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Install a transmission oil cooler on tow vehicle?-gctid401215

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    Install a transmission oil cooler on tow vehicle?-gctid401215

    Recently, the torque converter on my Ford F350 (7.3 Diesel) started acting up. Rather than wait until it left me stuck on the road (or in my driveway), I got the transmission rebuilt. Considering towing my boat short distances on flat roads is going to eventually be a part of my future, I asked for an upgraded torque converter to be installed in the transmission.

    I've been thinking about adding a transmission oil cooler as well, but am questioning whether it is necessary. The boat and trailer will weigh about 10,000 lbs. The longest continuous length I will travel will be about 20 miles and on flat roads.

    So the million dollar question is... Will the towing described above heat up my transmission enough to warrant an oil cooler?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Astral Blue wrote:
    Recently, the torque converter on my Ford F350 (7.3 Diesel) started acting up. Rather than wait until it left me stuck on the road (or in my driveway), I got the transmission rebuilt. Considering towing my boat short distances on flat roads is going to eventually be a part of my future, I asked for an upgraded torque converter to be installed in the transmission.

    I've been thinking about adding a transmission oil cooler as well, but am questioning whether it is necessary. The boat and trailer will weigh about 10,000 lbs. The longest continuous length I will travel will be about 20 miles and on flat roads.

    So the million dollar question is... Will the towing described above heat up my transmission enough to warrant an oil cooler?

    Thanks in advance.
    All the factory diesel rigs now AFAIK have transmission oil coolers, and the transmissions are stronger than ever (for automatics)... does that tell you anything?

    Do you have a temperature gauge? That will tell you if you need a transmission cooler, if it exceeds the normal operating range that means your pan/case doesn't provide enough cooling on its own. I always have transmission coolers in all my vehicles... and as fantastic as the Allison 1000 is, it definitely needs a cooler for longevity.

    Comment


      #3
      ishiboo wrote:
      All the factory diesel rigs now AFAIK have transmission oil coolers, and the transmissions are stronger than ever (for automatics)... does that tell you anything?

      Do you have a temperature gauge? That will tell you if you need a transmission cooler, if it exceeds the normal operating range that means your pan/case doesn't provide enough cooling on its own. I always have transmission coolers in all my vehicles... and as fantastic as the Allison 1000 is, it definitely needs a cooler for longevity.
      I have a warning light for the transmission oil temperature, but no gauge. Installing a gauge as a first step in determining whether I need the cooler seems viable.

      Comment


        #4
        All Automatic Transmissions have an oil cooler. The cooler, or "exchanger" is the lower portion of the engine coolant radiator.

        These are very inefficient at removing heat because the coolant itself is at/near engine coolant temperature.

        Normal operation.... not a big deal.

        Many shops will install an additional transmission cooler, but will leave the OEM in the loop.

        The questions should be;

        Do we circumvent the OEM cooler, or leave it in the loop?

        If we remove it, the radiator now has a better chance of removing engine heat..... but don't forget that A/C refrigerent condensor just ahead of the radiator.

        But are we now over-cooling the transmission fluid?

        These transmission coolers can get rather complex if we're willing to spend the money..... size, location, cooling fans, by-pass temp control, and so on.

        .
        Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

        Comment


          #5
          I'm surprised the tranny shop didn't reccomend a guage and cooler, that is if they knew you were towing. But then again, what's a Ford diesel pickup designed to do? Haul and tow. I think it's a no-brainer, go for both.
          Jeff & Tara (And Ginger too)
          Lake Havasu City, AZ
          |
          Current: 2008 Playcraft 2400 MCM 350 Mag B3
          2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
          2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
          2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
          2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
          And 12 others...
          In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. 7-2-10

          Comment


            #6
            While I can't speak for the Ford lineup, I can say that it is common for owners of other brands often install an oil cooler (above and beyond the useless one at the bottom of the radiator), and/or to get a larger external cooler than what was already provided from the factory. There are "universal" coolers available that are pretty easy to install. That being said, I have not installed one. But from reviewing what I've seen online, it's not that complicated.

            If you are not already a member, I would recommend joining a Ford forum. Chances are, there are already people out there that have done this and possibly have step-by-step instructions showing their own upgrades and what they used etc....

            Comment


              #7
              jeffw wrote:
              I'm surprised the tranny shop didn't reccomend a guage and cooler, that is if they knew you were towing. But then again, what's a Ford diesel pickup designed to do? Haul and tow. I think it's a no-brainer, go for both.
              The transmission shop did suggest an aftermarket cooler and temp gauge. In fact, they almost insisted on it -- which is what got me started on the thought. I didn't mention the transmission shop's role in the first post because they have a vested interest in selling me the aftermarket oil cooler; and by the nature of the position they are in, I don't feel they have the ability to provide an objective opinion.

              Comment


                #8
                Simple. Take the radiator exchanger out of the loop, install an oil cooler with a temp control by-pass affair, and have a temp gauge installed.

                Where you live, you do not have cold winters to be concerned with re; under-temp.
                Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                Comment


                  #9
                  Astral Blue wrote:
                  Recently, the torque converter on my Ford F350 (7.3 Diesel) started acting up. Rather than wait until it left me stuck on the road (or in my driveway), I got the transmission rebuilt. Considering towing my boat short distances on flat roads is going to eventually be a part of my future, I asked for an upgraded torque converter to be installed in the transmission.

                  I've been thinking about adding a transmission oil cooler as well, but am questioning whether it is necessary. The boat and trailer will weigh about 10,000 lbs. The longest continuous length I will travel will be about 20 miles and on flat roads.

                  So the million dollar question is... Will the towing described above heat up my transmission enough to warrant an oil cooler?

                  Thanks in advance.
                  Unless I missed it somewhere in here, what year is your truck? This will make a huge difference in the decision. The 7.3L is an older motor if I recall correctly and the older trucks are not set up nearly like the modern. If it were a 2008+, I would say don't worry one bit. These 1 ton trucks now days are making so much power and are rate so high for GVW that a 10,000# load is no sweat. I assume you, though, have a mid 90's to early 2000's F350. In which case, yes, for longevity of the transmission, I would install an aftermarket cooler and AT THE VERY LEAST, a temp gauge to monitor.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    On the old SnowSnake, 97 F350 4X4 CC PSD, a "New Process Hayden 30,000 pound GVW" tranny cooler was the FIRST mod that I made on it. The second mod was a guage pod with an Isspro Transmission temperature guage. My truck does have one of the older and weaker Ford autos. From the old days a Ford-Diesel.COM website I religiously change the tranny oil every25,000 (9 changes so far). The weakest part of a Ford Auto is lack of cooling oil when back something up, especially if it is an uphill backup. My son's 97 F250 PSD 4x4 had to be rebuilt because of a lack of cooling backing in his Travel Trailer.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      +1 on the don't worry about it. If you are only towing 20 miles of roadway without excessive climbing I would not even consider the cost of an extra tranny cooler; especially on an older truck. Keep the rpm's respectable, use a lower gear when needed, don't use your overdrive and you should be perfectly fine.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Just thought I would add; If you do go with the cooler you may as well go all the way to protect your tranny and add a larger oil pan to the transmission.

                        1)tranny temp gauge

                        2)tranny cooler

                        3)larger tranny oil pan resevoir

                        4)tranny temp gauge and larger oil pan resevoir

                        5)tranny temp gauge, tranny cooler

                        6)Tranny cooler and larger oil pan resevoir

                        7)tranny cooler, temp gauge and larger oil pan.

                        Here's a few options,...it's only $$$$ away.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My 04 built in 03 F250 6.0 Diesel has one built in already. Took a dual wheel high top covered trailer with 3 Harley's and 4 adults to South Dakota and back from PA without a hick up. Just follow the fuel line looking tubes connected to the transmission to the radiator area and see if the radiator those lines are connected to is connected to anything else. If it is only connected to the transmission, you have a cooler.

                          If not, get a flaring kit http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=1273074 and put the cooler on yourself. The cooler is held in place with zip ties fed thru existing radiator and the rest is just connections to extend the two old lines to reach it. Flaring a line is quite easy and you only have to learn how to do it once. The tool is handy and lasts a lifetime. I always bent my lines around a spray can to prevent kinks. You cut it with a pipe cutter http://www.amazon.com/Ridgid-32975-8...2738021&sr=1-1

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