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1995 Dodge 2500 Ram Van -318/Magnum Motor-(Cooling System Problems)


Bones's Avatar
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03-20-02, 04:55 PM   #1  
Bones
1995 Dodge 2500 Ram Van -318/Magnum Motor-(Cooling System Problems)

I have been smelling a faint smell of "Antifreeze" for a couple of months on and off. I did not see any fluid underneath the van. I also made sure I kept an eye on the temperature guage and the radiator fluid level. I only "added" antifreeze once and it wasn't any significant amount. Then, just 2 days ago I was driving and all of a sudden I smelled antifreeze real bad and the temperature guage rose to the "Hot-Level". I quickly shut the vehicle off and went out to look under the hood and all I could see is antifreeze pouring out from what looked like the "water-pump" area. *This van is a great vehicle and appears to have been maintained pretty good by the previous "fleet owner". I've personally put about 26,000 miles on it since I've owned it. Presently the van has 168,000 miles and the water-pump was last changed at 125,000 miles as per the "vehicle records". I let the vehicle cool down for a couple of hours and went back to see if I could drive the van cautiously home. My friend who is pretty mechanical had me pour water in the radiator and we left the "radiator cap" partially loose and I kept the "heat on". I kept my eye carefully on the "temperature guage" and it stayed basically at the "middle of "Cold" and "Hot". I made it home but I was nervous as hell because I did not want to "damage" my motor. Later that night I tried to add some more antifreeze so there wasn't straight water but it seems like alot was coming right back out as quickly as I was pouring the new stuff in. I did notice that it did not leak as quickly when the van was "running". Does it seem logical to say that the "water-pump seal" must have finally blown out. I really hope that is all that happened and nothing internally was damaged? How difficult of a repair job is it to replace the "water-pump" on this particular 1995 "van engine"? I'd appreciate all the insight everyone can offer me as I'm going to try to "replace" the water-pump on Thursday morning 3/21/02. I hope to hear back from someone tonight if at all possible.
Thanks,
Bones

 
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03-20-02, 06:19 PM   #2  
it should be a somewhat simple job you may have to remove alot of brackets that is also bolted to the waterpump common on dodges, when you fill the system back up you will usually have an air pocket and you will need to let the engine run until the thermostat opens to finish filling the engine up with coolant and often it will blow some coolant back out while its warming up if you have a temp guage you can usually see when the thermostat opens for the first time cause the neddle will drop significantly, and then you should be able to top off the coolant system you can also tell by feeling your upper radiater hose it will feel warmer when the thermostat has opened.

 
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03-21-02, 06:07 AM   #3  
Joe_F
Feel the water pump and see if there is play in the bearing. Look at the weep hole in the casting (behind the pulley area) and tell us if you see a trail of dried (or fresh) antifreeze. If you do, you have a bad water pump.

BeJay gave you some good ideas as well.

 
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03-21-02, 06:42 PM   #4  
Bones
1995 Dodge 2500 Ram Van (how to change thermostat?)

Thank-you "Joe and BeJay". *We changed the "waterpump" but are not sure if we need to "replace" the thermostat. Where is the thermostat and how difficult of a task is it to change it on this 1995 (318/Magnum Motor)? The temperature guage is staying between 1/4 & 1/2 mark between the "H" and "C" on guage after the motor has been "idiling" for 15-20 minutes. *How can I "check" to see if the thermostat is actually working properly?
Bones,

 
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03-22-02, 05:56 AM   #5  
Joe_F
It's in the housing on the block where the upper hose winds up.

Fairly simple job. Change the stat. You can check with a pot of boiling water on the stove...not worth it. The part is 5 bucks. Pitch it for a new one when in doubt.

 
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03-22-02, 07:38 AM   #6  
Bones
1995 Dodge 2500 Ram Van-(318/Magnum Motor-"Thermostat Questions,Etc.)

Dear Joe,
I hear what your saying about replacing it no matter what. However, this hose ends up in a spot near block that is extremely hard to get to in this particular "van". I ran the van for about 35 minutes this morning mostly idiling and then I drove it up and down the road . The guage seems to stay beween 1/4 and 1/2 on temperature guage. I have good heat also. The one thing I did notice is when the "heat" was turned on the needle dropped extremely minutely back towards the "colder" direction. I'm going to have someone change it as soon as possible. I just wanted to know if I can use the "van" a few more days just like it is. *I'm also 100% sure this "thermostat was most likely changsd when they 1st changed the "waterpump" at 125,000 miles or even more recentlty when thereplaced the radiator. The reason I'm asking you if I can drive the "van" after just replacing the "waterpump" the other day is my car is in need of repair at this time too.
Thanks,
Bones

 
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03-22-02, 07:43 AM   #7  
Joe_F
As long as your temperature gauge doesn't sail into the hot region, you are ok.

That being said, if you had a leak of collosal magnitude like that, don't drive it far until it is rectified. Around town is ok. Just make sure to keep the level in the cooling system topped off.

At the time you service the van, go through it all. Belts and hoses should be changed if they are 4 years old. Make sure to use good quality parts and you should be ok.

 
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