Normal temperature gage range? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Normal temperature gage range?

Hi all,

I was wondering what would be normal behaviour for the temperature gage on a 2001 cummins 24 valve. The needle goes one or two width of the needle over the 190 degree mark on the first or first few cycles of the thermostat before the engine is completely warmed up. Or is it just that the temperature sensor is located in some area that gets more fluctuation in coolant temperature and Dodge didn't bother making the temp gage not show any readings that would cause paranoia in me? Or do I need a new thermostat? 190 would be normal temperature since I live in a cold climate.


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 11:47 AM
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Sounds normal to me. The sensor is on the front of the head and it will stay pretty stead on the gauge because dodge didnt want you to worry about it moving. I ran a mechanical gauge on my 98 and it stayed pretty steady.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 07:27 PM
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My gauge gives me about a 10 degree swing and I consider that normal so yours might be more normal (better) than mine.

Translation: you're good.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 12:08 AM
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That is normal, but make sure the radiator is full of coolant as air will not register on the sensor well. Warm up with cap off and keep filling and then keep coolant in the overflow at proper level. If coolant is rusty run Prestone 3 day flush and change.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 07:48 PM
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I disagree. Cummins and NAPA thermostats hold rock solid in the center of the gauge. Aftermarket thermostats I've bought have fluctuated above and below the center mark. My 00 never drops once it's warmed up unless I turn the engine off and let it cool. This is in mild TN winters but it never goes to the hot side in 95+ summer temps either.

Periodically flush your coolant to avoid electrolysis eating your radiator and more importantly heater core. Measure voltage of the coolant (so says heater core manufacturer) and anything approaching .3V needs changing.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 09:26 PM
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Sometimes they will drop for just a bit after first opening. I have also seen the heater use drop it slightly below that 190 mark. But you are right under normal down the road conditions they should hold pretty steady if full of coolant with no air in it.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I'm sure there is no air in the system and no leaks what so ever. Coolant is clean and the previous owner changed it under 2 years ago when he changed the water pump. I do have a spare gates thermostat at hand though and replacing it doesent seem like a tough ordeal unless somebody went and used RTV on the thermostat housing. I wish I had some kind of ODB2 thingy to read what the computer thinks what the exact engine temperature is.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 02:23 AM
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Thermostat housing uses no gasket or RTV. The thermostat has a grooved rubber gasket that fits around the thermostat that seals both sides. If it is missing coolant can flow around the thermostat. Fix with correct seal on it. They may be available separately. Remember the thermostat is slightly larger diameter that those in the V-8's. Some parts guys give the wrong one. Whenever you buy one listed for Cummins it should have the seal with it. Do not use RTV or gasket.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I changed the thermostat 8 days ago. No RTV on the housing, just popped the old t-stat out and carefully put the new one in with the supplied seal. The result is that the needle range shifted down a bit. It no longer goes above 190F and is maybe a bit more stable. I'm not 100% satisfied with the new thermostat though since it's supposed to be a 190F but it opens before the needle reaches the 190 line. I've read on other sources that it's pretty normal for these engines to have a bit of temperature fluctuation in this kind of cold climate as there is so much cold coolant in the radiator that it is inevitable that the coolant temperature will go down quite a bit when the thermostat opens. But we are still talking about a few degrees, not like throwing a ton of ice on the engine. This thing is pretty invulnerable to any form of winter front too.

So as chadmac said I'm good. But I also want to make sure that I got a properly working thermostat at the same time.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 02:56 AM
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Stop worrying and drive it. There will be times when the heater core and little vent holes in the thermostat it will drop a bit, or even take a minute to close the thermostat.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 05:10 AM
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It sounds like it is working fine. As others have said, just drive it and enjoy, until the next part needs tlc.
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