Overheating, low coolant, bubbles observed - Dodge Dakota Forum : Custom Dakota Truck Forums
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-14-2017, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Overheating, low coolant, bubbles observed

I have a 2002 Quad Cab, 4.7 with 204,000. Twice in the last year it has overheated. Both times adding more coolant solved the immediate issue and I was unable to reproduce the overheating. Here are my observations:

Both times there was a very full overflow tank. I added coolant to the cap on the top hose from the radiator to the engine. I recently replaced the radiator and the fan clutch. There was no sign of coolant on the ground or under carriage.

I had noticed the last few weeks a smell coming from the engine when I parked. Not your typical engine smell but I could not place the smell until this weekend. I believe it was like steaming coolant smell.
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I borrowed a pressure tester and tested the radiator cap (original cap) and it held pressure at 15 PSI but released at 20 PSI down to 11 PSI. I did a pressure check on a cold engine and it held 15 PSI for two plus minutes.

I warmed up the engine and did another pressure check. It would slowly drop from 15 PSI down to 11 PSI in about two minutes. I must have a small leak that I am guessing hits the exhaust and never drips to the ground.

With the radiator cap off, I start a cold engine and watch the coolant for movement. Once the thermostat opens I see coolant move towards the radiator. It slowly starts to rise up the neck of the radiator neck. Every 20 seconds or so I see 2-3 bubbles.
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I removed excess coolant from the overflow tank so it reads halfway between full and empty. I read that high level of coolant could be a bad radiator cap, but this one tested good.

I decided to add some cooper stop leak to see if that stops the smell on a hot engine. I might try another pressure test after several cycles of running the truck. I will also watch the level of coolant in the overflow tank and if it rises I will try a new radiator cap.

Could I be missing anything else?
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Last edited by adamjohnson; 07-17-2017 at 05:10 AM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-19-2017, 03:37 AM
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Hey, I can ask around as I think somebody on my facebook had this model, maybe they will be more of assistant. Good luck
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