Any probs with not going thru radiator to cool tranny fluid? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Question Any probs with not going thru radiator to cool tranny fluid?

I did search, and did not find anything specifically talking about the Tranny cooler install regarding going through the radiator, then external cooler or just using an external cooler. I've read on some sites that recommend using an external cooler only and bypassing the radiator cooler, which is the way mine is hooked up now. I've run that way since 60k or so, now at 145k.

I have some leakage at the cooler rubber lines where they connect to the hard lines, so I was wondering if I should replumb into the radiator, and cut the return line to go through the cooler when I try to fix the leak. I should add that this is a Southern (AL/TN) car. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 02:36 PM
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I think going through the radiator does two things... one it helps to cool the fluid (lol duh).. But the other thing is this. When the car is cold, the engine coolant going through the radiator will help to warm the tranny fluid up to operating temperature while you warm up the car. This might not make a big difference to those down south, but here in KS it can make a big difference. Not good to overheat the tranny, but equally not good to run it too cold too long.


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
But the other thing is this. When the car is cold, the engine coolant going through the radiator will help to warm the tranny fluid up to operating temperature while you warm up the car....
I can vouch for that somewhat, since it's pretty Brrrr!! right now where I live.
I've noticed that in the colder months that the RPMs is a bit higher in OD than normal when I'm driving at a steady speed. Once the temp. gauge moves, and after the next stoplight/sign, the RPMs fall back to where it would normally be @ for the given speed. Probably won't affect you like that down South there, but I think it's a good idea anyway to plumb the external tranny cooler through the trans cooler in auto-trans versions of radiators.

Make sure you flush that sucker real good though before plumbing it inline; they tend to accumulate crap and debris....then send it on through to the trans where it is pretty unwelcome.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 04:39 PM
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Every 98+ Crown Vic/GMQ/Town Car has a stand alone Trans cooler.... if it was good enough for Ford it is good enough for me.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 09:53 PM
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The urban myth lives on...

If you have a good enough external cooler, I don't think you don't need to worry about routing transmission fluid through the cooler in the radiator.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:56 PM
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I am using only an External cooler, but that is because the Cobra radiator I am using does not have a cooler built in. If it were in there, I would use the radiator inline before the cooler as well to help warm the fluid and keep it at a regulated temperature.

As for leaking at the hardline to rubber line .. you may want to Flare the hardline a little with a brake tool before you slip the rubber line and tie down the hose clamps.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post

As for leaking at the hardline to rubber line .. you may want to Flare the hardline a little with a brake tool before you slip the rubber line and tie down the hose clamps.
The next to best solution is a compression fitting adapter to NPT on the hard-line and a NPT hose barb adapter.



The best solution is a custom-made braided flex line with swivel fittings replacing the entire hard-line..
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:14 PM
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Running a tru-cool max 40k gvw cooler I by passed the rad. for simplicity sake. The trans lines are cut and flared at the end where the rubber line is clamped.

I like the steel braided flex line idea. Pretty much my set up works for me now so buying new more permanent lines is just "blowing cash."

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:27 PM
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I have my tranny cooler on the return side of the radiator. So my fluid goes through the radiator, through the cooler and back to the tranny.

It is JMO that not going through the radiator is a bad idea. It seems like it would be okay if you are constantly going, but you risk overheating if you are sitting in traffic for a while.

If you are sitting in traffic, eventually the tranny fluid will get hotter and hotter even though it is going through the cooler. The radiator will at least help that fluid from going over a certain temp.

Its moreless like running your car without a thermostat. Yes, some cars did have stand alone tranny coolers designed for that purpose w/o going through the radiator, Im talking about your smaller aftermarket coolers that most people buy........JMO guys.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R8D-XXX View Post
I have my tranny cooler on the return side of the radiator. So my fluid goes through the radiator, through the cooler and back to the tranny.

It is JMO that not going through the radiator is a bad idea. It seems like it would be okay if you are constantly going, but you risk overheating if you are sitting in traffic for a while.

If you are sitting in traffic, eventually the tranny fluid will get hotter and hotter even though it is going through the cooler. The radiator will at least help that fluid from going over a certain temp.

Its moreless like running your car without a thermostat. Yes, some cars did have stand alone tranny coolers designed for that purpose w/o going through the radiator, Im talking about your smaller aftermarket coolers that most people buy........JMO guys.
Your opinion is wrong. "My" car's transmission temperature does not get 'hotter and hotter'. As a matter of fact, if I have been pushing the car hard, sitting in traffic actually cools the tranny.

The added benefit of bypassing the radiator is removing the transmission heat load from the radiator and improving the cooling system efficiency.

The myth of the radiator "heating up" the fluid is hogwash as well. It does not take long for the transmission to warm up on it's own - it doesn't need help from the radiator. Now maybe if your car is a daily driver is Siberia, that would be different but I doubt many here drive their car daily in sub zero weather.

The temperature control valve sold with the 40K cooler is not needed either. But I'm sure there are many who believe it is entirely necessary.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:31 AM
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The warm up programing that keeps the converter unlocked to heat the fluid shuts off when it his 60 degrees or so... so I don't think too cold is an issue...
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the thread, I'm encouraged that mine isn't the only "external cooler only" setup. I will most likely leave mine that way since the radiator lines have been out of the loop for so long.

Driller, is that a temp sensor you have in line for the fluid temp? Seems like a good idea.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 12:09 PM
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Your trans. will never be too cold, except at startup and warm up.
Use both if it not too much trouble.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_badmach View Post
Driller, is that a temp sensor you have in line for the fluid temp? Seems like a good idea.
Yes it is a temp sensor for the tranny. It is not only a good idea, I believe it is an absolute must have item. With the radiator bypassed, you will have no idea of any overheating of the transmission for any reason.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 11:40 PM
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With the radiator bypassed, you will have no idea of any overheating of the transmission for any reason.
Until that terrible burnt clutch smell comes up and it wont shift anymore.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:05 AM
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I also run the TruCool Max 40K standalone. I first used a 24k cooler and that was not good enough to keep it cool on a summer roadtrip.

The 40k does well but in the winter it starts out at outside temp and takes a while to warm up.

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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 06:51 AM
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Well you learn something new everyday LOL. I just didn't think you could do this.

So where do you guys have these 40K's mounted? I have a cooler thats 13 x 7 1/2 x 3/4 and its mounted right in front of my AC condensor.

I just checked the dims on the 40K's and they are 8 1/2 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch

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Last edited by R8D-XXX; 02-24-2009 at 07:00 AM.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R8D-XXX View Post
So where do you guys have these 40K's mounted? I have a cooler thats 13 x 7 1/2 x 3/4 and its mounted right in front of my AC condensor.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:10 PM
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wow, good pic! I wonder if my 96' t-bird bumper cover has that much room to mount like in you Mark 8....time to bust out the tape measure.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 09:35 PM
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When I test fitted it, I actually didn't remove the bumper and simply slid it in after pulling the bottom loose. I used wire ties to hold it in place. Only last fall when I had the bumper cover off for another reason did I actually bolt it in place.
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 08:21 AM
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I am a fan of USING the rad, the thermostat not only controls water temp, but trans temp in a round about way....in other terms, it conditions the temp consistantly at least, THEN out to the aux cooler IMO.

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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 02:07 PM
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Meh, the factory only uses the rad because its cheaper to make one integrated unit than it is to make an aux cooler and mounts for it.

If the bean counters could have figured out a way to integrate the power steering cooler into the radiator they probably would have, and we would be debating how that is somehow better too lol

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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R8D-XXX View Post
Well you learn something new everyday LOL. I just didn't think you could do this.

So where do you guys have these 40K's mounted? I have a cooler thats 13 x 7 1/2 x 3/4 and its mounted right in front of my AC condensor.

I just checked the dims on the 40K's and they are 8 1/2 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch
Mine is in front of the AC condensor starting from the bottom working up.

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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 07:06 AM
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where did u guys buy the 40k btu coolers?

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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 07:14 PM
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 07:05 AM
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Reviving this long dead thread...

My tranny guys put my Motorcraft cooler on this weekend. Bypassed the radiator... from what I read it's not the end of the world... It gets cold here, so I may be cautious when the temps drop below a certain point.
It's full of Mercon V right now...the good stuff.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 07:21 AM
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If the external cooler is big enough, the cooler in the rad serves no purpose, and should be deleted. While driving, the transmission fluid will warm up much faster than the engine coolant, so the myth about it it being done to get the trans fluid up to temp is just that, a myth. Also, for what it's worth, most newer cars don't have the trans cooler built into the rad anymore, but instead combine the trans cooler and the AC condenser into one part, which is basically just an external trans cooler welded to the bottom of the condenser.

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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 10:11 AM
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My external cooler is ran in line with the factory radiator. I figured might as well keep it in line since its working fine.

Side note - I had no idea how very hot the transmission fluid gets. It's seems like my external cooler puts out as much heat as my radiator does.

Would it be okay to use the factory transmission cooler for the power steering? Would it have higher cooling capacity then the factory one? I'm going to not need the transmission cooler soon, and have thought about deleting the OE power steering cooler and running the power steering though the transmission cooler.

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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 10:29 AM
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When he pulled the lines from the radiator he said hardly any fluid came out. An indication is may be blocked in some way. So I took a hose to that tank and ran some water through, came right now, but I now need to plug the bottom and fill it up, see how long it takes for water to come out the upper inlet. If it's clogged it will come out pretty fast, if it's clean an empty it'll be a short bit for the water to start coming out the top.
Luckily, if I decide to reinstall the lines to the radiator, THEN to the cooler I'll wait a while to ensure that water boils out....

You're right it gets HOT!!!

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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 05:34 AM
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From what I remember of reading the J-Mod procedure written by Jerry, along with the instructions that came with my external cooler (B&M), both recommended routing the cooler after the stock radiator.

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