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Occupant Ilied Industries
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Drove my wife's truck (2000 Durango, 318, 2WD) a few days ago and everything was fine as far as the temp gauge. We have about 6 months on the radiator, 11 months on a used engine, 11 months on the upper hose set and thermostat with cap and tee. We haven't had heat all winter so far and I assumed a clogged heater core, but it never ran hot so we went with it.

Well two days ago I get in the truck and start driving to town. Within 4 miles the "Check Gauges" light was on and the temp was pegged. I shut it down, waited on the shoulder for it to cool below 210, and checked under the hood. The upper hose was so hard I couldn't squeeze it and it was VERY hot. I then drove back to town. Temp was pegged by the city limit sign so I shut it down again and coasted into town, past the liquor store, and coasted all the way to in front of the house. Haven't moved or started it since.

Upon checking the coolant the next morning, it's clean, it's got good green color, specific gravity tests to 1.050 (about 40% concentration), the overflow is half full, and the upper hose is bone dry. Cap seems to seal good as there was quite a vacuum when I took the cap off. Oil is clean and dark amber, no milkiness. Coolant shows no signs of oil. Neither fluid catches fire so no gas dilution.

If the upper hose was getting that hard, does this mean the thermostat's stuck or the water pump isn't pumping?
 

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The heater core bypasses the thermostat to maintain some coolant flow. If it is plugged (fully or mostly), and the thermostat was stuck closed the pump would indeed build very high pressure since there would be very little to no flow. That would also explain the overheating.

Replace the thermostat, that's the cheapest part to try anyway.

With that much pressure building you may be close to blowing out your radiator. Even after the thermostat is replaced this will be the case every time it is started until the engine warms up . If the heater core seems useless and is possibly plugged I'd suggest purchasing a male to male hose barb and bypass the heatercore by connecting the hoses together that are going to the core inlet and outlet. This will relieve the backpressure until you decide to replace the heater core.
 

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Occupant Ilied Industries
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thermostat swapped. System filled.

Still does the same dang thing.

But at idle, it'll run at 190-200 forever without heating up. As soon as you put it in gear and get going, it starts heating up. Mechanic tells me he thinks the impeller is slipping on the water pump driveshaft. Sounds feasible to me if it's press-on. It might LOOK like it's spinning, but it's not spinning MUCH under load.

Water pump should be off by now but mechanic left the shop without telling me anything so it'll be morning before I know.

I'm not...uh...allowed to work on the wife's truck. Not because I'm unable to, but because it's HER truck and she wants a PROFESSIONAL to sue if something goes wrong. If I break her truck, it would be a big problem.

I've broken vehicles before (I've fixed them too) so she doesn't want me messing with it. She did let me do brakes on an Intrepid once. And I took an alternator off her Taurus, but when the belt tensioner wouldn't budge during reinstallation, she made us get a mechanic to fix it. Since she got this truck, the most I've been able to do is plugs/wires and topping off fluids.

But as far as this problem goes, there's 2 possibilities. One, the water pump is shot. Two, the lower radiator hose is collapsing under load. Mechanic wasn't able to make the lower hose collapse under shop conditions. So he's pulling the water pump first.
 

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If you can do the work yourself, why pay a mechanic to do it?

If you are unsure of how to do the repair and feel more comfortable letting a mechanic do it, then so be it, but sending it in for simple repairs when you can save some cash and do them yourself wouldn't fly in my house. Not knocking ya at all, just my .02..............

Keep us posted on what the issue is - hopefully it is the water pump and a new one will have you up and running.
 

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I drive with two feet
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If you can do the work yourself, why pay a mechanic to do it?
It sounds like occupant's wife wants a throat to choke if something isn't done right. She's willing to pay someone to be that person, and I'm sure occupant doesn't want to be that person should something go wrong...
 

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It sounds like occupant's wife wants a throat to choke if something isn't done right. She's willing to pay someone to be that person, and I'm sure occupant doesn't want to be that person should something go wrong...
Not knocking his situation - probably a very smart move - I know when my wife gets pissed off at me I sleep with one eye open....lol
 

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If you had vacuum on the cap then you have a bad cap that isn't allowing coolant to be pulled back into the cooling system from the reservoir or the hose to the overflow reservoir is plugged. Not saying that is your main problem but it could be. If your mechanic is pulling the water pump to check it then you need to find a new mechanic cause this ones a moron. And before you go any further and start throwing money at this thing you need to do a chemical block check to see if the head gaskets are ok. These engines do not like to be overheated adn it sounds like you have had issues with the coolong system already.
 

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Yep, headgaskets sound bad, and also bad radiator cap since he said there was vacuum on the hose when he pulled the cap. You said the upper hose was bone dry which also points to head gaskets. The coolant has to go somewhere.
 

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Occupant Ilied Industries
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It sounds like occupant's wife wants a throat to choke if something isn't done right. She's willing to pay someone to be that person, and I'm sure occupant doesn't want to be that person should something go wrong...
I didn't want to say exactly that.

*whistles and looks off in the middle distance*

$162.01 later, we have her truck back, and it has more heat but it's still not working right. Was in the 50s today, I should have been able to roast myself out of the truck. Mechanic wants about $250 to do the heater core. I say let him do it. It's her truck, her money, and I can get my own bloody knuckles working on my Torinos.

Then we get to chase down the leak in the A/C come springtime. Again, her truck, her money.

But yeah, the impeller was slipping. You could hold the pulley and spin the impeller like a beanie cap.

Only thing I'm upset about is there's coolant all over under the hood and on the tops of the fenders. There was a puddle trapped in the fan shroud and when he fired it up after filling it, it sprayed everywhere. Now I gotta clean it up so it doesn't attract more flies and bees to our yard.
 

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I didn't want to say exactly that.

*whistles and looks off in the middle distance*

$162.01 later, we have her truck back, and it has more heat but it's still not working right. Was in the 50s today, I should have been able to roast myself out of the truck. Mechanic wants about $250 to do the heater core. I say let him do it. It's her truck, her money, and I can get my own bloody knuckles working on my Torinos.

Then we get to chase down the leak in the A/C come springtime. Again, her truck, her money.

But yeah, the impeller was slipping. You could hold the pulley and spin the impeller like a beanie cap.

Only thing I'm upset about is there's coolant all over under the hood and on the tops of the fenders. There was a puddle trapped in the fan shroud and when he fired it up after filling it, it sprayed everywhere. Now I gotta clean it up so it doesn't attract more flies and bees to our yard.

250 to do the heater core? Let him do it - the whole dash has to come out of it........and make sure you get that quote in writing...........
 

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Try this because I just flushed my Dakota today and it was over heating after I filled it. I poured/filled coolant on the upper hose and closed the cap while there were still coolant in the hose and it stopped over heating.
 
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