Dodge overheating problem

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#1
Working on a 1995 dodge dakota 318 automatic 2wd. The problem is a overheating issue. I began with the simple things as in a new thermostat and a coolant flush. Had the radiator cleaned at a radiator shop. If you turn on the heater it will blow warm air for a minute then the air feels cool to the touch. As you drive the temp will stay at about 195 for aprox 5 miles then it will climb to about 199 for a couple more miles then it is a slow climb up as you drive. This info is not from the dash gauge but from my code reader pluged in while I drive. The coolant does not surge in the radiator but otherwise it acts much like a bad head gasket. I pulled the heads and found one suspect gasket and had the heads checked at a shop and they were cracked. I bought 2 brand new heads and installed them and still have the same problem. New radiator cap and new water pump also has not resolved the problem. The serp. belt is routed properly so the pump is turning in the correct direction. If the engine is hot and the radiator cap is off while it is running it does not look like the coolant is circulating. Then if you shut the engine off the coolant shoots out of the radiator like old faithfull. I pressure checked the system and do not get any leaks or pressure drop. I have searched the net for anything on the 318 engine as far as cooling system problems go and can not find any thing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

kev2

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#2
from the weird things file

Are you the ORIGIONAAL owner or did you inherit this problem??
waterpump rotation is right BUT is the WP correct? there could be CW and CCW versions...learned hard way
does the lower hose collapse when engine running?
this year is still a mechinical fan??..... they can be bolted to the clutch backwards...
have you tried diferent thermostats......seemingly the aftermarket can FU a simple component...
 
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#3
I inherited this problem. I work on cars at home and this one came to me to fix. It has a new water pump on it and I compared the impellers and they are the same between the two pumps. I even looked at one from NAPA and it has the same impeller direction so I believe the impellers are ok. It has had two new thermostats in it because the owner installed one also. I will double check the fan though because he put a water pump on it some time age and maybe he installed the fan wrong. I checked the air movement from the fan though and it sure feels like it is pulling air from the radiator to the engine but I will double check it again. And no the lower radiator hose does not collapse.
 

kev2

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#4
You inherited it in this condition I would double and triple check everything....especially the obvious

metioning you do not see circulation... I would statr simple for testing remove the thermosat ......coolant should flow, the direction can be checked....t'stat can be confirmed ....
 
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#5
OK this morning I double checked the fan and it is on the clutch properly. I again flushed the system and got nothing but green water. No rust at all. I bypassed the heater core ( grasping at straws ) and same condition. I put my cooling system pressure tester on it when cold and ran it until it was at operating temp and the guage on the pressure tester went up to 17 lbs. I drove the vehicle and it still began to overheat. It doesn't overheat fast but it is a slow climb upward. When I got back the lower hose began to leak. It got a pin hole in it. I am going to remove the thermostat later this afternoon and check it in a pan of water. I might like you suggested leave the stat out and drive it to see what happens. I will let you know.
 

Rick54

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#6
I had same condition a while back,...ended up even though the rad was cleaned by a professional shop...we flushed system at least 3 time and was perfectly clear.....just for laughs I tried a old rad that was sitting behind shop as a last ditch effort.....truck ran great and never heated up again even on extended highway runs

...hacked off the sides of so called flushed and cleaned rad(have bill)...it was about 1/3 plugged.
 

olejb

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#7
Had the same problem about 6 months ago with a Jeep Cherokee. Took my infa-red thermometer to it with the grille out,found
a hot spot in the middle. Flushed with a garden hose and it appeared to flow a lot of water.A new Modyne cured it and was not too expensive.
 
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#9
Well I spent alot of time with the head gaskets before installing the heads. They would only go on one way so I am confident they are correct. Today I removed the thermostat and drove the truck. The heater finally put out great heat but the truck otherwise still acted the same. Gradual increase in temp until it boiled over. It was fairly cool out this morning when I did this. So out of desperation I ordered a new radiator so lets hope Rick54 and olejb are on to something.
 

olds455

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#10
hope you didn't say already but have you shined a light a light through the fins of the rad. May need to back wash all the dirt and bugs out of the rad fins??
 
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#11
Well I got the problem solved!!! I replaced the radiator with a new NAPA radiator and it works like a chsrm now. Thanks to all who responded especially Rick 54 and olejb who help steer me in the rightr direction.