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Old 05-18-2021, 02:13 AM   #1
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03 Workhorse Overheating?

Looking for help on an overheating issue on a new to me 03 Sightseer/8.1 workhorse chassis.

Gauge doesn’t indicate temp, just range. While driving it home, gauge creeped near the red zone. Not wanting to deal with it, I had a local shop replace the fan clutch, thermostat, hoses, water pump, radiator and coolant sensor. After picking it up, I’m still not satisfied-
While highway cruising (65mph/2500 rpm), OBDII monitor shows 230 engine temp (sensor is in the head, between cylinders 2&4)
Gauge shows just above half or “normal”
Upper radiator hose measures 195 with an infrared gun (195 stat)
Rear of the cylinder head measures 215 with the gun

While driving down the highway at 65/2500rpm, exhaust manifolds are glowing, which seems premature given load (nice flat road), showing about 950F on the manifolds. Engine runs great, no lean popping, plenty of power etc- maybe the glowing exhaust manifolds are normal, just surprised me to see it at such low load.

I am at a loss- cylinder head sensor is indicating a hot condition, rear of the head (water jacket) is reasonable and the thermostat seems to be regulating properly. All air damns in place.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:25 PM   #2
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I've never seen anything glowing on my W22 exhaust system.

The fan clutch should be engaged if you are at 230 degrees, mine engages at about 205 degrees.

What temperature thermostat did they install?

Are you absolutely sure they replaced everything you told them to replace?

Do you ever get a check engine light?
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:44 PM   #3
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sorry to hear about this.. but how much was all that?? did you ask for all the old parts back.. can you go back and get them?? and i have seen that water pumps spin different ways and if one is put on that spins wrong then you can get hot.. are you 2nd op.. then could still have block sealer in it, and it goes back to the heads and sits and gets hot.. i know i will cause a lot of flack but i run 160 thremo . are your cats plugged or muffler plugged.?? . critters get in there and plug exhaust.. back pressure is easy to check. last thing is do the part numbers on invoice match what they put on and look up and see if that was what called for online .. good luck and if it were mine, i would see if i could just remove the cats .. they get hot and cause back pressure and that could be some of the problem.. if eng is tuned right then there will hardly any difference in emisions.. also when is last full tune up??
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I've never seen anything glowing on my W22 exhaust system.

The fan clutch should be engaged if you are at 230 degrees, mine engages at about 205 degrees.

What temperature thermostat did they install?

Are you absolutely sure they replaced everything you told them to replace?

Do you ever get a check engine light?
The fan clutch appears to be working, although the radiator temp hasn’t exceeded 195 (stat temp) degrees. I have verified all the parts are new, but haven’t confirmed if they are “correct”. No check engine light. Later this week I plan on checking air/fuel ratio and engine vacuum (clogged exhaust). Thanks!!
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:45 PM   #5
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sorry to hear about this.. but how much was all that?? did you ask for all the old parts back.. can you go back and get them?? and i have seen that water pumps spin different ways and if one is put on that spins wrong then you can get hot.. are you 2nd op.. then could still have block sealer in it, and it goes back to the heads and sits and gets hot.. i know i will cause a lot of flack but i run 160 thremo . are your cats plugged or muffler plugged.?? . critters get in there and plug exhaust.. back pressure is easy to check. last thing is do the part numbers on invoice match what they put on and look up and see if that was what called for online .. good luck and if it were mine, i would see if i could just remove the cats .. they get hot and cause back pressure and that could be some of the problem.. if eng is tuned right then there will hardly any difference in emisions.. also when is last full tune up??
Brutal- $5k for the work (couple extras like a generator service and a new door latch assembly)..

I do not have not checked for proper parts install, but it’s a good call- I’ll do that this week. Fresh tune up, good fuel etc.

What throws me off is the difference in cylinder head temp vs water neck temp- if this truly is a traditional flow engine, the coolant passes through the heads then out the water neck. It shouldn’t be lower at the water neck compared to the head but it is. Unless radiant heat from the exhaust manifolds is affecting the sensor reading?

I’m going to check air/fuel and engine vacuum this week.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:49 PM   #6
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When the fan clutch engages does it make a very loud noise? When mine engages we have to stop talking as it is very loud.

It won't stay engaged more than a minute or so as it rapidly brings the engine temperature down.
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:57 PM   #7
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When the fan clutch engages does it make a very loud noise? When mine engages we have to stop talking as it is very loud.

It won't stay engaged more than a minute or so as it rapidly brings the engine temperature down.
Arch, I have not herd the traditional “woosh” when the clutch pulls in. The temp in the radiator is only 195, so I don’t believe it’s hot enough in the radiator to engage the clutch fan- from what I’ve read, that’s more like 205F.
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:03 PM   #8
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Like another poster said, I would check your cats, the exhaust system down there is pretty easy to unbolt.

Glowing manifolds is not good and is an indication of blocked/clogged exhaust (CATS)

I would also get an OBD II reading and get the engine temp from the ECM.

Also the scangauge II OBD II reader will give you the fuel trims so you can check to see if your engine is running lean.

So far as the fan clutch, you will definitely know when its engaged.
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:34 PM   #9
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My fan clutch comes on at about 204 and goes off at about 200. The fan is very noticeable when engaged.


Temp sensors are notorious for being bad, even when new.


How are you seeing your "glowing" manifolds? From the outside looking through the wheelwell?


I'd probably be investigating the cats too.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:06 PM   #10
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My first guess would have been bad thermostat. Even a new one can be bad. Might take it out and put in some hot water and be sure it's opening at correct temp. and opening fully. Sometimes they hang up.

WH had a kit to blow fresh air on the spark plugs/manifolds. That might help with your glowing manifolds if you don't have something like that installed.

I made my own from aircraft components and pick my air up from under bumper instead of blocking part of the grill opening with the funnels/ducts. I was cracking spark plugs (10) and burning wires (2 sets) until I did that, installed a 185° thermostat and removed one bar from my upper and lower grill which added about 40 square inches of intake area. Mine hasn't hit 200 since I did all that. I get my temp from the scan gauge.

From lots of reading apparently a lot of the coach mfg's did not allow the specified square inches of intake area that WH specified on the front cap and that 8.1L needs LOTS of cooling air. I don't remember the specified area but you can probably google it and measure your grill opening. Remember any decorative grill stuff reduces that area so you have to measure that also to see where you stand.
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Old 05-20-2021, 11:43 AM   #11
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i think you got fair to good price.. we are talking about GM workhorse and not ford?? right.. then i would check with very good flashlight make sure shop towel did not get left between front rad and condencor.. i have seen the fan blades get put back on backwards.. so easy to do.. and that would do it,, make sure blades are biting the air.. i have put them on backwards.. its vey confusing . cold air kit great idea .. I have read here that wh does not set lean codes .. so check fuel pressure and make sure new fuel filter.. i am adding a cold air kit to my exhaust manifolds, they do get hot.. are you the 1st owner..?
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:44 PM   #12
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Check the fan shroud to make sure it is re installed properly and all the parts of it are present and positioned against the radiator with no gaps...



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Old 05-20-2021, 11:43 PM   #13
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I installed a digital engine temperature alarm on our 8.1 just for situations like this.
Also do you own a scanguage2 so you can monitor your fuels trims encase you are running lean?

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Old 05-21-2021, 01:15 AM   #14
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70 mph on a 80-85 degree day my 8.1 sits at 204-217 depending on flat or dropping out of OD on a hill.
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