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Certified Minivan Freak
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Thanks. How is yours for heat? It seems like mine takes a long time to warm up (the engine), and I only get heat in the cabin after 3-4 minutes of driving. Both of my other vehicles (and past vehicles) have provided heat within 30-60 seconds of driving. I also only get warm air if I have the temperature knob all the way to the right.

This may be one of two reasons:

1) The heater core may not be efficient in this truck. Or,
2) The temperature selector or mix door may not be adjusted right.

I figured that installing a colder thermostat would make my marginal heat problems worse. What are your experiences with the 180*F thermostat and heat? I plan to ask for a ScanGauge II for my birthday in April, so I'll have a good handle on real coolant temperatures (vs. gauge-indicated) soon.

Thanks again!
 

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By the way, I moved this thread to the light truck forum, since it's become a rather comprehensive discussion on issues relating to the 5.2/5.9 engines and their associated transmissions.
 

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Thanks. How is yours for heat? It seems like mine takes a long time to warm up (the engine), and I only get heat in the cabin after 3-4 minutes of driving. Both of my other vehicles (and past vehicles) have provided heat within 30-60 seconds of driving. I also only get warm air if I have the temperature knob all the way to the right.

This may be one of two reasons:

1) The heater core may not be efficient in this truck. Or,
2) The temperature selector or mix door may not be adjusted right.

I figured that installing a colder thermostat would make my marginal heat problems worse. What are your experiences with the 180*F thermostat and heat? I plan to ask for a ScanGauge II for my birthday in April, so I'll have a good handle on real coolant temperatures (vs. gauge-indicated) soon.

Thanks again!
I would comment on my experience with the heat if I had one to report! Kidding, but to be sure the heat has always been, shall we say, less robust than in other vehicles I own. The 180 stat did make it a bit less warm, but eventually it does heat up. That's where my remote starter comes in handy.

I tried to adjust my temp control knob too but I couldn't figure out the procedure. My selector doesn't quite go all the way to full hot so I'd like to adjust it, but I can't figure it out. :nut: Also, the heater core can get clogged and reduce your cabin heat. Haven't seen it in my Durango but have read enough on other forums.
 

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Certified Minivan Freak
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I would comment on my experience with the heat if I had one to report! Kidding, but to be sure the heat has always been, shall we say, less robust than in other vehicles I own. The 180 stat did make it a bit less warm, but eventually it does heat up.
I've noticed the same, and read the same from others. I guess that's just how these vehicles operate.

I tried to adjust my temp control knob too but I couldn't figure out the procedure. My selector doesn't quite go all the way to full hot so I'd like to adjust it, but I can't figure it out. :nut: Also, the heater core can get clogged and reduce your cabin heat. Haven't seen it in my Durango but have read enough on other forums.
Based on the level of maintenance that my truck appears to have had its whole life, I'd say that the coolant was probably changed on time. I have drained it and re-filled it. But I also bought the truck with about 11 years' and 168,000 miles' of "life" on it. It's possible that the heater core is plugged some. I'm hoping not.

I also hope that I don't ever have to change the HVAC blower motor on this thing. Would you believe that you have to remove the entire dashboard to change the blower motor? I thought my old Cadillac had a hard blower motor to change. This thing would be a real job.
 

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Would you believe that you have to remove the entire dashboard to change the blower motor?
Same thing for heater core replacement, too, so I hope I never have to do it. Well, on the Gen 1 (98-03) Durango it's that way, so I assume it's the same for 97-04 Dak's.
 

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youtube.com/sideburns2009
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Discussion Starter #27
The 180* thermostat was also installed when I changed the gasket and pan. My dad said it takes a few more minutes to heat up the cabin, but nothing that is very noticeable.
 

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Thanks. How is yours for heat? It seems like mine takes a long time to warm up (the engine), and I only get heat in the cabin after 3-4 minutes of driving. Both of my other vehicles (and past vehicles) have provided heat within 30-60 seconds of driving. I also only get warm air if I have the temperature knob all the way to the right.

This may be one of two reasons:

1) The heater core may not be efficient in this truck. Or,
2) The temperature selector or mix door may not be adjusted right.

I figured that installing a colder thermostat would make my marginal heat problems worse. What are your experiences with the 180*F thermostat and heat? I plan to ask for a ScanGauge II for my birthday in April, so I'll have a good handle on real coolant temperatures (vs. gauge-indicated) soon.

Thanks again!
Jason, the reason you have heat in a minute is because you're in NC. Even my van (with the best heating I've ever experienced) takes up to 5 mins in extreme cold. The Durango takes awhile to heat up compared to other engines. It's the nature of full cast iron engines. Lots of heat capacity in all that iron.

The heater core is a huge pain to replace as I did the one in my D. Took a full 8 hours since it was my first time pulling the dash and I didn't know exactly what to pull to do it faster.

After a new core, the heat is very good. Our old one was clogged since my dad put stop leak in the system when the core developed a leak. The 15* change in a different thermostat shouldn't affect your heat much at all unless your core is plugged. Have you thought about reverse flushing it? That made my old one give out heat again, but reopened the leak which is why it got replaced.
 

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Jason, the reason you have heat in a minute is because you're in NC. Even my van (with the best heating I've ever experienced) takes up to 5 mins in extreme cold. The Durango takes awhile to heat up compared to other engines. It's the nature of full cast iron engines. Lots of heat capacity in all that iron.
But the Dak still takes a comparatively long time to heat vs. my other vehicles. You may be right in the cast iron vs. aluminum. Thinking back, my full aluminum engine cars (like my Corolla and former Cadillacs) supplied heat nearly immediately. The van takes a bit longer, but not nearly as long as the Dak. The van's engine is both cast iron and aluminum. Maybe the amount of iron vs. aluminum directly correlates with how long it takes for the engine to warm up?
 

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But the Dak still takes a comparatively long time to heat vs. my other vehicles. You may be right in the cast iron vs. aluminum. Thinking back, my full aluminum engine cars (like my Corolla and former Cadillacs) supplied heat nearly immediately. The van takes a bit longer, but not nearly as long as the Dak. The van's engine is both cast iron and aluminum. Maybe the amount of iron vs. aluminum directly correlates with how long it takes for the engine to warm up?
The combustion chamber is the hottest part of an engine (well maybe the exhaust ports) and aluminum will transfer heat from the chamber much quicker to the coolant than the iron will. The iron will tend to keep the heat in the chamber which is the main reason why aluminum heads can run more compression than similar iron ones without detonation.
 

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youtube.com/sideburns2009
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Discussion Starter #31
Just an update on the pan kit. It still hasn't used a drop of oil in the 2, 6000 mile oil changes and hasn't been pinging since then either. The last 2 changes were Mobil 1 Full Synthetic.
 
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