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Truck purchase advise: Transmission Cooling System highly recommended on a 3/4 Ton?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Larrysplow, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Larrysplow

    Larrysplow Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 10

    I went to a Chevy Dealer today and they said GM will void all or part of it's warranty if your plowing without there Snow Plow Prep Package.

    They said that at a minimum you need a Transmission Cooling System or the tranny will burn up in no time.

    Do you guys agree with this?

    If I'm considering purchasing a used 3/4 ton that has not been used for plowing the chances are it won't have this correct?

    Can it be added to a used truck and is it costly?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Rbronkema psfd

    Rbronkema psfd Member
    Messages: 32

    Most chances are the truck will not have a tranny cooler. But that depends on the year and what you are looking at, and if it is half or 3/4ton. Most of the new ones have them standard. I would make sure that it has a cooler on it first because it can be costly. Also if check to see if the truck even has a plow prep package on it. If so you even get a better alterantor and prewired warning light wires to the roof. Hope this helps
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    A tranny cooler is recommended on all plow trucks with a auto.
    I would not plow with out one.

    Why not get the Snow Plow Prep Package?
    You get more than a tranny cooler with this package.
  4. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    a cooler is around $50-100 bucks.....good investment.
  5. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    My truck came with the plow prep package. Ask the seller if it comes with it... maybe see if he has the original window sticker in the glove box.
  6. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    When i was shopping for my 2nd truck (ended up being the F250) i didn't even look at or consider a truck without a Plow Package.... seems silly to me to buy a plow truck with out. Like buying a truck to tow things without the Tow Package! Or an off road truck without the off-road package! Help yourself out and find one with the Plow Package. (And yes, i bought my GMC used w/ 16k w/ the Plow Package, and it had never been plowed with)
  7. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I bought my chevy used, with plow prep, never plowed with 15,000 miles on it.
  8. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    all automatics have trans coolers. Plow prep is just an auxiliary cooler, in addition to the factory one inside the radiator . The trick is to install a large auxiliary trans cooler with a temp gauge and an electric fan,or if you have the factory auxiliary cooler, put the gauge and fan on that. That's what I've always done, as long as you monitor trans temps you wont hurt the tranny. But you will be amazed at how fast temps shoot up when you start pushing snow and there is no airflow over the cooler. That's why you need a fan. I've never lost a tranny to plowing, but I guarantee that I would have without the gauge, because I never would have known how bad I was overheating the tranny. Change fluid and filter once a year. Oh, another trick is to use 4-low whenever you can. Watch the gauge and you'll see what I mean. 4-low keeps the tranny 10 to 20 degrees cooler, doesnt work the trans as hard. Of course it takes patience because it is slower, no good for doing big areas or lots, but then you may be able to go a little faster anyway, and get some airflow.
    IMO the factory radiator internal tranny cooler is totally insufficient for plowing. Chances are good that a 3/4 ton will have an auxiliary (external) cooler already, whether it is plow prep or towing package, easy to tell, will be mounted in front of radiator, follow the lines back to the transmission to be sure. Just put a little electric fan on it with either a temp sender or a toggle switch. As far as cost, you can get an electric fan, oil temp gauge and cooler for under $200 at any parts store. Far cheaper than the cost of breaking down during a storm, getting towed, replacing tranny, lost revenue/customers from that storm that you couldnt finish plowing.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
  9. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    What kind of fan would you suggest?
  10. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    on the shelf at Autozone, VIP, Pep Boys, whatever you have near you, look near the tranny coolers and you will see them. Usually have a huge one and a smaller one. Only needs to be as big as the cooler, but bigger is fine. I usually put my fan on the inside of the radiator and set it up as a puller, but they work both ways. You can also get any automotive electric fan at a junkyard and make it work. In fact I just bought one on ebay for $16, came off an Olds or something. I got a mounting kit at VIP for a couple bucks, just little padded vinyl zip tie type things that go thru the radiator and hold it in place. I put it in my 66 with a temp sender so it comes on at 195 and goes off at 165.