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The Dakota CHT gauge is a balanced system and you must use the provided lead wire and Sparkplug ring wire connection. Do Not trim or splice or solder or crimp or anything.   Use the two small screws/nuts provided to connect the thermocouple wires  to the plug leads only. The small brass sending unit with the 1/8"NPT male threads is for the OIL temp gauge. Do not use any other sender.  You can download the install instructions from Dakota

@John Bungen if you look closely at the area directly behind your spark distributor, you will probably see some existing sending jnits similar to what you showed for a temp sensor.  There might be two back there - one for oil pressure and one for oil temp.  
Often, they are attached to the engine case with a “T” to service both senders.  Where they attach to the case is a port right in to the oil passages of the engine so they are sampling the oil just before it heads to the bearings.

Now we can have a conversation about where and when to measure oil temperature.  Where should we take a measurement - the sump, somewhere else on the case, etc. When in the oil flow cycle - before bearings, after bearings, before cooler, after cooler, etc.

Partly because of ease of attaching the sensor, I am measuring the temperature of the oil shortly after it leaves the sump and pump and before it enters the filter and external and/or interior cooler.

If people want to compare their oil temperatures, it may not mean much unless where and when are similar.

I want to know the temperature of the oil going INTO my bearings.

My oil temp sending unit is indeed in a T with the pressure "idiot light" switch in the main oil gallery.

I also have a mechanical oil pressure gauge that I can put temporarily in my system with AN-8 fittings. It has a male/female T that can be inserted anywhere. I've checked the pressure in different spots and temps and stages of warmup. It's always been great.

If it ever gets too hot I'll shut it off. What the temp is anywhere else in the system is really academic.

@ALB posted:

So-o-o... how long does it take for the transaxle to reach operating temps? What are 'operating temps', how hot does the trans oil get and what conditions cause it to get hotter than 'normal'?

And sorry Ray, I forget- VW or Subaru transaxle?

It takes sometimes up to 20 mins or more for the subie tranny to get to the same temp as the engine.  The engine goes to 185 normal on hotter days you can get to 205 I forgot how how it got on the scorcher days and after a harder highway run.

This is just my opinion but I think that putting the oil temp sender in a "tee" fitting at the same port that the oil pressure switch is, just wrong. Here's why I think this. There is no oil flow out thru that "Tee" fitting . There's oil pressure there but not oil flow so It seems to me that the temp's that the oil temp. sender is reading is heat transfer from the aluminum crankcase thru the brass "Tee" fitting to the sender.

A couple years ago I posted the results from having 6 different senders indicating the temp's of the same oil flowing all thru the system. The location with the biggest lag in reading the temp. was from the Oil pressure port. A couple of times that temp was still showing the temp. climbing when all the others were dropping in temp. If you have a type 3 crankcase (which I did)   with the dipstick port blocked off with a little aluminum plate.....that was the best all round place to measure from. Next was out in the external cooler plumbing.    

The real surprise was the stock oil cooler in the fan shroud. I installed temp senders both on the inlet and outlet side of the cooler adaptor. (photo below) The surprise was that that cooler only dropped the oil temp 4 degrees F !! No matter what temp's I got, 4 degrees was it !  The amazing part of that is that cooler handles hundreds of gallons of oil per minute and still is able to drop the temp 4 degrees plus pretty much keep a lid on an acceptable oil temp.


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  • oil cool adapt1
@IaM-Ray posted:

It takes sometimes up to 20 mins or more for the subie tranny to get to the same temp as the engine.  The engine goes to 185 normal on hotter days you can get to 205 I forgot how how it got on the scorcher days and after a harder highway run.

So- you're saying that in your transaxle you see oil temps to 205° F and higher?

205 seems a tad high for a transaxle under minimal load, but maybe it's absorbing heat from the engine.

I had a transmission temp gauge in my Ford F250 Super Duty pickup as part of the trailer towing package.  On a highway without any trailer load it would show 190 and just sit there.  Towing Pearl on her single car trailer it would rise up to 191-192, that's it.  If I was pulling the car club's "LeMons" Honda in their enclosed trailer it would sit at 192-193.

Granted, that truck had bigger cooling for the engine and transmission included in the towing package, but it never went over 193, even pulling long uphills in North Carolina and Georgia.

Chris had a chipped 7.3 in his old F250 and that would pull all day long like a train.  Plus, pulling the very same car hauler with Pearl on it, he would get 21mpg while the best I could do with my 6-liter power-stroke was maybe 17.5 - down hill, all the way from Massachusetts to South Carolina.       After a while, I just stopped looking at that gauge and flipped it to the turbo boost gauge, instead - that was more fun to watch.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@DannyP posted:

Yeah, I get about 13 in my truck empty.

I get 8 mpg towing my huge sail of an enclosed trailer.

I am hoping a diesel truck changes that. I'd be TICKLED with 17.5 mpg!

I get between 12-14 mpg towing my trailer with a vehicle in it with a total weight of up to 10K pounds. I've gotten up to 16 mpg towing the empty trailer that weighs 4700 pounds. I'm driving a 2018 Ram 2500 with the 6 cyl Cummins.

Last edited by Robert M

My 6 liter would start to drop off fuel mileage at about 75 mph.  Around 80 (pulling trailer) it would be around 15 and at 90 it would drop to around 12.  (But the snorting of the exhaust was pretty cool.)   Chris’ 7.3 liter at 90 (open trailer) was still sitting around 18.

IIRC, when we trailered his 996 in a BIG enclosed trailer behind his 5.7 liter gas job it was in the 7 or 8mpg range (and you had to plan any vehicle passing two or three miles ahead.  Stops were well planned, too! )

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

IIRC, when we trailered his 996 in a BIG enclosed trailer behind his 5.7 liter gas job it was in the 7 or 8mpg range (and you had to plan any vehicle passing two or three miles ahead.  Stops were well planned, too! )

I have mine set up really well with regards to tongue weight, coil spring air bags, and a brake controller. Stops are absolutely a non-issue.

Unless you are talking about the endless gas stops, every 2.5 hours another tank. GULP!

Diesel is where it's at for towing.

Gas trucks are good for near-home utility, but for interstate towing - there's no comparison. Sure, you can tow with a gas truck, but I can tow with my limo too. It doesn't mean it's going to be pleasant.

Everybody has an opinion, but the Cummins in @Robert M's Ram is near bulletproof, and has been since mastodons roamed the earth.

The Duramax diesels in GM trucks are reputed to be fantastic - right-hand man Brad just got a used Duramax crew HD2500, and is now getting 14 mpg towing his 28 ft bumper-pull camper (after getting 7 mpg with his ecoboost).

I've got a love/hate with the Ford Powerstrokes like @DannyP is considering. I had two 7.3's and loved them both... except when the o-rings in the oil-pressure driven injectors started leaking and required $2000 worth of work. They seemed to take more work than the Rams or Duramaxes did to stay running. The 6.0s have a pretty bad reputation - it was Ford's first swing at an aluminum diesel (which is kind've an answer in search of a question), and they're widely reputed to be nowhere near as reliable and powerful as the 7.3 they replaced. The 6.7 fixed a lot of the 6.0's issues, but the damage is done -  a similarly equipped Ram with the Cummins is tens of thousands of dollars less (purchased new), but costs less to operate and holds its value better.

Of course, buying used - all bets are off, as the value equation gets skewed. A used 250/2500 series diesel truck from various manufacturers depreciate at different rates (except for the 6.0 Fords, which are many, many thousands cheaper), and the value equation changes. Rams have a tendency to rot away in the rust-belt but their engines run forever. Fords are built beautifully, but the 6.0 was a pretty big stain on their reputation. Chevy/GMC Duramaxes hit the sweet-spot, but good luck finding one that isn't terribly overpriced.

Regardless, the days of being a "Ford guy" or a "Mopar guy" are long since past. Any of these trucks (6.0 Powerstroke possibly excluded) will tick every box and all of them (including the 6.0 Powerstroke) will be worlds better than any gas truck (V10 included) towing long distances.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Exactly. Locally, zero problem at all. To and from Carlisle, four hours each way, is not a problem either with the gas truck.

Twelve hours of driving to the NC mountains, different story. BTW, I run about 70-75. Occasionally 80 to get away from those inevitable cues of traffic, then back down to normalcy. There, diesel would be king.

Apologies for the thread drift, @John Bungen

Last edited by DannyP

Even I, as a past 6.0 Power stroke owner, will tell you that a Cummins or the older 7.3 Power Stroke is the way to go.  I wouldn't bother with a Duramax, either.  The 6.0 Power Stroke is one helluva diesel for hauling one of our little cars, but it has it's set of headaches.

Stan mentioned one of the five things that seem to be common failures of all 6.0 Power stroke engines.  Each of those five things, when it happens, costs $1,500 - $2,000 to fix.  People know this (I didn't when I bought it) and that has driven the resale price down to around $5K lower than it should be, but you'll spend that 5 grand sometime while you own it on repairs.  

Even a $27 part like the fuel injection pressure regulator (another of the five things) ends up costing $1,800 because it's buried so deep at the back of the engine that it takes 6 hours to get to it and replace it and another five hours to put everything back.  Trust me, I've been there.  Ford has so many complaints about the cost of the Big Five that they have a special warranty extension to cover some (labor) of the cost of those repairs.  Contrast that with the #1 7.3 failure, the cam position sensor, which costs about $50 bucks and an hour to replace (you can easily do it on the side of the road, too).  

After my third big ticket failure, I sold it to a kid who worked for a Ford dealership and he was thrilled to get it.  "First thing I'm gonna do is slap in better head gaskets and a set of ARP headbolts, then I'm gonna CHIP it!" he said when signing the paperwork.  I wonder if he knew about the big five?

It was bittersweet to see it go - It was one helluva truck - but I no longer needed it.  I can steal Chris' rig if I need to trailer somewhere.  I'm gonna miss pulling that 11 mile uphill on I-81 heading into Virginia at 75+MPH hauling the Speedster and seeing the turbo boost gauge swing up past 40 pounds.       

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