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transmission cooler position

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by frogman, Jan 11, 2001.

  1. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    I am going to put an auxillary trans cooler on my 96 Dodge 2500 w/360. No probs so far and dont want any in the future, either. Somewhere (within the wealth of knowledge and insight I've gotten here) someone wrote about the importance of putting it on the return side of the factory cooler in the radiator.

    Why is that?
    Any other suggestion?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I put a trans cooler on my truck not too long ago, and asked the same question.

    The way you want it hooked up is with the fluid going from the trans to the radiator, from the radiator you want it to go into the cooler, then from the cooler back to the trans.

    The radiator doesn't do a very good job of keeping the trans cool. But having it in-line like I said above will keep the fluid from being too cold. This is how I have it hooked up on my truck, and so far, it has worked really well.

    The other thing I do is after I've been plowing for a while, I'll put the truck in either neutral or park, and let it idle for a few minutes. This will cool the trans off considerably.

    Good luck!

    -Tim
     
  3. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    Thanks Tim,
    I like knowing why.
    Are you running a Dodge also? Did you put a temp guage in?
    I spoke with a AT tech today. He told me that he has seen a whole lot of trucks (Dodge, Chevy and Ford's) with leak probs due to seals/gaskets malfunctioning at tran pan drain plugs and temp probes. Some of the manufacturers have stopped putting them in the packages, not wanting to deal with the warranty issues. Have you heard anything about that? I had intended to add them both until I spoke with him. 'Figured I'd better look into it some more.
    Bob
     
  4. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Actually, I have a Chevy Z71. No leaks at the cooler, and everytime I want to change the trans-fluid, I have to drop the pan (no drain plug.) It's not so bad though... being a mechanic, I have constant access to a lift.

    I was considering putting a temp gauge in, but I didn't get to it before winter... and I don't like messing with my truck too much when there's a chance of snow. If something should go wrong, then I wouldn't be able to plow. I may put one on in the spring.

    -Tim
     
  5. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    A few minutes ago there was a piece on the news about a new ordnance in Chicago. They're going to levy fines on homeowners who dont shovel the sidewalks in front of there houses (starting at $200). It sounds like more work coming up in your neck of the woods. Better get another blower or two.

    Bob
     
  6. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Wow... that sucks. I have a mountain of snow right by where my sidewalk was/is. I suppose I ought to go out and start digging...

    -Tim
     
  7. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    Another shining exampal of lawyer-driven our country has become.

    Bob
     
  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    If you have a plow package, the truck already comes with a mammoth trans cooler.

    As others have said you should run the fluid thru the radiator cooler first. Otherwise the trans will never warm up (and with the 46RE in your 96 that means it will never shift out of 2)
     
  9. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Everything I ever saw about auxiliary coolers indicates that the fluid should go through the auxilairy cooler FIRST and then through the radiator cooler. The reason being to prevent overcooling the fluid. This way the auxiliary cooler takes most of the thermal load and if you're running in a light load/cold air situation the radiator cooler actually brings the temperature back up to what the transmission was designed to operate at.
     
  10. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    Hey Bill (thelawnguy) and Alan,

    Who's right?

    Bob
     
  11. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    The factory Dodge cooler runs thru the radiator first. Factory cooler starting in 96 has a thermostatic valve to bypass the cooler in cold temps.

    Whats wrong with the cooler already installed in your truck?
     
  12. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    I bought this truck used (it does not have the factory plow package). I've noticed the trans shifting ever-so-slightly sluggish, on several occasions, when plowing. She doesn't have a temp guage but am presuming that I am overworking the trans or, at least, "pushing the envelope".

    I've spoke with 3 AT techs and a buddy who is hooked into the NASCAR arena, today. The concensus is that the best option is to use a medium cooler (14K gvw)and to bypass the existing cooler (in the radiator) all together. They all told me that there wont be any probs associated with being too cold and that it will elliminate the risk of the radiator cooler going bad and introducing coolant/water into the trans.

    Makes sense to me. What do you thing?
    Bob
     
  13. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    "They all told me that there wont be any probs associated with being too cold and that it will elliminate the risk of the radiator cooler going bad and introducing coolant/water into the trans."

    Be aware that the electronically controlled transmission in your truck is calibrated so that it will not shift out of 2 until fluid temp reaches 30F, out of 3 into 4 until it reaches 60F and will not allow the TCC to lock up until 120F.

    If, after installing the cooler you start having shifting difficulties it may be that the trans is too cool.

    Have you changed the fluid with Type 7176-3, adjusted the bands correctly and adjusted the TV cable correctly? These would be the areas to start with before blaming shifting problems on trans temp.
     
  14. frogman

    frogman Member
    from MD
    Messages: 53

    Hey Bill,
    Thanks for all of your insight. Wow, did I feel foolish today when I found the auxillary cooler hidden between the radiator and the aircon radiator. I just took it to an AT tech who did a service check. He said that he was surprised to find it in such excellent shape for 70k miles. No damage and pretty red fluid.
    I've had Jeeps Chevys and Fords (still have a '70 C-10 and an '84 Bronco) but this is the first Dodge. I'm chalking it up to learning the truck. I kept it all "as is" leaning to the wisdom of "if it aint broke, dont fix it. I appreciate your interest, concern and knowledge. You were a big help in getting to the right answer. The tech expressed apprehension with "messing with the system that is electronically controlled. (Did you call that guy before I got there?)
    Time to move onto the next project, dual batteries. What do you think? When I'm doing short runs and stacking the guage drops from 14 to 10-11. It comes back up pretty quick though. I want to put some rear facing lights on and am concerned about putting too much of a draw on the batt.
    Good move or not?

    Ever learning (or Not There Yet),
    Bob