cooling problems - fan clutch or temp sensors? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:18 PM
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cooling problems - fan clutch or temp sensors?

I have over heating problems!!! I have a 2000 F350 4x4 that i purchased about a year ago. The truck has about 280K miles on it and i have already flushed the cooling system once. I have had no issues until around june of this year i noticed that when i pull my dinky little work trailer (6'X8') it can make the engine temp gauge start to climb slightly when going up a hill. It has not over heated yet, but it is getting worse - this last weekend i was pulling my jet ski's to the lake and i had to have the heater blasting and slow down to about 40 mph while climbing on the freeway (this kept the temp from going into the red area on my stock temp gauge).

Here is what i've already noticed:

The water pump is going bad. I will be replacing it today.... but it only has shown signs of it being bad within the last week.

I also have a hunch that the fan is not working properly because i have never heard it turn on when the truck is working hard or starting to over heat. In fact, i've only heard it do the opposite where i hear the fan kicking in high gear early in the morning when the engine is cold!! Its like its working backwards... it'll turn on and spin hard for the first 3-4 minutes when i start my drive in the morning, and then die down. I can't tell if its the fan clutch or maybe a tempurature sensor? I have tried to spin the fan when it is cold and it seems to have some resistance....


also the A/C condensor looks to be pretty dinged up and i am wondering if it is not allowing proper airflow to the radiator which is behind it.


Like i said i plan on replacing the water pump hopefully today (as i noticed yesterday that it is now having a constant drip) and i will also replace the thermostat. I found a remanufactured water pump from Kragen for $99.... seems like a good deal.

Any suggestions on the fan?

Thanks in advance for your help!

-Ian
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:57 PM
JEL JEL is offline
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Have you checked for cold spots on the radiator? If you drive your truck up to operating temp and the radiator has cold spots when the rest of it is hot, it will probably need to be replaced. Also, it's possible it is just the temperature gauge/sender itself, these trucks aren't known for overheating too often.

As far as the fan clutch goes, what you're getting is normal, it will run for a few seconds or minutes in the morning and then settle down and operate as needed, but it's still very possible that is dead as well.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:29 AM
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Okay thanks for the advice - i have not checked for cold spots.... where should i check (and how?? isnt it hot??) sorry for the stupid questions. Also - i replaced the water pump and thermostat yesterday and that seemed to fix the coolant leak (it also seems to do better running the heater).

Also you said "it's possible it is just the temperature gauge/sender itself, these trucks aren't known for overheating too often" and i agree with you, so i wanted to know if there is anyway to check before replacing? will a computer diagnostic tool catch it if it is not working properly?

And for the fan clutch... just to make sure i am testing it properly - when its cold i should try to turn the fan by hand and it should spin with some resistance. when its hot it should not spin or have strong resistance, right?

thanks again for your help!


Ian
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:20 PM
JEL JEL is offline
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I'm not sure if that coolant temp is monitored by the PCM, so I don't know if a bad sensor of gauge would show up on a scan, but someone here is sure to know. As far as teh fan goes, it should have a decent amount of resistance turning by hand, but there's a more elaborate way to test the clutch floating around on the forum somewhere, I wasn't able to find it though. I would also check for air in the system, try bleeding it with the cap open and the truck hot (with the heater going on max temp) and see if bubbles surface.

My buddie's Mercedes diesel had a bad radiator and it had a bunch of cold spots on it, just get it up to temp and shut down, then if you have an IR gun it would be easier, but if not just put some thin doctor's gloves on and feel around to ensure there aren't any cold spots, especially up top.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:17 PM
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Also could be your thermostat? May be a good time to increase to a 203, but if you would do that be sure that you get a new thermostat housing. I would more than likely believe that its your water pump. The normal way that a fan clutch goes out would be that its operating ALL the time, no matter the RPM, or not at all, but the morning part of it is normal. I would use an IR gun to check for hot-spots and cold spots as well on the radiator. The airflow to your radiator shouldn't be too off...considering you are traveling 40 MPH+...just stick your head out the window open your mouth and close your teeth...you still get dry mouth lol but thats just an analogy of how it shouldn't make that big of a difference. Anyways give those things a check...also to check the thermostat...check the coolant hoses...you can feel it once its reached operating temp that the pressure will release slightly.

~Phil
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:46 PM
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okay thanks guys! Definitely helpful information! So the truck seems to be doing much better, and i plan on picking up a cheap IR gun when find one to test for cold spots on the radiator. I replaced the thermostat... although i didnt go to the 203. i just put in the standard temp one (what ever temp that may be im not sure!). the hoses feel fine. So, glad to say i think its a done deal!

On a side note - i've noticed over the last year that the steering in the truck has become pretty loose. it seems to get gradually worse, and its at the point that i can turn the wheel a good 2 inches while driving without any reaction with the truck turning. It's a bit of a safety issue i think... Is there anything i can check or tighten up? do i need a new steering box? if so, you guys recommend any brands? thanks again


Ian
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cooling system, fan, fan clutch, water pump

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