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tranny cooler suggestions

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by bersh, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    I'm looking to install a tranny cooler on my 94 K1500, and I'm looking for suggestions as far as style and brand. I've been mulling these for a while, as I also tow a 26' travel trailer a few times a year. I'm concerned about over-cooling the tranny when I'm not loading it too much, so the one from Tekonsha has me curious.

    Any input or suggestions welcomed.

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Most of the OEM-style parallel flow coolers are made by Long Mfg and are sold as the the Tru-Cool Low Pressure Drop (LPD) and with the B&M brand name. You can get them rated up to 28k GVW.

    It is nearly impossible to overcool your transmission, so I wouldn't worry much about it. I'm using the 28k GVW cooler on my Ford Expedition and I don't notice any difference in cold weather. I've had it in weather down to about -5F.

    My cooler came with metal brackets and I mounted it about 2 inches in front of the radiator/condenser. I installed it in line with the radiator trans cooler.

    Bruce
     
  3. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    I use the long style sold by B&M. 28000 gvw model. The plate style is much better than the tube and fin- more compact, cools more efficiently than the tube and fin. Downside is they cost more.


    Heres a pic of the big B&M cooler on my Navajo- next to the stock aux cooler.
    [​IMG]
    and another
    [​IMG]
     
  4. porkhead1

    porkhead1 Member
    Messages: 70

    "75gmck25" said it all " you can't cool an automatic tranny too much!" :eek:

    Lets see, a new/rebuilt tranny is worth about $2k.....even if I had to spend just a couple of hundred $$$ to keep it from burning up, it would be well worth it.
    Your tranny may already have a drain plug in it, BUT, if it doesn't, I know GM makes a deeper tranny pan for your tranny + one that is not only deeper, but comes with a drain plug :D
    So, in my opinion, get the biggest cooler that'll fit behind your grill, install it in seris with your existing radiator cooler sending the hot oil from the tranny to the aux. cooler first, then into the radiator cooler. Get the deeper tranny pan w/ the drain plug so that you'll be able to change your own tranny oil on a regular basis ( which will also extend your tranny's life :) )

    Also, I have seen where people pulling trailers, have mounted an aux. electric (12volt) fan in front of their aux. tranny cooler to keep the oil temps down while pulling the trailer in the summer months. The fan is operated from a switch on the dash.


    Good luck :waving:
     
  5. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    Thanks for the info. I do have a question though. If I install the new aux. cooler before the stock cooler, won't that heat the oil back up a bit as it passes through on it's way back to the tranny? My impression of the stock cooler is that it doens't do much more than keep the tranny fluid at the same temp as the engine coolant.

    The new tranny pan w/drain plug sounds like the way to go as well.

    Thanks,

    Scott


     
  6. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    radiator first then to the air cooler IMO

    put the biggest one on you can find. Dont use those plastice through the radiator zip tie looking guys though.
    and i agree about the deep pan, just stay away from chrome or aluminum.
     
  7. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    Why should I stay away from aluminum?

     
  8. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    No aluminum????

    I would not run the fluid to the aux cooler first.

    I would run it through the radiator cooler and then the aux cooler. Trucks that Ive seen with factory aux coolers run to the rad cooler first then the to aux cooler.

    My trucks are set up to run the fluid through the radiator cooler, then to the aux cooler then to a remote filter, and back to the tranny. If I ever replumb them I would put the filter BEFORE the rad cooler, so the circuit would be: trans to filter, to rad cooler to aux cooler, back to trans. This "improved" circuit was recommended to me - the idea being that any crud from the trans get caught in the filter before it lodges/blocks the coolers. The logic is good, but Ive never switched mine. Run my way for about 6 years with 0 problems.

    Run the largest pan you can find. On my plow truck with the 4L80E I run a B&M cast aluminum pan- adds about 3 qts over stock. Its been on for about 6 years no problems. Nice thick casting, adds some rigidity to the trans case, seals nicely. It has a drain plug which makes trans maint a relative breeze. The larger pan, filter unit,and aux cooler add about 4 qts to the fluid capacity of the system. More fluid=cooler temps
     
  9. Stan

    Stan Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I'm a new member here that happened to stumble on this site. Sure is alot of information with helpfull people here.
    I just installed a meyers 7.5 on my '94 k5 blazer. Hated like hell to do that but had to retire the cj-7. I wanted to beef up the suspension with TIMBRENS and install a tranny cooler with a larger capacity trans pan.
    On the cooler I would prefer NOT using barbed ends with hose clamps but to plumb into w/custom made hose using a male and female coupler type end. Has anyone done this?
    Also, how do I know what model transmission do I have so I can order the correct pan?
    Whats a good source for everything I need?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2003
  10. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    You can get coolers with NPT fittings. Look at the pics above and you can see the blue AN adapters I used on the B&M cooler. I had some extras laying around so I used them. Pricey but reliable.You could also adapt the NPT to a tube nut fitting and run steel lines.
    Read the descriptions on the coolers some come with threaded fittings others barbed nipples. If its got a threaded fitting rather than the hose barb you can adapt it to anything you want.

    Ive purchased coolers and various fittings from www.summitracing.com.

    Transmission model you can look in the glovebox for the code and look it up in the factory service manual.
    If I had to guess I would say yours would be the 4L60E but I dont have specific information about the 94.
     
  11. Stan

    Stan Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Thanks Steve. On the cooler you used were the fittings in the above pic a 6an to 6a tapered flare? (pn#aei 15606)
     
  12. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    No 6 AN male to 1/2" NPT
     
  13. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Aluminum cracks it dosnt bend. Have seen them have sealing problems and longer term problems on street/strip cars and the expense. I also disagree that a al pan adds any regidity or structural intergrity to the case. JMO though :)

    The direction of pluming is almost as debated as if one should by a ford or a chevy. You know what they say about oppinions though and what they are like....everyone has one, mine just dosnt stink :p j/k

    Running through the radiator does nothing but stabilize the temp a bit in cold weather. If you lived in alaska I might see the reasoning that you want it to get cooled first then sent to the radiator to make sure it isnt "too cool" but around here in the "warmer"(read were it dosnt hit neg a bazillion* like our friends to the north) places I dont think thats a problem. You want the fluid as cool as possible(dont believe you will over cool it IMO in this case) Passing through the 180*+ radiator will take a bit of heat outa it and sending it to the air will take the big cut. IMO the "hot" trany fluid will not add a enough heat into the radiator to make your truck run any hotter. If your cooling system is that borderline to make a difference between being OK and overheating then you got some problems. If the truck only saw warmer weather action I would ditch the radiator cooler al together.

    Most of the air say it should be done to keep H2O temps down and so you dont "over cool" the fluid. IMO these are non factors for what we are talking about. JMO

    What you have been doing has worked for you but I just believe "my" way is a tad better. JMO :)
     
  14. ShiznityZ28

    ShiznityZ28 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    yes it will

    on my drag car (th400) we bypass the stock cooler and run 2 trans coolers. i like the threded ends and all solid lines for no leaks. i run 2 16000 gvw's in seeries. if you do this fill the stock cooler with coolant/water as to not have a air pocket in the radiator. then cap it off. also B&M makes a deep pan with cooling fins and drain plug. i ike aluminum i cools better but is brittle if you hit it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2003