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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '93 Dodge D250, 5 speed and just recently pulled a gooseneck RV trailer that weights about 7400 pounds. My gross combined weight was 13,500. The trailer pulled real well between 60 and 65mph, but I was concerned about my water temperature. Towing in overdrive, the gauge (Cl..l l l l..lH) was reading at the 4th (red) mark out of 6, slightly hotter the midway. And I was wondering if this is normal for towing or if that may me too hot for sustained towing. Also, the outside air temp was between 20 & 50 degrees at the time. Thanks in advance.
 

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Mine gains a half mark with 12k hooked up at 62 mph on the flat. If you have an auto trans you need a transmission oiltemp gauge. I would use it first to verify the dash temp gauge before installing it on the front cooler line.

The highest probability is stuff in the front of the radiator or the condenser. Can you hear the fan start? What place on the gauge does it start? Is the thermostat consistent in warmup time?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Mine gains a half mark with 12k hooked up at 62 mph on the flat. If you have an auto trans you need a transmission oiltemp gauge. I would use it first to verify the dash temp gauge before installing it on the front cooler line.

The highest probability is stuff in the front of the radiator or the condenser. Can you hear the fan start? What place on the gauge does it start? Is the thermostat consistent in warmup time?
Thanks for the reply keydl. I have a 5 speed manual with 3:54 rear axle ratio and 235/85/16 tires. Only the a/c condenser and inter-cooler is in front of the radiator. When driving without a trailer, the temp gauge is generally between the 3 and 3 1/4 mark. The fan kicks on just shy of the 5th mark on the gauge, and the only time I've ever heard it kick in is when pulling this trailer through the rocky mountains. Once I'm on level ground, the gauge settles down to the 4th mark and pretty much stays there. The thermostat is very consistent during warm-up time

My problem is, I have no real idea of what the actual temperature is at the different hash marks on the gauge. Maybe I should hook up a real temperature gauge, with numbers instead of hash marks. If your gauge goes up one full hash mark when towing, then perhaps I'm OK.
 

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If you want an actual temp the noncontact thermometers start at $20, electric temp gauges about $25. With 2 sensors and a switch you could keep track of trans and differential after using one to check the dash temp.
 

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The dash is variable but generally consistant on a vehicle. A noncontact thermometer starts at $20 or an electric gauge at $25 - with 2 sensors it could read the trans and the diff.

Pulling the radiator and intercooler and washing all from the back is a normal maint, it gets the bug parts out of the middle. Easy to brush them off the front. Over half blocked is common, the pattern of the water coming through is a good check to see if the rad is plugged, if it is the condenser and intercooler are also plugged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the idea of the 2 sensor gauge. Knowing the trans and diff temps could be a great early warning method used to prevent big $$$ problems down the road. Thanks for that. NAPA here I come.

To clean my radiator/condenser coils, I use a condenser acid cleaner that an air conditioner repairman friend told me about. Spray it in both sides, let it work for about five minutes, then wash it out. That cleaner dissolves bugs and loosen dirt for an easy washout with water. Much easier than removing the radiator. I do that on every vehicle about once ever 2 years.
 
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