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  #1  
Old 12-13-2009, 03:41 PM
utahpredator_7 utahpredator_7 is offline
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Default How to Improve Cooling?

First post here...I have a 1988 Ranger, 2.9L V6 with 116300 miles on it. I drove it over 120 miles just the other day (highway) and it never heated up at all. It had plenty of coolant in it but I was going up a snowy, crappy hill pushing it pretty hard yesterday, in 3rd gear, 4 low. It got real hot and boiled over both times I tried that hill yesterday even though it was only 10 degrees or so outside. We took my buddy's Tacoma up later and worked the crap out of it for 45 minutes trying to get back on the road after we slid off and it never even heated up. Any suggestions on things I could do to keep it cool when I'm working it hard? Performance radiator maybe? I found a Dillon radiator that's 18x18x2.25, I think the stock one is 18x18x1.25. thanks
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:55 PM
DHEM DHEM is offline
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A bigger rad is what i would try first, you could try to change out the thermostat too, but that might make you truck run pretty cold in winter.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2009, 04:01 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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It's normal for it to run alot hotter than normal at low speeds when the engine is being worked hard. There's no airflowing through the rad to cool it down.

First thing I'd ask is how old is that coolant? Replace the coolant.

2nd: how's that fan clutch doing? is it doing it's job? Maybe replace the fan clutch for good measure.

3rd: look into possibly swapping in a 4.0 radiator. It's a larger, deeper radiator with more passes back and forth to help cool the fluid even more.


Something I'd also suggest is adding an actual temp gauge. And aux temp gauge so you can read the temp more acurately. Some of these engines are totally normal running at 210 all the time.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:19 PM
bagdranger bagdranger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
It's normal for it to run alot hotter than normal at low speeds when the engine is being worked hard. There's no airflowing through the rad to cool it down.

First thing I'd ask is how old is that coolant? Replace the coolant.

2nd: how's that fan clutch doing? is it doing it's job? Maybe replace the fan clutch for good measure.

3rd: look into possibly swapping in a 4.0 radiator. It's a larger, deeper radiator with more passes back and forth to help cool the fluid even more.


Something I'd also suggest is adding an actual temp gauge. And aux temp gauge so you can read the temp more acurately. Some of these engines are totally normal running at 210 all the time.
+1 Def should try the coolant and fan clutch. And if that doesnt help much try about a 180 degree tstat. Be careful and dont let it stay hot long. Those 2.9s are nutorious for head cylinder failure.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2009, 08:07 PM
utahpredator_7 utahpredator_7 is offline
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I knew those motors were notorious for going bad once over-heated so I had to stop and hike the rest of the way up the mountain... Coolant was put in the day before. Like I say we went and got the Tacoma, worked it harder for longer and it had no problems. I'll try a bigger radiator, and maybe a thermostat too. thanks.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2009, 08:22 PM
bagdranger bagdranger is offline
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Try a new fan clutch thats another possibility. I had that problem with my 85. It would overheat on the highway in 100 degree weather. Put a new one on and it stays around 185-190.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:30 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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^^Yeah...I suggested it because it could be in 'neutral' all the time not providing any cooling. It's cheap and pretty easy to replace...and good insurance before you start trying to fit a radiator.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:05 PM
utahpredator_7 utahpredator_7 is offline
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thanks maybe I'll try that first and see if that takes care of the problem. This truck is going to be a major project so I don't mind putting the bigger radiator in it.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:46 AM
jadavis1992 jadavis1992 is offline
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Was the temp. gauge in the red? My 86' would spit out coolant but the temp gauge would read normal so i replaced the radiator cap and it was fine.
That old truck might have nasty stuff in the radiator. i would flush it.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:48 AM
Christo Davids Christo Davids is offline
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1st clean the radiator
2nd - check viscous fan

After that you can look at the cowling, etc. Bigger radiator will help, but if the viscous and cowling is working as it should you will be fine with your current setup
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2009, 11:30 AM
Yrac Yrac is offline
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Flush it and check the fan clutch. Thermostat and cap are also suspects. Your 2.9 shouldn't need anymore radiator than what it's got. (well Utah is kinda hot, maybe)
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2009, 10:49 AM
snakemandingo snakemandingo is offline
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FYI, an easy way to tell if the clutch fan is not working is to run the car until at or above the time the fan clutch should be engaged, shut off the engine and watch the fan. if the fan continues to rotate after the engine is stopped, it will be the fan clutch.

I have removed the fan and clutch altogether and replaced it with an electric fan with an adjustable thermostat from Flex a Lite. Works perfect and cools the engine fast.
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2009, 11:36 AM
bagdranger bagdranger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakemandingo View Post
FYI, an easy way to tell if the clutch fan is not working is to run the car until at or above the time the fan clutch should be engaged, shut off the engine and watch the fan. if the fan continues to rotate after the engine is stopped, it will be the fan clutch.

I have removed the fan and clutch altogether and replaced it with an electric fan with an adjustable thermostat from Flex a Lite. Works perfect and cools the engine fast.
Not to mention a few extra horses. That's my next upgrade.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2009, 10:46 PM
utahpredator_7 utahpredator_7 is offline
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Yeah I checked it out and the fan clutch is most definately bad. Good thing is I know where I can get one for free. I just need to go borrow the tool to get them on/off and I'll be good to go. Thanks for the info
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