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Old 03-14-2014, 09:35 PM   #1
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Transmission cooler?

I FINALLY got my TV for my 76 tradewind!
Now I am installing everything I need to get going. But I am curious about whether a transmission cooler would be necessary. My 2005 silverado has a tow capacity of 8700, my Tradewind is 5800. TV only has 3.42 rear axle, 335 torque, 310 horsepower. Do I need a trans cooler? I am hoping the answer is no because I am pretty sure it would void my extended warranty. Would a transmission monitor be good enough to prevent any issues? My wise father's advice is if the transmission goes, it goes, and they replace it. Lol I AM within the tow capacity after all...

Thanks in advance.
M
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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First, I don't think that I am the most qualified to answer these questions, but I'll start the conversation with some thoughts.

I suggest you you check with the warranty company to be certain -- in my opinion they should be happy to have you invest in keeping the tranny temp down while towing.

Given your rig, whether or not you "need" it is hard to predict. More likely if you will be towing in the mountains in Summer, less likely for flatland towing in cooler times. In all cases it will provide a margin of safety and a degree of peace of mind. Your father's advice is good in general, but maybe less so in the middle of a desert in the middle of your Summer vacation.

If it were me, and if the warranty was still good, I would install one.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:22 PM   #3
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Hello Merrypaws:

I'll bet you already have a transmission cooler on your 2005 Silverado. My 2003 Silverado came with one as standard equipment. Over the previous years I have had lots of transmission problems while towing. When I purchased this new Silverado in 2003, before pulling my trailer I scrapped the factory transmission cooler and installed the largest cooler that would fit. That ended my transmission problems. I'm very happy that I did that!
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:38 AM   #4
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Simply installing a transmission cooler won't void your warranty. The warranty provider has to demonstrate that your modification caused the damage they are refusing to cover in order to refuse payment. In the event that they're able to do that it would still not void the rest of the warranty.

If you're interested in learning more, here's a little light reading.

As for whether or not you need a transmission cooler... I would take the truck to a reputable tow/hitch shop and see if you already have one, if not, it'll be cheap and easy for them to put one on. It'll provide an added measure of protection and allow for worry-free towing.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
If you're interested in learning more, here's a little light reading.
Doesn't that relate more to manufacturer's warranty on new products, as opposed to service agreements on nine year old used vehicles?
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:24 AM   #6
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I'm going to say the same as others installing a trans cooler will not void your warrantee also your truck maybe already has a factory cooler ,do you really need one to keep your warrantee no but would I have one for sure ,the number one cause of failure is heat. If you plan on keeping your truck put a trans cooler. Ever since g.m. Put 100000 mile Warrantee I think all there trucks have trans coolers.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:37 AM   #7
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A large capacity trans cooler is money well spent if you don't already have one
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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Joe is right and it typically only costs around $100 for the extra tranny cooler. I would also recommend an additional external spin-on filter system for another $100, it will save another issue of particles floating around in the fluid line. I change my external filter every 10-15k or every other engine oil change. I got my kit from Summit Racing.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Here are some pictures of my external tranny filter on my 2008 Ford V-10.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
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I tend to agree with the position that a truck with an 8700 lb tow rating won't need a cooler.

Granted another external cooler won't hurt provided that it doesn't leak, but then a lot of the hose connections used on the majority of aftermarket coolers are crap, simple hose connections and hose clamps. These all eventually leak.

I have bought these coolers and put flare connections on the ends when I haven't been able to find one with built in inverted flare connections in the time frame I needed.

Few shops will take the time to run tubes and use inverted flares.

FWIW I use no external cooler on my lesser rated Silverado towing my 31 foot Sovereign, never had a trans overheat even up a long 8% grade.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:59 PM   #11
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Hi, if your trailer is within your tow vehicle's tow rating, you don't need another trans cooler. Too much cooling can also cause damage. As mentioned above, aftermarket trans cooler's fittings are crap. A larger factory cooler would be nice with the factory connections, but still not necessary. Trans gauges also cause un-necessary panic; I don't recommend them either.

I have nine years of towing with the same tow vehicle, trailer, and hitch. I have towed in 13 Western States and 3 Western provinces. have towed in zero degree weather and in well over 100 degree weather. My tow vehicle just turned 110,000 miles. I have been up many mountains; Colorado being the toughest. To this date, I have the original trans and have it serviced every 30,000 miles.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:59 AM   #12
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Check out Tru-Cool automatic transmission coolers. They are self regulating via the transmission fluid viscosity. I have used them on my Jeeps because I tow in a variety of weather conditions ranging from freezing to hot. When it is cold, no additional cooling is provided but when the fluid heats up, extra cooling is provided. Jim
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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The best way to tell if you need a cooler or not is to monitor transmission temperatures and see how hot it runs while towing. I use a scangage II to monitor all sorts of stuff. If you start running over 200 F, I would get a cooler. Also be careful on adding anything that can restrict oil flow. Pappy's rig may not work on your truck. External filters can restrict flow so you need to do your homework on what you can and can't do as far as filters and coolers. I was able to get a stock Ford cooler for my Excursion that came off of a 6.0 l diesel version. It was 3 times bigger than my old one. It is almost too big.

Perry
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:13 AM   #14
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That's what I'd like to do as well. I'd ill to know if the stock Allison trans cooler from a Duramax powered truck is bigger than the external cooler in my 2008 Tahoe. I'd like to have a little more cooling for the summer months. Would anyone here know?
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