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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Radiator performance? Life expectancy?

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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 09/09/19 09:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just thought I'd put this out to you guys, since you are all so smart!! [emoticon]

Truck in sig, getting old. 393,500 K on the odometer. (244,509 miles)

I noticed while towing 8000 pounds of trailer in addition to my rack and toolboxes at about 2000 pounds, that it was really easy for the temperature to creep up going up minor grades. It was Saskatchewan in August, pretty warm, but not real hot. Not a lot of serious hills in Sask.

Took it very easy, cruised st about 60 - 63 MPH most of the time, watching the gauges like a hawk. Fan kicked in a few times as the temp gauge crept up.

I don't recall this ever being an issue in the past.

Planning a trip through the Rockies close to the coast of BC in a couple weeks. Some really serious grades to pull on that highway.

I'm wondering what I should expect from my radiator. It is original and has never been touched, flushed or anything.

I wonder what the life expectancy of the rad is....

Further wondering if it could be starting to plug up inside, with reduced flow.

I have always kept the proper mix of Dexcool in it since new.

Any thoughts?


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fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 09/09/19 09:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When was the last time you changed out the anti-freeze? And it's possible the thermostat is losing its ability to open completely, and partially blocking flow.

My 2001 Dodge Cummins was tending to run a bit warmer than in the past. I drained and replaced the anti-freeze and distilled water, and also replace the thermostat. I noticed this summer that the temps seemed to stay down a bit better. Of course it could just be wishful thinking.

OTOH if you been filling your radiator out of the garden hose, you may be due to have some issues. Our water here is so hard, we buy water to make coffee with. YMMV.


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stevemorris

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Posted: 09/10/19 05:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

everything in the cooling system loses efficiency with age
radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, coolant

start with a coolant flush, might as well do the hoses and thermostat during that, there usually easy

radiators do plug up and the fins get damaged, water pump impellers corrode away reducing the pump's flow


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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 09/10/19 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guess I should have considered the water pump too. It is original.

Coolant has been changed last summer when I blew a head gasket.
Hoses were all changed at the same time, as was the thermostat.

Coolant top ups have been very few and far between, it has never really used much. Water here is hard too.

rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 09/10/19 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something many don't think about is the outside of the radiator, gunk and bugs build up on them over time, pull and clean the outside.


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SidecarFlip

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Posted: 09/10/19 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rhagfo wrote:

Something many don't think about is the outside of the radiator, gunk and bugs build up on them over time, pull and clean the outside.


People never give a thought about cleaning the rad. It collects all kinds of junk and it clogs the fins and reduced efficiency. I clean the rads on my farm reactors daily when in the field and my vehicles yearly FROM THE FAN SIDE, not from the front to the back. You can buy a cleaning wand on Amazon but I use compressed air and an extendable blow gun followed by a pressure washer with a wide fan tip installed..

You'll be amazed at how much better the rad cools when it's clean. Just like you body, works better when clean.[emoticon]


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maillemaker

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Posted: 09/10/19 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My RV is 30 years old. I just replaced the radiator last year as I was having an overheat. It started off with slight overheating as you are describing.

When I took the radiator cap off and looked down into the radiator cores, they looked like Yellowstone National Park with mineral deposits all around the core openings and plugging them.

Take off your radiator cap and drain the coolant until you can see your cores (assuming you can with your radiator). Here is what mine looked like:

[image]

It is getting harder and harder to find radiator shops that will rebuild radiators anymore, because it is cheaper to just replace them. But, it is possible to have a radiator "rodded out". This is where they remove the top and bottom of the tank and then run a piece of rod up and down the cores to try and break loose the crud. Better yet, you can "re-core" the radiator, where they unsolder the top and bottom tanks and then solder in an entirely new core.

None of the "mechanic in a bottle" solutions will get rid of mineral deposits.

It's also possible that the fins on your water pump impeller have rusted away so you are no longer getting good coolant flow.


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ajriding

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Posted: 09/10/19 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, your rad is clogging. That has been happening since mile zero.
New ones are cheap. Get a new one, don't ask questions. 300000is a lot of miles on one. These big trucks have really capable radiators, so it can get half clogged and still work fine most of the time.
You can flush it and free up some space, but it is old and other issues with them is they can leak, and you cant flush that issue away.
Get a new one.

Don't mix metals. If heater core is aluminum then get aluminum radiator. If copper then copper…

edbehnke

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Posted: 09/10/19 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

get a replacement and add an electric fan while you are at it.


eddie and sandie
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Posted: 09/10/19 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

......if you have a Duramax you should have a P/A ( plastic/aluminum ) radiator; VERY efficient; not common to plug up internally but rather the airflow plugs up ( high fin count ).... The big issue is that the plastic tanks crack....If it was ME, I’d have every belt, hose, tensioner, thermostat, water pump, ,radiator, etc replaced & stick with OEM thermostat & water pump at a minimum....if you are happy with the truck & don’t really wanna buy a new one.....There’s some good & some bad aftermarket parts out there...I’m on 2nd Duramax and have some experience in the industry....

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