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I don’t think you realize how cold it gets here.
I don't think I want to :D It may just be that at that level of cold (and no real load, i.e. towing or something), the engine just doesn't produce enough waste heat to bring everything up to 180-190 and keep it there. The oil pan and transmission pan are a pretty significant amount of surface area that have direct airflow when you're moving.

Do you still have the front air dam on your truck? It may be worth it to try and rig up a 'winter' air dam that hangs lower to try and keep airflow off the oil pan. Or perhaps even insulate the oil/transmission pans somehow (which apparently can quiet the thing down too).
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Still have the air dam. I have noticed there are a lot of second gen Cummins here in three seasons, but I don’t see many out in the winter. It’s kind of a downer to me. I think I need to move south so I can enjoy it.
 

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Heating the coolant from -36° to 27° requires quite a bit of heat. That's an increase of 63°. That's too cold for me to even begin to fathom. Where is the transmission cooler on those second gens?
 

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Put in new 195 stat, run heater on medium fan rather than high. Could be stuck partly open. Core will warm air better on medium. Plug in block heater at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Truck came out of a 20-25 degree F garage, no need to plug it in. I know lots of thermostats fail and partially close rather than fully. Appreciate the thoughts, but I am not buying that the thermostat is open one bit when the lower hose warms up, but not the upper hose. To go through the lower hose, it has to fight the force of the water pump. The upper hose would warm up quickly if the thermostat was open at all.

Heat moves into colder objects, period. It may feel warmer on medium fan speed, but it won’t be warmer as quickly.
 

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It's going to take forever to warm up at idle even above freezing... below zero is definitely a different animal, and i can see a truck not warming up completely at that temperature, but the radiator should remain cold.

It might get warm in a few spots because of convection/conduction.


If its -34 you might want a full winter front and remove the fan. Blocking the radiator also keeps the wind from blowing the engine and firewall which improves cab heat.
 

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1998 12-valve Quad Cab 4x4, 6-Speed NV5600, PacBrake, Espar Engine Heater
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I saw a YouTube video of a guy in Canada with no cabin heat and not much heat in the upper hose. I can't remember who posted it though; it was not recent. The problem when they finally isolated it was the stock Cummins water pump with a plastic impeller had several blades missing, so it produced little water pressure to circulate the coolant. I think the broken blade debris was later discovered to be down the line making trouble too.
 

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1998 12-valve Quad Cab 4x4, 6-Speed NV5600, PacBrake, Espar Engine Heater
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No flow equals no heat. Have you flushed your entire cooling system in the past few years? Back-flushing your heater core with Prestone Radiator Flush or equivalent will clean out the core and at the same time let you prove to yourself that there is plenty of flow capacity through the core. Again, be sure to flush in reverse with you push flushing agent up the heater outlet to expel any debris via the inlet. If you have a radiator shop near you, they probably have a flushing machine the will circulate flushing agent and really deep-clean it.

I've been fighting heater core problems in my wife's 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee which uses the same heater core P/N (4720008) as the Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500 trucks and covers a wide swath of model years. I have a 1998.0 12-valve Quad cab, so I've paid close attention since my turn is probably coming. The core's coolant passages are small, it doesn't take much to obstruct them. We purchased a new 4720008 OEM Mopar copper/brass heater in November.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Again, newer Cummins pump, not plastic fins, (I think.) When it warms up, that is an easy check, but you would think I would have overheat issues. New heater core. I know they don’t warm up at idle, I took it fifteen miles @50-65 mph after idling 25 minutes. Pyrometer 600 +-. School buses I drove with 5.9’s wouldn’t stay warm idling for over an hour. When I drove on cold mornings, I would drive 4miles and it would heat. I have enlarged the opening for the heater core feed that comes out of the block. Antifreeze is 1 1/2 years now.

Before anyone says it, the blend door is functioning properly.
 

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Try driving at 40-45 so the transmission is out of lock up.

I think you're having the same problem I did but worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I think that unlocked converter clutch would help, but as far as I’m concerned, this truck is worthless for a daily driver here in cold spells. There has to be a way to speed this up. At -30 C the transmission probably needs the heat so I am not bypassing the fluid heater/cooler.

I debated with a control valve to turn it off when warming it up or cycling it. So far I lost the debate with myself.
 

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I think one of those diesel fired engine warmers is going to be your only solution.

Do you plug the truck all the time as well?

I would take my Toyota tacoma if it was that cold to be honest.... unless i had to plow snow or tow something (obviously)
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I do not plug it in. Until the recent cold snap, it gets above freezing every day. Yesterday evening it was 26F. I am sure that would help. It starts easily. Idle is closer to 900.
 

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There's no such thing as 195* thermostat flr a 12v. Its probably the wrong one and not working right.
actually they used the 195, in california, EGRed trucks, i just happen to have one, i did an EGR delete, and went back to a 180
 

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actually they used the 195, in california, EGRed trucks, i just happen to have one,
I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing the Cummins part number. You can find it on Cummins Quickserve if you don't have it handy.
 

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actually they used the 195, in california, EGRed trucks, i just happen to have one, i did an EGR delete, and went back to a 180
My CA truck did not come with a 195 thermostat
 

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I have a 97 12 valve. 344K miles to date. For defrost heat, pull the air conditioner power so that does not run while in defrost mode. On mine it is on left side at the firewall. Next, twice a year I pull the feed lines to the heat core and flush. I do this with a garden hose and a nipple that fits the 1/2" hose. Flush both directions until clean water runs. I highly discourage using an air hose to flush. It puts WAY too much pressure on the core. The water will seal up and flush very well, and at lower pressure. As to blocking radiator, while in Wyo for many years I put a sheet of cardboard in front of the radiator for most of the winter. The truck never ever overheated, even in rather warm days, and keeping some of that brutal cold air out of the engine bay helps with keeping heat in the heater feed lines. BTW, I covered my metal heat lines with pipe insulation, helped a lot. Finally, how long has it been since the radiator was cleaned out? Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Read post: new radiator, heater core.
 

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1998 12-valve Quad Cab 4x4, 6-Speed NV5600, PacBrake, Espar Engine Heater
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I grew up freezing in Minnesota delivering newspapers on icy winter Sunday mornings, so I remember only too well what it felt like delivering the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune at 3 AM to farms in -15 degree cold.

That big 1,100 pound Cummins block takes a lot of BTUs to warm up. Even here in relatively balmy Portland, Oregon, it can dip down to the teens and 20s. I did not enjoy driving to work only to have good heater output just before arriving. I plugged my Dodge in at night, but that got old fast. I bought the Dodge new in November of 1997 in Kellog, Idaho, so the first trip it made was in cold weather. The summer of 1998 I bought and installed an Espar D4 Engine Heater design specifically for the Dodge/Cummins with a built-in calendar and wake-up timer --- wonderful driving off to face the work day in a pre-warmed and toasty cab.

Here are all the things I can suggest to get the engine warmed up, some more costly than others:

1) Install a grill cover with adjustable inlet flaps. A poor-mans's version would be to insert a cardboard panel in front of 7/8ths of the radiator.

2) Install an exhaust brake. I had a Pac-Brake exhaust brake dealer-installed when I bought the truck. Idling with the brake engaged does warm the engine up more quickly.

3) Make a winter-only engine fan. Get a junk yard Cummins fan and remove two pairs of blades. You may not need a fan at all in winter where it is a cold as you are experiencing. You might find a Horton Electric Fan Clutch Kit for sale on eBay (very rare).

4) Install an Espar D5 Diesel Fuel Engine Heater Kit. Some years after I bought my engine heater, Espar upgraded their Dodge/Ram kit to the larger D5 heater. Even if a kit specific for the 1996 is no longer offered, I think they will still sell the wiring harness as a replacement part for your truck that you could use with a general purpose Espar D5 kit.

I think I could find my Espar D4 original Dodge/Cummins install instructions that covered your model year as well. If you decide to go that way, let me know and I will scan what I have to PDF and send it to you or add it to a new post.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Okay, time to kill this thread. No one reads the details anyway. I was in Northern Minnesota for 35 years. We laughed when Minneapolis said it was cold out. In 96 we had -60+- thermometers aren’t accurate that low. My 86 Subaru started without being plugged in.

I have a plan to remedy this: move within a few hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
 
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