overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Lumpy » September 6th 2011, 3:30pm

Phantom wrote:
It takes at least 7 miles to get up to operating temp which is probably why you don't see it go over 160...



I don't think it's as simple as that. Obviously there's not some component in the trans
that senses "we've only gone 6.9 miles, we're not overheated". A bunch of stop/starts,
sitting at traffic lights, in drive with brakes engaged etc, not to mention the incredible
ambient heat. That's got to be tough on all the systems in any car. On the occasion that
I do take it out for a drive just to stretch things out, the trans temp comes DOWN. On
my short hops, when I'm out for 30 min, the temp doesn't drop much when I get back in.
So those 3mi trips likely accumulate in terms of heat generated. There's a LOT of oil
and cast iron in an engine/trans. They generate a LOT of friction and therefore HEAT
very quickly. And lose it comparitively slowly.

Point is, do what you can to keep the trans temp under control is probably a very
prudent and economic track to take. Trans cooler was simple to install. No
special tools. Not expensive. I recommend DIY'ing it to anyone.


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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby tinworm [OP] » September 6th 2011, 4:23pm

Phantom wrote:The place to tap into the line for a temperature gauge would be in the line coming out of the transmission , that way you get a good idea of what the temperature is inside the transmission ; which is why you want to find out what the fluid temp is .



Theres not a place or a port on the transmission itself I can replace or drill and tap for a temp sender? Most of the OEM ones ive seen are near the rear of the case, not near the cooler lines. I want to put a temp gauge in the trans itself, or is there a reason why it makes more sense to put a temp gauge in the line?
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Lumpy » September 6th 2011, 7:29pm

tinworm wrote:Theres not a place or a port on the transmission itself I can replace or drill and tap for a temp sender?



There's a 1/8" NPT plug on the LEFT (driver) side of the trans, just above the shift linkage.
The rounded area you see in the photo looks like a washer, it's not. It's a machined flat area.
Unscrew the plug and mount the temp sensor there. Some suggest it's not as "accurate" as a
sensor placed in the cooler outlet lines. I mounted mine in that threaded hole. Don't use
sealant or teflon tape to mount the sensor there. The sensor usually needs electrical
ground through the threaded portion. Sealant may interfere with that ground.

Image


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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby tinworm [OP] » September 6th 2011, 8:38pm

thanks for the location!

heres a pic of the aftermath-
I am surprised that I didn't lose more ATF, there is ATF all the way down the van and all over the rear doors. Also the trailer was well coated on the front. Total loss was less than a quart though. A little goes a long way it seems

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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Phantom » September 6th 2011, 9:06pm

Lumpy wrote:
Phantom wrote:
It takes at least 7 miles to get up to operating temp which is probably why you don't see it go over 160...



I don't think it's as simple as that. Obviously there's not some component in the trans
that senses "we've only gone 6.9 miles, we're not overheated". A bunch of stop/starts,
sitting at traffic lights, in drive with brakes engaged etc, not to mention the incredible
ambient heat. That's got to be tough on all the systems in any car. On the occasion that
I do take it out for a drive just to stretch things out, the trans temp comes DOWN. On
my short hops, when I'm out for 30 min, the temp doesn't drop much when I get back in.
So those 3mi trips likely accumulate in terms of heat generated. There's a LOT of oil
and cast iron in an engine/trans. They generate a LOT of friction and therefore HEAT
very quickly. And lose it comparitively slowly.

Point is, do what you can to keep the trans temp under control is probably a very
prudent and economic track to take. Trans cooler was simple to install. No
special tools. Not expensive. I recommend DIY'ing it to anyone.


Lump

Lumpy I think you misunderstand something , I'll try to clarify it
think of the engine cooling system , it has a thermostat that is actually a gate that locks in the water into the engine block to prevent it from circulating through the radiator , That causes the water staying in the block to heat up , allowing the engine to reach the 180-195 degree temperature range which is known as "normal operating temperature" then the thermostat opens up and allows the water to circulate through the entire cooling system to cool the water .

But before it does that it has to heat the engine up to the normal operating temp , if it did not do that it would take much longer to reach operating temp
Operating Temperature is the temperature at which the engine is running its best

Think of it as warm up exercises prior to a gym workout ,

A transmission does not have a thermostat as you can never impede or slow down the flow of the fluid , to do that would cause parts not to get the lubrication they need and get damaged

In order for the transmission to reach "operating temp" it has to be engaged in gear and moving

It is the GM Engineering technicians who design the transmissions that determine when "operating temps" have been reached , operating temperature is not overheating , it is the temp at which the transmission operates best with the least strain on the parts .

The Engineers have determined that 180 -200 degrees is "Operating Temperature" range ; if fluid is much colder that it is too cold for best operation , if it is hotter than that it is too hot for best operation .
They run the fluid through the radiator because the radiator is typically in the 195-210 degrees temperature range which is right near the acceptable operating range the transmission is designed to run in .
It has also been shown in testing that 174-175 is best for the longest life span , but it be very expensive to design a transmission that can thermostatically control the fluid temps , so the use of external coolers are the most cost effective way to achieve the best results

The GM Engineers have also done the testing to determine when the operating temperature is achieved through driving , That is why they recommend that you drive about 10-15 miles to warm up the fluid to the proper operating temperature to get the best most accurate readings in the dipstick fro proper fluid level . If you only drive 3 miles and then shut down the van, you have not really driven long enough to reach the normal temp operating range 160 is very close .
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Phantom » September 6th 2011, 9:14pm

tinworm wrote:
Phantom wrote:The place to tap into the line for a temperature gauge would be in the line coming out of the transmission , that way you get a good idea of what the temperature is inside the transmission ; which is why you want to find out what the fluid temp is .



Theres not a place or a port on the transmission itself I can replace or drill and tap for a temp sender? Most of the OEM ones ive seen are near the rear of the case, not near the cooler lines. I want to put a temp gauge in the trans itself, or is there a reason why it makes more sense to put a temp gauge in the line?


Since what you want to do is get thee most accurate temp reading possible you would want to measure the temp of the fluid that has most recently come out of torque convertor and the bands , and valve body of the transmission , so it is best to tap into the line that has just come out of that path and going to the cooler , placing it on the outside of the trans case is ok but it may not be immediately from the internal parts of transmission where the heat is highest , it would be approx close , but can run a line from that port into the cabin so you can see what the gauge is reading , they will be close but most purists say to tap into the line coming out if the trans cause that line has fluid that has most immediately been in the internals of trans giving a better temp reading.
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby redfury » September 6th 2011, 10:57pm

Honestly though, If you tap into the side of the case and put a sensor where the picture indicated, it's going to be enough. You are looking at sustained temps for the most part anyway. Most aren't reading their trans temps like a hawk, so showing the general transmission temp should suffice. You are really only looking to see if the tranny is overheating anyway...you'll establish the baseline temp through repeated driving and observations. When it starts hitting above those temps, that's when you'll notice and take action to prevent damage ( hopefully ).
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Lumpy » September 6th 2011, 11:10pm

Phantom wrote:
Lumpy I think you misunderstand something...



I understand just fine.

Install a cooler on the transmission.
It's easy and it'll mean you won't have to worry about hi trans temps.
Worry not about exactly where you install the gauge sensor. Just
install the damn cooler.

It's hotter than hell here and I drive it in a very abusive manner.
My trans is nice and cool.


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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby zombie{[six]} » September 6th 2011, 11:59pm

LUMPY LUMPY LUMPY!!!! :D
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby zombie{[six]} » September 7th 2011, 12:00am

GOTTA MAKE THIS COMMENT.

Its not nice to let your tranny overheat, give him some water! LOL!
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby paintdrying » September 7th 2011, 12:23am

One of the problems I have with all the tranny coolers I have looked at is they come with rubber lines. I seems the tranny lines with rubber always end up popping off. I know you can slightly flare the the and double clamp them. I was a commercial plumber for three years and have no problem running hard lines for everything. I just wonder if the rubber lasts longer because of vibration and what not. Anyone hard pipe a cooler before.
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Phantom » September 7th 2011, 1:30am

paintdrying wrote:One of the problems I have with all the tranny coolers I have looked at is they come with rubber lines. I seems the tranny lines with rubber always end up popping off. I know you can slightly flare the the and double clamp them. I was a commercial plumber for three years and have no problem running hard lines for everything. I just wonder if the rubber lasts longer because of vibration and what not. Anyone hard pipe a cooler before.


Using these fittings are made for rubber hose , the barbs resist hose coming off and help the clamp get real tight , you can use 2 clamps if you feel needed

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp ... 5728376___

Hard lines can be done and in some case better , but you need more space to make the bends since they are not flexible and most coolers have a barbed end for hoses , but there are kits to make the hard line connections , not as many people have the flare kits and all the things need for hard lines , some high dollar coolers have the hard lime connections already on them ,, but they cost more than what most consumers want to pay
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby RECox286 » September 7th 2011, 4:19pm

I have not had any problems in regards to using short rubber connectors to install AM tranny coolers. I simply like to put a bubble on the hard lines and a double clamp. Don't forget there is a certain amount of vibration/movement of the drivetrain that will be telegraphed to the weakest link in the system. If the fuel system pressure is not enough to make the rubber fail, I doubt that the lower pressure in the cooler plumbing would make it fail. Besides,on a scale of 0-10 how much more harsh can tranny fluid be than raw fuel is ?

Changing out the radiator in one of my 93's, I found out why the A/C quit about 5 years ago. The hard pipe that comes from the compressor and connects to the condenser was completely broken in two at the fitting
which is just forward of the rubber portion of the line and just at the rear of the clamp that holds it to the frame. Now why would that line shear ?

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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Lumpy » September 8th 2011, 4:30am

drmmhmd wrote:

Dear Transmission Cooler Expert: [snip the condescending poo]



Dear drmmhmd -

I figure you might have a lot of knowledge about AstroSafaris.
And probably about a lot of other automobile things as well.
You're kind of a grumpy guy, but generally that's ok with me.
I'm sometimes a grumpy guy as well. With me it's stuff like
an old gunshot wound giving me some grief. With you, well
doesn't matter why, it's just human nature.

Generally, I'm entertained by respectful banter to and fro.
Playing "dozens" is an art. Those good at it are very entertaining.

I'm also a monsterous champion of non-censorship. I generally figure
that if I don't like what someone else has to say, I am
perfectly free to stop reading it.

But when that happens, then I lose both the entertainment and perhaps
most important, the knowledge that I would be able to absorb if I hadn't
chose to stop reading.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here, sir, is...Consider not being such
a horses ***. I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. But I don't want
to NOT be able to get educated by your experience and knowledge.
I want to learn about Astros. I figure you can teach me something about that.
But when all you do is come across as "I have to be right about everything
and everyone else is a dick head" it...um...kind of ruins it for me.

Tell me what you have come to understand as right/wrong, true/false
about these little vans we drive. Put the tape measure back in the tool box.
You're wasting a lot of time in the non-Astro department.

:cheers:


Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Big_kid » September 8th 2011, 4:36am

Sorry Lumpy, drmmhmd won't be replying.
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby chevymaher » September 8th 2011, 9:51am

Big_kid wrote:Sorry Lumpy, drmmhmd won't be replying.

I dont mean to be so excited but it reminds me of this little part of childhood.[youtube]A5iseJJ5ogA&feature=related[/youtube]
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby paintdrying » September 8th 2011, 1:30pm

So as I was looking at coolers I noticed some have this low pressure by-pass. I suppose that as the tranny fluid is cold it would just go back into the radiator until warm. To me that just sounds like a gizmo that will malfuction at some point. Is this a fuction to stay away from?
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby Phantom » September 8th 2011, 2:34pm

Actually that is good feature to have for people who live in colder climates , or that have cold winters. In a cold winter having a large capacity external cooler especially with fan mounted it can take a longer for the fluid to reach operating temps because of the wind chill like effect , When temps are around 10 degrees for example and you are driving at 30 mph the wind has the cooling effect of much colder temp than the ambient 10 degrees. ' This is why 18 wheeler trucks have radiator covers in the winter time .It is to allow the water in the radiator to maintain operating temperature while driving out on the open road with strong winds in cold temps, blocking off the wind prevents the water from cooling too much .

The design principle is for higher efficiency , and avoid cooling fluid that has not yet reached a temperature high enough to need cooling , it automatically senses a temp rating by how thick the fluid is when cold , if it is too cold and needs to be warmed up it bypasses the massive part of cooling section until it is warmed up to operating temp and is sent back to the transmission not the radiator and cycled through the transmission till it reaches operating temp , then when it reaches operating temp and hotter it passes through the whole massive area of the cooler to cool the fluid down then it goes back to the transmission.

In principle it is simulating a thermostat to avoid cooling fluid that actually needs to be warmed up first ,, which is like the thermostat in the engine ,, as there are threads here that in the winter time people were wondering why their heaters were not putting out hot air , and it is often because of a thermostat that never completely closes when cold so the water in the engine takes a long time to heat up ,, replacing the thermostat solves the problem ,and sometimes putting up something to partially cover the radiator

Many of the better brand coolers are using this design ,
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby RECox286 » September 8th 2011, 10:59pm

It would be nice to have a manual bypass valve, which could be controlled from within the cockpit. It would give meaning to a temp gage for the ATF, rather than just be a monitor function. No ?

Bob

Note: Sometimes ya gotta be smarter than the screwdriver.

Oh, BTW, bye-bye drumhead...it was nice while it lasted.
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Re: overheated tranny, need to install emergency oil cooler

Postby tinworm [OP] » September 9th 2011, 9:57pm

seal is replaced, transmission is flushed and filter is changed, and tentatively, it looks like I got away with this for now. Im hoping to get my cooler and fittings in the mail early next week, then get that sucker installed. Im scheduled to pull another trailer I think about 2 weeks from now. These little vans are tough, I can't believe the transmission hasn't acted up at all since such abuse.

RECox286 wrote:It would be nice to have a manual bypass valve, which could be controlled from within the cockpit. It would give meaning to a temp gage for the ATF, rather than just be a monitor function. No ?

Bob

Note: Sometimes ya gotta be smarter than the screwdriver.

Oh, BTW, bye-bye drumhead...it was nice while it lasted.


I don't know, Im thinking it might be nice from the theoretical perspective, but I like the whole KISS principle, especially on a work vehicle where you get in and drive, or monkeys you work with or hire for the day get in and drive. All I can see it driving along, then slapping yourself in the head and saying "I forgot to flip that [email protected]#$% switch!". Or getting that phone call- "Dude, your stupid van broke, its like smoking or some ****. im out" :mrgreen:
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