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Generation 10 1997-2003 F150, F250LD incl. 2004 Heritage

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2021, 01:12 PM
Kaajot Kaajot is offline
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Question 2003 F350 Supercab w/plow setup question

Hi-

It's not for me, it's for my neighbor. He plows our road I got named this year, so I'm trying to help him out.

He says he thinks he's missing a radiator shroud on his 2003 F350 Supercab plowtruck.

The issue he experienced is the truck started overheating and he had to pull over 6 or 7 times over 18 miles to get from Clayton NY to Dexter NY to plow. Once he got there, he detached the plow and truck stopped overheating.

Any ideas about symptoms/causes? Wondering what I should help him chase.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2021, 06:59 PM
Kaajot Kaajot is offline
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Any ideas?

Hi again-

I did some hunting and although the F350 he's driving is missing its radiator shroud, it seems like there's a strong potential possibility his truck never had the original fan clutch swapped out for a better performing snow plow fan clutch.

I don't know the part number he has installed in the F350 for its fan clutch, but would that be more likely than just lacking a radiator shroud causing the overheat condition when the plow is attached?

Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2021, 10:05 AM
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Fan shroud is a problem, but the plow itself is a big brick wall pushing the air away from the front of the truck.
More than likely the radiator is plugged up in some areas as well. take a infered heat gun and get some temps of the radiator with the plow down, and up while running, idling, and hot. see exactly what and where the problem is

Keep in mind the engine is overheating so is the transmission, and the automatic of these years don't like heat. Too many overheats will have transmission fluid puking out of the front seal

My cure would be a high volume radiator, and a 2 fan electric fan system. I would also consider a electric fan oil cooler with a temperature gauge and switch for the transmission.
Plowing takes it's toll on a truck
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustybumpers View Post
take a infered heat gun and get some temps of the radiator with the plow down, and up while running, idling, and hot. see exactly what and where the problem is
Thanks Dusty!

Guess I'll go to Harbor Freight and be able to take people's temperatures when they are taking mine finally.

If it's a uniform heating on the radiator, could the shroud and/or fan clutch be the culprit? I'm leaning towards trying this because I can do the work for him for free (not too different compared to my 92 to get at a shroud removal/install or change out the fan clutch). Videos made it easy enough on youtube.

I just loaned him $800, so it's not like this guy can do all the fancy rig upgrades you suggested immediately, but I will mention what you suggest to him for long-term plowing capability. Hopefully he can pick up a new job (cab driving is not getting him a lot in our area) and get the money flow into his plow truck.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2021, 07:33 PM
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As mentioned in the beginning of my post, the plow is the main culprit. Everything else can be worked with, but you have a brick wall in front of the truck.

Try getting the plow as low as you can go without dragging, hope for the best. The rest will be improvements.


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  #6  
Old 01-06-2021, 10:24 PM
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I agree with what Charlie said.

I do have a couple questions, did it always behave this way, or is this a new development? How long has the plow been on it? How much has he driven it? Was it parked all summer? Does it have any coolant in it?

Ok, maybe more than a couple. Lol

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Old 01-07-2021, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue-Truck-Nut97 View Post
I agree with what Charlie said.

I do have a couple questions, did it always behave this way, or is this a new development? How long has the plow been on it? How much has he driven it? Was it parked all summer? Does it have any coolant in it?

Ok, maybe more than a couple. Lol

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Oh man, I will have to ask. I know he's had problems with it off and on since he got it I think end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.

I don't know all the specifics. I'll ask what he's fixed. I think he drives it a little in the Summer. It had the plow from day 1 of purchase, but there were issues so the plow stayed off. I don't know if it performed with the plow ever attached. Will find out and report back on it.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:28 AM
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If it was fine without the plow, then as already stated, the plow being all the way up will redirect the air away from the front of the truck therefore blocking flow through the radiator, and then add in the lack of a shroud and even less flow across the radiator.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue-Truck-Nut97 View Post
I agree with what Charlie said.

I do have a couple questions, did it always behave this way, or is this a new development? How long has the plow been on it? How much has he driven it? Was it parked all summer? Does it have any coolant in it?

Ok, maybe more than a couple. Lol

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Hey Blue-

So, overheating recently is a new development with plow attached. Previous issue (most recent) was water in hydro line/rot and freezing causing plow hydro line to bust, got repaired (new) so that's done. He went through 3 transmissions after initially purchasing, works good now. I hear its idle, sounds a little rough, but definitely has power. Has never had the shroud, has not overheated usually. DID overheat initially at purchase 2+ years ago, went through $80 of antifreeze and a new thermostat for the coolant/radiator (self-installed by owner). I mentioned this makes me think we should look at the radiator very much like Dusty said because maybe something degraded and plugged up his radiator (has two radiators?)

I figured I can save him $150 labor charge and order the radiator shroud and install it for him, but we'll get the thermal infrared gun (he has one, I don't need to go to HF after all) out and really give that radiator some scrutiny.

Maybe his thermostat is broken again and seized closed? Could be. Would rather replace that than a radiator that's not leaking. If it's plugged, any way to open it up and shoot some compressed air through to push a blockage out?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellro View Post
If it was fine without the plow, then as already stated, the plow being all the way up will redirect the air away from the front of the truck therefore blocking flow through the radiator, and then add in the lack of a shroud and even less flow across the radiator.
Agreed. We'll get the shroud probably and tackle the radiator check above. Maybe the thermostat failed early from abuse via lack of airflow, making it work pretty hard in very hot temps. So far I've found the shroud for $303 for this 6L diesel.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2021, 05:40 PM
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When he replaced the radiator and thermostat did he flush the system?
Another thing to consider is inspecting the cooling pack for bent fins, or bugs and mud clogging it up and blocking the air. Some of us have made blow guns for cleaning them out from the back side with compressed air.

I know very little about the 6.0s, but I have heard the cooling systems are very picky, and given the symptoms you may have other problems, like head gaskets. Personally, I can't speculate on anything more without looking at it, sorry.

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