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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Towing a trailer

Im a sound engineer, i just got breaking out on my own and buying a new sound system. I need to know if my car can haul around 1800 pounds of distances upto 50 miles with a turnaround time of 4-10 hours. Will the trans take it? i know NOT to tow in overdrive. If it will take the abuse is there anything else that could help the trans survive better? would a trans coolers help? if so how much are they and how hard are they to install? Thanks for the help agian guys

Jess

p.s. Oh im also planning on souping up the rear suspension to help if you guys think the trans will take it.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 10:35 PM
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These transmissions were used in trucks as well. Towing probably isn't going to make much difference on it. The weak links in that transmission aren't with pulling weight.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 11:33 PM
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Add a cooler to it, get some of the air lift bags that go in the coil springs, make sure you load the trailer well if it is a single axle with about 170-200 pounds of tongue weight. It is rated for towing 2,000 pounds.

The tranny cooler is pretty easy to install. You can bypass the heat exchanger already in the radiator or put the external cooler after the heat exchanger and use both. Also you need to get an isolation style wiring harness that uses a seperate power source and just uses the lights as triggers.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Why do i need to add a trans cooler if the car is rated to tow 2000 lbs? everone recommends it in every post ive read. will it actually kill the tranny or does it just run better? this has gotten me concerned, i own a sound reinforcemnt company and i need to beable to tow 1500-2000 lbs (sometimes alittle more including whats in the car) the dealership told me i should be fine with those weights (im related to the manager so i know there not messing around to just get me in for repairs, because i get them cheap but they wont do mods for me)so im just alittle worried because every car ive owned has been crap and this car is the best ive owned but i have still had to put money hand over fist into it more than everyone ive talked to says i should have to. enough with my ranting on but my question still stands, ive come to really respect the opinions of this forum thats why even asking the dealership and getting there blessing about the car without the cooler i want the opinion of this forum, will it work with out the cooler or does it have to have it to survive?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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Because lowering the tranny's fluid temp is a good thing. (up to a point) HOT running tranny's are shorter lived tranny's. Heat is a transmissions long term enemy. Just because Ford says you can do something that's technically possible doesn't mean it's the smartest thing to do to your car...

I also doubt Ford was talking about routinely pulling up to 2000 pounds in a commercial application. More likely they were thinking it'll tow the occasional jet ski and pop up trailer here and there on a few weekends during the summer. While these transmissions were also used in trucks I wouldn't be surprised if those trucks had a larger tranny cooler in them then the mn12 does. Anyway I think the 2000lb limit is due to our brakes and suspension not the tranny.

Get a tranny cooler if your going to routinely tow.

Another thing to consider is most tranny's don't seem to get the regularly scheduled fluid changes they require for optimum health. Your car is 12 years old and has how many miles on it now?

My only concern in adding a cooler is has the fluid been changed over the years? Because if it hasn't changing the fluid long after it was due can cause you all kinds of problems. Lots of gummy crap built up in the tranny over the years and then you change the fluid and with it's fresh cleaning additives the accumulated sludge and crud starts breaking loose and flowing places you don't want it to, things start slipping, etc. etc. and you need a rebuilt tranny.

If you just add a cooler and top off the fluid your left to wonder if it already has Mercon III(?) or V in it and which to add? lol

Last edited by Southpaw; 08-09-2006 at 03:39 AM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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my engine has 96,000 miles on it and the trany was rebuilt last year and has about 9,000 miles on it. it should also be mentioned that the car was an ex cop car, so the tranny is suposed to be tougher than most, mine needed to be rebuilt well because i have lost of freinds who are cops and i know how they drive there cars so i have a good idea how mine was driven. i should also mention that i had the suspension upgraded for towing. the braking system is also supose to be better that the stock t-bird. my concern is really on the drive train. After looking at it last im may have a tranny cooler on it im just not sure. in front of the a/c condenser there is another box that looks like a mini radiator but is isnt too big it has the line in and line out i can see through the convection grills and line does u and comes out so im unsure if this is a small tranny cooler, a stock one, part of the a/c or cools something else. i doubt it is a cooler though because i can feel the head when i rest my leg agianst the tranny hump in the car, im not sure if thats normal or not. well any insight as to the thing infront of the condenser would be good. well thanks for the help as always and please anyone with the same or a different opinion chime in.

Jess
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 06:10 AM
 
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I think that little one is a power steering fluid cooler? I always forget what it is, look and see if the lines run to the pump or rack?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 08:26 AM
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Get the cooler.

If you really don't want to, then don't.
But, I can say the tranny will die soon if you don't.

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May you fly low and fast
rest in peace JL
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 08:35 AM
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Get the cooler, even if you aren't towing! It is a small price to pay to protect your transmission. 40 dollars now, or another 1,400 for another "cop" tranny" later. A cool transmission is a happy transmission.

Cop brakes? Cop tranny? You are set! These cop brakes fit the factory 15 inch wheels?

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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no i have the black cheap looking 16 inch rims that crown vic interceptors have which screens cop but its all good i love the car and i had no idea the cooler was so cheap, i was figureing like 100-200 bucks and sense im not that fast at automotive work like 2 to 3 days to install.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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where can i buy a cooler?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmainia21
where can i buy a cooler?
any local autoparts store should have one.

you shouldn't spend more than $60 bucks total, and thats with the extra tranny fluid to go along with.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Do trucks that use our trannies have trans coolers? from the factory i mean
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 08:30 AM
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Some Ford cars have fluid to air tranny coolers from the factory, my 2000 Grand Marquis with the 4R70W tranny has what I see now is a pretty huge one.

Most with "towing packages" will include additional transmission cooler.

I don't see where you are going with this, to see if you need one, or to try to use one from one of these vehicles. If you are going to tow something even occasionally you want to add an aftermarket transmission cooler. Not only are they really efficient but most will bypass the cooler until the temp reaches a certain point.

I want 16 inch steelies for my Thunderbird!

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmainia21
Do trucks that use our trannies have trans coolers? from the factory i mean
What's it matter, I thought you have a Thunderbird not a truck?

They all have a transmission cooler whether it's integral to the radiator or a separate cooler... No I don't know if Ford trucks have the same radiator cooling capacity as Thunderbirds either. lol

Read any recreational towing forum for camping trailers and the universal advice you will get about towing even a small 1000~2000lb pop up with a car is to install the god damned tranny cooler and be done with it (well a bunch of people will tell you to not even tow with your Bird, buy a truck, but that's another story).

But hey it's your car do whatever you want with it.

Last edited by Southpaw; 08-11-2006 at 10:18 AM.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmainia21
Why do i need to add a trans cooler if the car is rated to tow 2000 lbs? everone recommends it in every post ive read.
You'll read the same advise in any car / trailer forum, or automotive advise column. And your still uncertain it's a good idea to do so because...?

Nearly every factory "towing package" I've ever seen included increased transmission cooling capacity as well.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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im not uncertian about needing one, i was just curious, untill i started reading about trans coolers for towing i had never heard of them, so i was wondering if they were at all a stock feature on anything or and afterthought on a problem that wasnt forseen.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 12:04 PM
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The general recommendation is to put a cooler on ANY car with an automatic whether you're towing or not. The number one killer of a transmission is heat. For ever 10 degrees you can lower your average tranny temp, you double your trans' life expectancy.

24k - 28k is the recommended weight rating for a good cooler for our cars. Your transmission will thank you for it.

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