming out of the radiator.
6. New thermostat...probably ok but why not. They are not expensive and the fluid is already removed. (rule it out)
7. Clutch fan...if you have one. Check it. Make sure it is working as designed. They do fail.
8. If you have changed your other fluids or have accurate records when they have been changed don't sweat it. You can send a sample off to be tested for engine wear and peace of mind if you desire. I think its about $20.00 plus shipping.
9. It has been my experience that when a water pump's a big event. They bleed out or the shaft shears and craters the radiator. It is not cheap nor replacement friendly but it is a component that must be ruled out. I had a powerstroke with 290000 miles and never replaced the water pump.
10. If all those things are ok and you want piece of mind spend 75 bucks and a day to add air flow. It is not a reinvention of the wheel. It is insurance on a 108* day.

Think heat transfer and what would restrict that. You have water flow and air flow. Maximize both...and most importantly don't get discouraged. It is my belief that "some" cooling systems were designed to their lowest tolerances to save a buck so it has to be in perfect condition. If that is the case here we can fix it with stuff other people threw away. IMHO I will overkill the cooling capacity of any of my vehicles. As long as you can provide the power requirements of electric fans, more is always better...but fix everything else first....jumps off the soap box.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Throwing in my 2 cents. Does the radiator have a fan shroud? I had one that had a shroud removed and it always ran hot. Did some searching and found the correct one and installed it. Temps. dropped 20 degrees and never overheated again.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:57 AM   #15
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Probably a silly question, But couldnt you also put an air scoop on the radiator to help direct air into it?
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:51 PM   #16
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Originally Posted by Sojakai
Probably a silly question, But couldnt you also put an air scoop on the radiator to help direct air into it?
Sure, as long as vehicle speeds are sufficient to move enough air and you aren't too wide legally. Fans are most important when the vehicle is moving slowly which is often caused by high load for us. Of course he needs to make sure there isn't an underlying problem with the base system before he goes on modificating (that's modifying and fabricating).
Skooling state at a time...
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Nick Russell had an MCI highway coach. I'm not sure were the radiator is on an MCI (he sold it earlier this month, by the way) but on our Eagle 05 it was on the side. Many coach owners have the mister system added onto their radiators.

Have you checked to see if your radiator is clean? We had to have our radiator in the BB rebuilt while on the way out to NM. The outfit in TX (great guys) had to resolder the top cap back on. They dumped a lot of old excess solder out along with a pile of sand & rocks. Our bus was used to transport whitewater rafters and we figure they just used river water to add to the radiator. Also someone had, many times in the past, soldered the radiator with out using flux. Even with a new cleaned & repaired radiator, we still built a mister system while parked overnight in Odessa. I had 2 garden kits for drip irrigation systems. We did have to buy new misters at Lowes (and added to the bus while parked at Lowes). Luckily we had packed everything we owned into the bus, so I had an extra 12VDC RV water pump and a 30 gal fresh water holding tank along. We also bought a toggle switch to turn the pump on/off as needed. I'm not sure if it is something we really need. Our bus seems to have governers on it (or the gas pedal is messed up... only moves about 1 to 1 1/2 inches when floored) and the hills combined with the 100F+ temps may have had something to do with it. When we start converting it, we will include a new (less leaky) mister system.

Don't trust a new radiator cap. We had to have the guys in TX replace the brand new one with another new one. We only got a few miles down the road before turning around to take it back to the repair shop. They said it happened all the time.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON
And most would be surprised how common a bad radiator cap is. It's not so much the cap, but the rubber seal. If the system can't hold pressure, it won't hold temperature either....
The repair manuals from 40 years ago showed mechanics testing radiator caps with a hand-held device that had an air pump and a pressure gauge. You screwed the cap on one end, and pumped the handle on the other until the cap started to let off excess pressure, and read the pressure on the gauge.

I've never seen a mechanic use one, and most car mechanics today probably don't even own one. Of course, 40 years ago they had to set the ignition point gap, and there was no connector on each car for a cable from a computer that would tell you what was wrong.
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:47 PM   #19
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Hey, I have and use a radiator cap tester all the time. A radiator cap merely raises the boiling point of the water or coolant. Most water boils at 212degrees
F, but for every pound pressure the water will then boil at 2 degrees higher. A 10 pound pressure cap will allow the bboiling temp of water to boil at
232 degrees. The larger the cooling system, the lower the system pressure. Frank in Idaho
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:14 PM   #20
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You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the info
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