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Solutions for Running Hot on 2500HDs

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by WNY PAT, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31

    OK... so I know this has been talked about before... and many people say not to even worry about it but I hate to see that temp gauge at 230 or 240 degrees a few times each day. Anyway, I'm looking for possible solutions to fix the problem.

    Here's the info I have:

    GM (Dealer) Supplied Parts:

    - two part #s come up for fan clutch in the 2500HD.... they are color coded so you can check which one you have by looking... dealer didn't think there was any difference in the temp they kicked in at... he wasn't sure of the difference between the two though. Anyone know the answer to this? I know one guy (Snowmatt) mentioned he had his replaced by GM and it seemed to fix the problem. My dealer tells me it is operating normally.... whatever...


    So far, I've found one aftermarket fan unit but it is REALLY expensive (about $400). A guy I met just had one installed... I think it is an electric fan (entire unit) (as opposed to just trying to replace the stock fan clutch).

    Apparently, there's no way to adjust when the stock fan clutch kicks in because it is operated by fluid... kicks on when the fluid heats up to a certain temperature. Of course, if air isn't flowing through the radiator... the heat doesn't get to the fan clutch sensor.

    Has anyone else looked into other solutions or heard of any?
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Do not go with an electric fan,they do not move the air(CFM )needed to keep your truck cool in extreme conditions.Even 2 12" fans do not come close to the air your stock fan can pull,then you have the apmerage draw issues,with a plow,and all lights on,you dotn need another 22 amps of draw off an already taxed system.You already tried to get a clutch fan with a lower kick in temp,this is the only option id try.Let it run hot,its normal,my family has run these trucks for 15+ yrs noen fo us has had any damage from it.Your trying to fix what isnt broken,and is normal.If it hits 250 then you need to fix something.keep it simple,dont fix what isnt broken.hey you could always run a flex fan,that would help,but i hate the noise they make,and they rob a lot more power than a clutch type.
  3. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Don't waste your money on the electric fan......i tried that on my 90' and it didn't help one bit.
  4. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    WNY Pat... If your dealer can't find you this "new" fan clutch, call my service manager. He just showed me a piece of paper from a regional service managers meeting where the overheating problem for our trucks was discussed. Maybe we can get the part and ship it to your dealer, or he can call you dealer and help...My dealerships # 847.587.3300, my service manager's name is Mike. He might be able to help. We're a bit north of Chicago along the Wis/Il border.
  5. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31

    Thanks Snowmatt

    Great information.... I'll give Mike a call this week to see if he can help me out....:waving:
  6. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    heard you called my dealership today. my service managers said they gave you all the info they could. hope it was a help
  7. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31



    Yes, the guys there were very helpful and very polite.... not to mention very knowledgeable.... I wish the dealer was located closer to me so I could become a customer.....

    As for where things are now.... I called my dealer and gave them the information your dealer shared with me.... they called the technical assistance line and... of course.... were told that this new part # was a possible fix for running hot on our type of trucks w/ plows. Anyway, I ended up talking with the service manager at my dealer and we were both wondering what the difference was between the two fan clutch units. He went into the parts computer and found that the new (i.e. replacement) unit was the stock unit on trucks without A/C. I don't know if the radiator or cooling fan or something else is different on trucks without A/C.... because I would expect just the opposite (a truck w/ A/C would have a fan clutch that engaged earlier.. cooled better). If anyone knows the answer... let me know.

    Anyway, a big thanks to you, Snomatt, for saving me $$ and aggrivation and providing some great information here! I wish you lived closer... I'd buy you a beer! You'll have to settle for this one -> :drinkup:

    I'm also thinking that after I get the work done (going in today... my dealer had the part overnighted from W. Virginia which was very nice) we should start a new thread of people who had their "running hot" problem solved this way.... I think a lot of guys are just giving up and looking to the aftermarket for a fix.... have a good one!!!
  8. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    I'm all for a thread to help everyone else out. I'm glad we were such a help. At our dealership our owner demands 100% cust. satisfaction, which with everyone else there with the same attitude, it has made us #1 in cust satisfaction for years. I honestly don't know why this fan is different. You're right though, if it's standard on the trucks without ac, well who knows, as long as it is able to solve your problem. I was told that this fan does turn on at an earlier temp, so maybe that's the key. About the beer, maybe one day we'll be in eachother's neck of the woods and I'd be glad to have one with you:drinkup:
  9. Foz

    Foz Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Pat...a NY dealer

    Albee Truck
    Elmira, NY

    GMC dealer, certified for ALL GM models

    talk to Gene or Bill in service

    Thay are the BEST!! Part of the reason I have 5 GMC from Albee!!
  10. ddm

    ddm Member
    Messages: 57

    Let us all know how the fan works out WNY Pat. I have the same running hot problem in my 02 2500 HD. Not when plowing, but driving down the road with the plow on. Unless I'm into a pretty heavy cross wind or head wind if you don't watch it pretty close it'll run right up to the red line. I have a 9-2 Boss V, and doesn't seem to matter in what position it is in or how low to the ground you are driving with it down.
    My last truck was a 98 Chevy 2500 with the plow prep pkg. (bought new) and never ever had this problem with it. If the temp gauge got up to say 220 or so you could hear the fan kick in and bring it right back down. The new HD truck's fan sometimes doesn't at all kick into direct drive, and sometimes around 250-260 it will. Have to be very careful and always watch the temp gauge.

    My solution I thought was to install a flex fan this season. I bought one, but it came through with the wrong adapter/spacer to fit so it's still in the box until I get the right one. But like someone else here mentioned, I'm not real crazy about the wine they make so if GM is addressing the problem I'd like to find out more and if the fix really works.

    Kind of stretching the subject a bit, but where does everyone's trans. temp gauge usually run at when plowing?
    Mine will get up around 200 or so. I really don't know if that's high or about normal for that use. Pulling with the truck it rarely gets beyond 120-130.
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    ddm,your truck has a bad clutch fan,it should come on like your 98 did.On the trans temp 200 is getting hot,230 in the pan is critical temp I call it the point of no return,DO not exceed 230 in the pan unless you are running full synthetic ATF.Even then you will harden the seals which shortens there useful life.Is your factory trans temp sender in the pan or in the cooler line? The cooler line is the best place,IMO.The hot line TC output is where i put all mine.I have hit 210 hot line once with my Dodge,which is like 170 in the pan.It regularly runs about 165-180 hot line,plowing.My GMC regularly runs 210 in the hot line,plowing,and has hit 250 before. 280 is critical in the hot line.If you want to knock your trans temp down a bit,try plowing in low range,watch your trans temp drop after about 10 minutes,you'll probably drop 20-30 degrees of temp.
  12. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31


    Part didn't make it in in time for the dealer to do the work Friday afternoon.... I was plowing anyway. Taking the truck in first thing Monday morning to get it done and will put the plow on Monday afternoon for a test run. I'll keep you guys posted....

    BTW... my trans temp is usually at 200 or a bit less... only once or twice has it inched above the halfway (200) mark... and never by much.
  13. oakhill2000

    oakhill2000 Member
    Messages: 98

    I have a 96 and when I have the plow on the temp goes up and you hear the fan kick in as well. I have a 2002 but won't plow with it until next year. I hope I don't have that problem but I am glad I found this site. It has been very helpfull with alot of things and now I know if I do have a problem what to do. Thanks everyone!
  14. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    Before I had the new fan clutch installed my truck overheated 3 time in one week. Since then the temp doesn't even get past 210, actually stays a bit under. I drive with my blade slightly one way or the other. I try not to go oveer 50 if I don't have to
  15. ddm

    ddm Member
    Messages: 57

    John, thanks a bunch here for the info. I'll check into replacing the clutch fan through the dealer. Just out of warranty now of course! But I'd like to keep the clutch fan in it vs. switching over to the flex fan and it sounds like from others that I should be able to do that and keep things cool.

    I have no idea where the trans temp sender is located. The gauge is in the dash (come stock) and I think this option is included with the trailer tow stuff. But it sounds like from other posts this is where it may run. I usually never use LOW range, but I'll try it once here if we ever get more snow to see what kind of difference it will make. I was just worried that the trans. was also running hotter than it should as a result of the inadequate fan and not cooling.
  16. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31


    Had the new part installed on Monday and took the truck out for a test run.... temp never got above 210 degrees that day. Yesterday, I went out and cleaned up some aprons and pushed some piles around a bit to make room for more snow if we get it. On the way home.... the temp climbed to about 3/4 on the dask gauge and stayed there for a bit. I stopped at a light (I was going about 50 or 55 MPH for about 3 or 4 miles when it started to build heat... plow in V position... pretty much all the way up for the test run) and it cooled right down after I accelerated from the light. Transmission temp was still slightly below 200.

    Last night, I drove the truck to Rochester (about 60 miles away... thruway... 65-70 MPH)... obvioulsy no plow on... and actually the trans temp seemed to run lower than it had in the past... only about 115 - 120 degrees... where it used to be fairly consistent at 150 - 160.... don't know if this was just a strong head wind or something different as a result of the new clutch pulling more air in.... the coolant temp was the same....

    updates to follow.....
  17. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak Member
    Messages: 64

    I have a solution(first check you insurance), get a boat trailer go to nearest boat launch let it roll backwards into water. Problem solved... now its cooler...and you fixed what dealer couldn't after 8 tries. Good luck.
  18. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    LOL. But wait a minute, the water would be frozen by then! :p
  19. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31

    Boat Ramp.... Hummmm

    Yes, the authorities might be a little suspicious... seeing a truck and boat trailer sitting on the ice until June or July when it would actually fall into the unfrozen water.... :eek:

    OK... the temp does seem a bit better with the new part but it is still not completely fixed... better than it was though.... and I'm hoping that at some point..... GM might come up with a fix similar to what Dodge did.... put a different type of oil in the unit so it kicks in at a lower temperature..... or... come up with an electronically controlled unit that kicks in sooner.... we'll see.....
  20. porkhead1

    porkhead1 Member
    Messages: 70

    A clutch-fan depends on air flow thru the radiator to keep the fan turning when the clutch disengages.....giving the engine a few extra horses by not having to "drive" the fan. My "78 Chevy 400smblk had factory air /w a clutch-fan. I replaced the fan with a flex-type fan from a 1970 1/2 Camaro LT1.........never put the clutch-fan back on & never overheated.

    Just my $.02........