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Old 08-19-2019, 05:29 PM   #1
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1997 Cummins question?

My 1997 Cummins is mechanical so I cannot get readings from a scan gauge. I've never had an overheat light come on (maybe that will not happen with my '97?) I do have the data port (tried a Scan gauge but it would not read) and I believe I have the warning lights in my dash but they have never come on as a warning while driving this coach so not sure if there is a way to get accurate temperature readings with my '97 Cummins? My last trip a couple weeks ago I had temps from 180 to just past the 210 in a combination of 70-95 degree outside temps and allot of mountain driving. These temps were observed by me on my analog temperature dash gauge which I'm sure is not as accurate as the digital readout would be with a scan gauge. My question, is there a way for me to get accurate temperature readings with my older mechanical Cummins while driving and under load, and if so how do I accomplish this?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:21 PM   #2
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The data port is likely for the transmission. I tried to use a Scangauge with our '98, and it would only show voltage.

My thought is to use a non-contact thermometer to get readings near the sender, and compare them to your gauge.

If you really don't trust the gauge...

use an adapter to add a port, and install a go-no go switch and indicator light or buzzer.

or, just replace the sensor and gauge. $50 for a good gauge, $20 for a sensor, and a few bucks for 40 feet of wire!

Matt B
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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If your gauges sweep from cold start to fully warmed up they are working as they should. 210 deg isn't hot in terms of overheating as long as they drop on the backside of a long pull. On a long 7 mile 6% grade my Temp rises to 210 + Oil Temp climbs along with it 210 + deg-- on the backside they both drop back down to 190 deg. I manage my climb by dropping gears and increasing RPM'S and this is with a 10,000 lb Race trailer on the back. My Overheat alarm trigger is 230 deg, I hit that once before I learned to manage the RPM's.
Keep you Radiator and CAC Clean and You'll be fine.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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Thank you for your advise! I can see my thermostat open at 190 once on the freeway after start up and see the temp gauge go back down after it goes up after cresting a big climb ... the temp needle would go just a bit past 210 on my gauge where there are no numbers so I think my motor is cooling as it should.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:48 PM   #5
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One final piece of advice !
Dump your Coolant and add 50/50 Final Charge Coolant !
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