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Old 02-20-2016, 10:14 AM   #15
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Towing a trailer, adds considerable stress to the transmission.

Most vehicles today, have a transmission cooler, but only for that weight.

Adding a few thousands pounds to move, will indeed, heat up the transmission moreso.

As alway, be safe, add another cooler. It won't hurt anything, but it's rewards are many.


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Old 02-20-2016, 02:54 PM   #16
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Do I need a transmission cooler?

When traveling thru the Mojave desert last June the temp was pushing 120 degrees. The stock transmission cooler on my Tundra did a great job when towing our 25' SOB. It has much more wind drag than our 26' Argosy. The Tundra has a temp gauge for the transmission. The needle never moved above the normal operating temp.
The tow package equipment on the vehicle you choose should work just fine as long as you don't exceed the capacities of the TV.
I agree with J Morgan. Don't modify the stock system.

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Old 02-20-2016, 03:21 PM   #17
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Tran cooler

I have an 03 2500 duramax and have pulled at least 100,ooo mi with a lot of it in hills and mountains. The cooler on your rig is good. Your trailer wt is actually below needing the tow Hall mode on. Having said that I run tow haul anyway. Helps with braking by down shifting and is a lot less strain on the trans going up thru the gears.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:22 PM   #18
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The number one killer of automatic transmissions is heat. (Well, I think heat is #2...... The nut behind the wheel is probably #1...)

As cheap insurance, and especially if I was planning a trip through some known brutal heat areas and heat causers, you can bet I'd want an additional measure of transmission cooling.

That is why I added a TruCool Max cooler to my 1995 F250.

It was a snap to install, and on my truck it just happened to mount nicely behind the openings in the front bumper. Gets a lot of airflow, doesn't block any airflow to the radiator/AC condenser. I will eventually add some 12v muffin fans that I have. I'd like to be able to switch them on as circumstances arise.

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Old 02-20-2016, 03:32 PM   #19
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As has been noted above, what kills transmissions isn't the load, but the heat.

Heat is a result of the torque converter doing what it was designed to do (slip), and shifting, especially repeated shifting.

If you are on the highway, with the torque converter in lock up, ie at steady state but working, a heavier load puts no more heat into the transmission than a lighter load. If that heavier load causes the transmission torque converter to not lock up (ie slip continually) or the transmission to hunt between gears (ie shift continually) then that is when you get excess heat.

A temperature gauge can alert you to the temperature being high, but being in tune with your own vehicle and knowing what it is doing at any point in time will alert you to the transmission either shifting continually, or not holding a steady rpm relative to road speed (ie not in torque converter lockup).

Agree with the posts above that aftermarket hoses and fittings are frequent points of failure, and all the good brought about by additional fluid cooling can be undone and then some, by aftermarket components and workmanship that results in leaks/abraded lines, etc.

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Old 02-21-2016, 03:23 PM   #20
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Trans coiled

I talked with my fleet service guy before about adding cooler. Reply was. "If it ain't broke don't fool with it" now that was his reply about the duramax Allison combo. He said also that if tuners were used on it to carefully watch temps. Increased power and strain changes every thing. He has had more prob with all brands due to tuners. Engine power can be increased to the point that the trans without mods cannot keep up. But in his opinion the factory on HD diesel rigs and most gas are more than adequate. Does recommend a temp gauge always. I trust this guy . he's good enough to have the Fed ex and ups service in our area.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:07 PM   #21
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And Joel's guy is exactly right. Andy's statement above is only correct for vehicles which are hauling more than the factory recommended gcwr.

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Old 02-21-2016, 06:18 PM   #22
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We use these on Airboats!
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:29 PM   #23
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If you don't have synthetic fluids in trans,diffs, and transfer case as well as engine change to it. Take the truck to a good trans shop and get the filters changed and fluids changed before your trip. Make sure the trans cooler is not plugged with debris on the outside. Had mine covered in mud once, and did not cool well. The Duramax will pull your rig with no problem. Use the Tow/Haul mode to help on hills, and you will not even know the trailer is there. Chris
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
A transmission cooler is needed, but the factory cooler should get the job done. The other very important factor is whether or not your transmission fluid needs changing at this time.
It really depends on the type and location of the factory cooler. Transmission coolers that are technically a tank emmersed within the radiator can never cool the fluid below the temerature of the water. Coolers that are external of the radiator will do a better job of keeping temperatures lower.

The towing package option that came with my GMC van has an external cooler that is mounted in front of the radiator. All my tow vehicles I have ever used have had external coolers. If they had a tank cooler inside the radiator, I added an external. I never had an external cooler or its connecting hoses fail In all my years of towing. I've also never had a transmission failure in any tow vehicle. As noted regular fluid changes are important in keeping your transmission trouble free.

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Old 02-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #25
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The 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins came with all the towing options.

We added temperature sensors to the transmission and both differential covers. Both differential covers were replaced with larger capacity covers with cooling fins. We installed a temperature probe for the EGT in the exhaust manifold. The Edge Insight digital gage displays EGT, inches of boost, fuel rail pressure, transmission oil temperature and rear differential oil temperature. Engine water temperature, rate of battery charge and oil pressure are displayed by the stock analog displays.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:16 AM   #26
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The factory has installed all the coolers you need, you could spend thousands to make it better,but you end up at square one, I have been towing travel trailers since 1967 and have never ruined a transmission or rear end, my last big truck had 1.4 million miles and never had the head off ,still has the original turbo, and it stayed the way it came from the factory, good driving habits and good maintence will go a long way....
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:55 PM   #27
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here is my transmission cooler from ECS parts for my 2016 Q5 3L s-series TV
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:27 PM   #28
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The second most expensive part of your tow vehicle is the transmission. That being said, most transmission damage does not occur from pulling at speed to include hills. Most of the heat is created by the torque converter from a slow speed acceleration or from stop and go traffic. Most transmissions have a line going through the radiator using engine coolant to cool the transmission fluid. On trucks they go through the radiator then into a separate transmission cooler which in most cases is sufficient. The problem is with stop and go traffic there is little to no air passing through your cooler and the radiator cooling is not sufficient under those conditions. In most cases all that is needed is a fan to move air over the OEM cooler in stop/go and extremely hot towing conditions.

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