First post, need some opinions on Coolant issue. - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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First post, need some opinions on Coolant issue.

Hello,

I got my 1990 D350 automatic in April.
I had a ramcharger before and just like dodge in general.

So, I got it for 3500 and the whole front end was tipping over and sagging. first I wanted to make sure it was good mechanically, I had concern because the thermostat gauge would show as if it was over heating sometimes, I never let it go into the 3rd section in the temperature gauge but it would get close, especially up hills or when I used the boost for extended periods over 8 or so psi.

I got it in Alaska and it seems although everyone likes it not one person in the state knew what to do or how to diagnose or has ever worked on one before.(a 1st gen)

So the best powerstroke mechanic I could find replaced the thermostat to one from o'Reilly or napa, replaced my coolant and super assured me my truck was mint mechanically, I did an oil sample too all very clean.
He did mention I have white cakey deposits in my radiator and he recommends replacing.
Truck is stock, get 16-19 downtown seattle. Or 20-24 on the highway.

I ended up rebuilding the whole front end including steering shaft and box etc.
changing all the fluids. With 6 new tires I think I put almost 5500.

Then, on my drive down to AZ I noticed that I would still overheat (which would be more likely if it was hot outside) according to the gauge, the only under the hood indicator is the reservoir would go down a couple inches, when I came down through the big hills from OR to CA and from LA to PHX some big hills and 90f my reservoir almost went empty while "overheating", when I overheat, it will go from the end of the middle section and shoot down the beginning of it very quickly if I let off the boost.

I'm asked a few mechanics and they say not to worry.

Do I have a head gasket issue?
I want to load it a bit and tow on my trip back to AK next year and I seem to need to convince mechanics I had an issue.

Sorry for the long post.
I hope this is a simple fix.


I'd like to put my money in:
60mm compressor fan
New radiator & tran cooler
3200 spring and fuel pin
Larger fuel tank
Oil catch can
Adjust the valve lashings

In the general I like the truck, it just seems have a max speed of 80 if I'm lucky, boost 20-22. Its my first diesel, I like going slow but feeling like all the power runs out around 70-75mph.
Makes me miss my 5.9 ramcharger.

Thank you!!!

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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 05:55 PM
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Welcome,
First off would check the actual temperature with IR heat gun and/or fit a quality temperature gauge.
Next would be the radiator as it has deposits in it.
Any sign of exhaust smoke?
Cheers Steve

86 F350 CC dually, RTO610, 3.32 final gears 93 5.9 (ex F600) basically stock,THD pin, Aftermarket AFC spring, re-set injectors. tuning in progress
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I run very clean, sometimes small smoke cloud when I first start it but usually no smoke.

How would I check the temperature as it only overheats in unique scenarios. I've driven lots of miles in a short time, not losing much oil or coolant, but enough to get me worried.

What about the Max speed being 70-80, that normal?

Should I send the coolant for a sample?
I am trying to see the best option for a radiator upgrade, cant find one better than mine (non plastic) so thinking of just recoring mine?

I'm just worried my head is warped or something like that
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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I should mentioned my coolant is nice and green and always full at the radiator.

My only idea to diagnose this was to pay someone to install a water temp gauge and drive round trip to LA again and see if I can get it to "overheat"

Or not do that, and just put the correct cummins thermostat and upgrade the radiator now.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 06:15 PM
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A decent temperature gauge is an investment in the life of your engine.
A plugged radiator can cause what you are seeing and/or thermostat. There have been issues with non genuine stats.
Do you have a tacho? What RPM are you seeing at 80 MPH?
Cheers Steve

86 F350 CC dually, RTO610, 3.32 final gears 93 5.9 (ex F600) basically stock,THD pin, Aftermarket AFC spring, re-set injectors. tuning in progress
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 06:17 PM
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Couple things jump out to me...

Non Cummins thermostat. Lots of aftermarket ones are known to cause problems.

Kind sounds like you might have a big air pocket in the system. Fortunately theres a bleeder plug top front of the engine. Might not be a bad idea to pull the upper hose off the heater core too.

92 d250 le creampuff, rc auto and stone stock.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 06:22 PM
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I'm going to guess you have steep rear gears...4:10's if your topping out at 70-75 MPH. What is also happening is that your factory governor spring is derating your fuel at about 2300-2500rpm that is why it is falling flat, installing a 3200rpm spring will help with that.

The factory temp gauges are known to be somewhat inaccurate, but it does appear by your description that you are heating up so I would at least do a radiator flush to try and clear out some of the scaling.

1984/93 Dodge Crewcab, W350, 1 Ton SRW, long box, 370K Km's, hydroboost, 366 spring, fuel pin to deep side, 14cm housing, Piston LP, PS IC, Isspro Boost, Pyro and tach, NV4500, 29 spline NP205, 3.54's.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Tha I you for your replies, it's very valuable.

Should I got for higher than 3200 rpm spring?

Am I still in the bushes for head gasket or head issues?

I will plan on shopping around for recoring the radiator and installing a new temp gauge
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks ruderunner and Steve
Maybe I can get a 3 piece cluster for temp rpm and oil pressure installed.
Bis there a thread that shows ideal rmps for various speeds for out engines?

I will to release that air bubble.

Is that a way to check and see if I've over heated?

I'm obviously a bit hung up that, this is my most valuable thing pretty much
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1tondually View Post
Thanks ruderunner and Steve
Maybe I can get a 3 piece cluster for temp rpm and oil pressure installed.
Bis there a thread that shows ideal rmps for various speeds for out engines?

I will to release that air bubble.

Is that a way to check and see if I've over heated?

I'm obviously a bit hung up that, this is my most valuable thing pretty much
It has been said before but the parts house thermostats are no good for these trucks and in my personal experience the employees have zero knowledge and just give the first easiest option on the computer. Hereís what I would do, pull the thermostat out and put everything together without one temporarily and do a good chemical coolant flush (probably multiple bottles since we have a huge capacity system) then put it back together with the correct thermostat from cummins. Donít replace the rad just because of deposits the aftermarket ones are junk if you need a new one get a nice all aluminum one.
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1tondually View Post
Should I got for higher than 3200 rpm spring?
won't do ya any good to go with higher than 3200 rpm spring without some other upgrades, your gearing is the limiting factor, diesels are not high rpm engines they build torque to get more road speed ya gotta trade off pulling/hauling power in trade for road speed increases which means taller gears, a 3200 will help but really needa know what rpm your running at now as increasing rpm is not intended for long range driving... it will help with throttle response alot and give ya a lil lee way to pass cars with but its not gonna get ya doing 100 mph down the interstate for extended periods without running the engine in a dangerous high harmonics range... they have much heavier rotating mass than a gas engine in order to handle the higher compression ratios needed to ignite diesel fuel
These things can cruise all day around 2200 and jump up into 36-3800 for short burst but they are not like a gas engine which can run at higher rpms all day long... I do alot of drag racing with my 93 W250 and regularily hit 120 on the interstate messin with the latest kid in his honda tuner that annoyed me drivin beside me windin up his runaway lawnmower soundin pos....but normally cruise around 2200 at 85 mph since I went from 3.07 gears to 3.54s
My trucks running a 3800 rpm spring but its also had alota work done on it... and my freeway mpg is only 18.4.. thats the trade off for runnin 85 all the time... I live in Tucson az, and this thing runs all summer long pullin an 8,000 lb mobile shop trailer never gets much past the second line on the temp gauge even on 118 degree days
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Myother4x4, alright I will try that.

Yes I'm aware that after market raids are no good, what I have now seems great if I recore it. I just havent been able to find the right aluminum one for a 1990 yet.

Thanks
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