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Discussion Starter #1
We recently bought a 4000# 19' travel trailer so we could bring the kids camping. It's a great little trailer but our "little" van has been overheating while towing the trailer to California and Utah for vacations. I've already contacted the dealer and they can't do anything for me other than flashing the ECU.

So, my question is this, what can I do to lower the engine temps in our 3.5L EB? The radiator in the Transit is already smaller than the one in the F-150: 400sq inches vs 540 in the F-150. The transmission isn't contributing to the engine's heat soak as it has a little outboard cooler attached to the side of the radiator. I'm going to add a tranny cooler but that's outside the scope of this question. How much would adding an external oil cooler lower my engine's operating temps? I'm going to pull off the grille this weekend and use a radiator comb to straighten any bent fins and give the radiator and intercooler a good washing. This is a great van with a strong motor but the overheating issue sucks.

Right now I'm running 91 octane, keeping my speed around 60mph and locking 5th and 6th gears to keep the water pump spinning faster. The grades I'm encountering are 6% and greater, 3 to 15 miles long. Ambient temps have been between 95 and 105.
 

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Is there room for a pusher fan on the front? Flex-a-lite makes some great compact fan options. Check out they're dual fan setup. 4600CFM. I bought one for my Dodge B250. I think it was $500 something out the door. I like the twin fan setup over the single fan only because if one goes out you're not dead in the water.


Having said that, I've never popped the hood open on one of these and just started looking in to them for a camper/buggy hauler recently
 

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Doesn't the 3.5EB already come with an electric fan?

A separate oil cooler with a fan would help. The stock oil cooler uses the radiator so that's kinda useless.

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Woodgeek,
please explain the ins and outs of getting that grill off after you have done it.
Tried on mine. Got the 5 push pins off and the three 10 millimeter bolts at the top by the radiator. Thought that I could pull it off enough to insert a screen on the radiator. That was this afternoon and not sure how to get the rest of the grill off all the way to the bottom of the headlights without breaking something.

Thank you,
Suitcase
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The 3.5 EB radiator already comes with two electric fans. I'm going to get an external oil cooler with fan (Derale 15845) to be used with a Permacool 1070 thermostat. The fact that the ecoboost shoots jets of oil at the undersides of the pistons to cool them and has a substantial oil volume means an oil cooler should go a long way to reducing the coolant temps I'm seeing while towing.
 

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Awesome, please report back on your results. When I get my van I want to do the same thing.

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What temperature is considered overheating on the 3.5EB? How hot does is yours getting? Is it throwing codes and going into overheat limp mode?

On my old 5cyl sprinter the max temp was 250° and the gauge on the dash told you the actual temerature. It would normally run at 185° but towing up mountains in the summer heat I would regularly get it up to 235°. It made me nervous but wasn't really concerned because I wasn't at redline yet.

I just recently hooked up my OBD scanner to my transit and it's normally at 195-210° for regular driving but I haven't measured it when towing yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
So, looking at our van this morning, my approach is going to be a little different than originally planned. Our van already has part number DK4Z6A642A installed. It's not an adapter to let you connect an external oil cooler as I had prematurely guessed. It's a little coolant to oil heat exchanger that routes coolant from a down pipe, located beside the radiator, to help cool the engine oil.

Knowing this simplifies my approach as I can use the existing connections to route coolant directly to my external cooler. I can get rid of the Perma-Cool fluid thermostat that was in my plan. The Derale 15845 is rated to transfer 37,000 btu/hr. I'm going to wire a 12v relay off of the factory radiator fans to switch the Derale fans on and off. Wiring the Derale fans in parallel with the factory fans would probably blow a fuse as the Derale fans are rated to pull 7.2 amps. I'm also going to to change the summertime water/coolant ratio to increase the coolants heat carrying ability. From the factory it should be 50/50. Going to a 85/15 distilled water to coolant ratio will increase the heat carrying capacity of the coolant by approximately 20% while still providing corrosion protection for the engine, water pump and radiator.

Below is a photo of someone else's installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What temperature is considered overheating on the 3.5EB? How hot does is yours getting? Is it throwing codes and going into overheat limp mode?

On my old 5cyl sprinter the max temp was 250° and the gauge on the dash told you the actual temerature. It would normally run at 185° but towing up mountains in the summer heat I would regularly get it up to 235°. It made me nervous but wasn't really concerned because I wasn't at redline yet.

I just recently hooked up my OBD scanner to my transit and it's normally at 195-210° for regular driving but I haven't measured it when towing yet.
I'm not sure what temp is considered overheating on the Transit. I haven't had an OBD or scan tool attached to the van yet. On the temp gauge, it was a little over 3/4 of the way to hot when the "cutting power" message appeared and the A/C was cut. I need to run my scan tool this weekend and check for any saved codes.
 

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Hi woodgeek, this is Tom from FTE. I generally don't make it down to the towing forum here, and probably wouldn't have found this without your link over there. ;)

I'm a bit confused with your plans here, but think I'm starting to understand. Are you using the oil cooler lines to plumb in the Derale cooler to the cooling circuit?

Very interesting, I haven't heard of anyone doing this before.
 

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I am a bit surprised by this. I do realize a 4klb trailer is not light at all, but it seems less than some others here have been hauling around.

One thing that might be useful is to invest in a bluetooth ODBII adapter and the Torque app for a smartphone to be able to watch the various temps accurately and in real time.

The total expense I paid for my setup (Android) was about $25 ($20 for the BAXF adapter on Amazon, and $5 for the full version of the app) but you can save about $5 by going with the free version of the app with less info available.

What I found is the stock temp gauge isn't even remotely close to indicating what's going on with coolant temp and with app I was able to also monitor oil temp, trans oil temp, exhaust gas temp, etc.... and see how they rose/fell depending on load, speed, ambient temp etc. all extremely useful. I mounted my phone in a windshield type holder and was able to watch everything in real time. It's the best $25 bucks I've spent in quite some time, not to mention it works on pretty much any vehicle built after 2006.

I haven't done quite the level of towing with my 3.2L diesel yet but so far the temp has yet to go much pass 200 deg F even in 104+ ambient temps. What is interesting is the exhaust gas temps, they hit 1,000+ degrees under a good load for a bit.

You might also check out the F-150 sites to see if anybody over there is having overheating issues with the 3.5 ecoboost engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi Tom. I agree, my dilemma is a little unique in the Transit world. My Transit is rated to tow about 5100# but I don't think that's taking into consideration mountain passes and 90+ ambient temps.

I'll probably use 3/4" oil cooler lines to route to the Derale. Plumbing into the oil filter heat exchanger is the best way that I can come up with to increase the cooling capacity of my existing system. As you mentioned on FTE, there aren't any larger radiators for the Transit. Its frontal area is just too small to work with. Using a pancake style oil filter adapter would allow me to cool the oil, but I don't think that would provide as much cooling as I need. 3/4" lines aren't as large as typical radiator hoses but it should move enough coolant to remove alot of heat from the cooling system. What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I am a bit surprised by this. I do realize a 4klb trailer is not light at all, but it seems less than some others here have been hauling around.

One thing that might be useful is to invest in a bluetooth ODBII adapter and the Torque app for a smartphone to be able to watch the various temps accurately and in real time.

The total expense I paid for my setup (Android) was about $25 ($20 for the BAXF adapter on Amazon, and $5 for the full version of the app) but you can save about $5 by going with the free version of the app with less info available.

What I found is the stock temp gauge isn't even remotely close to indicating what's going on with coolant temp and with app I was able to also monitor oil temp, trans oil temp, exhaust gas temp, etc.... and see how they rose/fell depending on load, speed, ambient temp etc. all extremely useful. I mounted my phone in a windshield type holder and was able to watch everything in real time. It's the best $25 bucks I've spent in quite some time, not to mention it works on pretty much any vehicle built after 2006.

I haven't done quite the level of towing with my 3.2L diesel yet but so far the temp has yet to go much pass 200 deg F even in 104+ ambient temps. What is interesting is the exhaust gas temps, they hit 1,000+ degrees under a good load for a bit.

You might also check out the F-150 sites to see if anybody over there is having overheating issues with the 3.5 ecoboost engine.
Hi Dan, I've got an OBD scantool that I'll be hooking up this weekend. I wish I'd had it hooked up while towing last weekend. Regarding the F-150's, they have it easier as their radiator is 35% larger than the Transit's (540 vs 400 square inches). Also, their towing package includes a 4"x20" transmission cooler. Ours is a token little thing about the size of a softball.

So, I'm guessing that losing 35% of your radiator's frontal area (540 vs 400) means you're losing about 35% of it's cooling capacity, which cuts a huge amount of your towing capacity. So, even though 4000# isn't that much weight, when you're pulling a 6% grade in 95+ temps, I guess it all adds up. :blush:
 

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Woodgeek - If I understand correctly you are going to use coolant through the fittings on the oil cooler. The coolant will then run to the Derale for cooling.

Sorry but that will do almost nothing beyond the stock setup to cool the oil. The huge choke point is the ability of that tiny little cooler to transfer heat from the oil to the coolant. I have run those little stacked cooler in a lab setting and monitored all temps proving it was pitiful in it's capacity to remove heat.

You need to get the oil out to the Derale cooler and you will see huge improvements. Something like this is what you need.

http://www.full-race.com/store/ecoboost/ford-f-150-air-to-oil-cooler-kit.html

If you can, find just the sandwich adapter that will work with the Derale setup. Try them or Hayden

I found this company that sells an oil cooler for Ecoboost Mustangs. They sell the thermostatic sandwich adapter plate but you need to confirm it will fit a 3.5 Ecoboost.

http://www.mishimoto.com/ford-mustang-ecoboost-oil-cooler-kit-15.html
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The F-150's have it all over the Transit for towing. With the 3.5EB they're rated anywhere from 10,700 to 12,200. My "little" Transit is rated right at 5,100. With my 4000# trailer, the kids and camping gear, I'm sure we're over that 5,100 limit. I'd upgrade to an F-150 for towing but the six kids wouldn't fit and the truck really doesn't fit our weekday lifestyle. lol

Dan, your 3.2PS is better than the 3.5EB by a few thousand pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Woodgeek - If I understand correctly you are going to use coolant through the fittings on the oil cooler. The coolant will then run to the Derale for cooling.
Hi Rene, the oil cooler on the Transit currently routes coolant from the radiator through a 3/4" ID line through a heat exchanger that precedes the oil filter to cool oil before it passes into the oil filter. I want to tap those coolant line from the radiator and run those into my Derale cooler and route the cooled coolant ;) back to the oil cooler and then the radiator.

It's confusing, I know. It's taken me a few days to wrap my head around the fluid paths and what I want to do. It's a unique problem with a similarly unique solution that I hope is based on sound reasoning. Hence my desire to bounce things off of the collective minds here.

Please see the attached pictures of the oil cooler/heat exchanger. Those lines are 3/4" coolant lines. It doesn't function as a traditional oil filter pancake adapter.
 

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Woodgeek, The problem with your setup is you are leaving the stock oil cooler in the loop. It is small and inefficient and will not pull any more heat from the oil than it does stock. It doesn't matter that you are adding the Derale cooler because the stock oil cooler is your limitation.

If you use an adapter plate like this, which replaces the stock oil cooler, you can run oil to the Derale cooler and get maximum cooling. Of course you need to confirm the adapter plate fits the 3.5 Ecoboost.

http://www.mishimoto.com/oil-sandwich-plate-m20-silver.html

That adapter plate coupled with the Derale with fans and the temp sensor from the other thread will be the perfect setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Woodgeek, The problem with your setup is you are leaving the stock oil cooler in the loop. It is small and inefficient and will not pull any more heat from the oil than it does stock. It doesn't matter that you are adding the Derale cooler because the stock oil cooler is your limitation.
Hi Rene,
Just to be clear on what I'm trying to do. I'm using the oil cooler to tap into the existing coolant flow from the radiator. I'm not trying to do any additional cooling of the oil. The picture that I've modified shows the existing oil cooler and its connections to the radiator.

Coolant will enter the Derale probably at whatever temp, lets say ~200. It should return to the cooling system at some lower temp, maybe ~175.
 

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