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Elevated Oil Temps when towing - potential solutions

1259 Views 29 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Brokedownbutgood
Hey all:

I live in the middle of a mountainous terrain of Western Canada, so we pretty much always deal with climbing steep terrain and mountain passes when camping with our travel trailer. I’ve been searching through the forums and getting lots of great info to help manage elevated oil temps when towing.

My current set-up:

2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab SLT, GDE Engine & Transmission Tune, 3.55 gears, Timbergrove ASAM, upgraded 275/65/20 rims/tires (17” original factory stock – I know the larger rims/tires are detrimental for towing, but appearance matters too…)

Travel Trailer:

2020 Springdale 220BHWE; 4,900 lb dry, ~6,600 lb loaded

I have snipped the stats on one of the larger mountain passes we travel below—I will hit the derate message for oil temps (130 C) during the ascent, and I currently follow @VernDiesel advice of keeping <3,000 RPMs and the speed ends up in the 60-70 kmh range.

Slope Rectangle Plot Font Magenta

Looking for some additional input/feedback on potential improvements with helping keep the oil temperatures down. Here is what I am thinking and have gleaned from other forum members (@Bounty Hunter, @Brokedownbutgood - always appreciate your contributions to the forum)

Any additional thoughts, feedback, and suggestions would be appreciated.
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If you still have the 17s that are shorter just for the trip. The SLT or Tradesman honeycomb style grill is a direct swap and can be picked up on mopar discount sites. GDE did proper testing and showed measurable temps improvements when towing the Dam in is it Arizona. But mostly tow haul and let it drop gears and speed as it needs to. Just adjust the throttle to keep it at or slightly below 3k as to avoid derate. This will give you the best average speed not be as hard on your truck and keep you from being a 15 mph rolling road block on the climb. You will likely be going 45 mph but it beats 15 mph because of trying to hold 60 or whatever. Good luck enjoy and let us know your experience.
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The oil cooler is not the reason the 4th gens having cooling problems and having limited towing capacity compared to the Hemi. According to meeting SAE J2807 towing standards it’s failing to meet a couple standards which are largely due to limited and or in this case compromised cooling system. IE the main reason the Hemi has higher tow ratings despite less torque is because it has a better or uncompromised cooling system.

The reason for this is simple Ram boneheaded engineers not paying any attention to what others in both Ford & GM had already proven to work by putting the intercooler in front of most of the radiator. The radiator simply cannot get enough cool fresh air. It sucks hot air from the intercooler. GM in the 86 Buick Grand National and Ford in the Ecoboost f-150s both put the intercooler behind the bumper with fresh air scoops and down and away from in front of the radiator.

What did Ram do to dramatically raise the towing limits in the 5th gen ED while meeting SAE j2807 standards? Bigger radiator.. nope, bigger oil cooler nope in fact the ED now only carries like 7 quarts instead of 10.5. Ram simply relocated the intercooler away from in front of the radiator as Buick & Ford did.

This does not mean it’s a simple task to relocate ours and large oil cooler is still an optional way of mitigating the problem.
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