New first time RV owner here. (2 weeks) 1997 Itasca 31', 454. Does anyone have a 454 powered coach that can tell me where the temp gauge rides? Mine will sit on 210 - 212 on the road but when stopped in traffic at lights, especially in the 90 plus heat outside, the gauge will start to climb. Last week the highest it got to is about 230, still in the gray area on the gauge, before I was able to get started moving again. Today, the fan clutch was replaced and it does seem to help, of course I have not been out in heavy traffic. Just wondering if 210 is a normal temp for this unit.

Thanks, Tom


Senior Member

Sounds awful hot to me. Water boils at 212, without coolant in it. I'd say around 160-180 is normal, but I'm not an expert. I have the 454 and mine stays around that. I'd call a chevy dealer if I were you and ask them. Also, check your fan and see if you have any play in it. If so, you may have a water pump going bad which would cause this problem. Also, when was the last time you flushed and filled your radiator?
Just some thoughts.
Welcome to the forum and let everyone know what you fine out. ;)

I don't have a 454 so take that into consideration. I have observed that some 454's run hotter than they should, sometimes due to inadequate airflow through the grill and around the motor. First thing to check is your temp guage. Is it the original or aftermarket? Can you check it with another guage to confirm its accuracy? Agree with other poster about a flush, although 160-180 degrees is unusually low, IMO. Check the front of the radiator for debris, too.

Tom, the most common cause of overheating is a bad thermostat, which is the easiest part of the coolant system to replace on the 454. (I just replaced it and the water pump on mine. The front bearing on the wp was bad, though it did not affect the temperature....just wore out the belt.) The thermo for the 454 is 195 degrees, so your temp should not go much above that. The combination of a 50/50 antifreeze mix and the 15lb radiator cap makes the boiling point of the coolant around 265 degrees, I think. Changing the thermostat will also force you to replace the coolant, which is usually overlooked in normal maintenance. Good luck, and let us know the fix.


I agree with Ralphie on this one. Check the guage. Sneak the wife's cooking thermometer out of the house and pop the cap on the radiator. Drop it in and start her up.