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D13 engine temp question


Sculptor
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Not an emergency, we aren’t stranded.  We are hauling a 19k fifth wheel.

My engine temp is nearly always steady, 180 f. It’s a 2013 D13.  The only time I ever noticed it heat up was climbing a big grade in North Carolina.  So it was fine yesterday morning, then we stopped for a break and shut it down for about an hour.  It started fine, and we rolled on.

An hour or two later I noticed the temp was about 200.  We were in rolling hills, nothing aggressive.  My speed was higher than usual at 70, so I slowed to 64. We came to a long downhill grade and it cooled right down to 175-180.  On a steeper climb in 12th gear 13-1400 rpm it heated up to 210.  Later on, I made sure to downshift during the climb and this helped also.  

The ambient temp was approx. 104.  The grill screen has some amount of bugs, the radiator ( or the ac condenser) is clean.  I’m going to spray the radiator out my first opportunity.  I have never done that.

It seems odd since it was the normal temp all morning in similar weather.  I don’t recall ever driving long distance in very hot weather before so maybe this is totally normal and I’m overthinking it.

What do you folks think?  

 

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If you receive no answers here then  could be so many things such as stuck thermostat, air bubble in cooling system, etc.  Check for any engine codes with diagnostic code reader.  If you do not have manual for the truck then check for online trouble shooting manuals/PDFs for your vehicle.  Besides this forum check with rvsources.com, fifthwheelest.com,  OTR truckers blogs, forums, Good Sam RV forums,  etc.  They all have HDT owners/drivers.

good luck

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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Clean your stack. Remove all the bolts holding the AC condenser, air to air, and rad together. Lean them gently apart, flush with a garden hose. Have Simple Green, or a similar cleaner on hand. Use it. Replace all the bolts. Test drive time.

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Did your fan ever come on while going up the longer grades?  If you did hear it come on, everything is running normal with the ambient temps above 100. On long grades running 70 or better, our Cummins will often hit 215 or a little higher before the fan kicks in and cools it off. What you are seeing is completely normal.

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21 minutes ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

Did your fan ever come on while going up the longer grades?  If you did hear it come on, everything is running normal with the ambient temps above 100. On long grades running 70 or better, our Cummins will often hit 215 or a little higher before the fan kicks in and cools it off. What you are seeing is completely normal.

The cab is so loud I have never noticed the fan come on.  When I open the hood the fan is always running, maybe that’s why I never heard a change. 

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55 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Clean your stack. Remove all the bolts holding the AC condenser, air to air, and rad together. Lean them gently apart, flush with a garden hose. Have Simple Green, or a similar cleaner on hand. Use it. Replace all the bolts. Test drive time.

I have not tried this. Sounds like it can only help. To reach the front bolts of the stackup of condenser/radiators should I remove the grill?  

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Just tilt the hood.  It's a fairly easy job.  All the debris got in from the front, so it makes sense to try and flush from the rear.  I usually wash from both directions until everything runs clear.  Don't forget the corners.  Move the hose slowly while watching the exit stream.  If you find a place that doesn't flow well, work on it.

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4 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

Just tilt the hood.  It's a fairly easy job.  All the debris got in from the front, so it makes sense to try and flush from the rear.  I usually wash from both directions until everything runs clear.  Don't forget the corners.  Move the hose slowly while watching the exit stream.  If you find a place that doesn't flow well, work on it.

I noticed I can’t see or reach the front by tilting the hood.  Maybe I need to twist and stretch more.  Or climb up and stand on the frame.  Maybe It’s obvious and I’m being dense. Not the first time. 

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1 hour ago, NamMedevac 70 said:

If you receive no answers here then  could be so many things such as stuck thermostat, air bubble in cooling system, etc.  Check for any engine codes with diagnostic code reader.  If you do not have manual for the truck then check for online trouble shooting manuals/PDFs for your vehicle.  Besides this forum check with rvsources.com, fifthwheelest.com,  OTR truckers blogs, forums, Good Sam RV forums,  etc.  They all have HDT owners/drivers.

good luck

I had the expansion tank replaced a month or so ago at a dealer. I know they left the “low coolant” codes there for the next service guy. So they told me. Otherwise I’m pretty sure no codes or bubbles in the system.  I have been advised to get a code reader but I’ve been buying tires. 😁

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4 hours ago, Sculptor said:

Not an emergency, we aren’t stranded.  We are hauling a 19k fifth wheel.

My engine temp is nearly always steady, 180 f. It’s a 2013 D13.  The only time I ever noticed it heat up was climbing a big grade in North Carolina.  So it was fine yesterday morning, then we stopped for a break and shut it down for about an hour.  It started fine, and we rolled on.

An hour or two later I noticed the temp was about 200.  We were in rolling hills, nothing aggressive.  My speed was higher than usual at 70, so I slowed to 64. We came to a long downhill grade and it cooled right down to 175-180.  On a steeper climb in 12th gear 13-1400 rpm it heated up to 210.  Later on, I made sure to downshift during the climb and this helped also.  

The ambient temp was approx. 104.  The grill screen has some amount of bugs, the radiator ( or the ac condenser) is clean.  I’m going to spray the radiator out my first opportunity.  I have never done that.

It seems odd since it was the normal temp all morning in similar weather.  I don’t recall ever driving long distance in very hot weather before so maybe this is totally normal and I’m overthinking it.

What do you folks think?  

 

Those are not temperature I would be concerned about. Your engine most likely has an 180 to 200 degree thermostat. Have you checked the oil temperature? I like it when it gets to near 200 because it will for sure get rid of any water that may have condensed  into the oil.  Most  of the time my water temp gauge shows low, but I have had it get to 190+ in some how weather and heavy pull. Just make sure the mixture is good and you don't have a coolant leak somewhere. 

Rod

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2 hours ago, Sculptor said:

The cab is so loud I have never noticed the fan come on.  When I open the hood the fan is always running, maybe that’s why I never heard a change. 

The fan usually always runs at a slow speed. When the fan clutch kicks on it will spin faster. Do you have a switch to engage the fan manually? (Our Freightliner has one) I can usually tell when the fan has kicked on automatically as it is quite loud (and our cab is loud too being a Freightliner) and drops the power a bit but it doesn't usually kick on until it is 210 or so. 

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5 minutes ago, Star Dreamer said:

The fan usually always runs at a slow speed. When the fan clutch kicks on it will spin faster. Do you have a switch to engage the fan manually? (Our Freightliner has one) I can usually tell when the fan has kicked on automatically as it is quite loud (and our cab is loud too being a Freightliner) and drops the power a bit but it doesn't usually kick on until it is 210 or so. 

Had to replace fan clutch on our ‘09 D13 when it didn’t come on. In mountain driving it now comes on around 210F and off around 190F.  Cools the engine quickly.  I’m told it will draw about 30hp +/- when engaged. Unless you’ve got the tunes turned way up, you’ll hear it engage.

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47 minutes ago, lappir said:

Those are not temperature I would be concerned about. Your engine most likely has an 180 to 200 degree thermostat. Have you checked the oil temperature? I like it when it gets to near 200 because it will for sure get rid of any water that may have condensed  into the oil.  Most  of the time my water temp gauge shows low, but I have had it get to 190+ in some how weather and heavy pull. Just make sure the mixture is good and you don't have a coolant leak somewhere. 

Rod

No I have never checked the oil temp.  The level is solid, never loses any oil.  Now that the tank was replaced never seems to lose coolant either.  I’m probably thinking like a car owner, anywhere near 212f is very bad.

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The thought just occurred to me the noise I always assumed was the turbo kicking in, might have been the fan?  The turbo gauge is usually toward the low side at slow speed, maybe 60 with normal acceleration.
it’s loud enough to hear but would make no difference to the conversation.

No I don’t have a manual switch.  I’ve never had the truck up near the 210 f mark, until yesterday that is.   I have read others talk about this but I’ve never noticed the sound of it.  You guys are being very helpful and thanks.  

side note, just did a short grocery run, the temp stayed at 180 and never fluctuated.  But that was bobtail. And it’s down about 90 f today.  Elevation in Rapid City is 3000+ if that matters.

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There are two types of fan drive. Clutch and viscous. The clutch style is on/off. The viscous style is variable speed. With a clutch fan, you WILL notice when the fan kicks in. The viscous you may not as it will slowly ramp up.

It is not unusual for modern diesels to run as hot as 220-230F. Don’t overthink this, if it gets too hot, you will know. The dash will look like Christmas. Fluctuation of the temp is normal, especially when it is hot outside.

The transmission temp and A/C also have control of the fan, so it is not just the engine in the mix.

Last week, I was running in mid 90s temps and the fan was regularly cycling. Never paid attention to the temp, just let it do its thing.

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1 hour ago, Moresmoke said:

There are two types of fan drive. Clutch and viscous. The clutch style is on/off. The viscous style is variable speed. With a clutch fan, you WILL notice when the fan kicks in. The viscous you may not as it will slowly ramp up.

It is not unusual for modern diesels to run as hot as 220-230F. Don’t overthink this, if it gets too hot, you will know. The dash will look like Christmas. Fluctuation of the temp is normal, especially when it is hot outside.

The transmission temp and A/C also have control of the fan, so it is not just the engine in the mix.

Last week, I was running in mid 90s temps and the fan was regularly cycling. Never paid attention to the temp, just let it do its thing.

Thanks Moresmoke, I appreciate the info.  I thought at the time it might be ok, since there were no lights.  But just in case I wanted to ask “all y’all”.  

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There are eddy current/air clutch fan drives as well as air clutch (on or off) and viscous coupling drives.

Viscous drives look like the one on your pickup except bigger. 

On off air clutches have a clutch disc looking hub - you can actually see the friction material and a gap when it is in the "fan off" position.  They engage with a roar and 35hp reduction to the drive wheels. 

The eddy current drive will use magnetic magic to drive the fan at low engine rpm / idle to provide some constant flow through the a/c condenser. These look kinda like a clutch on or off type fan except the fan doesn't stand still with the engine running. 

Don't stick your fingers in there to see if you can stop it. 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Sculptor said:

I will have to take a closer look at mine today before it heats up outside.  All I know is the fan is always spinning when the engine is running.

That's very typical but doesn't mean the clutch is actually engaged. Internal friction will cause it to spin at idle even if the clutch is not engaged, but not actually at full idle speed. An easy way to check the clutch is to see if the fan turns with by hand the key off and then after turning the key on ( with the truck aired up). On many trucks, it won't turn with the key off, but does turn with the key on. That means the clutch is operating normally. Jay

Edited by Jaydrvr
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When the fan engages it will be very loud and you will be able to hear it from the cab.  From a cold start the fan is not engaged (it will spin tho, its free wheeling).

Now, the fan engagement could have failed, I don't recall the temp at which mine would engage, but it was into the 200's, say 210 or so.  My guess is that you haven't gotten warm enough to engage.  

 

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2 hours ago, steiny93 said:

When the fan engages it will be very loud and you will be able to hear it from the cab.  From a cold start the fan is not engaged (it will spin tho, its free wheeling).

Now, the fan engagement could have failed, I don't recall the temp at which mine would engage, but it was into the 200's, say 210 or so.  My guess is that you haven't gotten warm enough to engage.  

 

That would make sense.  Thinking not like a trucker, but more like a car owner, I have noticed it up near 210 maybe twice on a good pull up a hill or the other day in hot temps.  My reaction was to turn off the cruise and downshift to put the rpms up to 1800.  So it’s never really got as hot as the comments here say.  I guess that’s good.    Like was mentioned also, as twitchy as these trucks can be, no lights came on.  Really appreciate your help, thanks.

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On 6/17/2021 at 6:24 AM, Jaydrvr said:

That's very typical but doesn't mean the clutch is actually engaged. Internal friction will cause it to spin at idle even if the clutch is not engaged, but not actually at full idle speed. An easy way to check the clutch is to see if the fan turns with by hand the key off and then after turning the key on ( with the truck aired up). On many trucks, it won't turn with the key off, but does turn with the key on. That means the clutch is operating normally. Jay

Turns out it’s a viscous type of fan.  Never have noticed it kick on or off.

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On 6/16/2021 at 2:16 PM, Sculptor said:

I noticed I can’t see or reach the front by tilting the hood.  Maybe I need to twist and stretch more.  Or climb up and stand on the frame.  Maybe It’s obvious and I’m being dense. Not the first time. 

For full transparency;  When I took a quick look at the radiator “stack”, I could not see how to lean far enough in to see the bolts. Yesterday I got the low pressure hose out and found that it’s easy if you try.  Stepping inside the front (quarter) bumper made all the difference. 
A SHOUT out to Rick and others for your helpful comments. 
I didn’t actually unbolt anything, DW and I proceeded to scrub the outer grill screen.  The AC condenser was quite clean actually.  I hit it with simple green and a long handled brush vertically.  A light dirt film came off, but almost zero bugs or clogging.  

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