Finicky cooling system - Dakota Durango Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Axeman
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Finicky cooling system *SOLVED*

So, hopefully you guys can give me a hand with a cooling system issue. Well, maybe not an issue, but more of a concern.

I just got this truck a couple months ago Ė love it. Itís a 2003 Durango 4.7 SXT with no rear heater and just under 55k on it. I like to change my coolant in the spring and fall so I can do my 30/70 mix and 50/50 mix respectively. So, after work yesterday I picked up a gallon of G-05, a bottle of water wetter (first time trying it out), and a bunch of distilled water. Here is the procedure I followed for my 30/70 mix, tell me if you find any problems:

1) Wait for truck to cool
2) Open Radiator cap and reserve tank cap
3) Open radiator drain valve and siphon out reserve tank
4) Fill cap and reserve with 100% distilled water
5) Run truck with heater on for 15 minutes, cap off to get rid of air
6) Shut off, wait for truck to cool
7) Open radiator cap and reserve tank cap
8) Open radiator drain valve and siphon out reserve tank
9) Fill cap with 1 gallon of straight antifreeze and water wetter
10) Top off with distilled water
11) Fill reserve tank with distilled water
12) Run truck with heater on for 15 minutes, cap off to get rid of air
13) Seal everything up. Check for leaks. Shut off truck. All done.

Now, Iíll point out a couple observations. First of all, when filling the system back up, I was shocked when the cap only took about 1.5 gallons of fluid. I guess thatís because the drain valve doesnít get all the water out (some still stuck in the block?) Also, while observing the coolant level with the cap off and the heater not running, fluid was actually coming OUT of the cap (slow trickle) instead of going down. With my other cars, I usually have to stand there and top off the system when itís running.

Okay, so the next morning (today) I walk out to the driveway. Being the good car owner I am, I check the coolant level before I start the motor. I open the radiator cap, and nothings there Ė which is expected due to thermal expansion/contraction. So, I get my distilled water for a top off, and the system takes a half gallon. Whoa, thatís a lot for a top off! I check the reserve tank and itís a bit above full. Whatever, weíll see what happens. I start her up and drive 35 highway miles to work. Temp holds at 200-205 (needle at the 10:30 or 11:00) for the whole trip with an ambient temp of about 67. Great!

Now, I park the truck and get out and there is a good leak. Thankfully, itís coming out of the cap as if I overfilled the system Ė but I donít see how thatís possible. Iím new to this truck, and itís large (3.5 gallon) cooling system, so if anyone has any insight on whatís happening, if Iím doing something wrong, and how to fix it, I would really appreciate it.

Sorry for being so wordy, I just want to convey every detail so you guys know whatís going on.

2003 Durango SXT 4.7 V8 | 75,000 mi

Last edited by Axeman; 05-07-2011 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Problem solved
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 07:37 PM
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The 4.7 is different than other engines. You didn't bleed the system after refilling.

Per Dodge:

Fill system using a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water.
Fill coolant reservoir to FULL mark.
Install radiator cap and reservoir cap.
Start engine and run at 3000 RPM for 10 seconds.
Shut engine off.
Remove radiator cap.
Fill radiator to full level.
Install the radiator cap.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AandPDan View Post
The 4.7 is different than other engines. You didn't bleed the system after refilling.

Per Dodge:

Fill system using a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water.
Fill coolant reservoir to FULL mark.
Install radiator cap and reservoir cap.
Start engine and run at 3000 RPM for 10 seconds.
Shut engine off.
Remove radiator cap.
Fill radiator to full level.
Install the radiator cap.
Thanks for the reply, but I still feel like I'm missing something. Where in there is the "bleed" process? Is that running the motor for 10 seconds at 3k? If so, what is bleeding, and where is it bleeding to?

2003 Durango SXT 4.7 V8 | 75,000 mi
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 10:39 PM
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I know, it's a bit of an odd procedure but that's it, the 3000 rpm. It works the water through the system fast enough to get the air out. I've been doing it for 10 years and no problems yet.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Heh, well something better work. I did a hard merge and coolant started spewing out of the cap and cooking off. 5 miles later I get it in the driveway just as the high temp light came on. I guess I dumped a bunch of coolant, not sure yet. Waiting for the rig to cool down so I can take a look.

Prior to the hard merge, it was running great at around 205.

2003 Durango SXT 4.7 V8 | 75,000 mi
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-07-2011, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ha, that did the trick. Thanks for the help, bud. Never thought a simple flush and fill would stump me. You're right, it is an odd procedure.

To anyone looking for a quick how-to on the 4.7 cooling system:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AandPDan View Post
Per Dodge:

Fill system using a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water.
Fill coolant reservoir to FULL mark.
Install radiator cap and reservoir cap.
Start engine and run at 3000 RPM for 10 seconds.
Shut engine off.
Remove radiator cap.
Fill radiator to full level.
Install the radiator cap.
And don't overfill it or your truck will blow its load all over your block.

2003 Durango SXT 4.7 V8 | 75,000 mi
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-07-2011, 04:49 AM
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I thought EVERY car needed "bled" after a flush and fill?!

A lot if newer thermostats have no "bypass hole" and are a perfect seal until they open up from heat. I just did this on my 98 5.2L. Filled w water when I was done. Started and let it idle till the temperate at 205-210. Shut it off and let it sit for a few minutes. By then the thermostat was open and the rest of the air came out. Since it was hot, it was under pressure. Slowly released the pressure by pushing down on cap as I unscrewed it to keep it "sealed" and gently released pressure to let air out, being sure it was just air. Topped it off and let it sit. I drove it 60 miles today and will double check the fluid level, but I had perfect temps on the drive, so if there's any more air, it's not much
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-07-2011, 04:54 AM
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Best thing to use is the pre mixed. Fill, let cool, fill and repeat. You need to bleed the system. Using coolant and distilled water will be so confusing considering not knowing exactly what you are using. You have to burp the system, so premixed is best here.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-07-2011, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70Cuda383 View Post
I thought EVERY car needed "bled" after a flush and fill?!
Oh, yeah, that's not being contested. It's just a question of how. I usually let it bleed by idling with the cap off (as I said in my original post). Seems like the 4.7s like to be rev'd for a few seconds instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel13 View Post
Best thing to use is the pre mixed. Fill, let cool, fill and repeat. You need to bleed the system. Using coolant and distilled water will be so confusing considering not knowing exactly what you are using. You have to burp the system, so premixed is best here.
Heh, NAPA didn't have the pre-mixed stuff in stock. Also, I didn't intend for this to be such a project.

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post #10 of 11 Old 05-07-2011, 05:00 AM
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The 4.7 is stranger than most when bleeding air from the system mainly due to the fact the t-stat is located in the lower rad hose (this is also why it requires a special t-stat) and not the upper hose like everything prior to it.

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post #11 of 11 Old 05-09-2011, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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ACTUALLY, the reason my coolant was boiling out was due to a BHG. It wasn't big enough to produce the white steam from the exhaust or do any real damage, so my mechanic and I decided that a pour-in sealant was the better option than a tear-down. It's all fixed, and I'm running cool again.

Now, I expect to get some flack for not shelling out $1000+ and a couple days to get this fixed properly, but my checking account and I stand by my decision. If it really bothers you, you can donate to my PayPal acct to pay for the repair.

2003 Durango SXT 4.7 V8 | 75,000 mi
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