2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I was wondering what is the normal operating temp for the 360\318? My truck goes half way between 200, 260. Are these truck suppose to run that hot? I don't have much knowledge on the RAM's but either way i'm mechincally incline. I'm thinking it either bad coolant or a bad thermostat. Fan pulls good and the coolant isn't brown but I think it could be the original coolant. I've pin pointed out those 2 things.
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Our trucks came stock with 195 degree thermostats IIRC. I had a 180 during the winter time, and when I put my stock one back in, it would stick like what yours is doing. Just replace it with a 195, I believe o'reilly's sells one that's 192 degrees with a pinhole in it that actually runs 195.
I live in PA and we don't have an O'Reilly's. I actually thought about going with a 180 degree t-stat. I'll be towing on hot summer days. I have a 180 t-stat on my Neon and it has kept it fairly cool. It is safe to run 180 on a 360?
Thanks for the input fellas. I haven't flushed the system yet. I got the truck in rough shape and I had to address the most important things. I hope I can be able to change the coolant and t-stat before I do my first pull. The coolant doesn't have the brown-ish color to it. But it is on my list to it real soon. Anybody have a part number for the 180 t-stat?
During the winter I kept my 180 degree in my truck and got worse gas mileage because of it. The computer thinks that the truck isn't ever warmed yup and doesn't adjust the air/fuel ratio accordingly until it reaches normal operating temperature (195)
Vehicle: 2007 Ram 1500 4x2 Big Horn aka The Silver Bullet
Location: Norman, Okla-mobile-homa
It wouldn't hurt to get the timing checked. I have battled issues with my truck running hot and argued here with people telling me to install a 180º thermostat that it wouldn't do me any good. It turns out that my truck is running 19.7º advanced timing, meaning it's an issue with the PCM.
Rolling coal is like spending a considerable amount of money to reconfigure your plumbing system so that when you shat in the toilet, it gets sprayed all over your furniture because someone suggested you should use a better-performing furniture polish.
I run the OEM recommened 195 thermostat and it doesn't get near that hot, even in the summer in Texas.
I could be wrong but if the thermostat fails, it fails open meaning coolant will always be running through the system and it will take it longer to heat up.
I encourage you to get this addressed ASAP, meaning before you do any towing. If it's overheating, something is wrong and a cooler thermostat isn't going to fix it. If you don't address it you're risking serious damage.
Set aside a day and do it right. Drain the coolant from the block, flush the system, replace the thermostat and antifreeze (70% antifreeze-30% distilled water), and change the radiator cap. And by flush, i don't mean just run the garden hose through it for a little while. There are better ways but the Prestone Flush should do a good job. If you can work it into the budget, change the hoses (probablly $60) and water pump ($60) while you're at it.
Also, make sure you remove any debris in the radiator fins, that can cause it to run hot.
Seriously, make this a piroirty. I didn't 15 years ago and it was an expensive mistake.
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