Question about 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2 Answers

5.2 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee overheats at idle

Everything has been changed
radiator--cluch fan--thermostat--water pump
head gaskets--

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  • Richard Scordino May 15, 2010

    First, you did not mention if you have an electric fan on there besides the mechanical one. If you do, is it coming on? Next, did you check for any obstructions like bugs packed into the A/C condenser? Does it overheat while driving? How long can it run at idle before it overheats? Did you have the cylinder heads checked for cracks or warpage when you had them off? Will it overheat with the thermostat removed? (can't leave it that way but you can do that for testing) Is the radiator you put in new, used or reconditioned? Did you re-fill the coolant with the heater on full high heat?

  • Larry May 17, 2010

    one thing I forgot was, that it overheats with the air on or compressor running--the A/C compressor has been changed twice with factory rebuilts

  • Larry May 18, 2010

    My clarification is not listed--cluth fan only --A/C condensor seems ok--it does not over heat while driving--I was told when they changed the head gaskets they looked fine and no leaks, thats all that was done--I have not totaly remove thermostat but I put the coldest one in I could find 160*it helped by taking a little longer to over heat--radiator is new--I did notrefill radiator with heater on high--The warmer it is outside the quicker it heats up--at 70 to 80* outside it take 5 to10 minites

  • Larry May 18, 2010

    I have tried some of your sugestion --If I turn on the heater it does not overheat--when I turn on the a/c it starts going up--it seem that the harder the a/c works the higher the temp goes--if its 70* or better outside the faster it will climb at idle up to 230 or 240* and then I turn it off
    --could the a/c condensor be pratially cloged and not letting it cool down--or any other suggestions

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  • Contributor
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All of the after market radiators have too large of a passage from the top to the bottem letting the coolant pass through too quickly and not cool propperly... if you go to car-part dot com and look for a mid 90s lincon mark 8 electric fan this fan will go on the jeep with little mods. removal of the factory fan shroud and the fan is required to install this to attach it get a transmission oil cooler mounting kit from advanced auto.. you will also need to change the altinator the one that came on the 98 jeep grand with the 5.9 ltr has a 120 amp alt that will hold the extra pull of the electric fan if you use the factory alt you will be driving down the interstate with your ac on and the head lights going and the truck will die because the factory 60 amp alt can't put out enough pwr to keep the battery charged. i have a 94 grand limited with a 5.9 swap and i can run the air and sit in traffic on 106'f days with no problem.... for futher help or input feel free to call me 2 7 0 7 8 4 6 2 2 7 David here

Posted on Jun 12, 2010

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  • Jeep Master
  • 6,982 Answers

I don't remember ever seeing a Jeep that did not have an electric fan as a supplement to the mechanical one. The electric one should come on when the A/C is engaged. Jeep radiators are far smaller than they should be due to ground clearance issues. The only way to make them work is to enhance air flow through them by using electric fans. (or adding an extra row of cooling cores such as in the special tow package). When the vehicle is moving there is enough air flow created by that to eliminate the need for fans altogether, but you have to stop sometime!
Your a/c compressor adds to engine loading (why it pulls rpm down) When at idle with a/c on, the engine "thinks" it's going up-hill and produces more heat. The heat needs to be scrubbed from the system or it can and will overheat.
Make sure that the clutch fan is engaging. It spins free when cold but should lock up after it gets hot. Add an electric fan to the system...check with several scrapyards and see of any Jeeps like yours have one and take it.(some electric fans are on the drivers side and some are directly in front of the mechanical one) If equipped, there is wiring for it in the car. If necessary you can add one either inside or outside the radiator and operate it by way of a switch and relay or just a switch. (there are aftermarket ones that are "slim line) and are designed to fit between the radiator and the front grille) You could also add an external transmission cooler...in doing that, it will take some of the heat load off the radiator. Also make sure that the new radiator has the same number of core rows as the old one did....some shops mistakenly put ones with less cores in when replacing due to cost. In a system with a marginal design this can become critical. (most radiators come with one two three and even four rows)
Once the problem has been solved, don't forget to put the 195 t stat back in or the engine controls won't work properly.

Posted on May 18, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

  • Richard Scordino May 18, 2010

    found your additional comment in the problem section... having the heater on and not overheating is the same as adding another row of cooling passages in the real radiator, along with an electric fan. Just checked on a 94 gc I bought this morning and you can stop looking for an electric fan...It doesn't have one. That leaves you with either a defective clutch fan or an undersized radiator (less core rows than it needs) I did check and you may be able to fit an electric fan on the engine side of the radiator (aftermarket) Id also give a careful look to the ac condenser...I can't see much of it through the grille and doubt if you can either. Small bugs can get caught in between the fins and effectively block a good percentage of the air going through. You sure the radiator is "new new" or reconditioned? Some places that recondition don't clean them as well as they should and passageways can remain obstructed.

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