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Old 10-10-2010, 07:17 AM   #1
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Transmission cooler install & what type is...

We are still fixing and upgrading the 84 ford f150 and so far so good.
My sister mentioned getting a transmission cooler. She described how it is adapted onto the front of the actual radiator in the truck.
Can any of you describe what she is talking about. She said just about every farmer has one on their truck...Thanks, Bill
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:45 AM   #2
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B & M Racing #702655

Automatic Transmission SuperCoolers

This is a piece by LONG MANUFACTURING that is spec'd on UPS city delivery trucks.

An Automatic Transmission Cooler is best fit "downstream" of the in-radiator cooler standard from the factory. It is the sort of piece usually included in a factory-optional Towing Package. Best to mount it in front of the radiator with metal strap and sheet metal screws (NOT the attachments to the AC condenser or radiator as it weakens that item) along with fittings and hoses that are appropriate for ATF (automatic transmission fluid) and/or hydraulic pressures. (Pretty ordinary stuff).

I add a filter from MAGNEFINE just further downstream from this so as to actually capture debris (the standard in-pan "filter" is really just a screen). FORD specs these filters for any dealer-sourced transmission rebuild (as does TOYOTA):

Magnefine--Your Source For Magnefine Inline Filters

Magnefine Inline Transmission Power Steering Filters

Takes a little work to get it correct, but any decent mechanic can set you up well. I mount it ahead of the mechanical fan, but spaced away from other coolers behind it (AC and engine).

Take note that the other type of ATF cooler is tube-and-fin construction which is neither as strong nor as efficient.

I also add a power steering cooler of the tube-and-fin type as only a bit of insurance is needed (and another filter as above):

Amazon.com: Derale 13200: Fluid Cooler, Power Steering, Tube and Fin, Aluminum/Copper, Black, 2 3/4 in. x 10 in. x 3/4 in., Each: Automotive

Towing is hard on these two systems, and coolers such as these were stock on HD packages including police vehicles, ambulances, etc, not just tow packages.

.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:49 AM   #3
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We put a transmission cooler on our 97 Town Car. It was really simple. the cooler attaches with what are basically wire ties, and the included hose is cut and clamped to the radiator with ease. It's not much more than loosening a steel line the comes from the transmission, attaching one hose, then attaching the other hose to the fitting. Follow the instructions and it's done in an hour or so. I could take a picture if you'd like. If you are looking for a kit, I'll ask Mark where he got ours. (the town car and f-150 are basically the same powertrain).
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:55 AM   #4
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No, do not use the zip ties! And the steel line from the in-radiator cooler needs to but cut, flared and properly attached to high quality hoses/fasteners. NAPA has all this. The "kit" is a compromised shortcut.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
An Automatic Transmission Cooler is best fit "downstream" of the in-radiator cooler standard from the factory.
.
Fine in the summer but in winter the oil will not reach operating temperature, thats why they put it in the radiator.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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We're running a B&M 70274 on our F250... works like a charm. The factory unit was quite small; I replaced it w/ this one which is prob. 10x more effective. Ours was plumbed originally w/ rubber lines; I cut the lines to the old one, mounted the new one and hooked up the lines. Less than two hours, including running around for the fittings I needed. Do mount the unit securely.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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Ok --It sure is great to come home for lunch and see all this information. So tonight I will click on all the links and do my reading. The sister said they would have them at ATWOODS stores and all I had to do was open it up and read the instructions. BUT BUT BUT!--I want to make sure a get a great performance. The place I am painting for is also a frm equipment supplier --they are called Consolidated Bearing and welding. I might get some good advice there too. The farmers are busy right across the highway harvesting cotton and I am painting right there down wind and wondering what I am inhaling
Thanks again! Bill
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #8
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Transmission coolers

Food for thought.

Removing the heat from the radiator that the transmission generates is a great thing to do.

But, when you mount the cooler in front of the radiator, you put the heat right back into it..

That helps the transmission, but doesn't help the radiator.

However, if the transmission oil cooler is installed below the radiator and behind the bumper, as long as it still gets some ram air, then that helps both the radiator and transmission.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:18 PM   #9
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Recently went through this with my Airstream 310 motorhome, with a consult from a friend who is a race car mechanic. There is a section of your existing radiator that has transmission fluid in it, rather than water. This is fine most of the time but it means that the transmission fluid is going to be heated to whatever your water temperature is -- not a good idea in hot weather. You have the choice of plumbing the transmission cooler in line with the coils in the radiator, or bypassing the radiator coils entirely by routing the transmission lines directly to the new cooler. I got advice both ways -- the consensus was if you're mostly driving in hot weather, plumb it separately. If you're driving mostly in cold weather, plumb it in line with the existing coils. You can always block the separate cooler with a sheet of cardboard if you have trouble with thickening fluid in very cold temperatures.

The other point is, DO NOT use the special tricky ties that are supposed to go through the radiator core to attach the new cooler. They are very strong, and with vibration and abrasive dirt they can cut through the tubes of the radiator. A friend of mine had this happen in Death Valley.

I installed a Derale cooler from Summit Racing which mounts separately with nicely made brackets, and has its own electric fan and thermostat switch. It has kept the transmission fluid temp below 180 when it used to get to 240.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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If you're going to be driving in very cold weather, you must use the cooler in the radiator in series after the external cooler, or fit a low temperature bypass valve if the cooler is not so equipped from the factory. Otherwise, the transmission will never warm up properly, leading to premature failure.

- Bart
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