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 > 1993 Damon Intruder/P30 454 Overheating

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ThorValhallan

Enjoying the Mountains

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Posted: 05/08/21 11:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys, hope y'all are doing well. We're having some issues with our 1993 Damon Intruder with the big block in it. For some background, last summer we were road tripping across some of the north western states. On the way back home thru Wyoming we ended up throwing a blade from the clutched fan thru the bottom left of the fan shroud. Luckily it didn't have any issues getting us home, and had missed everything important. Simple fix right? Just replace the fan and all should be well. Weeeell, that hasn't been how it worked out. We had a heavy duty shop (an expansion shop of Houska Automotive if you know them) replace the fan because I didn't have the time to do it myself and with all the old brittle plastic I was worried about breaking things. Got the new OEM-alike fan in (5 blade offset), and it can't get down the road without pegging the gauge and blowing boiling water out of the overflow. Uh oh. Back to the shop. That was about 2 months ago, and they've basically replaced the whole cooling system since and it's still boiling water out of the overflow and pegging the gauge.

A list of what was replaced:

Engine fan (think a stress fracture caused the fan blade to dip out)

Engine fan clutch, Heavy Duty (Idk if the clutch that's on it is right for the application, not sure of the cause but I'm pretty sure it's not engaging cuz I distinctly remember the sound it used to make. RockAuto and GmPartsWearhouse recommend a severe duty)

Thermostat (Should be OE temp, whatever that is)

Rodded the Radiator (Maybe even with a rodding this radiator still isn't pushing enough heat out?)

Water pump (I'm wondering if the shop fixed the original problem and then created a new one with this. Iirc there's two pumps available, reverse rotation for serpentine systems and normal rotation for V-belt. I believe our P30 is outfitted with v-belts, so if they put in one for a serpentine system I imagine that would be an issue)

New radiator cap (15 or 16 pound I believe)

I believe the hoses have been replaced, but I'm not certain

Also, the electric condenser fan does work. Obviously it's not moving enough air by itself to keep the engine cool. I'd read that dirt and dust can clog the space between condenser and radiator, but I'd assume the shop would have cleaned that space out when they had the radiator rodded.

So, eventually it overheats at idle. If you drive it it just heats up quicker, which perplexes me, because I would think if it was a clutch issue the temps would get better at speed. Is this generation supposed to engage the clutch even at highway speeds? I had read that the clutch only engages up to a certain RPM and speed, but that may be incorrect or outdated or just not applicable to this application. Any insight would be great. Yesterday I covered the hole in the shroud (which I hadn't realized might be a problem until recently) with some aluminum tape, maybe thinking covering the hole would get the clutch to engage. No dice. The next thing I'm thinking of trying once we're home tomorrow is disengaging the end of the spring from the front of the clutch and seeing if I can engage it manually. My best guess currently is that the engine is overheating because the clutch isn't engaging. The next question is why isn't a brand new heavy duty clutch engaging. If you hose the rad down is cools off quick, if that adds any insight. Thoughts? Thanks for any help guys

* This post was edited 05/09/21 12:03am by ThorValhallan *

Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/09/21 07:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With older overheating engines I start with checking the timing.


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Gjac

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Posted: 05/09/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did the shop install an OEM fan clutch, lots market a HD fan clutch that engage too late these may work for a car or pickup but a 15,000 lb MH is a different story. What air temperate is the fan suppose to engage? Yes the fan clutch should engage at hiway speeds. Did they change the plastic fan shroud it self? Did they change the water pump? If the engine is overheating at idle in Co. in cool weather the problem is more that the fan clutch not working and there is something else going on. I take it your MH did not overheat before it threw a fan blade? When you drove home minus one fan blade did it over heat then? If you can answer these questions it will help diagnose your problem.

ThorValhallan

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Posted: 05/09/21 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's kind of been my thought process, that something else is going wrong and the clutch may just be a symptom, even if it's an incorrect clutch. Reason being that even with a hole in the shroud and down a blade (presumably from the blade exiting it there) it got us home fine without any temperature issues. They did replace the water pump, I think I'll ask them for a part number tomorrow to make sure it's the right pump. Based on what I've read in other forum posts and such, the clutch should engage somewhere in the 150-170° range? Roughly equates to 210° on the dash, ideally. Is it possible there's a blockage inside the block from where sediment and other stuff may have settled when they drained the system? Or possibly just a narrow restriction and not a total blockage. I'm also going to verify that the hoses have been replaced, and if they haven't that might be our next step. I've read that old cooling hoses can look fine from the outside, but when put under pressure they collapse internally, cutting off coolant flow

Update: Well, I guess I expected too much that they'd replace the hoses. The top one is super soft, I bet the bottom one is in similar condition

* This post was last edited 05/09/21 08:28am by ThorValhallan *   View edit history

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/09/21 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While it could be due for hoses and you’re right, why would a cooling system overhaul not include replacing presumably very old hoses, my money is on fan clutch.
Do you hear it roar as temps are rising while underway? If not, that is telltale.
I’d either replace fan/clutch again, or totally eliminate it from the equation and slap a flex fan on it, at least temporarily.
Remember the clues. It was fine until the incident last year. And sounds like the fan and water pump were the only mechanical parts, if you will, that were replaced.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 05/09/21 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could just be an upside down installed or bad thermostat too, Either old one coincidence, gone bad or new one mucked up by the guys who like old radiator hoses.

FordMastertech

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Posted: 05/09/21 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm betting on the wrong water pump installed if it overheats at idle. Hopefully the correct rotation fan bade was installed, it should pull air through the radiator not push it back out the front of the radiator.


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BluegrassBill

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Posted: 05/09/21 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Two Things Come to mind. Get a Severe duty fan clutch (GM or Hayden), You should hear it lock up. Is the fan blade put on backwards? , OEM is steel not plastic.


Bill & Kathy Francis
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pianotuna

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Posted: 05/09/21 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This has come up before. In the other thread the wrong fan was installed iirc. It is the same part number--but there is more than one model.


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Gjac

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Posted: 05/09/21 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you say the shop rodded out your radiator are you sure they actually mechanically cleaned out the tubes or just ran a chemical flush through it? You are smart to check the water pump part number first, that will tell you if they put a reverse rotation one in.

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