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Old 01-22-2014, 08:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
To my knowledge there is no better ATF than SCHAEFFERS ATS.
I do not know about better, but I have long been using Redline manual and automatic fluids exclusively in all our tow vehicles. Exceptional. No failures Their specs and testing match their claims of less molecular breakdown.

High temps and sheer forces from the gears and clutches breakdown the fluid. If the temps are within range, I suggest switching to quality fluid like Redline before upgrading the cooler, and see what happens to the temp when towing.

If you change the auto transmission fluid yourself, or have a shop do it, be certain that the torque converter fluid is drained properly. Otherwise you'll just be diluting the good stuff with the cheap stuff.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:53 AM   #16
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Lots of good information here - thanks. I will certainly go to the synthetic ATF.

Just staring into the motor compartment, it appears the only place for another cooler (there is a very complicated oil cooler, and the AC condenser) would seen to be in the space between front grill and radiator stack. I assume these cooler can't be installed longitudinally, right?

My optimism about having the car ready this week is shot. The harnesses won't be here until Monday, and there is the whole transmission cooler thing to sort out yet.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:08 AM   #17
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My trans temp without trailer at 70MPH is about 190F in 80F ambient conditions. I expect that to rise then to 210F in 100F weather, which is my neighborhood. That's before adding a trailer.
I do not necessarily think that your transmission temp would reflect a 20 degree increase in ambient temperature. Certainly the engine temp is thermostatically controlled.

One big difference I have noticed on my newest tow vehicle (2010 F250) is that the engine and transmission temperatures remain steady regardless of the outside temperature and trailer load. That leads me to believe the tranny cooler has more than sufficient heat transfer capacity and is thermostatically controlled.

That may be a feature to look for in a cooler.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:21 AM   #18
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there is the whole transmission cooler thing to sort out yet.
You might consider a high grade fluid change and then take a test drive to monitor the transmission temperature without a cooler upgrade. As long as your temps do not go through the roof, the high performance fluid will give you protection.

If your current tranny cooler is integrated with your engine radiator, consider putting in Water Wetter. This significantly improves the heat transfer efficiency of your coolant.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:25 PM   #19
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No specific experience with the 300 here, but I have some thoughts on transmission coolers.

The last vehicle I had with an automatic transmission used a ZF transmission, which is also used by Chrysler in various platforms. My vehicle had a factory transmission heat exchanger, thermostatically controlled. No additional cooling was spec'd by the manufacturer up to the 6000 lb tow rating (which was 7700 lbs in Europe). When I read the service tech training documents on the transmission from the vehicle manufacturer, they described how the system utilized engine heat to bring the transmission fluid up to temperature more quickly, ie it heated as well as cooled, depending on the fluid temperature. I think that the cooling aspect is very important, but thinking about how most wear happens with cold fluid in the engine, it is likely similar in a transmission. You would want to avoid overcooling with an additional cooler, so as not to make the cold start up wear cycle extend over a longer period. That implies some sort of thermostatic control.

Not sure about your specific vehicle and which transmission it uses. But if you find out the transmission model, you can see where else it is used and those applications may have a cooler available for another platform. That helps you reduce the risk of excessive pressure drop across the cooler. Worth a try. I would also look into either police or taxi packages for that vehicle. Easiest option would be to use factory pieces where ever possible.

Finally, if we think about where the heat is coming from, on the highway it is from the torque converter and shifting. Seems obvious, but avoid any transmission hunting by using the manual mode. Learn where and when the torque converter goes into lock up mode (thus greatly reducing heat production) and figure out how to drive to maintain that lock up mode where ever possible when towing. Best way to avoid heat is not to produce it in the first place.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:16 PM   #20
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I do not necessarily think that your transmission temp would reflect a 20 degree increase in ambient temperature. Certainly the engine temp is thermostatically controlled.

One big difference I have noticed on my newest tow vehicle (2010 F250) is that the engine and transmission temperatures remain steady regardless of the outside temperature and trailer load. That leads me to believe the tranny cooler has more than sufficient heat transfer capacity and is thermostatically controlled.

That may be a feature to look for in a cooler.
A few more comments about the temperature monitoring.

I drove 70 miles out at 59F outdoor temp and then 70 miles home later with the outdoor temp at 80F. The road out was a steady climb from 0 to 2600 feet, and then the reverse coming home.

On the outbound the temp climbed from 150F to 175F and stayed there for the last half hour.

On the way home it was ~195F all the way. From this, I gathered that the temp would pretty much rise with the ambient temp. Of course, it may not be linear, but at least between 59F and 80F it does look linear. 20F rise in ambient yielded a 20F rise in transmission. I am not sure I understand the relationship between engine temp and trans temp? How would they be coupled if there is no trans cooler? Mysterious to me.

Today, just driving around town - stop and go - it pretty much stayed at 199F. The ambient was around 68F. Seems high to me.

I stopped at Chrysler dealer service to ask the price of a factory cooler. Oddly, they said MoPar did not make a unit for this car(???) and an aftermarket would be $180 parts + $345 labor. No brand was given. Talking to service bay agents is not very satisfying, to say the least. They are really clerks, not car buffs. So, I could get no useful advice about cooling, or fluids. Today I will try to connect with some sort of corporate "tech support."

I'll also be screening transmission shops by phone to see if anyone sounds knowledgeable about such things as coolers.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:26 PM   #21
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mstephens,

Could going on the 300c Forums perhaps be helpful to you?

Is this my trans cooler? - Chrysler 300C Forum: 300C & SRT8 Forums

Sergei
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #22
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Steve, Mr UK Toad,

You will probably be able to read your transmission temperatures ( if you'd like that), and a whole lot more, if you get an in-expensive SCAN GAUGE II:

http://www.scangaugecanada.com/

I have it in the SPRINTER and consider it the best single device on my rig. I drive the truck to it.

Sergei

Incidentally, I have noted that the transmission fluid temperature on my truck more or less exactly mimics the coolant temperature at all times, if this is of any help to people.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
A few more comments about the temperature monitoring.

I drove 70 miles out at 59F outdoor temp and then 70 miles home later with the outdoor temp at 80F. The road out was a steady climb from 0 to 2600 feet, and then the reverse coming home.

On the outbound the temp climbed from 150F to 175F and stayed there for the last half hour.

On the way home it was ~195F all the way. From this, I gathered that the temp would pretty much rise with the ambient temp. Of course, it may not be linear, but at least between 59F and 80F it does look linear. 20F rise in ambient yielded a 20F rise in transmission. I am not sure I understand the relationship between engine temp and trans temp? How would they be coupled if there is no trans cooler? Mysterious to me.

Today, just driving around town - stop and go - it pretty much stayed at 199F. The ambient was around 68F. Seems high to me.

I stopped at Chrysler dealer service to ask the price of a factory cooler. Oddly, they said MoPar did not make a unit for this car(???) and an aftermarket would be $180 parts + $345 labor. No brand was given. Talking to service bay agents is not very satisfying, to say the least. They are really clerks, not car buffs. So, I could get no useful advice about cooling, or fluids. Today I will try to connect with some sort of corporate "tech support."

I'll also be screening transmission shops by phone to see if anyone sounds knowledgeable about such things as coolers.

Your current automatic transmission cooler is part of your radiator. The radiator does the job for both the engine and the transmission under normal circumstances. I doubt that you will receive any additional satisfaction from corp. Your best bet is to find a local, privately owned, auto repair business for general work and perhaps a similar type of transmission shop for your special needs. I I use the former for all work because I found a good one, sort of like finding a doctor or dentist. Par particular attention to the information provided by "Slowmover" and stick with his recommendations. Your best application will be the Long Tru Cool mounted between the radiator cooler and the transmission. That is an important step that a good shop will be well versed in. Jim
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #24
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I did some checking on the transmission used in the 2012 V6 300, and found that it is a ZF 8HP, in a 450 Nm variant. That is the same transmission that I referred to in my comments above, in my case in a BMW. Wikipedia lists all the other platforms using that transmission, starting with the Charger, but including the Ram 1500. That is a likely candidate to include an additional factory cooler, possibly as part of a tow package.

The heavier (700 Nm) version of your 8HP transmission is used in the Durango V8 and Jeep GC V8 models, so there are some more potential parts sources. All this assumes there is some value in using something that has flows matched to the transmission. If the transmission cooling also uses the radiator you may need to look at a larger capacity radiator as well.

Smokeless Joe's excellent link to a 300C forum shows a thread titled Frankencooler, a cooling project on a 300C, which discusses the need for additional PS cooling as well as engine and transmission cooling, when the LX platform is being tracked (they found the failure points, so that can be valuable data).

Jeff
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:04 PM   #25
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Your current automatic transmission cooler is part of your radiator.
By visual inspection I was coming slowly to that conclusion this morning. I looked around under the hood, and discovered a manifold with 6 hardlines coming in/out and an obvious electrical pump attached to the side of it. Around the size of a loaf of bread. With 6 lines, I had to assume the transmission was part of this affair. It's REALLY hard to see much around the radiator.

Tons of good info guys. I'm soaking it all in. If I had a super "car guy" in the area, I'd be a lot less dumb about all this. It's hard to find such guys when you are new to an area. I've only been here 6 mos. Trust me, it was just as hard to find doctors and dentists too!

I'm on the hunt for a transmission guy. Also, I did join the 300C forum, and am learning my way around it. It's....a little slower moving than this one. Or, I just don't know my way around yet. But yes, I am looking there too. I'll look up the Frankencooler thread!
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:27 PM   #26
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Mark,
The manifold of which you speak with six hardlines sounds more like the anti lock braking system to me.

As to the whole issue of what trans cooler to use, my suggestion would be to go with whatever CanAm reccos. Honestly, they are about the only ones that have real worlrd expeience in this type of usage for these cars.

Power steering cooler as mentioned is also a superb idea. On my Frontier, that is part of the towing package.

And yes you are right, the service writer at most dealerships have limited technical knowledge most times. They are more of a pretty face, clean hands and a sales person. You need to talk to a real deal mechanic in the shop.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #27
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etrailer lists multiple Derale coolers for the Ram 1500, which uses the same transmission. At least you know the pressure drops should be OK. It would come down to adapting the mounting points and connecting lines, and ensuring you have physical space to mount it.

But a recommendation from Canam sounds like the best path forward to me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:17 PM   #28
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mstephens,

Since Jeff has tracked down that your transmission is shared with the Ram 1500 you might also find help at Geno’s Garage in Cummins, Georgia:

Geno's Garage is about Dodge Cummins Turbo Parts, Accessories and Technical Support

I don’t really know anything about the subject here- the thread is way over my head – but I did talk to Geno’s once when buying stuff from them and I could tell that they really knew what they were talking about.

Something like the guys you wished you had in your town…..

You can’t go wrong talking to Andrew T at Can Am either. He takes an interest in this stuff, knows a lot and will share his knowledge with people.

Sergei
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