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over heating

chayse brooks

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my ranger has been getting hot usually staying between the N and the O on the temp gauge, I feel like this is high especially when its only in the 80s or very low 90s. Today though it got to 105 out and I was taking my truck up a fairly steep hill when it got to the top of the N, I decided to pull over and shut it off for a bit but when I did so the gauge moved from the N to the Hot side of the temp gauge and my truck started to die. I am in need of advice for what could be causing my truck to run hot even on cool days and yes I know 105 is hot and it is to be expected that the truck will get hot. Also one last thing that has me nervous as im selling the truck and have a buyer coming to look at is in a few days is what might be damaged and how should I be checking it. It also didn't blow smoke when I limped it to a safer spot to leave it
 


Big Jim M

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Your engine isn't hot until it blows steam out the overflow! If you think the engine is a bit warmer than usual then do NOT turn it off! Instead run the engine at 2500 rpm and the coolant will circulate out of the radiator and into the engine faster to make you FEEL better!
Big JIm
 

Spott

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What year, model, and engine do you have?

I assume you've checked your coolant levels, and that the water-pump/fan belt is tight and in good shape. If not, start there.

If the truck runs cooler at highway speeds than when idling, you might have a bad cooling fan clutch. With the engine off, try to turn the fan blades by hand. If it spins freely, it's bad. There should be some drag there even when it's cold. Then warm the engine up to the middle of the temperature gauge, shut it off, and immediately try to turn the fan by hand again. It should be extremely hard to turn, almost locked to the shaft.

Of course, this only applies if you have a mechanical fan, but we don't know anything about your vehicle, yet.
 

RonD

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Yes, what year Ranger and what engine?

when engine warms up temp gauge should be just below 1/2 on the temp gauge, N and O don't help ID where the needle is on the temp gauge.

1/2 is 215degF
Engine should operate with light driving between 195 and 210degF, climbing hills or hauling loads should put it at 220-230degF, so just above 1/2, totally normal range.

If it gets up to 3/4(260degF) while driving then you got a problem, pull over.


Like Big Jim said, when your engine is running hot pulling over is good but keep RPMs up so water pump, radiator and fan can cool the engine.
 

Spott

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N and O don't help ID where the needle is on the temp gauge.
Even worse, it's distinctly ambiguous. If you have a horizontal temp gauge, then N and O are at about 30%. If you have a vertical temp gauge, then N and O are at about 80%.
 
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Angie

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hi, go to a parts store and get a $20 temp gauge and turn off the factory gauge for a while and this gives you a true reading. easy to plumb in and easier to be exact for the temp. did you also climb a hill with aircon turned on? this extra drag on an engine will make it run hot. if you are on a road trip climbing hills and see cars p[ulled over, looking hot. my guess 99/100 times it is cuz of running aircon climbing hills on hot days.
 

chayse brooks

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the truck is an 84 with a 2.8 and it has a brand new water pump the coolant levels are where they should be and it has a vertical temp gauge looks like this
H
-
N
O
R
M
-
C
sorry for not being more clear on that, also its a mechanical fan and the fan works as it should.
 

RonD

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2.8l had a head design issue
They developed a hot spot in the heads
Cooling - A simple upgrade to the 2.8L heads is to drill two more water passages in them between where the two exhaust valves are side by side. This helps prevent a local boiling point from forming. Just use a good head gasket that already has the water passage holes in them for a guide, and mark the head and drill two holes. Keep the holes a little smaller than the holes in the head gasket. - Contributed By Ryan Propst
I assume this is a new occurrence and you have had this engine for awhile, so while the above is true and should be done when heads are off, your issue could be another problem.

Next time engine has been driven for awhile, up to operating temp, shut it down.
Then remove fan shroud, push it back and run you hand across and down the rad fins.
You are feeling for cooler spots, these are clogged passages, all rads get them with age, if there are too many then rad can't cool as much coolant so engine will run warmer.
 

chayse brooks

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I do believe that it is my radiator because a few months ago when I bought the truck and replaced the water pump the coolant that was drained to install the pump was full of junk and what not. I want to say that it has gotten clogged up because a few weeks ago it was just fine
 

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