Dodge ram 1500 4.7, 53k miles, it starts to overheat when going up hills and loses power. I have not changed the coolant in 2-1/2 years (20k miles), lived in AZ. now in Oregon within the past 2 months. Could the waterpump be out or thermostat or coolant needing flushed?
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Re: Overheating/Loss of power
Unless water pump bearing is loose or noisy or the pump is leaking, that's not your problem. Have the system flushed. Thermostat is also likely not the problem but with repeated overheats or near-overheats it will become unreliable so change it as a precaution.
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Loss of power is likely caused by overheat condition. Check your coolant level, thermostat operation(both upper and lower radiator hoses should feel hot), fan motor/clutch operation and radiator cap for proper pressure retention. Also, pressure test cooling system if coolant is leaking out.
i have an 86 dodge ram 50 that sputters when i step on gas going up hill after it warms up ive changed the gasket twice with no luck solving problem it runs fine in neutral but in gear under a load it sputters
It's going to run hot, especially in hot weather but one big thing is what kind of coolant you are using. If it's dex-cool ( chevy and gm brand ) get it out of there and put some pre-mixed good coolant / water mix and it will help a whole lot. Just had the same problem with my 02' blazer. If the water pump and thermostat have been changed you should not be having a problem.
Sounds more like an ignition control or coolant flow problem. Or, a/c fan not coming on with a/c. Getting the water pump question out of the way, the pump either works or not. If it leaks it will cause an overheat due to coolant loss on flat ground or grades...doesn't matter. If the pump bearing or seal is bad it will still pump, it will just be loose and noisy. Coolant flow through the radiator is also essential...I don't think you have a problem there because generally this happens with less maintained higher mile cars. A bad map sensor can cause your problem because it changes both ignition timing and fuel mixture, either of which can cause very high temps in combustion chambers especially when under a load. Mass air flow sensor can also do this but usually will cause idle problems. If fan is not on with a/c if the remainder of your cooling system may be enough to maintain decent temp control but cannot do this under a load. A/C turned off removes some load and therefore allow you to get up hills. Operating marginally, you can be pushing some coolant out of the system at times without even knowing it. Now, about your engine: These engines are in my opinion a very poor design to begin with. Even with the best maintenance and low miles, they don't handle temperatures well. at this point, I'd be concerned that after repeated overheats and near overheats, your head gaskets may have started to fail, even though they were not the cause of the problem.Keep that in mind. Have the items I mentioned tested. If you finally have the problem solved I suggest you change the thermostat as well...Overheating makes them unreliable.
I had a similiar problem on my 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Conversion Van. It ended up being a partial collapse of the catalytic converter which didn't allow adequate exhaust. The problem only showed itself because I could not get over 55 mph going up a small hill.
If you have seen the signs of leakage around the water pump thn its worth replacing it being that far already.
Its better too, to flush the radiator.
Usually if the seal blows thts the end of the pump even if it looks ok!