1987 Dodge Ram Running hot

Tiny
NIMBIUS11
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 DODGE RAM
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 211,000 MILES
I have a 87 dodge ram 50 2.6L that is running hot. I have replaced the thermostat twice, radiator, fan clutch, sending unit, temp switch, backflushed the whole system. I used a thermal gun to take the temp off the thermostat housing and all around the intake area. The housing reads 208F with the guage 3/4 of the way up getting close to the red. This was just at idle. It doesnt seem to matter much driving or idling. What is the normal temp supposed to be. Im looking at a bad gauge or water pump. Water pump looks fine unless there is an internal problem. What should I do next?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 AT 8:18 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
ANJR
  • MEMBER
Factory gauges are notorisly inaccurate & I'd bet your thermal gauge is telling you the truth. Not sure what the factory thermostat setting is for your particular engine, but it went up to the 205-215 range on everything years ago. Reason being a hotter engine passes emissions tests easier & also, since the system is pressurized, the coolant's boiling point is raised substantially.

If you want to lower the coolant temp, you can get a thermostat set for 180* & I've even used one set @ 160*, but the factory thermostat was most likely a 205 or 210. And the temp should stay the same all the time, winter or summer, idle, city driving or going down the highway - that's what the thermostat is for - to allow the engine to warm up quickly then stay @ the same temp all the time.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Friday, September 18th, 2009 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
NIMBIUS11
  • MEMBER
The stock thermostat is a 195. I have a 180 in there and ordered a 160 to put in. Are you saying you think I have a running hot problem? Im stuck between putting a electric fan in or changing the water pump. I just dont want to waste any more money throwing parts at it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, September 18th, 2009 AT 2:56 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Hi
try this use that thermal gun and check radiator top to bottom. If cool on bottom of radiator then it is full of corrosion lessening coolling.
Thanks for donate
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, September 18th, 2009 AT 3:10 PM
Tiny
ANJR
  • MEMBER
Unless the water pump is leaking, I wouldn't suspect it. Electric fans are great, but the only time I've needed one was for towing in really hot weather, etc. & If the coolant flow isn't up to where it should be, an additional fan would just be a "Band-Aid".

You said you've replaced the radiator (other parts too) & had the whole system backfllushed, so the flow should be good, but corrosion in the engine cooling passages could be the culprit & flushing won't necessarily clean those out properly. Did you get a lot of rust/corrosion during the flush?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, September 18th, 2009 AT 4:29 PM
Tiny
NIMBIUS11
  • MEMBER
Yes, there was a decent amount of rust and the water was brown. I ran a super flush cleaner through first, then backflushed it. I have heard there are drains on the block too but could not find them anywhere. Dont know if that would have made a difference.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, September 18th, 2009 AT 4:40 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides