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Old 03-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #1
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Overheating 6.0L Diesel

2009 E-350 SMB, RB50, 51k miles, Edge 2 CTS gauges. EGR deleted long ago and coolant filter installed. Life's been good with this van so far until yesterday when temps for coolant, oil and even tranny fluid are way the heck up over normal running temps.

Got an oil change, EGR valve cleaned, front hubs packed then filled with fuel and put in my normal anti-gel additive. Went on a 75 mile round trip for some mountain biking and had a good time. All OK. Yesterday made a run into town and back (20 miles) and noted that my fan came on and coolant was at 216 with oil about the same and tranny (even with tranny cooler) was into the very low 200's as well. Very puzzling as the outside temp here was 59 at the time. These are temps I might see for a bit during hot months climbing long stretches of highway.

We did a 6k road trip over the winter and even with 70's in FL the temps were normal - 196 for coolant and oil and about 190 for the tranny.

Went into town again to pick up a moto tire/wheel and noted how the temps climbed again and 16 - 20 degrees more than what has been the norm since I've owned it in 2016.

Makes me think maybe a stuck thermostat but that would not explain the tranny temps going up as well. When the fan kicked on at 216, it would drop the coolant temp down by 10 and oil followed pretty soon.

I had a hunch last night that our dog and a visiting dog were hanging out under there yesterday watching for rodents and hoping to get one but our dog like to do that anyway just in case something moves he can kill. Looked underneath and was hoping they pulled some sensor wire loose or something but did not see anything hanging loose or anything they might have gotten to.

Shop can't look at it till Monday and it's put us in a bind as wife is ranch sitting till Tuesday and my regular truck got totaled leaving the SMB as a sort of daily driver when I have to get around.

Suggestions?
Bob
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Transmission is still primarily cooled by coolant. The air-to-oil cooler is only supplementary.

I'd suspect the electronic control of the fan is not working (it's PWM controlled, making is variable speed), and it finally kicked on when the thermostatic valve opened.

The electronic clutch does fail from time to time. But since you suspect rodents, definitely good to check the wiring going into the fan clutch first.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:22 AM   #3
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Thanks! I really don't suspect rodents but it's something that our dog looks for and the visiting dog's owner has a SMB as well and parks underneath the van hoping to see something. Other owner just left with his dog and his normal temps on his 6.0 are what I am seeing now. Just really weird that like a switch, the temps all rose by 20 degrees or so.

I will have the shop look at the fan clutch and sensors next week.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:52 AM   #4
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FWIW - Fan clutches can stick. So the first warmish day of the year, it can take a little extra heat to open up for the first time that season. Sometimes they stick enough, the need some persuasion from a BFH. If you're seeing normal temps now, I wouldn't worry much about it.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:13 AM   #5
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I had a water pump go out on my 2004 6.0L and had a similar occurrence. It got noticeably worse quickly. After the water pump removal it was easy to see that the vanes on the impeller had beed rubbing the housing and causing cavitation. If I kept the van at a low speed it would maintain temps ok but as I sped up it would rapidly heat up and the engine fan would kick on as well as a noticeable increase in trans, oil and coolant temps on the scan gauge.

The tell tail sign that it was the pump was that there was play in the fan when pressure was applied by hand to rock it fore and aft (not rotational)
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:25 PM   #6
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Talked to my new to me 6L specialist and described what was going on and he said it's most likely the water pump. Can you say Bulletproofdiesel billet water pump if that is the case? I'll drive it slowly out to his shop about 40 miles away and hope the fan does it's job. Have to trailer my motorbike and make that into a long way back home.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:43 PM   #7
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If your Mechanic decides to address the water pump, you may consider addressing a couple other items at the same time such as Thermostat & Fan clutch.
If you've been concerned with heat issues in the past, and decide to do the thermostat then I would recommend getting the Mishimoto "low temp" thermostat - its really helped my temps.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:34 AM   #8
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Good suggestion on the Mishimoto thermostat now that warmer temps are due. I have one of those on my 'wish list' on Amazon.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:01 PM   #9
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eddyturn:

I had similar running temps for the trips I took during the first two years in our SMB as you have mentioned above. These trips were in the NW in the summer, but there were a few times that the temps went above 210, such as when we were coming out of the Columbia River Gorge on our way from Wyoming to the Seattle area. Then, this past summer when traveling to San Diego and then across to Texas, Missouri, and back, it was very hot, especially in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, which is where we experienced much higher temps at times, but they were all well within the range as noted in some old posts that I copied from the forum here for use on my trip:

Assuming a stock tune and and coolant thermostat.

Engine Coolant Temp (EOT)
under 180* Engine Map is in various warm up or EGR regimes. Explains why you feel more power and trans shifts at lower RPMs above 180*
Around 212* thermostat thinks about opening.
218* thermostat opens fully.
Fan will cycle noticeably above 216* ish BUT depends of other temps, measured load, and A/C pressures.
Fan will fully engage and not cycle above 226*
These temps seem to vary a little depending on van.

On my van I don't become mindful of hot coolant until I'm seeing sustained ECT above 228*. One thing to be aware of when running hard is that it cools down quickly once over the pass, etc. Hottest I've seen 230* for a few minutes.

Engine Oil Temp (EOT)
should be below or 6-10* above ECT
12*or more above ECT I would start to consider a restricted oil cooler.
Rumor has it that a EOT above 236* will shut the motor down.


Trans Temps
If your trans has a thermostat it will open at 160*. Some 5r110's don't have them. You will get a wide array of what is ideal trans temps and where to measure the temps from. My opinion is sustained I'm comfortable with under 200*. My trans (John Wood) with larger cooler and fan lives most of it's life between 164* and 180*. Highest I've seen with this setup is 192*.

Hope this helps
-Eric

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It's really going to vary between vans but here goes anyway:

ECT: 200-225F
EOT: 210-230F
TFT: 200-240F (stock cooler)
TFT: 150-180F (Tru-Cool 40k cooler)

It's really a range depending on ambient temperature, hills, type of driving, and what mods you have. I run a FICM tune and a 80HP PCM tune and a stage 1.5 turbo. If your stock, as long as your EOT-ECT spread is less than 15F your golden. Don't get too worried if your ECT is 220-230F. Diesels like to run hot and the vans run hotter than the trucks. My biggest issue was the tranny getting hot. The above portal thread is a good read.

Hope this helps,
James
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:16 PM   #10
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^^Back then, this info was very helpful for me as well - good share James4 ^^
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