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My Tranny Cooler Setup


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Hey guysok - here is my tranny cooler setup. Brief as possible with pics. Thanks to jim (SASQUACH).Built frame with screws/bolts and square metal tubing lowes.Purchased metal mesh from lowes also and cut to match inside of frame. Allow air in - no rocks.Drilled Angle Iron into frame with tapping screws.Used threaded metal with lock nuts in cross member so I could adjust and lock height of frame (and for removal if I need later).Attached Cooler Frame to Angle iron bolted on truck frame and threaded metal on crossmember skid plate.Cut COLD (INLET) lnlet line at front of truck directly out of OE cooler.Ran 1/2" tranny rubber hose to cooler now bolted in frame behind transfer case. Connected all up with tapered connections.Bought a sealant and 8AN fitting from lowes to go direct into tranny.Installed wiring from battery to switch in cab to tranny and grounded off frame.JBWELDED the angle iron on frame for temporary support. Will get flat bar physically welded on one non-supported corner as soon as I can.

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Johnfak, and maybe others, I have a question not directly about your cooler setup, though I think it looks great. I have been having issues with my trans for some time and I feel it is related to heat, so I have been looking at different styles of coolers ect. I heard recently that some were removing the "check valve" that is in the stock "water to oil heat exchanger" on our trucks, it is on the right side of the motor. The trans lines go from the trans out to the exchanger then up to the cooler then return to the trans.My question then is this, Has anyone here removed the check valve? if so with what results? good/bad?What about eliminating the exchanger completely and going directly to the front cooler, as some say it can get "plugged up" causing a restriction in oil flowMy "source" claims a reduction of 20 degrees on his trans temp after removing the check valve

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hmm - the other guys here will be able to help you more on this one .... but I'll give you my thoughts after playing around, and speaking with the three guys I am thinking of who had different but similar ideas.3 main places to measure tranny temp - testport on passenger side, pan , and hot line.I measure in test port and hot side. I am going to move that to pan and hotline. Pan will show me whats going into tranny and hotline will show me the hottest fluid is getting after TC when not locked up.Tranny cools in various ways.1) tc locked up. Like over 45 mph.2) Front OE cooler when moving - airflow.3) Deeper PAN to hold more oil - doens't heat as much4) A secondary cooler like mine.Anyway - I kinda took ideas from different guys. I don't think there was a true consensus - and each made good argument. ATF starts to degrade after 220 - which you will see in the hotline with lots of start/stop and no lockup, but its in the tranny thats most important below 220. So, as long as you have a good way to monitor temps - just like anything else - and you can keep the tranny temps under 220 in the tranny - then should be good.I think best way is an auxlliary cooler - so you get cooling when you are not moving (no airflow) - thats why I did it - and same price as deep pan. Finally - the check valve - I have heard on CF of guys removing it. I dunno - I think unless you KNOW its causing a problem why touch it. It could create other issues. The heat exchanger - if your not in a cold climate I could see why this might be worth taking out - but its good for people who live in Colorado for example (isn;t that where you a from? ) so heat can exchange into fluid to bring to operating temps quicker.So - I would probably leave that alone unless you lived in TX or something. And just look at an AUX cooler , some good guages and if you really needed to - a deep pan.my :2cents:

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JohnFak, I am in MI not CO but it gets cold here too...I just found a Derale cooler similar to yours at Jegs, and it was $165.00. Better price $$$wise but not sure how it compares with yours.So if I understand your installation it went like this, please correct me if I am mistakenYou went from Trans hot out to the factory exchanger, to your external cooler to the front cooler then back to the trans???

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JohnFak, I am in MI not CO but it gets cold here too... I just found a Derale cooler similar to yours at Jegs, and it was $165.00. Better price $$$wise but not sure how it compares with yours. So if I understand your installation it went like this, please correct me if I am mistaken You went from Trans hot out to the factory exchanger, to your external cooler to the front cooler then back to the trans???

Sorry mate - on the road. Almost ... Tranny -> OE heat exchanger -> OE cooler on drivers side front radiator -> AUX cooler -> tranny IN So basically the return line to the tranny I cut the line out from the OE cooler and removed from tranny. I then connected soft tranny to line to/from AUX cooler. To connect AUX cooler line to OE cooler - I just used supplied barbed thread (on cooler) and bought a double sided barbed thread 1/2" for connecting the two soft lines at the front from lowes. To connect to tranny - I bought a 2 piece -8AN part from lowes - 8AN into tranny and barbed thread to soft line comming in. Seems to be ok. Jim (SASQUACH) who I got/stole most of my setup from just 'cut' the IN tranny line - and then used a metal hose clamps x2 on each connection - and he said its holding fine :):thumbup2: P.S - I noticed my tranny fluid on the ROAD is 20 degrees cooler just by having the AUX cooler - no fan even running - just due to extra airflow running over it. Normally 180 - not 160. Again I just have the fan and switch for around twon not locked up - hence its off when on highway.
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I've got a silly question, what prevents rain spray from soaking the fan motor? I realize its sealed up from the factory,but running down the road at hwy speeds is bound to throw lots of water. The reason I ask is,I live in Alaska and we get lots of rain all summer long. Then the snow the rest of the year.I like your idea and would like to do that to mine. I unfortunately have to rebuild my transmission soon and want better cooling. I'm a tad concerned about the road spray and packed snow on a cooler mounted under the truck. I may be looking at the design all wrong and have nothing to worry about mounting it there.Thanks-Casey

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I've got a silly question, what prevents rain spray from soaking the fan motor? I realize its sealed up from the factory,but running down the road at hwy speeds is bound to throw lots of water. The reason I ask is,I live in Alaska and we get lots of rain all summer long. Then the snow the rest of the year. I like your idea and would like to do that to mine. I unfortunately have to rebuild my transmission soon and want better cooling. I'm a tad concerned about the road spray and packed snow on a cooler mounted under the truck. I may be looking at the design all wrong and have nothing to worry about mounting it there. Thanks-Casey

Hey casey. Yeah - look I think thats a good point - being above the skid plate and kinda tucked behind the transfer case I think its mostly fine - but probably worth an inspection from time to time. I don't think rain would be too much of an issue - and you could angle the mount on a 45 degree to help it run off more (that was the design jim had). You could also block it off some more if youd like with a "splash" guard of some sort - the fan really just sucks (or pushes) air over the fins - so as long as its getting air - even from behind - its circulating that into the cooler. hope that makes sense p.s I did see one guy put it up front behind the drivers headlight - very tight in there - but possible and being forward of the wheels almost no chance of rain. I'd go with a splash guard and/or a 45 degree mount maybe :shrug:
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I've got a silly question, what prevents rain spray from soaking the fan motor? I realize its sealed up from the factory,but running down the road at hwy speeds is bound to throw lots of water. The reason I ask is,I live in Alaska and we get lots of rain all summer long. Then the snow the rest of the year. I like your idea and would like to do that to mine. I unfortunately have to rebuild my transmission soon and want better cooling. I'm a tad concerned about the road spray and packed snow on a cooler mounted under the truck. I may be looking at the design all wrong and have nothing to worry about mounting it there. Thanks-Casey

Casey, where in Alaska are you? I'm in Anchorage. John based his install on my install. I've run mine in (and out of AK) for over three years with no problems so far. Jim
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  • 2 weeks later...

Casey, where in Alaska are you? I'm in Anchorage. John based his install on my install. I've run mine in (and out of AK) for over three years with no problems so far. Jim

yessirr- thanks man :thumbup2: FYI - just towed 1600 miles through MO to Phoenix AZ and never saw tranny temps over 170 degrees when locked up :)
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