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Old 09-09-2014, 11:18 AM   #11
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I've seen multiple posts on GM forums about the fan clutches on the early 2500's going bad. While mine seems to cool OK at higher temps, the a/c won't blow cold air at idle and a few people claim a bad fan clutch also causes this...I've been looking at replacing mine with a Hayen clutch.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:55 AM   #12
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This might seem a bit obvious, but in your list mods did you do anything like add a billet insert in the stock grill for aesthetics?

If so maybe the slight reduction in airflow is catching up to the radiator/transmission cooler when that truck is working on hot days.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #13
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Also it's possible that your thermostat is sticking. Maybe put a 185 in there.
No! Don't put in a 185! That may work fine while towing but it will be the death of your catalytic convertor in normal driving. Running cool will cause the PCM to run the engine rich and eventually melt the insides of the CATs. It doesn't necessarily throw a code when all this is happening either. I know, been there, done that.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:08 PM   #14
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I am an ASE cert. tech. Like I said before. Radiators get plugged up over time. Have it checked out. One easy way to tell is to measure the temperatures of the radiator from top to bottom with a infrared laser thermometer. Usually one or more coils will be colder than the rest. This indicates that it is all or partially blocked by sediment and corrosion. It sounds like you didn't notice a problem until the engine started putting out more heat due to your performance upgrades. If you do replace the radiator it wouldn't hurt to upgrade to a slightly larger model if you can find one that will fit. Always change out the thermostat when you do a radiator job. It is a cheap part. You may also be able to send the radiator out for service if it isn't to bad. Like everyone has pointed out, there are many possibilities. What I am suggesting is the most probable due to the age of the vehicle assuming everything else is working properly.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the responses guys...I don't mind the simple suggestions. The t-stat is new along with the water pump and I'm running electric fans. I looked last night and it appears that there are plenty of bug guts building up so I'm gonna buy a can of coil cleaner and clean it out again. I also found a quick way to dump some of the heat build up quickly after those long hills...dial the interior heating up to about 1/2 with the windows slightly open. I did that when I saw the temp hit 230 and within 45 secs the temps dropped to 213...of course this is a little uncomfortable for a few minutes but it works in a pinch.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:56 AM   #16
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I am an ASE cert. tech. Like I said before. Radiators get plugged up over time. Have it checked out. One easy way to tell is to measure the temperatures of the radiator from top to bottom with a infrared laser thermometer. Usually one or more coils will be colder than the rest. This indicates that it is all or partially blocked by sediment and corrosion. It sounds like you didn't notice a problem until the engine started putting out more heat due to your performance upgrades. If you do replace the radiator it wouldn't hurt to upgrade to a slightly larger model if you can find one that will fit. Always change out the thermostat when you do a radiator job. It is a cheap part. You may also be able to send the radiator out for service if it isn't to bad. Like everyone has pointed out, there are many possibilities. What I am suggesting is the most probable due to the age of the vehicle assuming everything else is working properly.
I've seen many with well over 200,000 miles still have the OE radiator. It wasn't so common, IMO, for the trucks to plug up. A 3.1, 3.8, 4.3, and 5.7you could plan on it, espicially if it still had "deathcool" in it, but not the new gen. Fan clutches were far more a problem from my experiance, however, knowing what we know now, that does not apply to this problem and you may be onto something...


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Thanks for all the responses guys...I don't mind the simple suggestions. The t-stat is new along with the water pump and I'm running electric fans. I looked last night and it appears that there are plenty of bug guts building up so I'm gonna buy a can of coil cleaner and clean it out again. I also found a quick way to dump some of the heat build up quickly after those long hills...dial the interior heating up to about 1/2 with the windows slightly open. I did that when I saw the temp hit 230 and within 45 secs the temps dropped to 213...of course this is a little uncomfortable for a few minutes but it works in a pinch.
I wondered if you had already upgraded. I saw you had an electric fan on the trans cooler, but you didn't say one way or the other until this post about the electric radiator fans. Are they turning on when their supposed to? I think you are on the right path with cleaning the exterior of the radiator (its not going to hurt it any), but you may be looking at a replacement as said above. Again, its not real common in that generation truck IMO, but possible it is getting plugged up, espicially if when you changed the heads, you disrupted build up in the coolant passages of the block and it made it back to the radiator.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:15 AM   #17
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This might seem a bit obvious, but in your list mods did you do anything like add a billet insert in the stock grill for aesthetics?

If so maybe the slight reduction in airflow is catching up to the radiator/transmission cooler when that truck is working on hot days.
No billet grille insert...but the larger trans cooler does put more heat into the radiator/AC condenser. No way to avoid that unless I move it. I'm also using the 4 air inlet slots in the bumper to scoop intake air whereas before (stock) that air was deflected up to the cooler/radiator. Yes, I did build a custom CAI with a ram affect using the bumper slots all ducted to the air cleaner box and sealed to build pressure.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:56 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Plowtoy;232572]As an ASE certified mechanic and working at a GM dealership when your truck came out, and seeing many with the same complaint, I will put money on your coolant fan clutch is warn out. When this happens, the fan cannot get up to speed to cool the antifreese in the radiator enough to bring temps down to "normal". QUOTE]

I read this and dismissed it at first since I have electric fans now...but 2 years ago I got rid of the belt driven fan for this exact reason.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #19
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I'm interested in seeing how the Amsoil coolant boost works out...but I'm thinking of upgrading e-fans also.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=bbrown;232943]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowtoy View Post
As an ASE certified mechanic and working at a GM dealership when your truck came out, and seeing many with the same complaint, I will put money on your coolant fan clutch is warn out. When this happens, the fan cannot get up to speed to cool the antifreese in the radiator enough to bring temps down to "normal". QUOTE]

I read this and dismissed it at first since I have electric fans now...but 2 years ago I got rid of the belt driven fan for this exact reason.
I really struggle with adding aftermarket performance stuff to any vehicle. In fact, both of our vehicles drivetrains are bone stock. Vehicle manufactures spend lots and lots of money on R&D to get these things right, then some aftermarket company think they can make it better. Although many times they do deliver on their promise of more ponies, it comes with more than just the cost up front to the consumer, which I think you are starting to experiance... I hope it all works out for you. Again, I think you are on the right path by cleaning the radiator, but if that doesn't take care of it, most likely you will be replacing it or pulling your hair out trying to figure out the higher temps.
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