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Old 01-07-2008, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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big cam cummins over heat

my freind has this rig it is a 1988,370 made to 444(if I have my no's.write)he has replaced the rad. and water pump all ready.this eng.is a low flow cooling system,it is over heating when under load,you back out of it it cooles back down so if you have a big hill it gets hot fast 220 to 230 range,it has a 170 stat.I took my temp gun ck. rad. lines and from in to out there was a temp drop so that told me it was flowing water and why it cooled back down.also ck.cyl.temps.on exhaust all were 5 to 7 degs.of each other except the front cyl. was 20degs. cooler,and I found no hot spots on the eng.block.So could a bad inj. dumping a lot of fuel under load cause a over heat like this are am I way off base any help will be appreciated.

p.s. he is pulling a lowboy with a 955 JD tacked high lift.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

Is your fan clutch working? On a truck like that it should be very noticeable that you could hear it when it comes on. You also might look into changing thermostats too. I rebuilt an old ntc 350 this summer that had a similar overheating problem and the thermostats were in bad shape. You might check your pressure cap too. We had the wrong size on ours.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

1988 would be Big Cam IV. They were all low flow cooling. This system was known for over heating problems, and thermostats did not hold up well. You can change it to a full flow system like the earlier Big Cams. If the entire system is in excellant condition, it is usable, but is still problematic. You say it is 370 HP "Made" into a 444? If by that you mean the pump was turned up, that will likely cause you problems. If it was "rebuilt" into a 444, that is a differant story. Does it have the Mechanical Variable Timing system? If so you may want to check that is working properly and set properly. If the cooling system is correct then cam timing would be the first place to look for overheat problems under load. The Big Cam IV was not one of Cummins better ideas, but changing the cooling system and working over the MVT system will give you a pretty good engine. Check with Pittsburg Injection Service ( http://www.dieselinjection.net/frames.html ) for info on MVT fixes and general info on Cummins engines
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

yes fan clutch is working good, new t-stat,and cap,he's to the point of going to a shop with the truck and he came to me first with the can you help a friend line so here I am.

thier is only a 100k on this eng.,also thinking maybe a block in a water jacket around a cyl?
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

That makes since because the eng. lopes at idle like my 428CJ troino and I sure the pump is turnd up she has a smoking prob. so I will ck out the site and ck back tomorrow.and yes it was rebuilt to a 444.and I am not sure on the timing I will ck. it out.

thanks for the info.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

Loping and or smoke is usually pump setting or cam timing. Could be bad injector but not real likely. Has the top end been reset since rebuild? It should have been done after a rebuild has had a chance to run in. If not and you have 100,000 miles, do it anyway. It is not hard to do yourself, valve settings and injector setting should be on the data plate.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

Today this what was found one of the small lines going into the top of the head by the temp.sending unit was not flowing coolant so we are pulling lines and cleaning out and flushing the system.

and I told my freind about checking the timing and pump and that will be done also.(he's not ready to back it down just yet) and he found some one that knows about the high flow convert.

thank you for the help and the link dutchman.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

You don't have to back the power down, just be sure the pump is set up right. If it has MVT and it is working right then you should not have a smoke problem. If no MVT then you will have to live with a certain amount of smoke at idle. To eliminate the smoke on these engines after turning them up over 400 hp, the timing has to be advanced at idle, but if it stays advanced under power, the engine life will suffer and could melt a piston. That is why the timing is set a bit retarded. whith the MVT this is not a problem, as The MVT advances the timing at idle, and retards it the rest of the time. Most if the Big Cam I II and III 400's smoked a little at idle because the timing was set to keep from melting pistons, but it was too retarded at idle to keep from smoking. That is why they came up with the MVT system. After they went to computer on the N-14 the computer would advance and retard the timing so it was not needed any more. One other thing, you are running in an over fuel condition at 444 hp. This will not hurt a thing, if you remember that. DO NOT lug it on a hard pull. you will build massive heat on the piston tops and eventually one or more will start cracking, usually dirctly over and in line with the piston pin. Which means it will split there and out goes the rod. I have seen a lot of pistons that the crack was there but had not broken all the way through. YET. It is a good engine, and will last a long time if you keep the cooling system clean and watch the Pyrometer climbing hills.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: big cam cummins over heat

Low Flow systems use TWO thermostats, they have different part numbers. They work opposite of each other, if they are installed incorrectly, the engine will run very cool until it see's a load. I've seen two of the same number installed, engine will run hot. Look closely at the t-stat housing, you will see arrows cast in the housing, these show the coolant flow direction.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Question Cummins BCIV

I'm quite curious as to what the problem was with your friends truck framtruck01. Did you get it solved? I have an '85 Pete 359 that was also blessed with the low flow cooling system BCIV 400hp. It has been causing me problems with overheating for some time now. I have had the radiator redone, and since tested it to be sure it was done right, and it does indeed seem to be working, seem to be getting nearly 40deg temp drop one side to the other. I have changed thermostats, removed the water pump and checked it out, (was going to replace it but could not find anything wrong with it) This one seems like it will just stop circulating when placed under load for awhile, which rapidly causes it to overheat, when it decides to circulate again, it cools down rather quickly. I've had a couple people (not familiar with the low flow system) suggest a head gasket, or cracked head. However, I am not convinced that this is what is causing the problem, to me the symtoms don't seem quite right. It seems more like air in the cooling system to me, air compressor? cracked aftercooler? I'm open to suggestions from anyone here, next step is to start tearin it apart otherwise.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i have a ntc big cam 4,and i was havin a problem with the overheating,and i put a new rad in and it took care of the problem,i tried everything else and that solved it but...if you have alot of fuel turned to it you will have a problem unles you convert it to a high flow,and that consists of a thermostat housing, water pump,front part of the water manifold,water tube to the oil cooler,and the top and bottom tanks on the rad
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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cummins big cam IV over heat

I have an 88 freightliner with the low flow system and after changing the head gaskets,thermostats,radiator,cluch,fan,radiator hoses,an finally doing a complete rebuild it still over heated. After alot of research the low flow system works as a loop system meaning the hot water leaves the block through the small hose into the radiator then out the big hose of the radiator into the thermostate houseing then into the aftercooler then out the aftercooler then back into the block. There is a metal screan in the lines that go from the thermostate housing to the aftercooler and mine was completely blocked!!! Now that i have cleaned it i have no more problems!!!
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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how much does the temperature drop across the radiator?
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'94 F250xlt ext. cab. ZF5-speed 4x4. EBPV delete. DPP downpipe. Tymar intake. Tymar coolant filter. Type 31 batteries. LF9691 primary filter. Electric fans. 10k mod. 1.0 turbo housing. Boost blanket. Over-axle exhaust eliminated. Electric fuel pressure gauge. Heim joint clutch linkage. Adrenaline HPOP. BDP modded IDM. LUK SMFW. DIY Elec Fuel. FS1282, FF5320 fuel filters. SD starter. Dieselsite T-stat. DP 80hp tuned PCM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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temperature drop is about 20 dergee an on level road it stays around 165 to 170 degree and ou a hill or under hard acceleration it dosent go over 190 degree and that is grossing 77 to 80,000lbs and that was on a 85 degree day
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I probable should start new post ,but my ? is kinda on topic.
My son and I have problem with cooling system airlocking after the engine run to operating temp. and cooling back down.It is building pressure in the cooling system,from wehere we don't know yet.
WE just got through removing the thmostates and is driving it on test run now.
Someone said it mite run a little hot without thmostate,but that would
be better than airlocking and peging out the temp gadge from airlocking.
Any view on this would be welcome.
Farmer Steve
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