Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! [OP] » October 11th 2017, 4:05am

Installing a external Transmission cooler is pretty straight forward addition for your worn out Van. Thinking about doing a 4" lift? This WimpTech Approved mod is a no-brainer. No need to bend those pesky Transmission cooler lines. This Vans owner tows with it so he wanted an external cooler installed without using the stock cooler inside the radiator. Some people like to run into the radiator then into the cooler. I'm sure its been debated many times but we don't have time for that!

Patient is a 2004 Astro AWD (2nd and 3rd GEN) (First GEN may require different ID cooler hose )

Buckle up!
Hayden Ultra Cool Part #403 Comes with 11/32 hose and all the goods.
7mm
8mm
10mm
1/4"
Phillips
Cutters
Lube
wire loom
The extra Vacuum line you got laying around from replacing your broken plastic lines!
Knife
Pick
Marker/Turn Light Blubs 194 and 2057 IIRC


First step is to remove the air box, upper fan shroud and both cooler lines. Might as while clean that Mass air flow sensor since you got it off. Use your pick to take out the metal clips. Spray those clips with some sauce, makes getting them out a little easier. Some times the clips will wear a grove in the line and the can be PITA to get out... Hang in there! Sauce it up some more and remove that Grill! Now is a good time to check on those bulbs! LED time?
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I put the vac line in Vise and sliced it. Run a longer piece around that whole opening. I was originally going run the cooler line underneath radiator but thought about the possibility of the Van running into to something.


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Lube up the inside of the line a bit. I also stretched out the end of the hose a little bit to get it over the flare. It doesn't just slip on there trust me, your going to need to twist it back and forth a lot. Keep twisting you almost got it! I used two clamps for peace of mind but after getting the line on there you'll realize you only need one clamp.



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Take the 4 10mm bolts out of the condenser. Now you can lift the left side of the radiator up and out towards the engine. This will give you access to put the clips on the back of the fasteners for the cooler. Might have to massage that A/C line a bit. I put the loom on there because this isn't my Van and we don't want leaks!



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Next mock up where you want it and put the foam spacer pads on and shove the plastic rods through them.


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I think if it was my van I would of hit it with a little black paint.

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Now make sure you new bulbs work, slap your grill back on and fight that fan shroud in!
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby AstroWill » October 11th 2017, 4:45am

Nice looking install!

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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! [OP] » October 11th 2017, 4:53am

Whats it take for a guy to get a sticky around here? :shrug:
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby WinnieVan » October 11th 2017, 5:20am

Great install CFM!
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby five10freak » October 11th 2017, 5:32am

Nice work!! :thumbup: :thumbup: . On my list of things to do..
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby 97cargocrawler » October 11th 2017, 4:55pm

Looks clean! But not CargoCrawler approved.

The only part I fully disagree with is needing only one clamp and the use of the worm drive clamp. You should absolutely use two clamps on the connection to/from the factory lines and they should be of the fuel injection style clamp. There is quite a bit more pressure going through those cooler lines than most folks realize. If one of those hoses pops off, you will dump the entire fluid contents of the transmission in about a minute.

Instead of using the steel pipe after the hose section in the factory line I opted to patch into the hose section since it has nice barbs. So basically I cut the factory line in half where the rubber hose is and ran my rubber lines to the cooler from there. Even with nice barbs and TWO worm drive clamps the pressure (and heat expanding the rubber) my hose popped off on the first test drive, which just so happened to be with a brand new transmission installed. I dumped the entire fluid contents of my transmission on the freeway in about a minute. Damn near destroyed a new $3k tranny IN ONE MINUTE.

BAD CONNECTION (fluid shot out of here like a mofo):

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I recommend chopping the factory line where the short hose section is to utilize that nice barbed section on the steel line. Clamps should be done like this:

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Also I would not call the pipe inside the radiator a "cooler" at all. I'd call it a "warmer." The engine temps will warm up much faster than the tranny so any fluid running through that pipe in the radiator is only being heated up. If the tranny ever see's temps in excess of say 195F that small heat exchanging pipe in the radiator isn't sufficient to cool anything.

In my opinion, provided you're not driving around in some arctic climate, if you need to install a cooler to lower tranny temps the radiator circuit should be eliminated from the route.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby 3PedalJohn » October 11th 2017, 5:33pm

Strongly recommend getting AN fitting's for an aftermarket trans cooler, would hate to see a hose clamp fail and result in an expensive bill.

I don't understand why everyone dislikes the stock transmission cooler in the radiator. I tow a 4000lb car+trail combo with my 2wd Astro and see no trans temp issues. The trans cooler is on the cold side of the radiator so it's not exposed to hot engine coolant coming out of the engine. The oil cooler is on the hot side since oil likes to be hotter than ECT.

It may help that I am running a 180 degree therostat and hi volume SBC water pump. Also, the Torque converter lock up in 3rd is key, when it unlocks going up a hill I see about a 10 to 20 degree increase in temp but when it locks up again it cools right back down.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! [OP] » October 11th 2017, 5:36pm

I've had trouble with those factory barbs in line as well, mine blew out all over the freeway. I agree you need to be using fuel injection style clamps with those barbs. But we used what came with the kit. I think the barb on the end of the line is a better option than cutting the factory rubber flex part out. You have more of a barb with those then you do with those weak factory barbs that were never intend to have hose clamp on them. There just isn't enough flare there IMO.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby WimpTech » October 11th 2017, 7:32pm

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haha

Good job on the details man!
BTW- Sure you wanna be associated with such crappy half-arsed engineering as the WimpTech line-o-products-n-services???
WimpTech - Precision Guesswork... Questionable Results.

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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby AstroWill » October 11th 2017, 9:18pm

I used the clamps that came with the kit, though I also used the threaded/barb adapters so that the factory lines stayed in place. You can see the barbs on the adapter here: https://sites.google.com/site/astrosafa ... ion-cooler

I would call the unit built into the radiator a heat exchanger. Initially the radiator fluid is warming the transmission fluid, but that will reverse itself after it reaches the crossover point. If it were only a transmission fluid 'warmer' then you could say that running without one would be a safe thing to do as far as overheating the transmission, which wouldn't be a wise thing to do. There is no way that the outlet side of the radiator is at the same temperature as the inlet side, so it's going to be cooler than the thermostat rating/temperature gauge as long as everything is working properly. Also, the size can be smaller because it's transferring heat from fluid to fluid and we all know that heat transfers from fluid to fluid a whole lot faster than from fluid to air.
Makes me think of hypothermia and the human body, the heat transfers 20-25x faster in water than in air.

If I had a safe way to mount my thermal imaging camera under there, I would make a video of it doing it's thing while driving.

I put the aux cooler in-line, which is the recommended installation practice from every major manufacturer from what I have seen. I'm sure there is a reason for that.


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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby Mmusicman » October 12th 2017, 12:13am

Nice job!
Nice write-up!
Nice photos!
Looks good! :handgestures-thumbup:
:goodpost:
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby 97cargocrawler » October 12th 2017, 12:16am

Ya'all do as you see fit. I have experience in doing it both ways, with and without the radiator "heat exchanging pipe" as I called it and I have some experience in the whole thermodynamics bit as well. This isn't armchair physics I'm bestowing upon you. It sounds to me like you're assuming normal operating temp, not the temps you will see in the radiator while pulling grades dragging a trailer behind. In that scenario you're not cooling anything, hence the reason why people install the additional cooler to begin with.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby AstroWill » October 12th 2017, 12:37am

97cargocrawler wrote:Ya'all do as you see fit.

x2, IMO this always applies without saying.

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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby Mmusicman » October 12th 2017, 1:01am

I've seen quite a bit of discussion on whether or not to run coolers solo or hook them in series.. and which order to hook them in to accomplish certain results.

Living in a mostly year-round warm climate, I am running my trans cooler by itself. But if I lived in sub-zero climates, I might consider a different option.

Regardless... overheating a trans will ruin it faster than anything else.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby nyjett32 » October 12th 2017, 2:13am

CopperFiremist wrote:Whats it take for a guy to get a sticky around here? :shrug:
I referenced your post for mine. Thanks.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! [OP] » October 12th 2017, 2:20am

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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby 3PedalJohn » October 13th 2017, 3:30am

This is a pretty decent trailer? I think the earlier Z82 packages included thicker radiator core, I haven't had a chance to see another astro radiator core so can't say for sure. I think the bigger core, lower temperature Thermostat, and high flow pump are helping me manage the temps in my 700r4 with the stock trans cooler. I installed a temp sensor and was surprised to see that I didn't need to add an aftermarket cooler. I keep it in 3rd and let the 4.3 spin and it seems to be happy when driving 500miles to Road America.
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby Meterpig » October 17th 2017, 3:50am

If you are not hauling at slow speeds, it isn't needed. The factory setup is fine for factory setup. But hey, nobody needs 35 inch tires either. :whistle:
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby 97cargocrawler » October 17th 2017, 8:11am

Meterpig wrote:If you are not hauling at slow speeds, it isn't needed. The factory setup is fine for factory setup. But hey, nobody needs 35 inch tires either. :whistle:

Agreed. If you never get past satisfying all of the needs then you have failed miserably at LIFE. 35" tires are in the wanted category. Lots of needs went into fullfilling that dream. Done, next. :whistle:
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Re: Transmission Cooler Install WimpTech Approved

Postby Meterpig » October 18th 2017, 6:14am

Mine is setup to run cooler only-not inline with the radiator. Why? I don't want to ever get the dreaded mixed fluid in the transmission. Once that happens, the transmission is done. Min 1800 bucks all for a slight bit of cooling. And..for the view that somehow the transmission needs the fluid to warm up, well, that doesn't add up for our 4L60's. Maybe for a sensitive transmission..but that's isn't ours. However, the temps coming off the converter are high and much higher than the coolant so there is a "cooling" effect. Of course, the heat exchanger can only do so much..so the pan fluid heats up and the radiator can't do anything about that. So...it makes sense to put a cooler on the rig.

Also, if you run the radiator hot, there goes your transmission cooling and any non synth oil is going to coke right up in no time. Hence, I don't run the ATF through my radiator. Often I run my radiator hot for a variety of reasons.

But..that's the mad scientist in me. Does anyone need a cooler for their astro? Nope. But then again, nobody heeds to spent hours on this forum figuring out mods either. ;)
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