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2003 2500hd Overheating While Towing


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#1 skippy7024

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 03:53 PM

I have a 2003 2500HD 6.0 auto trans 2wd. Normal driving the temp stays around 210. I have a 27 ft travel trailer. When towing this the temp climbs up to 230 240. as soon as I pull over, it will cool off fairly quick. I tried to flush the radiator out, it seemed to help a little, but still gets hot. I would go buy a new radiator if I knew it was the problem.

#2 redvett

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:20 PM

I would look for trash between the radiator and condenser and check out the clutch fan.

#3 txab

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:39 PM

Have you towed this load before with this truck? And you had no problems? As stated, check fan clutch. If it's the original clutch, I'd replace it. They get weak with age. Do you have a large enough tranny cooler for the load you're hauling? You can always take the radiator to a rad. shop and have them go through it and clean it out if necessary. You can also get a larger radiator with more rows of tubes.

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#4 skippy7024

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:22 PM

Thanks for the advice. I had already cleaned the radiator and condensor. I also had the radiator flushed. I went ahead and put a new clutch fan on it. I took it out today and had the same problem, but I think it is a little better than before. Gets up to 230 going up any type of grade on the highway, but then cools down to 210 - 215. I have never used this truck to tow my camper with. This is a 2500 HD 6.0. It has Tranny cooler, oil cooler and power steering cooler. I assumed it was made for towing. I used a Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3 ltr. to pull this camper before. It never got over 210. I took it to Virginia through the Mountains. I don't care to purchase a new radiator, but I can't believe a truck 6 years old has a bad radiator.

#5 redvett

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:50 PM

Since you have cleaned rad in and out condenser and now clutch fan i would say pump.

Thanks for the advice. I had already cleaned the radiator and condensor. I also had the radiator flushed. I went ahead and put a new clutch fan on it. I took it out today and had the same problem, but I think it is a little better than before. Gets up to 230 going up any type of grade on the highway, but then cools down to 210 - 215. I have never used this truck to tow my camper with. This is a 2500 HD 6.0. It has Tranny cooler, oil cooler and power steering cooler. I assumed it was made for towing. I used a Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3 ltr. to pull this camper before. It never got over 210. I took it to Virginia through the Mountains. I don't care to purchase a new radiator, but I can't believe a truck 6 years old has a bad radiator.



#6 Draenor

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:57 PM

Since you have cleaned rad in and out condenser and now clutch fan i would say pump.

Thanks for the advice. I had already cleaned the radiator and condensor. I also had the radiator flushed. I went ahead and put a new clutch fan on it. I took it out today and had the same problem, but I think it is a little better than before. Gets up to 230 going up any type of grade on the highway, but then cools down to 210 - 215. I have never used this truck to tow my camper with. This is a 2500 HD 6.0. It has Tranny cooler, oil cooler and power steering cooler. I assumed it was made for towing. I used a Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3 ltr. to pull this camper before. It never got over 210. I took it to Virginia through the Mountains. I don't care to purchase a new radiator, but I can't believe a truck 6 years old has a bad radiator.

+1

The fins can corrode to a point they are not circulating the fluid efficiently.

I see its 6yo, but how many miles?


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#7 skippy7024

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:42 AM

It has 130,00 miles. What would be the best way to tell if it has flow. If I let it run without the cap, could I see fluid moving in the reservoir.

#8 Markd

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 01:54 PM

How much does the trailer weigh?

What was the outside temp when you pulled? 95+?

Have you considered an aftermarket trans cooler? Your trans will stay cooler, and your engine coolant wont be heated by the trans fluid in the factory cooler.

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#9 bill190

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 07:21 AM

Basically I do everything you have done, then if that does not work, I spring for a new radiator. I get a larger radiator if I can.

Before doing that, you might want to confirm that your temperature gauge is reading correctly. Usually when these have gone bad on my vehicles (temperature sender older vehicles/ temperature sensor newer vehicles), the temperature reads too low. I suppose it could read too high? Anyway might want to get a thermometer and place it on the engine.

#10 skippy7024

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:42 PM

I am going to take the radiator to a local shop to have checked out. I know I can get a bigger radiator, but this radiator is the same that they use in 1 ton duallies. I would think that if my 1/2 ton pick up could pull this camper without getting hot, a 3/4 ton truck desigened to tow should be able to tow without overheating. Am I crazy for assuming this.

#11 2COR517

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:20 PM

210 sounds high for normal usage. My 97 stays at 180 (according to the non linear gauge. Brilliant) or so and never moves.
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#12 skippy7024

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:44 PM

I agree with you. I would think that it should stay around 185.

#13 skippy7024

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:20 PM

I got radiator back from radiator shop. They found nothing wrong with this radiator. I asked about a new one with more cores, and they told me this radiator is more than enough to keep this truck cool. They think the problem is somewhere else. They don't think a bigger core radiator will fix the problem. Theyt also said that the size of the radiator and the way it is designed that I don't need and external transmission cooler or oil cooler. I guess I can remove the waterpump and look at the fins. Does anyone know of a check ho to see if the waterpump is producing enough flow?

#14 skippy7024

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 03:53 PM

I replaced the thermostat and now it seems to stay just under 210 all the time. Thanks for all the help. I hope this helps somebody else.




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