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Old 05-31-2011, 09:31 AM
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Default Coolant Won't Reach Operating Temperature

I have a problem on my 2007 Frontier that is absolutely baffling me.

About two weeks ago, I performed the timing chain TSB myself and decided to also replace the radiator as a precaution against the dreaded coolant/ATF cross contamination. Now, the truck is all put back together and runs better than it ever has before. The only catch is that it won't reach the proper operating temperature.

I have a coolant test/service kit and performed a complete check on the cooling system. No positive or negative pressure leaks. The cooling system was refilled with a Venturi vacuum tool, so there are no air bubbles in the coolant lines. But, my temperature guage only goes up a little less than half-way. I confirmed the results with an external thermometer. The max temp I reach is about 150 degrees F.

I thought it might be a bad thermostat stuck open, so I pulled the old one out and replaced it with a new one. However, the old thermostat functions properly in the boiling water test and the new one still does the same thing.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:00 AM
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Unfortunately never had that problem, and I'm trying to figure out what could be the problem, but I have a couple of questions:

What was the ambient conditions when you check the temperature?

Where did you check the temperature, at the thermostat housing or at the sensor?

One last question, is the radiator fan engage with the engine off?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:15 AM
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Ambient air approximately 60-70 degrees F. However, I remember the temperature rising to normal even in 0 degree F weather (eventually). The engine shows no signs of overheating (loss of power, etc.) even after long, slow dirt road hill climbs.

Temperature checked at top of radiator.

The primary crankshaft cooling fan runs as normal with engine on, and the auxilary electric fan does not come on with ignition on/engine off.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:19 AM
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never been under the hood of the 2007 but our 2000 uses a clutch on the fan if yours is the the same I would suspect it being locked up all the time. With the engine off try to spin the fan blade. If the engine is cool the fan should spin easily. then warm up the engine and shut down and try to spin the fan again you should notice a difference in how hard it is to spin the fan blade. If there is no or very little difference replace the clutch. I have a 2000 Ford that I have had to do this twice. You may be able to hear the difference. I can hear mine when it comes in (roaring under the hood when the engine comes up to temp). If yours roars all the time could be an indicator as well.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
The primary crankshaft cooling fan runs as normal with engine on, and the auxilary electric fan does not come on with ignition on/engine off.
But the questions if the fan clutch is engage. With the engine cold, you should be able to spin the clutch friendly, but with the engine warm up the clutch should be engage.

Other than a bad clutch and air in the system, I don't see what else can cause the problem, since you have already change the thermostat.

Also try checking the temperature at the "Temperature Sensor"
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:40 AM
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If it's any consolation, to my recollection, my 05 4.0L has never indicated more than 1/2 way and usually the needle runs at 3/8 position (more than 1/4 less than 1/2 gauge) even with the AC on here in southern CA.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:31 PM
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It is some consolation that the gauge on at least one other person's 4.0 doesn't go above half-way. Although, it sill bugs me that mine used to reach 170 degrees F.

The cooling fan seems just fine. It spins freely with the engine off.

I'm guessing my next step is going to be draining the radiator one more time, applying vacuum pressure to ensure all air is drawn out of the system, and then refilling it under vacuum.

Thank you to everyone for all the help and ideas. I'll post the results as soon as I get this done (hopefully by the end of the week).
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:01 AM
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did you use an oem thermostat?
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