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Dodge Repair/'00 5.9L V8 overheating

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QUESTION: i have a dodge durango 2000 5.9l v8. So recently ive had alot of trouble with my coolant sytem. at first i had a leak in the heater core so i did a bypass and its holding without any leaks. after that the temp gauge would climb to red line then drop down to hallfway then would keep doing that. so i juswt changed the thermostat. i have not bled it or put a neww gasket on which i plan to do. while im driving now it overheats fairly quickly and there is coolant over parts of the engine when i open it. i looked and it looks to be leaking out the housing area. i was wondering if that leak would be causing it to overheat or could it be a bad thermostat.

ANSWER: Hi Joshua,
You can verify the thermostat by placing it in a pan of water on the stove and heat it up to boiling and watch that it open up at the rated temp (around 195F?).
If there were a leak around the thermostat housing then it may well be the case that there is air being trapped in the housing which prevents the hot water from operating the thermostat properly so that it doesn't open when it should. So check the thermostat and also replace the housing gasket and refill the system. I'll let you know if I find any other suggestions.
Roland

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok so i tested the thermostat and it seems to work fine. I installed the new gasket and sealant and thermostat housing. before i put it all back together i wanted to make sure it held some water. i put water in the housing and it drains. not fast but like the housing is completly drained in about 45 seconds. i cant see any leak around the housing but there is an area about half an inch that is hidden that i cant see and i cant really test yet because it just rained. my main question is even if the engine is closed would the fluid still drain out of the termostat housing or would the thermostat housing have to have a leak.

Answer
Hi Joshua,
I would look carefully at the housing and location on the engine where it attaches. Did you notice that the thermostat housing goes on the manifold with the label of the housing "front" facing toward the front of the engine? It is supposed to be tilted slightly forward if you have it correctly. The bolts should be tighten to 200 inch-pounds (18 foot-pounds).  If you do all that and still it leaks, there must be something cracked or warped because there should be no leakage.
Roland

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Roland Finston

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Free fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Education/Credentials
Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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