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I just bought this '00 Dakota with a 4.7....now I have a cooling issue.
The vehicle temp will run above the 210 mark and will creep upward. I checked the fan clutch and there was a fair amount of play in it. The fan really didn't seem like it was running at full rpm and the electric fan always seems to be running when the vehicle gets up to running temp.
When I replaced the fan clutch, it made no difference in the temp and now the fan clutch is free-wheeling as long as the electric fan is running. However, when the electric fan cycles off, the fan clutch engages and it runs at engine rpm.
The gentleman that I purchased it from said that it used to run just to the left of the 210 mark but he had noticed it running a little on the hotter side of that so he replaced the thermostat a few weeks ago but it did not correct the problem.
The questions are as follows:
1) Should the electric fan run as much as this one does? I was wondering if it continually running was depriving the engine fan clutch of the heat to make it run properly?
2) I read somewhere that the Dakotas are notorious for plugged radiators. Is this true? If so and I need to replace the radiator, is there a heavier duty one that the stock one can be replaced with?
Thanks for your time.
I like this truck and bought it as a replacement for an Explorer that had a meeting with a 12 pt buck.
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Yep, check the coolant level. I was having the same problem and I kept wondering if I needed to change a sensor or change the thermostat or something and then it occurred to me that I should check the coolant level and sure enough, it was slightly low. Hopefully that's all your problem is too.