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Old 08-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
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How hot is too hot?

Hi all. I have a 2005 Journey with a 350 Cat and 3000 Allison trans. Today we went up two very steep mountain passes. It was only about 76 degrees outside. I was in second gear at about 1850-1900rpm. My triptek computer said I had 18-20 pounds of boost. The engine got up to 217 degrees. That seems really really warm to me. So what am I doing wrong?? I wasn't on cruise control, I wasn't trying to floor it up the hill, I was going pretty slow. So how hot is too hot?? Thx
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Radiator

That's pretty close to the boiling point of a 50/50 antifreeze/water mixture. (225F)

Check your radiator for a build up of 'stuff'. If your slobber tube is where cat put it that's probably your problem.

Search 'degreasing radiator' on this site and you'll find lots on how to do it. Same for relocating slobber tube.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Deucenut View Post
Hi all. I have a 2005 Journey with a 350 Cat and 3000 Allison trans. Today we went up two very steep mountain passes. It was only about 76 degrees outside. I was in second gear at about 1850-1900rpm. My triptek computer said I had 18-20 pounds of boost. The engine got up to 217 degrees. That seems really really warm to me. So what am I doing wrong?? I wasn't on cruise control, I wasn't trying to floor it up the hill, I was going pretty slow. So how hot is too hot?? Thx
Two things:
1. You have a rear radiator, have you given the radiator stack a good cleaning? Should be an annual event as the air passing through from the engine compartment, often laden with oil &dust leaves deposits which cut cooling efficiency.
2. Your engine produces max hp at the governed rpm of 2400. When on a long hard pull you should be up closer to that rpm, so 2200 rpm would be a good target. If you are up at that level and the heat continues to climb then you should drop another gear and back out of the throttle. If your radiator is clean, you will reach a point where the temps stabilize with the rpm up over 2200.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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1. give the radiator stack a good cleaning
2. Your engine should be running close to 2200 rpm on long pulls

I agree with these recommendations.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Sorry for the ignorance.......but what is a radiator stack?
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
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The boiling point goes up with pressure, so the 50/50 mix in the radiator probably won't boil (i.e. start to make vapor bubbles) until 235 degrees or so.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Water boils at 212 pressure cap on your rad increases the boiling point by 3 degrees per LB of pressure 7 lb cap boiling point increased by 21 degrees so what ever cap you have and if it is working right see what the real boiling point is for your unit and stay under it Plus most diesel engines the thermostat is set at 195 or so that is not far from 205 anyway
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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That's pretty close to the boiling point of a 50/50 antifreeze/water mixture. (225F).
That boiling point of a 50/50 ethylene glycol/water mixture is at atmospheric pressure. In a cooling system with a 15 psig radiator cap, the boiling point is elevated to 265 degrees F.

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Old 08-02-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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We lost the fan clutch on our unit and I became real familiar with operating temperatures. 217 isn't terrible. I didn't start to worry until it got over 220. If it's a long enough hill we saw that, too. Ambient temperature didn't seem to have as much effect as I thought it would, though.

According to FCC, I should be cleaning the radiator every year. According to the Freightliner dealer that replaced the fan clutch, if the radiator was dirty enough to affect engine performance, he would pull it and dip it. He didn't see how spraying soap and water on it would matter. Just sayin'...
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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Sorry for the ignorance.......but what is a radiator stack?
The entire radiator, charge-air cooler, dash-air conditioner condenser, etc are all sandwiched together to form a stack. That's my understanding anyway. If I'm wrong, at least someone will come along and educate both of us.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #11
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When ours overheated, we cleaned it ourselves. Lots of Simple Green sprayed on the rad, hard to get, to and lots of water. We also extended the slobber tube so it wouldn't spray oil on the rad. Do a search as suggested. Also we saw a rad being cleaned at the factory and they did not take it off, they sprayed it with degreaser and rinsed with lots of water.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #12
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The entire radiator, charge-air cooler, dash-air conditioner condenser, etc are all sandwiched together to form a stack. That's my understanding anyway. If I'm wrong, at least someone will come along and educate both of us.
At least on the rear-radiator Journey (as on my Vectra) I would expect that the dash AC condenser is on the left rear corner of the coach. To the rear of the engine you'll find the charge-air-cooler (CAC, also called the intercooler or aftercooler) and then, an inch or so behind that, the radiator. Air blown by the fan goes through the CAC (which cools the air exiting the turbo charger headed to the engine) and then the radiator (which cools the engine coolant).
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #13
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On most Cat engines, the fan will not come on until 216 degrees. The dash air may kick it on sooner due to the high gas pressure when you are at low speeds, idling and such. The engine thermostat will open at about 194 degrees and close at 184. All temps above 194 the thermostat is wide open, then as temps build up to the 216-217 range the fan will kick on. These engines are designed to run this hot, as that's why the fan will not kick on sooner. I have three C15-625 HP cat engines in semi trucks and this is how they function.
The engine fans rarely kick in at highway speeds, unless you have high ambient temps, long steep grades which make the engines pull hard and raise the coolant temps. Rear radiator RVs may kick on the fans more often due to a more restrictive air flow of the rear type radiator. When we had a Smart cat which had a rear engine, the smart Mercedes engineers mounted the stack in front of the car, stack being radiator, AC condenser and engine fans and the coolant and freon lines ran back to the engine at the rear of the car. The back of a vehicle is not a good place for a radiator, from a engineering standpoint. That's why a side radiator is better then a rear, but not as efficient as a front radiator. 217 degrees is not hot at all for a Cat engine and nothing to worry about. After the hard pull is over temps will come down.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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On most Cat engines, the fan will not come on until 216 degrees. The dash air may kick it on sooner due to the high gas pressure when you are at low speeds, idling and such. The engine thermostat will open at about 194 degrees and close at 184. All temps above 194 the thermostat is wide open, then as temps build up to the 216-217 range the fan will kick on. These engines are designed to run this hot, as that's why the fan will not kick on sooner. I have three C15-625 HP cat engines in semi trucks and this is how they function.
The engine fans rarely kick in at highway speeds, unless you have high ambient temps, long steep grades which make the engines pull hard and raise the coolant temps. Rear radiator RVs may kick on the fans more often due to a more restrictive air flow of the rear type radiator. When we had a Smart cat which had a rear engine, the smart Mercedes engineers mounted the stack in front of the car, stack being radiator, AC condenser and engine fans and the coolant and freon lines ran back to the engine at the rear of the car. The back of a vehicle is not a good place for a radiator, from a engineering standpoint. That's why a side radiator is better then a rear, but not as efficient as a front radiator. 217 degrees is not hot at all for a Cat engine and nothing to worry about. After the hard pull is over temps will come down.
The radiator fan on the C7 in the OP's coach is belt driven without a clutch--the fan is always on.
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