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Old 08-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
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bumper and winch causing overheating?

I have my 2000 wrangler having problems overheating. On the freeway the temp will slowly rise to red and tell me to check my Guages. I'll begin to pull off the freeway and before i can reach the top of the offramp, the temp will shoot back down to good. This seems to only happen when the ac is running. Replaced the thermostat and radiator. They are now thinking i am blocking airflow With my warn winch and src smittybilt stinger bumper. Ideas?

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Old 08-08-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:45 PM   #3
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I have my 2000 wrangler having problems overheating. On the freeway the temp will slowly rise to red and tell me to check my Guages. I'll begin to pull off the freeway and before i can reach the top of the offramp, the temp will shoot back down to good. This seems to only happen when the ac is running. Replaced the thermostat and radiator. They are now thinking i am blocking airflow With my warn winch and src smittybilt stinger bumper. Ideas?
Take your winch off and drive the jeep see if it over heats...
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:46 PM   #4
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From the looks of it, I would say they are probably right. So have totally changed the aerodynamics of the front end and it's ability to direct air into the radiator.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
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I have my 2000 wrangler having problems overheating. On the freeway the temp will slowly rise to red and tell me to check my Guages. I'll begin to pull off the freeway and before i can reach the top of the offramp, the temp will shoot back down to good. This seems to only happen when the ac is running. Replaced the thermostat and radiator. They are now thinking i am blocking airflow With my warn winch and src smittybilt stinger bumper. Ideas?
Did this problem start right after you installed the winch and/or bumper?

New radiator cap with that radiator? I only ask because you didn't mention it.

Was the system "burped" to get all of the air out?

IMHO I don't think it's your winch / bumper. Thousands of Jeeps have winch / bumpers (mine included) and don't have problems.

If the jeep was truly overheating it would never cool down to normal in that short of a time.

How many miles on it? Water pump ever changed? When was the last time the belt was changed? Mine (4.0l) was running hot (over 210, but not overheating) only on the H'way. Changed the (very) old belt, problem solved.
Could be electrical also causing the erratic gauge readings. Coolant sensor, wiring, the gauge itself. Without the Jeep in front of me I am of course just guessing. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
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Take your winch off and drive the jeep see if it over heats...
Good idea!

It sounds like at speed you're creating a vacuum or turbulent air in front of the radiator. Slowing down changes the airflow and things cool off. An electric pusher fan might help if you don't want to modify the bumper or remove the winch.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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Did this problem start right after you installed the winch and/or bumper?

New radiator cap with that radiator? I only ask because you didn't mention it.

Was the system "burped" to get all of the air out?

IMHO I don't think it's your winch / bumper. Thousands of Jeeps have winch / bumpers (mine included) and don't have problems.

If the jeep was truly overheating it would never cool down to normal in that short of a time.

How many miles on it? Water pump ever changed? When was the last time the belt was changed? Mine (4.0l) was running hot (over 210, but not overheating) only on the H'way. Changed the (very) old belt, problem solved.
Could be electrical also causing the erratic gauge readings. Coolant sensor, wiring, the gauge itself. Without the Jeep in front of me I am of course just guessing. Hope this helps.
It seems like this happened right around the time I installed the bumper. I have always had the winch.

And I had a garage install my new radiator, and I'm not sure if they did a new cap with it. I'm also not aware if they did a burp to get the air out.

There are 62 some thousand miles on it. The water pump and belt also both seem great!

But it runs fine with the ac off, and they did one 30 mile test run with the bumper and winch off today and had no problem, so it's hard to tell, because sometimes I can drive that duration and have it not overheat, while other times it does
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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It seems like this happened right around the time I installed the bumper. I have always had the winch.

And I had a garage install my new radiator, and I'm not sure if they did a new cap with it. I'm also not aware if they did a burp to get the air out.

There are 62 some thousand miles on it. The water pump and belt also both seem great!

But it runs fine with the ac off, and they did one 30 mile test run with the bumper and winch off today and had no problem, so it's hard to tell, because sometimes I can drive that duration and have it not overheat, while other times it does
Does it actually overheat? does it boil over? It is impossible for coolant temp to go from red line back down to 210 in what, a couple of hundred feet? A minute or two?

Again, IMHO if it was the bumper it would overheat regardless if the ac was on or not if the bumper was causing a lack of air flow to the radiator. Turning the ac on has nothing to do with airflow coming into the radiator.

Is the area behind the grill, the a/c condenser, clean and free of dirt / debris?

Check the lower radiator hose. Have someone rev the engine (IN PARK OR WITH PARKING BRAKE ON IN NEUTRAL) and see if the hose collapses. Newer hoses do not always have the spring inside to maintain shape and if the hose collapses under accel. (freeway) could cause overheating. This might also cause a lack of sufficient flow to the coolant sensor causing an erratic reading.

Check the fan clutch. when cold it should not spin more then 5 times when spun by hand (ENGINE OFF!)

Just some other things to check.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:54 PM   #9
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Sounds like a bad fan clutch to me. I doubt it has anything to do with the bumper and/or the winch.

With the engine warmed up to operating temperature, shut the engine off then try to spin the fan blade by hand. If you can easily spin it, replace the fan clutch.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:24 AM   #10
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Sounds like a bad fan clutch to me. I doubt it has anything to do with the bumper and/or the winch.

With the engine warmed up to operating temperature, shut the engine off then try to spin the fan blade by hand. If you can easily spin it, replace the fan clutch.
Isn't the fan clutch not in play at 65 mph?
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
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Does it actually overheat? does it boil over? It is impossible for coolant temp to go from red line back down to 210 in what, a couple of hundred feet? A minute or two?

Again, IMHO if it was the bumper it would overheat regardless if the ac was on or not if the bumper was causing a lack of air flow to the radiator. Turning the ac on has nothing to do with airflow coming into the radiator.

Is the area behind the grill, the a/c condenser, clean and free of dirt / debris?

Check the lower radiator hose. Have someone rev the engine (IN PARK OR WITH PARKING BRAKE ON IN NEUTRAL) and see if the hose collapses. Newer hoses do not always have the spring inside to maintain shape and if the hose collapses under accel. (freeway) could cause overheating. This might also cause a lack of sufficient flow to the coolant sensor causing an erratic reading.

Check the fan clutch. when cold it should not spin more then 5 times when spun by hand (ENGINE OFF!)

Just some other things to check.

It says it overheats! Unless it's a bad electrical reading. But I replaced the coolant sensor from the thermostat. Sometimes it cools letting off the gas within 10 Seconds, other times it's a minute or two before it jumps back down and I'm fine for another 30 miles on the freeway.

But even though it doesn't block airflow, the ac on puts a huge workload on the engine right?

And I just got a radiator job done two days ago, so I would hope they checked all hoses and ensured everything was clean.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:45 AM   #12
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It says it overheats! Unless it's a bad electrical reading. But I replaced the coolant sensor from the thermostat. Sometimes it cools letting off the gas within 10 Seconds, other times it's a minute or two before it jumps back down and I'm fine for another 30 miles on the freeway.

But even though it doesn't block airflow, the ac on puts a huge workload on the engine right?

And I just got a radiator job done two days ago, so I would hope they checked all hoses and ensured everything was clean.
I experienced the same problem while driving in the heat of Texas and Oklahoma a few weeks ago. With my Jeep loaded down with gear on the fwy, I had these same problems with the 'Check Gauge' buzzer going off, and the oil pressure indicator going up and down.

In Kingwood, Texas I had the Oil Sending Unit changed, but this didn't resolve the problem. How about adding a HD Fan Clutch and a Poison Spyder Louver Kit?
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:58 AM   #13
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I experienced the same problem while driving in the heat of Texas and Oklahoma a few weeks ago. With my Jeep loaded down with gear on the fwy, I had these same problems with the 'Check Gauge' buzzer going off, and the oil pressure indicator going up and down.

In Kingwood, Texas I had the Oil Sending Unit changed, but this didn't resolve the problem. How about adding a HD Fan Clutch and a Poison Spyder Louver Kit?
Yeah I I am in the heat of arizona. But i will add things if I have too... But i would prefer to resolve the problem without aftermarket parts for now. The jeep should be able to handle everything right now
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:10 AM   #14
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Isn't the fan clutch not in play at 65 mph?
That's incorrect, the fan clutch tightens when the temperature rises, so once the engine is hot, it should be a lot tighter, and not as free spinning. Running hot at high speed, then cooling off when slowing down is a pretty common symptom of a bad fan clutch. It's easy (and free) to check it.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
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The Oil Sending Unit cost $120 for the parts plus installation at Goodyear in Kingwood, Texas. The guys used OEM Mopar parts to make sure the Jeep performed properly w/o the possibility of a cheap part failing on my Jeep.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:43 AM   #16
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That's incorrect, the fan clutch tightens when the temperature rises, so once the engine is hot, it should be a lot tighter, and not as free spinning. Running hot at high speed, then cooling off when slowing down is a pretty common symptom of a bad fan clutch. It's easy (and free) to check it.
Noted!! Thank you. I'll give that a check and see if it helps!
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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It says it overheats! Unless it's a bad electrical reading. But I replaced the coolant sensor from the thermostat. Sometimes it cools letting off the gas within 10 Seconds, other times it's a minute or two before it jumps back down and I'm fine for another 30 miles on the freeway.

But even though it doesn't block airflow, the ac on puts a huge workload on the engine right?

And I just got a radiator job done two days ago, so I would hope they checked all hoses and ensured everything was clean.
First thing I'd have to say is don't rely on repair shops to do anything they are not getting paid to do. I do 90% of my own work. If I "shop out" any work, I use a shop with people I know and trust. Even then I still go over their repairs. We are all human. We omit, we forget, we make mistakes.

Just because the gauge reads in the red, does not necessarily mean it is overheating. The gauge can be wrong. Again, has it ever boiled over?

Coolant will not cool 50+ degrees in a hot motor in 10 seconds or even two minutes for that matter.

Vehicle speed has nothing to do with clutch fan engagement.

A/C does place a load on the engine, but I wouldn't say a huge one. Towing a heavy trailer uphill is a huge load.

Your Jeep definitely has a gremlin. It could be something as simple as the cooling system being air bound. It could be a wiring or computer problem.
It is however nearly impossible to diagnose over the internet.

Check the things we mentioned. At least that may narrow down your problem if not correct it. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:00 AM   #18
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Your cooling system is the culprit, not the winch/bumper. I've seen the fan clutch mentioned a few times, and that's a good place to start. Make sure that the radiator isn't clogged with rust (the anti-freeze/water will be a rust color if it is).
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:04 AM   #19
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X10 on that winch/bumper not being a contributor to your overheating problem... you've simply got a marginal cooling system that needs to be taken care of. Could be a bad water pump, bad/sticking thermostat, clogged radiator, etc.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:27 AM   #20
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X10 on that winch/bumper not being a contributor to your overheating problem... you've simply got a marginal cooling system that needs to be taken care of. Could be a bad water pump, bad/sticking thermostat, clogged radiator, etc.
I guess I am confused then, because it just drove 60 miles with the bumper and winch off and there wasn't even a noticeable rise in temp to overheat
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:35 AM   #21
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Again, that's strictly because your cooling system is marginal because it has a problem.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:36 AM   #22
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First thing I'd have to say is don't rely on repair shops to do anything they are not getting paid to do. I do 90% of my own work. If I "shop out" any work, I use a shop with people I know and trust. Even then I still go over their repairs. We are all human. We omit, we forget, we make mistakes.

Just because the gauge reads in the red, does not necessarily mean it is overheating. The gauge can be wrong. Again, has it ever boiled over?

Coolant will not cool 50+ degrees in a hot motor in 10 seconds or even two minutes for that matter.

Vehicle speed has nothing to do with clutch fan engagement.

A/C does place a load on the engine, but I wouldn't say a huge one. Towing a heavy trailer uphill is a huge load.

Your Jeep definitely has a gremlin. It could be something as simple as the cooling system being air bound. It could be a wiring or computer problem.
It is however nearly impossible to diagnose over the internet.

Check the things we mentioned. At least that may narrow down your problem if not correct it. Good luck.
Everything has seemed to be checked out. New thermostat, radiator, hoses, water pump checked.

Haven't checked the fan clutch, but the jeep has gone 90 miles without the bumper and winch and didn't even creep over 210. Ideas?
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #23
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Again, that's strictly because your cooling system is marginal because it has a problem.
So your saying my system should be able to handle it? I live in az where it is blazing hot. Basically right when I put it on it began to have problems. When I took it off, problems stopped. Coincidence?
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:18 PM   #24
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If the garage did not install a new cap with the new radiator, shame on them. Check you're receipt if you still have it.
If the thermostat has a bleed hole in it then there is no need burp it.

With that being said, if the temp went from red line 'ish' to back to normal is a flow issue. Meaning that something was impeding the flow of coolant. That could be an air bubble and air bubbles can be inconsistent. So you should probably burp it to be sure. But if it's still overheating and you're radiator or thermostat is not the issue, then look to the water pump. Especially if it's been 50k+ miles since it has been changed.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:25 PM   #25
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If the garage did not install a new cap with the new radiator, shame on them. Check you're receipt if you still have it.
If the thermostat has a bleed hole in it then there is no need burp it.

With that being said, if the temp went from red line 'ish' to back to normal is a flow issue. Meaning that something was impeding the flow of coolant. That could be an air bubble and air bubbles can be inconsistent. So you should probably burp it to be sure. But if it's still overheating and you're radiator or thermostat is not the issue, then look to the water pump. Especially if it's been 50k+ miles since it has been changed.
Thermostat and radiator were both replaced. Everything is new. I'll double check on the cap, but that should be new, and I'll double check on the burp. So you are saying there is no way it has anything to do with the winch and bumper blocking airflow to my radiator?
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:37 PM   #26
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Highly doubt it's the winch bumper combo, considering you would hear about overheating issues already with those owners running that fairly common setup. I would lean towards a failing fan clutch but do recommend trying to 'burp' the system if the shop didn't do it thoroughly enough. I'm actually surprised that your stock radiator only made it to 60K miles. Is the replacement OEM?
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #27
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I would say no since there are countless jeeps with winches and bumpers that are not causing this issue, including my friend who has a set up similar to yours. I think your pump is going and taking the winch/bumper off just took enough off the pump's work load to make you think different.
Also, how is your coolant level? If the coolant level is low enough you're Jeep will run hotter.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #28
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Highly doubt it's the winch bumper combo, considering you would hear about overheating issues already with those owners running that fairly common setup. I would lean towards a failing fan clutch but do recommend trying to 'burp' the system if the shop didn't do it thoroughly enough. I'm actually surprised that your stock radiator only made it to 60K miles. Is the replacement OEM?
The system was burped and the radiator was an old replacement! I will check the fan clutch as well. But I will figured the the same thing, I'm not the only one somewhere hot that is rubbing this combo
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:27 PM   #29
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I've had a winch on mine for over 2 years, with several trips to OKC and down to Dallas, mostly during the summers, without any issues. Lots of triple digit days, and quite a few running the A/C. The engine temp never got above the 210 mark.

My guess would be the fan clutch. See how loose it is when cold (there should be a little resistance), vs when it is hot (it shouldn't spin free at all when hot). Look at the front of the clutch, the metal spring on the outside should be relatively dirt/dust free. If there's a good coating of dust, then that's another good indicator that the clutch is either dying or dead.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #30
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I didn't think we needed the fan at highway speeds with a 60 to 70 mph wind speed passing through the radiator. With that said, maybe the bumper/winch is disrupting the air flow just enough that a fan is needed at highway speeds. Personally I would replace the fan clutch next, to me it seems like the next logical step in the process. Water Pump? in 34 years as an automotive tech I only replaced one water pump due to a bad impeller, all other water pumps were replaced due to leaking. Also make sure your lower radiator hose isn't crimped, sometimes aftermarket parts don't fit as well as OEM parts and that new radiator or if the hoses were replaced the lower radiator hose could have a kink in it. Back in the day lower radiator hoses came with a spring inside so they wouldn't collapse or kink. Good Luck and let us know?

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