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Old 06-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #15
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Thanks dzn. I have been watchingit like a hawk now. It runs 165* in the flats at 70* ambient, and climbs to 212* during a long grade to say 5000'. That is like a five mile climb. So, not too bad, but I wish I could stay under 200*
That's not bad at all. The chart above says that if you were 225* ALL THE TIME, the trans would last about 40K. Short duration, lower temp spikes are relatively meaningless in that respect.
That being said, I'd change fluid at 30 - 50K intervals.

If you travel those grades often, under load, get an external cooler....even if it does nothing but give you peace of mind.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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You might want to see where the temperature sending unit is located. In the pan, on the line to the trans cooler? Diffferent locations will give different readings and its just good to know the source.
The factory and industry standard is the transmission sump. Avoids guesswork by others in problem diagnosis to retain this location.

.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #17
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Maybe not so for the Mercedes Sprinter. The Sprinter specialist, Up Scale Auto in Portland, Oregon,says that it iis completely impossible to tap the Sprinter pan. Therefore, the sending unit is spliced into the fluid line running from the transmission to the rad.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:50 PM   #18
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Thanks dzn. I have been watchingit like a hawk now. It runs 165* in the flats at 70* ambient, and climbs to 212* during a long grade to say 5000'. That is like a five mile climb. So, not too bad, but I wish I could stay under 200*
Those numbers are not worrisome.

I've modified a few where an external cooler is added downstream of the factory radiator internal piece (B&M, as above; bypasses cool fluid) and added an external filter at the same time (as with other posts above) if I believe that the time of above 200F exposure will be sufficient over the life of the vehicle to justify the time (spent in creating hose and hard line "harnesses" similar to factory practice; routing is the bugabear.

I also do the power steering system the same way (but with smaller cooler & filter) as was factory practice by Chrysler on HD towing and police vehicles staritng the late 1960's as low speed backing (without sufficient airflow by vehicle speed or engine fan) can cook a PS system even in winter temps. Easy to do them both together I found.

I recommend SCHAEFFERS #204All-Trans-Supreme fluid as about the best synthetic available (much more so than MOBIL One, for example) after pan drop, convertor flush and the work above.

No longer any need to drop pan again with proper filter set-up. The pan "filter" is really only a screen. Annual or 15k changes on filter plus a top up of fluid.

AUTOMETER #3451 would be my basis of comparison for a proper trans temp gauge.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #19
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"tapping" the pan is not necessary. I assume we're talking a sheet metal pan. There are senders which have double nuts and double gaskets (one inside the pan, one outside the pan) for sheet metal pans. I have done it several time on older GM trans'. Of course, not necessary anymore as they come standard with trans temp readouts on most models now.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:28 PM   #20
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I also do the power steering system the same way (but with smaller cooler & filter)

.
GM has something called HydroBoost for the braking system (I think the OP said he had a GM vehicle). Rather than use engine vacuum, it uses the power steering fluid to assist with braking.

That said, by default on vehicles equipped with HydroBoost, GM puts in a small power steering cooler as well.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:22 AM   #21
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DZN and Rednax are correct. Temperatures up to at least 220 in a modern transmission with modern fluid should not be a source of concern, especially with periodic fluid changes.

Long slow grades are not the worst case for transmission temperatures. The worst case is driving at highway speed with stops every few miles (for stop signs or traffic lights).

My 'burb was running around 220 the other day in 90 degree ambient under those conditions. It has the factory transmission cooler and a Mag-Hytek aftermarket pan. ::shrug::

A fact to consider with aftermarket coolers is that over a number of years the lines can become a fruitful source of leaks which, if not identified and corrected in a timely fashion, can cause more damage than hot fluid.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:47 AM   #22
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"A fact to consider with aftermarket coolers is that over a number of years the lines can become a fruitful source of leaks which, if not identified and corrected in a timely fashion, can cause more damage than hot fluid."

But remember the OEM trans,power steering,fuel and brake lines are never a source of leaks.

Inspect on a regular basis.

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:00 AM   #23
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I put an OEM cooler on my Excursion and the only connection on it that leaked was the factory one.

There are gages available that tap in the the vehicle computer data buss using the OBD-II port. I have a Scanguage II that works well. It tells me the trans temp and also the slip ratio. When it is not at 1 you need to worry. Most of the stories I have heard with the Fords are caused when towing up hill in too high of a gear with the torque converter unlocked. When the torque converter is not locked tons of heat go into the oil. If you start running hot downshift and if that does not help take your foot out of the throttle. You can burn up anything if you try hard enough.

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer

Long slow grades are not the worst case for transmission temperatures. The worst case is driving at highway speed with stops every few miles (for stop signs or traffic lights).
.
Well then, if that is the case, I don't understand the transmisson heat issue at all!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:19 PM   #25
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Well then, if that is the case, I don't understand the transmisson heat issue at all!
Time under load with the torque converter unlocked generates the most heat. Pulling away from stop lights is a condition where you have torque converter unlock until the upper 3rd gear area. A long grade in 3rd gear most often has the torque converter engaged, until a 2nd gear downshift.
This is all"generally speaking". There can be exceptions among mfrs and conditions.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Time under load with the torque converter unlocked generates the most heat. Pulling away from stop lights is a condition where you have torque converter unlock until the upper 3rd gear area. A long grade in 3rd gear most often has the torque converter engaged, until a 2nd gear downshift.
This is all"generally speaking". There can be exceptions among mfrs and conditions.
Is there a simple way to know when the torque converter is locked? (more for curiosity than anything else.)
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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It is hard to tell without a gage. Usually it is the last thing that happens when it completes the last shift. It can lock up in lower gears depending on load and the programming. When the torque converter slips it amplifies the torque to make it possible to have fewer gears than on a manual transmission. Usually, the torque converter will unlock to keep the RPM's up in a given gear. If you are lugging it, it is best to manually shift to a lower gear or push the throttle to make it shift to the next lower gear. Some transmissions don't have a way to overide the gear selection.

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #28
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I have an F150 with the older 4spd automatic. I'm a weird guy who's REALLY into mechanical things and pay a lot of attention to what my car or truck is doing (I'm the kind of guy who gets into his new vehicle and pushes every button, switch, latch, etc., reads themanual, over researches stuff before I buy it, etc.)

For me at least, it's pretty easy to tell when the truck's transmission is in lockup. The tach is a dead giveaway, so between the change in feel and the RPM at a given speed I know whether it's in 3rd locked, 3rd open, 4th locked or 4th open. I'm sure it's much harder to tell with the newer 6-speeds, though.
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