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Ford put in a new thermostat. Just hauled the trailer for the first time and it overheated after about a half hour of driving in 25° weather. I was in tow/hail mode and using premium gas. Sending it back to the dealership to get looked at again
 

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My 2012 had overheating issues last year. After multiple trips to the dealership for misfire codes and my complaining about it eating up coolant they finally ran a bore scope and discovered a blown head gasket (no smoke, a slight sweet exhaust smell at start up, ran fine otherwise). I was put through the ringer for maintenance records, trailer info, driving habits, etc and finally got word yesterday they're shipping a new long block. 60k miles. I'm happy but disappointed at the same time.

Good luck!
 

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I know this is an old thread but I've had overheating issues while towing for awhile. I live in Utah with my 2013 F150 XLT 3.5 short bed. 35" tires and usually tow between 7-10k trailer depends if I double tow. The truck has plenty of power to tow up the steep canyons well over the speed limit but annoying that I have to go easy to avoid overheating. I did some upgrades this spring which I hope have resolved the issue.
Here are the upgrades
1. Upgraded radiator https://www.stage3motorsports.com/FR-RAD-ECO-2011-2014-F150-3-5L-EcoBoost-Full-Race-Freakoboost-Radiator-Upgrade.html
2. Larger intercooler https://www.stage3motorsports.com/ATP-F150-001-2011-2013-F150-3-5L-EcoBoost-ATP-Dual-Core-Intercooler.html
3. Cold air intake https://www.stage3motorsports.com/54-12112-B-2012-2014-F150-EcoBoost-aFe-MAGNUM-Force-Stage-2-Intake.html

First off, anyone who tells you to put a different thermostat doesn't know what they are talking about. Unless the thermostat is broken and not opening at all there is no reason to change unless you have made a lot of modifications and have it tuned a certain way that it will run better either hotter or colder. The factory thermostat is designed to keep your engine temp at just the right temperature for efficiency. You put a cooler thermostat in then your engine will always run cooler until you over work it then it will still over heat just as it did before.

Second, I don't like the cold air intake system. I think those are a gimmick and waste of money. Only reason people do it is for the sound and with this motor you get too much turbo noise and not enough deep growling noise you might get if you put one of these on a V8. Also, why would this thing be considered cold air intake? The air filter where it sucks the air in is closer to the hot engine where as the factory scoop actually picks up moving air from outside. Oh well, I already installed it.

Third. I also don't see any or maybe little benefits to the larger intercooler. I needed to replace because factory one was crumpled from a small accident. I decided to upgrade. No noticeable difference in power with intercooler. And the annoying thing is that you are bypassing the factory blow off valve... well sorta. The factory BOV is electronic and opens up to release pressure which will prolong the life of your turbos. But the factory system will recycle that air pressure right back into the intake. This larger intercooler doesn't do that. Still uses your electronic BOV but vents to the outside. Which means less efficiency and an obnoxious noise every time it opens up. For some people that might sound cool like an old diesel semi truck changing gears. Either way I think it's also a gimmick and doesn't actually give you power or increase efficiency. I think only if you tune your turbos for more boost or get newer turbos would you actually want to consider this purchase. Oh well, I needed one anyways so I went with a little bigger one and my kids think it sounds cool now.

The upgraded radiator however I believe made the difference. This is a must for anyone who tows more than 5k up steep inclines during the summer. Oh and also use premium fuel when towing. I've noticed that makes a difference too keeping your engine cool

In conclusion buy the freakoboost radiator. It's not easy to install and it's not cheap but worth it. Instructions say to remove the AC condenser but I was able to do it without removing condenser. Still not a fun job. Was easy doing both intercooler and radiator at same time.

Few more details about my rig. I mentioned the 35" tires which probably doesn't help with the towing efficiency but I like to be able to go off road in it as well which is why I went with short bed crew. I have 2" leveler in the front and 1.5" add a leaf in the rear. I initially put on air bags for rear but hated them especially if you ever go off road. Add a leaf is actually smoother ride and keeps the back at perfect ride height with a couple large motorcycles and genny in the bed. And much cheaper only spent $50 for the add a leaf but they weren't easy to put on.

One last note. I've only towed twice now with this setup so it's not entirely conclusive. I went to Moab last weekend and I really pushed my truck to give it everything it had up the steep hill towards soldier summit. But once I hit 85 mph I backed off and temp gauge never budged. However, outside temp was only 73. A good test will be later this year when I go to Sand Hollow or Bear Lake during the summer when it's 100 outside.

Buy Freakoboost radiator and run premium 90 or 91 while towing.
 

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I am still on the fence about what order to buy things. It seems there is no one item that will "prevent" overheating. But if I get what you're saying, the radiator had the most impact in keeping your temps down. It will not only cool the oil better, but shed tranny heat as well. This should have a more overall cooling effect than other items.

Where I get hung up however is just how much contribution IATs are to the overheating situation. Is it the case that the engine gets hot and drives the turbos harder thus leading to heatsoak --> overheating? Or is it the case that the turbos work overtime due to their small size and huge demand under those situations, heat soak occurs, then IAT skyrockets leading to a hotter engine in a runaway cycle ---> overheating? The question is really which one is the greater driver of heat on the overall system. The engine pushing the turbos, or the turbos pushing the engine?

Now in my particular situation, my tranny does fine until the very limit of overheating, then it starts to climb. Clearly this is a byproduct of the overheat situation, not a driver. In those extreme pulling situations at elevation with high ambient temps, if I back off the pedal and downshift when engine temps are high, I get immediate cooling of the system. Like within seconds. This leads me to believe that heat soak of the intercooler is the main driver of the overheating situation. Could the radiator be better, sure. Could it shed more heat, faster, sure. But it doesn't seem to be the main driver of the overheat in my situation. I greatly appreciate your firsthand experience with the intercooler and radiator upgrades, but I have to ask, did you test just the intercooler by itself under those same circumstances with the stock radiator? What was the result?

I am thinking the drivers of heat are 60% intercooler, 40% radiator. (It may also change depending upon how the truck is being driven.) In all fairness, like you have done I plan on buying both eventually. I just want to know which one should I go for first. I see half the people on the F150 forums say intercooler, the other half say radiator/tranny cooler. Some say they still got hot with just the radiator upgrade, others say they got hot with just the intercooler upgrade. You have both, and your experience is showing some promise that this is at least a step in the right direction.

I wish someone would sell an "Ecoboost towing upgrade package" with Intercooler, radiator and tranny cooler at a discounted price (hint, hint). To be more bulletproof all three would really help IMO.
 

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Tough call. I did both the radiator and intercooler at the same time so I can't give you any data on just replacing one or the other. I mentioned it was easy doing both at the same time but it really wasn't any different if you did one and then later did the other. The intercooler is a much easier install if that makes any difference. I'll update after this summer when I've really been able to test once outside temp is above 90. I however am one of those leaning towards the radiator making the bigger difference but maybe you're on to something on how quickly the motor cools down once you let off. Mine did that as well. If water temp really was that hot it wouldn't cool down that fast but air would.

If you're convinced it's both then you might just need to bite the bullet and throw some money at it like I did. I almost exclusively use this truck for towing and it's been great except for the occasional over heating. Hope that's gone now.

I've never seen the trans temp climb even when engine was really hot. Couple times engine temp would climb super fast and I would get the dash notification reducing power to cool down or whatever it says before I had a chance to let off on my own.
 

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Tough call. I did both the radiator and intercooler at the same time so I can't give you any data on just replacing one or the other. I mentioned it was easy doing both at the same time but it really wasn't any different if you did one and then later did the other. The intercooler is a much easier install if that makes any difference. I'll update after this summer when I've really been able to test once outside temp is above 90. I however am one of those leaning towards the radiator making the bigger difference but maybe you're on to something on how quickly the motor cools down once you let off. Mine did that as well. If water temp really was that hot it wouldn't cool down that fast but air would.

If you're convinced it's both then you might just need to bite the bullet and throw some money at it like I did. I almost exclusively use this truck for towing and it's been great except for the occasional over heating. Hope that's gone now.

I've never seen the trans temp climb even when engine was really hot. Couple times engine temp would climb super fast and I would get the dash notification reducing power to cool down or whatever it says before I had a chance to let off on my own.
My plan was to do both at once, but I just dumped $1200 in timing chain parts to do that repair for the rattle on startup! God I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel once I get over these isssues with the truck. Shame Ford didn't spec them properly.
 

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Before I spend a lot of money, I try a 75% water to 25% coolant ratio and add some Water Wetter.

With that said, I have grossly overloaded and pushed my truck in hellish conditions and my temps never budged. There has to be something else to it.
 

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We have a '13 XLT Ecoboost HD and tow a '14 26sab 5er. What are the temps reaching when your over heating? We just came up out of Mesa Az up thru Payson & Heber Az. last Saturday. Outside temp was in the low 90's during our climb to Payson. The ECT only rose to 230 a couple or 3 times (Edge CTS monitor) then come right back down when we leveled out and descended and trans temp never got above 213 (truck trans monitor & 215 Edge CTS monitor). To me this has been normal temp ranges for our truck during heavy climbs in warm temps. What is everybody seeing for temps on heavy climbs?
 

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I push my truck pretty hard. I've done that climb from Mesa to Payson before and it's not too bad. I've had the temp gauge pegged and get the message reducing power. I usually keep a close eye on it but sometimes the temp climbs super fast and don't realize until I get the ding from dash and message saying it is reducing power. Once it reduces power it would cool down fast and if I just keep it within the speed limit I don't have a problem. Again, that might be why some people don't have an issue because I'm flying past the other trucks so your average Joe that drives the speed limit up the canyon might not experience this problem.
 

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So I have "running hot while towing" issues and I need to replace my timing chain. I wonder if it's related to that? Anyway, I just happen to score a Full Race radiator from another member online here. While doing my timing chain I am going to install this beast in my truck and see if that alone is as good as you suspect Krilliot. Not a completely isolated experiment because I am going to be replacing all my timing components as well. But the thought did cross my mind if those that tow hot also have timing issues? Probably won't know until later in summer how much improvement I see, but I'll be sure to report back. My truck will then be all stock, with new timing chain components, cam phasers, VCTs, and FR radiator only. Those will be the only mods to the truck.
 

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Is there damage being done when it reduces power? I think I might stop to cool down before that happens unless it's super sudden

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No, it's the way the truck is programmed to keep from damaging components.

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Although if you are towing a lot of weight, you'll most likely have to pull over. I tried pushing my truck through this once it reduced power and it eventually just quit on me. I was towing and was forced to get a tow to a dealership with my rig. Not a happy camper.
 

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I am still on the fence about what order to buy things. It seems there is no one item that will "prevent" overheating. But if I get what you're saying, the radiator had the most impact in keeping your temps down. It will not only cool the oil better, but shed tranny heat as well. This should have a more overall cooling effect than other items.

Where I get hung up however is just how much contribution IATs are to the overheating situation. Is it the case that the engine gets hot and drives the turbos harder thus leading to heatsoak --> overheating? Or is it the case that the turbos work overtime due to their small size and huge demand under those situations, heat soak occurs, then IAT skyrockets leading to a hotter engine in a runaway cycle ---> overheating? The question is really which one is the greater driver of heat on the overall system. The engine pushing the turbos, or the turbos pushing the engine?

Now in my particular situation, my tranny does fine until the very limit of overheating, then it starts to climb. Clearly this is a byproduct of the overheat situation, not a driver. In those extreme pulling situations at elevation with high ambient temps, if I back off the pedal and downshift when engine temps are high, I get immediate cooling of the system. Like within seconds. This leads me to believe that heat soak of the intercooler is the main driver of the overheating situation. Could the radiator be better, sure. Could it shed more heat, faster, sure. But it doesn't seem to be the main driver of the overheat in my situation. I greatly appreciate your firsthand experience with the intercooler and radiator upgrades, but I have to ask, did you test just the intercooler by itself under those same circumstances with the stock radiator? What was the result?

I am thinking the drivers of heat are 60% intercooler, 40% radiator. (It may also change depending upon how the truck is being driven.) In all fairness, like you have done I plan on buying both eventually. I just want to know which one should I go for first. I see half the people on the F150 forums say intercooler, the other half say radiator/tranny cooler. Some say they still got hot with just the radiator upgrade, others say they got hot with just the intercooler upgrade. You have both, and your experience is showing some promise that this is at least a step in the right direction.

I wish someone would sell an "Ecoboost towing upgrade package" with Intercooler, radiator and tranny cooler at a discounted price (hint, hint). To be more bulletproof all three would really help IMO.
Fighting simlar issues with my truck. I've got a thread over in the Towing section talking about the Radiator fans contribution to the problem. They play a key role as the fans control how much airflow & cooling can be provided by the radiator.

Currently we are looking into raising the fans speeds. Stock programming only runs them at 80% at high coolant temps. For some reason it only bumps them to 100% based on Air Conditioning pressure.

Kinda makes sense as very few ever had overheating issues with the old 5.4's with their bigger mechanical fans. Less power with a 5.4L and heat, but many are overheating pulling speeds that were attainable with a 5.4.
 

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Yes I am following that thread closely. I will soon be installing a FR gen2 radiator and running that on the stock fan maps to see how much improvement I see towing. I have a feeling it's going to take a combination of things to control the heat situation on these trucks.
 

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Full Race has a newer version of their radiator. So it's been referred to as Gen2 at times, but not to be confused as a designation as which generation of ecoboost it works with.

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In all fairness.... I never had to pull over to the side of the road while towing my 2010 8k+ 33' Springdale Travel Brick (Trailer) in the scalding AZ summer's.
That Keystone was not very aerodynamic-lol
I got the yellow screen several times but was able to push through it, thus temps returning to normal on flats.
My next TT is going to be an Outback 326RL....approximately 8800-9k#'s dry.
I may finally have to lock out 6th gear when hitting 7% grades.....ohh, and slow her down to 50-60mph-lol




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Don't know if this will help you all. This is referring to some issues i had with my Raptor 6.2 in summer time arizona . I do know the trucks are programmed to turn fans off above a certain mile per hour lets say 35 mph. Not sure what it is exactly . I have a large Whipple Super Charger intercooler installed on my Raptor with dual fans . When this was installed in the winter time 5 years ago , no issues. But when that year summer hit i started running 220 temps at 75 mph , i noticed it on my trans temp guage nearing yellow . Didn't have a x4 programmer then to monitor coolant temps. . The coolant temp guage on my 10 is dead banded from 180 deg to 240ish meaning needle stays in same place if it between those temps. I run a 180 thermostat. Around town with a/c on temps always stay in 185 to 190 degree range , a/c off temps around 205 with fans turning on and off . Summers i pretty much limited my drives to around town and early mornings offroad. Drove tremor if i had to travel anywhere out of town. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago driving home from phoenix watching coolant temp , going to 230 and coming down 220 , back and forth about 95 ambiant running 80 mph . Plus i had noticed i was losing about half of a cup of coolant every week for last 3 weeks. Traced that down to a leaking radiator cap . Coolant would seep out and run down side of radiator and dry , I have a larger cbr aluminum radiator also. Installed new cap, coolant is not disappearing any more. Back to coolant temps at 230 when on highway, when temps drop back down i noticed voltage reading on my Lowrance GPS would go to 13.2 from 13.6. coolant would drop to 220 , voltage then back up and slowly start to rise again, then same thing voltage drop and coolant drop down. I figured out the fans were kicking on high to bring the temps down. So i was thinking if i keep fans running on high all the time it should keep things cooler. I didn't want to hack up any Factory wiring . I purchased 2 Factory fan connectors Rock Auto and a Ron Francis fan wiring kit with relay 70 amp from Summit racing. Goal was to disconnect factory connectors and install my stuff then when winter hits i can plug back factory connectors back in . I wired the relay to my intercooler fans upfitter switch i can control . Since installing , around town coolant temps are now 185 to 190 degree range and the other benefit is the A/C is down to 40 degrees coming out of drivers side vent, furthest from evaporator. Before my A/c was always in the 50 degree range. Yesterday was the real test i left for north phoenix early in morning and temps stayed 189 ish the whole way but it was 80 degree out no a/c on. Come home in afternoon it was 103 ambiant out in certain spots of the desert. A/C on 80 mph . Temps never got hotter than 205 and a/c was 40 degrees out the vents. Never had that low a temp from a/c when its been that hot .

My problem is defiantly airflow related due to huge whipple intercooler and my ADD bumper and lights probably not helping. Next winter i'm planning to go back to the smaller intercooler that came with supercharger kit with some smaller intercooler fans. I will probably also replace the stock cooling fans as they are 8 years old.

What i'm getting at with a ecoboost if you have then fans being on all the time may help you stay cool when you tow , I'm not sure if ecu programming on a boost turns them on while moving at a certain temp and speed, if they do maybe it is too late from going into overheat mode. I never had my tremor run hot on me so i cant say if they do.
 

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