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Old 12-01-2013, 08:45 PM
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Towing Review//Engine Heat

Thank you to so many who have written terrific reviews. Some of you are household names over the past few months. This is my first as I did not have much to add until now. The SFU is now about 2 1/2 weeks old and every bit the vehicle I expected. Even superlatives don't do it justice. However, during our first tow, we noticed the same issue reported by our brethren in Oz, with respect to engine temperatures on grade. I know there's another thread but I thought I'd post here as it's in the states and would welcome comments and advice. Here's some early data.

I have the Limited 4x4, ORA II, Adv Tech, etc... Everything possible for towing.

We live in San Diego with moderate temps year around as everyone knows. Drove 90 miles to the RV dealer yesterday to pick up our new 28 foot travel trailer with a dry weight of 6100. Equal-i-zer hitch. Tekonsha P2 controller. Route back was via a couple of SoCal freeways, with several short and moderate grades. Nothing challenging. Chose to baby it at 50 mph for the most part. Dropped to 40 in some light traffic. Never over 55. Handled very well. My old setups were 4x4 Suburbans with large V8s and a 5500 lb dry trailer. The handling on the flats yesterday was excellent. Didn't feel like there was any extra effort. Maintained RPMs at 1500 in Eco. Transmission temp at 190 give or take and oil temp at 210 give or take. OAT at 70.

Things changed on the grades. These were nothing like the grades we expect to challenge later with the trailer: Sierra, Rockies, etc... Just modest uphills for a few miles.

The temp gauge almost immediately registered increases. If the hash marks on the main gauge are divided in eighths, baseline was at the 3 and it quickly jumped to the five mark. Oil/transmission temps rose quickly to 230/197. I exited Eco and downshifted to 5th and 4th, trying to find a match. The transmission responded and I felt the expected surge. 5th jumped to 2600 RPM and 4th to 3500.

A later grade saw the oil temp rise to 246 and I dropped speed to below 50. Gauge close to redline.

I towed it about 20 miles today and experienced the same response.

It never hit redline on temp but I don't know what that actually means. I don't have a fraction of the mechanical know how of many on this forum. Just a love for the great outdoors and all of the versatility the Diesel JGC offers. Am hoping there's some reasonable answer so I don't have to be anxious about it performing to its specs. I assume engine heat should not be a problem for regular grades in the U.S. in moderate climate conditions so long as the trailer is under 7200 lbs and properly equipped. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:12 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

Interesting. Although I was not towing, I experienced a similar heating issue tonight trying to make it up my private road. I have 990 miles on the Jeep. Going up a snow/slush covered grade in snow mode the traction control brought the Jeep to a dead stop (I haven't swapped the factory Michelin Latitudes for snow tires yet). I backed down the hill, put it in low range, and powered my way up the hill. I was surprised at how quickly the engine oil temp climbed from 200 to 225 along with the coolant temp climbing along with it. The transmission oil temp never climbed above 197. The OAT was 30 F.

I wonder if spooling the turbo for any length of time sends the temps skyrocketing. Like you, I intend to tow a travel trailer, but now I'm a little concerned after seeing how quickly the temps shot up just climbing up my driveway.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:34 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

There is another thread that was started on high temps while towing. I am very concerned about this. I plan to buy a 1500 ram with the same motor. Like I said in the other thread the duramax had this issue in 05' and ended up buying back a lot of trucks. I would keep a log of this and I know guys were providing video proof.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:40 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

I am interested in hearing what Chrysler has to say. I know from my Super Duty that my oil temps and trans temps never approached much over 190F.
However that was an older 7.3 turbo diesel.
My 335 BMW twin turbo runs 245F as the regular oil temp. Is it possible that this VM diesel runs hotter like this?
I know the transmission temp is designed for 176F and there is a heater in the Ram and I think also our Jeep.
You know that they had to test these in hot conditions so they had to see temps like this.

Boy sure hope that what you guys are seeing is considered normal because none of these cases are pushing anything very hard.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:02 AM
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Yes, spooling up the turbo will cause the coolant and oil temps to rise. I used to own a RAM 3500 Cummins. The primary concern when towing with a turbo diesel is the EGT (exhaust gas temp). When you start running much over 1300*, you risk melting pistons. Long grades while pulling a load requires much more effort from the engine. This requires more fuel which produces more boost and increases the EGT. The increased cylinder temp causes the increased oil and coolant temps you are seeing. The easiest way to control EGT is to control the load on the engine by locking out the higher gears when towing a grade.

Wonder what the EGT is when you are experiencing the high temps? May need to install a pyrometer to make sure you are not getting into the danger range for temps.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hudsonhawk View Post
Wonder what the EGT is when you are experiencing the high temps? May need to install a pyrometer to make sure you are not getting into the danger range for temps.
That is a spot on description of EGT cause and effect. Lugging a diesel creates high EGT even when loads aren't maxed out. Keeping RPMs up in the 2200+ range helps under heavy tow conditions. Also more water is circulated.

The GC CRD has an EGT sensor built in and its reading is visible via ODBII using the Torque App on an Android device with an ELM327 Bluetooth adapter plugged in the diagnostic port. I have no idea if its pre or post turbo but it changes rapidly. I have seen 1200 F at wide open throttle and 8th gear at 70 mph on flat ground runs 650 to 720 F. During DPF Regen the Cat Temp (also visible) and EGT went to 1200 F for several minutes.

Anyone towing should invest in a Torque App setup. I have $30 total invested.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:26 AM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

A couple things that might be of interest.

On the trucks the gauges are dummies and their readout is dithered by the computer so as not to alarm customers. An example would be they show a higher than actual oil pressure at idle. This has been the case since the 3G trucks came out in 03 and applies to all the gauges. Whether our Jeeps have this going on as their brothers over at Ram do I don't know but if forced to put a shiny new penny on the line I would bet they do.

As to oil temp I can make some generalizations. The engine can withstand much higher temps than the oil can. The oil itself can see up to 600° at the top ring in a diesel engine but this exposure is too transitory to break down the oil and that is where you run into trouble. When the oil breaks down it loses its ability to provide the protective film that is preventing whatever parts are being lubricated from becoming biblically acquainted. This is what we care about, preventing this break down in the oils ability to lubricate.

Exact numbers cannot be given because they're effected by viscosity, contaminates suspended in the oil, desired oil service life, and many other factors. As a general rule of thumb 230ish for conventional oil and 270ish for synthetic oils are around the max sustained you typically see recommended.

To go back to the beginning I would be watching that temp closely and paying attention to its behavior. I would be under the expectation that it is not telling me the real temp but rather what Uncle Jeep wants to tell me. I would be watching to see if it climbs to a peak and camps at the same spot on steep but varying grades. I would watch for it to cool down at the same rate it warmed up after I reached the crest of the hill. Both combined are giveaways that your numbers are dithered. From there you have to decide what it means. We know that these vehicles have had extensive hot weather testing unloaded, loaded, and towing. We have to figure that Jeep does not want to provide a whole lot of new engines and other expensive parts to customers that were towing within the lines. The implication to me would be that it can (probably) safely tow up to its rating in all but extreme conditions based on that alone. I also would note that while several have sited high temps shown I haven't seen anyone say they actually had the vehicle overheat. A big difference between this vehicle and the Chev trucks mentioned previously.

I hope I didn't raise more questions just trying to keep it objective.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:58 AM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

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Originally Posted by crabman View Post
To go back to the beginning I would be watching that temp closely and paying attention to its behavior. I would be under the expectation that it is not telling me the real temp but rather what Uncle Jeep wants to tell me. I would be watching to see if it climbs to a peak and camps at the same spot on steep but varying grades. I would watch for it to cool down at the same rate it warmed up after I reached the crest of the hill. Both combined are giveaways that your numbers are dithered. From there you have to decide what it means.
That's interesting. The gauges showed dramatic increases and decreases rapidly, when climbing and after cresting. Pretty much the same rate. As I mentioned in my original post, I do not have the mechanical savvy to interpret all this in a way that will relieve anxiety. So far, it seems I either have to trust Jeep (which I'm willing to do to a point) and the engineers/specs, or I'll need guidance on how to resolve the situation relatively simply. Appreciation to those with expertise chiming in.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:10 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

No they may not have overheated yet but so far we have been shown relatively light loads and really low oat. I am hoping this is not an issue for these vehicles, I have my heart set on a ram eco. But we can't assume that there may not be a problem. Even if the gauge was 5% off it is still close to the 225*f mark that I wouldn't want to go over.
We need to hear from more people hauling 6500lbs on a 95* day.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by nailem View Post
We need to hear from more people hauling 6500lbs on a 95* day.
tall order, diesels have been on the market for 1 month and north America is heading into the winter season.

why don't you guys organize yourselves and test under some controlled conditions. Same incline, same road, speed and load, several cars, same environmental factors. Throw in for shit and giggles a v6 and a v8 and watch their temperature gauges. Ideally you'd monitor and log the data via OBD-2.

I agree that the gauges are not the best indicators, the temp gauge is for relative readouts at best. But the sensors, with numerical values, those will generally be accurate. Some are tied to pollution control equipment and risking the wrath of EPA is not worth for any manufacturer.

I don't know about your engine but I know a bit about turbos. On my Subaru, the turbo is cooled and lubricated from the general engine cooling and lubrication circuitry. Over the years, Subaru changed the location of the feeder and return lines for some of the models specifically for those reasons. It makes a difference where these lines are connected as it determines the temperatures of the fluids reaching those parts, as it also matters where in the system the sensor is. I will not get into the Subaru details, lets just say that mid way thru 2008 there was a production halt due to failing turbos and pieces sucked into the engines. And that is how Subaru moved to a mandatory 3800 mile oil change interval for all turbo vehicles along with some re-engineered parts.

I hope Jeep sorts it out for you guys.
I now wonder how the diesel truck will fare in off-road, as that work regimen would also overheat the drivetrain
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:42 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

Some fair points made and I think it's interesting to note that the Gents down under are reporting the same temps in much hotter ambient temps. This is not possible unless the cooling system is designed to run at that temp under load and the system is holding the temp there or this is simply the temp Jeep design and engineering have decided the gauge will tell us.


Either way the real proof will be in the pudding.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:23 PM
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Re: Towing Review//Engine Heat

My 2008 CRD's temperature guague never climbed much above normal pulling 5,000 along I-5 from Portland to Los Angeles. I usually climb long grades at about 55-60 MPH in 4th (out of 5) gears.
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