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Old 02-18-2016, 04:36 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Do I need a transmission cooler?

We are going on the Southwest Adventure caravan this summer. I am pulling a 1975, 31' AS with a 2010 Chevy 2500 Duramax with an Allison transmission. I have been told that there are some long steep roads on this trip. Should I consider putting an additional tranny cooler on the truck? It has the factory tow package.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:44 PM   #2
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Not necessary on that rig.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:56 PM   #3
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You've already got one, just drive it...you've got a winner...
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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Yepper - the brakes, tranny and engine are TRUCK parts... not PICKUP. Love my GMC. The only difference between a 2500 and a 3500 are heavier duty springs. (Rougher ride).

I call mine "The Mother Truck II" or "Snow White". Some day soon I'll be pulling a 10 meter Avion with mine. Your trailer is a teardrop by comparison.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:44 AM   #5
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The only way you will know for sure is to install a REAL tranny temp gage. The ones from the factory won't tell you it's too hot until it's too late. One thing about it, an extra tranny cooler is around $125 installed vs $3-4,000 if you blow a transmission.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #6
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More like $4,500 - ask me how I know!
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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For what it's worth;
Even before I started towing an RV, I've equipped my vehicles with an aftermarket cooler.
I've found that the car will accelerate a modicum better, because of the cooler(thicker) fluid. Also, I've never needed tranny repairs. This, on four or five autos, and two U.V.s.
Now that I'm towing an Airstream, it looks like the Ford cooler is doing it's job. The temperature gauge shows a maximum of 98 Deg. C. in worse case conditions; which is fine.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:13 AM   #8
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I have towed extensively throughout the West with my Duramax/Allison. The hardest was Panamint grade the back way into Death Valley. 148,000 miles and no issues to report. Get your transmission serviced and enjoy your trip.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenflag View Post
I have towed extensively throughout the West with my Duramax/Allison. The hardest was Panamint grade the back way into Death Valley. 148,000 miles and no issues to report. Get your transmission serviced and enjoy your trip.
And my dodge has 96000 towing and no problems and was told no warrenty when new if adding gauges, don't need them, drive accordingly...
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:37 PM   #10
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Maybe this is a good thread for me to pose my question, although TJDONAHOE (who coincidently lives within a 15 or 20 mile radius of me) may have already answered it. I have a 2000 Dodge 2500 extended cab, LB diesel with a 4-speed automatic tranny. My AS is a 1972 31' Sovereign. Some time ago, I became aware of electronic engine monitoring devices (for lack of a better term) that can be installed on older vehicles like mine. The devices I am referring to are made by Edge products (www.edgeproducts.com). I know the monitor screens on the Edge units can also be used with a rear camera which, of course is sold separately. To get right to my question, are devices like that even necessary? Any advice anyone has will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip498 View Post
Maybe this is a good thread for me to pose my question, although TJDONAHOE (who coincidently lives within a 15 or 20 mile radius of me) may have already answered it. I have a 2000 Dodge 2500 extended cab, LB diesel with a 4-speed automatic tranny. My AS is a 1972 31' Sovereign. Some time ago, I became aware of electronic engine monitoring devices (for lack of a better term) that can be installed on older vehicles like mine. The devices I am referring to are made by Edge products (www.edgeproducts.com). I know the monitor screens on the Edge units can also be used with a rear camera which, of course is sold separately. To get right to my question, are devices like that even necessary? Any advice anyone has will be greatly appreciated!
My answer is , the engineeres at dodge, Gm, or ford , designed their engine for all around use and $3-400 spent on it isn't going to make better, common sense will be better put to use...
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:50 AM   #12
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My response would be that the tubes and hoses used on any aftermarket cooler I have ever seen suck in comparison to factory setups.

My advise for that truck and most other modern trucks is to not build in more leaks and blown hoses, leave the factory setup alone.


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Old 02-20-2016, 07:32 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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Learn to use the transmission correctly. Don't just put it in drive and take off.
If you are in conditions which cause the transmission to shift constantly you should take appropriate action to reduce the constant shifting up and down. Select a lower gear as the top gear to prevent the shifting.
It's the shifting that wears on the transmission more than anything. IMHO
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:14 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, 01:54 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, 02:21 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, 02:22 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. http://www.amazon.com/Tru-Cool-LPD47.../dp/B0060NKA1U

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, 02:32 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, 02:23 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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