Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country tri

Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country tri

Postby thecanadiana [OP] » January 22nd 2015, 2:42am

Hey Guys,

Great forum you have here. I've visited a few times and it seems like you're a cool bunch, with some slick Astros (I really like the white one with the big freakin' tires, black roof rack and the spare on the rear door!)

Anyways, my question is as stated in the thread title. I'm going from Ontario to Vancouver in a few weeks and I'll be towing about 1500-2000lbs on a trailer and I'll have about 1500lbs in van. My van is stock. Is there anything else I should consider?

Your guidance is much appreciated.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Meterpig » January 22nd 2015, 9:03am

Um...yeah. Your tranny is already on the edge under normal soccer mom driving. When you hook it up, bypass hooking it up the radiator. Make sure you get a bypass for the cooler as well. Trucool is a good brand.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby WoodButcher » January 22nd 2015, 2:28pm

Don't bypass the radiator, put the cooler in series. Transmission coolers in the radiator are warmers as well, they work best between 150 and 200 f. IIRC 170-180 f is the target number.
The Trucool (don't remember the model #) plate cooler has it's own bypass if the fluid is not hot and Canada is not known for it's warm weather.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby thecanadiana [OP] » January 22nd 2015, 5:15pm

So even driving in -10C (14F) I need a tranny cooler?
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby markmitch » January 22nd 2015, 5:28pm

absolutely if you plan on towing at all in any weather auto transmissions worst enemy is heat. Thing about this: when you grab something heavy and carry it the longer you carry it without putting it down the more tired your arm gets right? well the more you drive with the extra weight the more your trans is working and getting hotter. Since all the trans is hydraulic and under pressure the more the heat builds up in that hydraulic fluid. Once the fluid gets hot it thins out then its ability to hold pressure goes down as well as the ability to cool itself. Thats where the extra cooler comes in. Good luck. Mark
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby thecanadiana [OP] » January 22nd 2015, 5:35pm

Ok, got it. Thanks for the responses everyone! :D
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Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country tri

Postby Alexander_Rychok » March 12th 2015, 9:22am

So happens. Let's discuss this question.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby chevymaher » March 12th 2015, 12:45pm

Alexander_Rychok wrote:So happens. Let's discuss this question.

Oh it just was?
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Meterpig » March 12th 2015, 9:55pm

thecanadiana wrote:So even driving in -10C (14F) I need a tranny cooler?



The only thing your radiator does, on a good day, is bring the tranny fluid temp down to whatever the radiator is running on the cool side.

When you are towing, the temps jump dramatically. You will notice that your shifts will get softer.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby AstroWill » March 13th 2015, 1:39am

WoodButcher wrote:Don't bypass the radiator, put the cooler in series. Transmission coolers in the radiator are warmers as well, they work best between 150 and 200 f. IIRC 170-180 f is the target number.
The Trucool (don't remember the model #) plate cooler has it's own bypass if the fluid is not hot and Canada is not known for it's warm weather.



+1
Well said! No reason to bypass the radiator.

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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Meterpig » March 13th 2015, 2:21am

There is a reason to bypass the radiator. Google "pink slush" or "pink milkshake" for radiators. It's simple to get a bypass valve that routes the ATF back into the transmission when it's "cold". ATF fluid is very light and moves at extremely low temps. The argument that the transmission needs to warm doesn't make sense. Yes, I have heard about the Tundra "pre warmer"...which makes sense given the soccer mom nature of the rig or that owners today want to start their vehicle and then drive the vehicle in the next 5 seconds. Engine oil flows much slower at cold temps than ATF...so the radiator pre warms the oil? I have driven a vehicle 1 mile and that engine oil is plenty warm on a 10 degree day. I am betting the ATF is far warmer too.

Looking the junk yard, I saw a few vehicles that were sent from the OEM's with a cooler only. It was a cost saving move by GM to put the cooler in the radiator.

It just makes the system more complicated with more failure points, or worse, undoes the external cooler.

As for the part about working better at whatever temp over "X" temp, I suppose my transmission works horribly for 10 to 15 miles on cold days here Colorado when my rad barely gets up to temp on those days. I do notice that, if I don't let the engine idle, it has a few hard shifts up until the first light then normal. How is that if the rad is at 30 degrees?

Anyway, google the the pink milkshake..and then look at this again. However, I think advising anyone to keep the stock cooler isn't backed up by facts.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby kennyj » March 13th 2015, 4:15am

Meterpig wrote: However, I think advising anyone to keep the stock cooler isn't backed up by facts.


Every manufacturer of transmission coolers recommends installing the external cooler in series with the radiator cooler as the preferred method.

From the Hayden webite:

Hayden recommends installing the auxiliary cooler after the radiator to return the coolest fluid directly to the transmission. Installing the cooler before the radiator will still provide additional cooling and may be necessary in some difficult access applications.

Also from Hayden, regarding cold weather:

Transmissions are not highly sensitive to cool operating temperatures. However, in sub-zero (20-30° F) weather conditions transmission fluid can actually gel up in an external cooler and cease to flow, causing damage. Use of the radiator cooler actually helps warm the fluid under these conditions. It is critical in extreme cold conditions to use the original equipment cooler in series with the auxiliary cooler and allow the vehicle to warm up before driving.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby AstroWill » March 13th 2015, 6:21am

Those guys probably don't know what they are talking about... ;)

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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Lumpy » March 13th 2015, 7:00am

AstroWill wrote:Those guys probably don't know what they are talking about... ;)


They're mofos.


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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Meterpig » March 13th 2015, 4:42pm

AstroWill wrote:Those guys probably don't know what they are talking about... ;)


If you read through what Haydyn says, it's clear what they are talking about which is extreme cold.They should also recommend leaving the vehicle running around the clock (which is what a lot do in those climates) in order to keep the fluid temp above 35 in the radiator. Otherwise it will cool the transmission fluid with -20 water. Water cools much better than air...so that seems like a much larger danger.



It's a good thing GM saved us with their weeny rad cooler from the ravages of worldwide -30 degree weather. Guess what...Lawyers also write motorcycle owner's manuals giving the worst possible break in method despite engine tuners which say it's important to actually stress the engine. So..It's no surprise to me that Haydn put this ridiculous piece of info out there.

Wait..didn't someone quote an AAMCO employee who said one should never change the ATF if it hasn't been changed for 5 years? Wait...I can find 5 people who believe that too...

Let me flesh it out for you:

(cue Lawyers)Hayden recommends installing the auxiliary cooler after the radiator to return the coolest fluid directly to the transmission. (We say this because nitwits installed 50,000GVW or larger coolers on their Ford Taurus without the temp return valve and then proceeded to drive around northern Canada at high speeds without warm up...and guess what...the transmission froze! They then sued us, we had to settle and now have to recommend diminishing our own product because idiots don't understand the concept of thermodynamics)

(Engineer line...sort of) Installing the cooler before the radiator will still provide additional cooling and may be necessary in some difficult access applications. (Cut to lawyers) We recommend the use of a trained factory technician who has had at least 100 hours of cooler install time




http://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-gen-t4rs/158256-pink-milkshake-rookie.html
http://www.reddit.com/r/Justrolledintotheshop/comments/186x3i/strawberry_milkshake_in_the_transmission_fluid/
http://www.yotatech.com/f2/radiator-empty-strawberry-milkshake-tranny-fluid-116812/
http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehicles/****/photo-11.html
http://www.justanswer.com/jeep/8my52-jeep-grand-cherokee-larado-pink-milkshake-trani-fluid.html


So...let's see here. What is solved by dropping the rad cooler:
1)Fewer connections (fewer points of failure)
2)Better cooling
3)No chance of mixing coolant and ATF oil AKA "Pink milkshake". So, no possible loss of transmission or transmission
4)If the radiator overheats, I don't heat up the ATF oil
5) Radiator is doing less, not more

Possible issues:
1) Under ultra extreme weather conditions -30, fluid could become less viscous. Solution? Install a bypass. http://www.transmissioncoolers.us/708-4739P6.html


I would be curious of somebody could find a failure related to the hypothetical issue of "too cold".






I don't expect to convince anyone who posted in this thread..I do believe however those who will search this thread overtime or silently read this thread will realize the lack of necessity in attaching two coolers.
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby kennyj » March 13th 2015, 7:38pm

Meterpig wrote:If you read through what Haydyn says, it's clear what they are talking about which is extreme cold.


Copied from above:
in sub-zero (20-30° F) weather conditions


20-30° F sounds like overnight winter temps in all but the most moderate climates of the US.

I don't expect to convince anyone who posted in this thread..I do believe however those who will search this thread overtime or silently read this thread will realize the lack of necessity in attaching two coolers.


I'm sure that anyone reading this thread will now ignore the manufacturer's recommended installation procedure. :lol:


Can we talk about Dexcool now?
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Mmusicman » March 13th 2015, 7:57pm

thecanadiana wrote:I'm going from Ontario to Vancouver in a few weeks and I'll be towing about 1500-2000lbs on a trailer and I'll have about 1500lbs in van.

If you were traveling on flat terrain, I would say you could probably get away without an external cooler. But this is ONLY providing you can tow in 3rd or 4th gear with the converter in lockup! My 2000 with tow button allows for the converter to stay locked up more consistently. A locked up converter will generate minimal heat. Don't forget you do have a cooler built in to the radiator which is designed for "typical" use.

The problem is that you will MOST likely be towing up and down mountains. The heat generated on an uphill climb can be quite damaging. You will most certainly be out of lockup quite a bit and generating quite a bit of heat. Chances are though.. if you are driving in cold weather, the cooler in the radiator would still be more than sufficient.

But external coolers are cheap! They are also cheap insurance against expensive transmission repairs. Not to mention your trans could fail at a bad time along side the road. They are easy to install. Why chance it?

Personally, I would always route the coolers in series! For numerous reasons!
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby Lumpy » March 13th 2015, 8:47pm

I just trade my car in whenever the temp is "sub-zero (20-30° F)".


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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby RECox286 » March 13th 2015, 9:32pm

Hey Youse Guys...Youse all can do what youse want to your own trucks, but when I install a tranny

cooler, I always add the external cooler in series with the one inside the radiator. AND, I don't

worry about such things as modulating by-pass valves. Ever since doing the above, I have yet to

loose a truck to more viscous* or too hot tranny fluid. (The stump is ready for the next speaker.)

Never fool with success, and keep on truck'n.

Uncle Bob



*VISCOSITY: The resistance of a fluid to flow; (ie: honey vs water... Honey= high viscosity, water=

low viscosity)
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Re: Do I need a tranny cooler for cold weather cross country

Postby WoodButcher » March 14th 2015, 12:01am

@ meterpig, one of your links is bad and another talks about fluid from the condenser into the trans. OK, I went looking and found these about minimum and optimum temps. I don't recall where I read about it before but these confirm what I referred to.

Keeping the transmission temperature between 175 and 200 degrees will allow the fluid to last the longest.
http://www.freeautomechanic.com/transmi ... ature.html


This one a PDF from amsoil,
http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVxA4 ... zO7PjXoHA-


150° F= The minimum operating temperature. Note: It is possible in low ambient temperatures to overcool the transmission with auxiliary oil to air coolers. Oil to water coolers in standard factory radiators will normally not overcool a transmission.

http://digi-panel.com/trannyoil.htm
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