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Old 09-16-2021, 07:25 AM   #1
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2016 26' Flying Cloud
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Ram 1500 overheating in mountains

Perhaps your experience can help me, please.
TV: Ram 1500, 5.7 liter gas, 2016, 100k miles and recent oil change. 8 spd
AS: 2016 26U, about 22k miles of towing

I70 Dumont to Leadville, CO, 70 and sunny

I was manually downshifting downhill and letting auto manage uphill as I have done before. I’ve done about 3k of mountain driving before but perhaps not as much continuous and long up and down. There was some heavy traffic and I was going up at 55-60 at some points.
Note: two mode for trans engaged.

After 30 minute stop at Dumont it slipped into “engine safe” mode with max speed of 45 mph.
Coolant: 215
Trans: 194
Oil: 230
Stopped for an hour
Cool: 188
T: 161
O: 174
Resumed and temps started climbing. The problem seems to be that the engine seems to be overreving, hitting 4K rpm, not shifting. Cool and trans temps were stable but Oil would climb above 240.
By managing speed to keep rpms <2500 I could keep oil temp <230. Made it to Leadville.
Friend here suggests I have to manually shift down AND uphill.
Questions:
Is something wrong with vehicle or do I just need to drive slower?
Manually shift (and at what rpms)?
Do I need to get new
Oil
Tranny fluid
Because I cooked them?
Thanks
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:07 AM   #2
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I have a 2019 RAM 1500 5.7 pulling a 25 FB Flying Cloud, I let Tow/Haul do all of the shifting. We have been to Glacier twice with no problems.



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Old 09-16-2021, 08:12 AM   #3
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I agree with shifting manually on both up and down. Trying to maintain 50-60 on uphill sections means staying in lower gears too long.
Pull the dipstick and give it the sniff test. Burnt? perhaps not.

Going back 2 RV's for me I had a MH based on the Ford chassis with the V-10.
In the mountains and higher elevations I would be doing 25 mph at 4500 rpm and could not go faster. I even checked to see if I set the emergency brake by accident. Not enough air, plus a steep incline all add to heat.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:13 AM   #4
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Yes, you probably need to change oil and transmission fluid (hubby says). We do not use cruise control in mountains, and manually shift going up and down steep grades. We always tow in tow /haul mode. Maybe slow down if the grade is steep going up. Keeping up with traffic is not a goal for us. We have a 2018 Ram 1500 towing a 31 ft 1972 AS weighing about 6500lb.


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Old 09-16-2021, 08:18 AM   #5
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Did it provide an engine code? If so, what?

210 is a normal engine temp....215....meh...

The oil temp is probably the signal here....do you have an oil cooler i.e. max tow package?

240 is high for oil, it should sit around 180-200 all things being equal.

If the oil level was ok, what was the pressure?

My yukon has a dual rate oil pump, anything over 3k RPM, it pushes oil pressure from around 30PSI to 50PSI....does yours do that....or did it do that?

Lots of questions....but only way to help figure out what the issue could be.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:25 AM   #6
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With 100k on TV I would start with....
A complete transmission & cooling system FLUSH not just fluid change.
Drop tranny pan & inspect.
Check the cooling fan clutch, if it easily spins with engine off it needs to be replaced
Ck your manual for the 'limp mode temps'
On our TV,(Burb) the tranny must reach 280*
Have the vehicle scanned for any fault codes in the powertrain & electronic control module.

Bob
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:59 AM   #7
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Make sure the outside of the radiators are not blocked with bugs and other road debris. I had my rads taken out and cleaned, any could not believe the amount of "stuff" that was in and between them.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittmaster View Post


240 is high for oil, it should sit around 180-200 all things being equal.
I'm not so sure a blanket statement can be made about oil temp. Even on my 20 year old Powerstroke the oil always stays a little hotter than the coolant, usually by 10 degrees or so, in the 220 range. On my Sprinter I routinely see 240-250 oil temps on long grades and 220-230 on flat ground. Synthetic oils can withstand higher temps than the old dino oils and I don't see 240-250 cooking a synthetic oil beyond use. I don't particularly like to see 250 on my oil but on some newer engines I think it's acceptable and designed for it with the proper oils.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WherryWillie View Post


Coolant: 215
Trans: 194
Oil: 230

Do I need to get new
Oil
Tranny fluid
Because I cooked them?
Thanks
I don't think you compromised any of your fluids at those temps, synthetic oil will take a lot more than that, I would probably follow the manufacturer's OCI for "severe duty". As far as the transmission temp, 194 is not hot at all. 250-260 is hot, it can run at 194 all day. It needs to see 170-180 on a regular basis just to eliminate moisture.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:42 AM   #10
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Hi

We are talking about a 2016 truck that has it's computer pitching a warning. I'd bet that computer still thinks dinosaurs rule ... it's never heard of synthetic oil.

Is this normal or is there something wrong?

The 26' FC is a bit heavy. It's going to put a pretty good load on a 1500. Just what the ratings on the truck *are* depends a lot on which packages are or are not present. It also depends on how much "stuff" is in the truck and the trailer. Does it all add up to to much? Without all the info, it's all guesswork on this side of things.

Is 100K miles a lot on that truck? I doubt it. There's always going to be the random this or that come up. Checking the engine and trans / doing a flush / cleaning here and there certainly will not hurt anything. Better to "waste" a couple hundred on a check than to not do it and have something major happen way back deep in the mountains.

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Old 09-16-2021, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

We are talking about a 2016 truck that has it's computer pitching a warning. I'd bet that computer still thinks dinosaurs rule ... it's never heard of synthetic oil.

Is this normal or is there something wrong?

The 26' FC is a bit heavy. It's going to put a pretty good load on a 1500. Just what the ratings on the truck *are* depends a lot on which packages are or are not present. It also depends on how much "stuff" is in the truck and the trailer. Does it all add up to to much? Without all the info, it's all guesswork on this side of things.

Is 100K miles a lot on that truck? I doubt it. There's always going to be the random this or that come up. Checking the engine and trans / doing a flush / cleaning here and there certainly will not hurt anything. Better to "waste" a couple hundred on a check than to not do it and have something major happen way back deep in the mountains.

Bob
Agree with UB...1500 typically has very low Payload number, like Tundras for that size AS. Not sure of your engine issues, but my F150 Echobost also had overheating issues few times towing my 25'ASs.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
I'm not so sure a blanket statement can be made about oil temp. Even on my 20 year old Powerstroke the oil always stays a little hotter than the coolant, usually by 10 degrees or so, in the 220 range. On my Sprinter I routinely see 240-250 oil temps on long grades and 220-230 on flat ground. Synthetic oils can withstand higher temps than the old dino oils and I don't see 240-250 cooking a synthetic oil beyond use. I don't particularly like to see 250 on my oil but on some newer engines I think it's acceptable and designed for it with the proper oils.
It isn't a blanket statement, it's a typical range and certainly not carved in stone...I've been in and out of multiple forums for cars, trucks, you name it....above 240....those numbers are considered on the high side....

Go and buy a transmission temperature gauge ....look at the "majority" of the upper limit.....it is generally around 250-280 (and sure, higher ones too)....I'm not stating that the range I gave is gospel.... just a reference of what most would see and the tracking of what I've personally seen in the white mountains New Hampshire with my rig. YMMV.

For reference:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tran...3B9hzZCZsRedXM
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittmaster View Post
It isn't a blanket statement, it's a typical range and certainly not carved in stone...I've been in and out of multiple forums for cars, trucks, you name it....above 240....those numbers are considered on the high side....

Go and buy a transmission temperature gauge ....look at the "majority" of the upper limit.....it is generally around 250-280 (and sure, higher ones too)....I'm not stating that the range I gave is gospel.... just a reference of what most would see and the tracking of what I've personally seen in the white mountains New Hampshire with my rig. YMMV.

For reference:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tran...3B9hzZCZsRedXM
I think we are talking about 2 different things, I was referring to motor oil temps. Certainly 240 is too high to run an automatic transmission for an extended length of time, at least any automatic that I know of. I get nervous when I see transmission temps go over 200.
Incidentally a transmission engineer over on the Powerstroke forum recommends using a synthetic transmission fluid for towing such as Mobil1 as it handles the heat better. It won't make the transmission perform any better but it will not break down from heat as quickly as normal fluid.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:31 AM   #14
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Here is a very interesting Motortrend article on engine oil temps. Note where he states 220F is needed to burn off deposits and moisture, and where conventional oil can withstand 250F while a synthetic can withstand in excess of 300F (sump temps). Yes these are racing cars but a lot of us who tow/haul with smaller engines subject them to similar conditions.

https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/en...l-temperature/

The thing to understand is when you tow heavy, especially with a smaller diesel or a gas engine you cannot follow the ordinary service intervals, you should adhere to the severe duty service intervals if you are counting on longevity and dependability.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:42 AM   #15
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Here is another good one: https://www.verus-engineering.com/bl...deeper-look-29

To the OP, it is important to note that when fluid temps in the engine and transmission are elevated the worst thing you can do is shut down. Once you shut down all cooling ability is lost and heat soak will take over and temps will rise further which may be the reason your truck went into safe mode after your 30 minute stop. Before shutting down it is important to let things cool down while you idle/high idle.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:25 PM   #16
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Never had a problem with my truck until this summer. Turns out the gasket on the radiator cap was not like new! Lucky for me it was a cheap fix.
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
I think we are talking about 2 different things, I was referring to motor oil temps. Certainly 240 is too high to run an automatic transmission for an extended length of time, at least any automatic that I know of. I get nervous when I see transmission temps go over 200.
Incidentally a transmission engineer over on the Powerstroke forum recommends using a synthetic transmission fluid for towing such as Mobil1 as it handles the heat better. It won't make the transmission perform any better but it will not break down from heat as quickly as normal fluid.
Back in '06 it was close but doable, the newer with more speeds have a lot more stuff inside possibly less fluid to cool things down? Both our Burbs had/have OEM tranny coolers.
an external filter is a good way to help out.

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The aftermarket filter & gauge were on our '95 Burb. The filter was quite long and added about a qt.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:40 PM   #18
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Ram 1500 Overhear

I have a 2019 Ram 1500 pulling a 27FCFB. In hot weather, climbing, I see those types of numbers, never had a problem, Typically see oil temps at 240+-, trans tempts 170 -190, I think there is something else going on with your TV ? Climbing steep grades I usually try to maintain 3600 RPM which keeps me at about 55mph
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:57 PM   #19
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If you have never flushed the transmission, now is the time to do it.
I'm used to pulling with an undersized engine and I never try to maintain speed on long hills. Give your equipment a break. 4500+ rpm is a bit high for extended run under load if you can in fact hold 55 mph.
My worst run was Sandstone mountain in West VA. ...5 Miles in 1st gear at maybe 30-35 mph. Figured with all the tough run before that in VA and PA, my tranny and or the fluid might be toast but my mechanic said they didn't see anything wrong with the fluid and did not need to install the filter. I always flush at 50,000 Km intervals and the truck had an add-on 22,000 BTU cooler on the transmission.
I have been told anything over 200 temp on transmission fluid means a flush, especially if it happens for an extended time.
Gave this truck to my daughter at 286,000 km. She will run it for at least another 5 years in Toronto traffic.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:26 AM   #20
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Absence of internet, not gratitude accounts for my tardy response.
I got oil changed, but cannot get it in for flush or fan clutch (never thought of that, it does spin).
We will head down from Leadville to Denver Monday, taking it slow.
Thanks for your interest and help.
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