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Old 02-21-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
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transmission cooler

I just purchased a larger camping trailer (13' Scamp) to tow with my newly acquired 2003 6 cylinder Tacoma Prerunner. A co-worker suggested getting a transmission cooler.

Any suggestions on a mfg./type that I should look for ? Also, I'm new to this...what actually is the purpose of this (besides the obvious one of cooling); but I mean with a trailer in tow, will the tranny always run hot? On level ground...or only in mountains where there is an ascending grade?
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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well without seeing your set up, I would say yes for the long life of your truck and a break down would ruin any trip.
Keeping the trans AND OIL cooler always help in the long run.
now way back in 1970 and I remember this my grandfather had a big green 1969 chev impala i think with a 400cid engine, and he bought a 22 foot trailer to pull to the outer banks, I am from charlotte. people told him that he would burn it up, but during ww2 he worked on B25s and he was a terminal manager of a freight company, so he and the other fellows worked several nights on the car, they but oil coolers, trans coolers and he rigged a extra cap. on the radiator and he never had any trouble. anyway, i would go to a good RV place and ask around, or maybe someone on here that is near you can tell you more. but with towing its all a factor of conditions, how much you have in your truck, how many people, where you are going, how hot, how humid it is. Have you ever watched the movie, THE LONG LONG TRAILER, with LUCY AND DEZI? You might sell it after watching it. also how is your hitch on the truck? AND YOUR MIRRORS? make sure you can see just as well with or without the trailer. sorry if i went on too long.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #3
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trans coolers are always a good idea. make sure the direction of the flow of the trans fluid and put the cooler in line before it enters the radiator (factory water to oil cooler). I've been told several times by several tranny guys: a good rule of thumb is for every 10 degrees you lower your trans fluid temp, you double the life of the transmission ( to a point). trans coolers are 50 bucks, auto trans rebuild... thousands.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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Link

Good Luck.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
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and a good oil cooler, and before I was going to tow, if you don't do it all the time, I would change the oil and use synthetic. It does not hurt to cover all the bases, because a burnt out engine is a fast way to ruin a vacation
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:19 AM   #6
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I've been thinking about doing a transmission cooler for a while... this a good thread with some good info! How hard are they to hook up?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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Hayden Transaver Stacked Plate Cooler............33% more efficient than tube & fin coolers. Different sizes for GVW, thin as hell and easy to mount. Have one on my car just to keep atf temps down, works wonders. Highly recommend. I also run AMSOIL synthetic ATF, twice the change intervals they say but I go 1 1/2, also helps with temps.............
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike2peak View Post
trans coolers are always a good idea. make sure the direction of the flow of the trans fluid and put the cooler in line before it enters the radiator (factory water to oil cooler). I've been told several times by several tranny guys: a good rule of thumb is for every 10 degrees you lower your trans fluid temp, you double the life of the transmission ( to a point). trans coolers are 50 bucks, auto trans rebuild... thousands.
Mine goes thru factory cooler first then goes thru the Hayden then back to tranny. Why would you cool the fluid with cooler then send it thru the factory one to heat it back up before sending it back to the tranny? The Hayden instructions even say leaving it going thru oem first then cooler keeps your factory warranties intact too. You cool it a bit with oem and then the Hayden cools the shit out of it then luke warm fluid goes back to tranny. Agreed on the lower temps extending tranny life fo sho tho. Couldn't hold the return line for more than a few seconds before it started to burn hand before adding Hayden but after adding it you can hold return line all day. Huge difference. Probably more than 40 degree difference between the syn fluid and adding the cooler. And the bigger the cooler the more it'll cool while adding more fluid to the capacity to fill cooler and lines. All good things for the tranny whether towing or not.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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I was lucky enough to score a NIB TRD tranny cooler on eBay several years ago for 60 bucks. It hooks in after the ATF goes through the factory cooler in the radiator. It is a worthy investment if you are towing.

The other thing would be to have the heavy duty fan clutch. They swap the standard one for the HD one when the tow package was added to the Tacos. If I remember corretly, the standard clutch has a an orange stripe on the shaft, and the HD has a green stripe. The HD locks up sooner so that it pulls air sooner than the standard.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T@co_Pr3runn3r View Post
Mine goes thru factory cooler first then goes thru the Hayden then back to tranny. Why would you cool the fluid with cooler then send it thru the factory one to heat it back up before sending it back to the tranny? The Hayden instructions even say leaving it going thru oem first then cooler keeps your factory warranties intact too. You cool it a bit with oem and then the Hayden cools the shit out of it then luke warm fluid goes back to tranny. Agreed on the lower temps extending tranny life fo sho tho. Couldn't hold the return line for more than a few seconds before it started to burn hand before adding Hayden but after adding it you can hold return line all day. Huge difference. Probably more than 40 degree difference between the syn fluid and adding the cooler. And the bigger the cooler the more it'll cool while adding more fluid to the capacity to fill cooler and lines. All good things for the tranny whether towing or not.
The reason it goes into the radiator's heat exchanger in the first place is to heat the fluid when the trans is cold. The viscosity of trans fluid increases as temps go down increasing pressure in the trans which causes harsh shifts. Pressure control is the key to smooth trans operation, thus temp control is essential.
Trans cooler goes before the radiator cooler. Keep your trans opeating properly! If you're working your trans hard enough to the point where a single engine and trans cooler is not enough, you need a bigger truck.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #11
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Well I live in a temperate/hot climate 10 months of the year so no reason to heat the fluid here. It gets hot plenty fast on it's own. My tranny actually seems to shift better back and forth in manual mode before the fluid gets to it's warmest temp. It's a car and I'm not hauling or towing or racing so it works just great for 8 yrs or so hooked up this way and besides that it'll heat it up when cold like you're talking about when car is cold regardless of whether it's first or second. I'm more concerned about the majority of the time it being cooled as much as possible rather than just being heated quicker for a few minutes when first driving.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brs127s View Post
I was lucky enough to score a NIB TRD tranny cooler on eBay several years ago for 60 bucks. It hooks in after the ATF goes through the factory cooler in the radiator. It is a worthy investment if you are towing.

The other thing would be to have the heavy duty fan clutch. They swap the standard one for the HD one when the tow package was added to the Tacos. If I remember corretly, the standard clutch has a an orange stripe on the shaft, and the HD has a green stripe. The HD locks up sooner so that it pulls air sooner than the standard.
An electric fan setup would be the better route. It draws nothing when off, unlike a clutch fan which always costs you HP.

Electric fan: $333 http://experformance.net/i-397186.aspx
Clutch fan: $72 http://www.partstrain.com/store/deta...0121806409facl

I agree that it's expensive, but it will help regulate your temps better while towing up-grades.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T@co_Pr3runn3r View Post
Well I live in a temperate/hot climate 10 months of the year so no reason to heat the fluid here. It gets hot plenty fast on it's own. My tranny actually seems to shift better back and forth in manual mode before the fluid gets to it's warmest temp. It's a car and I'm not hauling or towing or racing so it works just great for 8 yrs or so hooked up this way.
Still gets cool at night
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
An electric fan setup would be the better route. It draws nothing when off, unlike a clutch fan which always costs you HP.

Electric fan: $333 http://experformance.net/i-397186.aspx
Clutch fan: $72 http://www.partstrain.com/store/deta...0121806409facl

I agree that it's expensive, but it will help regulate your temps better while towing up-grades.
This I agree with completely on both hp and control aspects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
Still gets cool at night
was editing............and besides that it'll heat it up when cold like you're talking about when car is cold regardless of whether it's first or second. I'm more concerned about the majority of the time it being cooled as much as possible rather than just being heated quicker for a few minutes when first driving.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
An electric fan setup would be the better route. It draws nothing when off, unlike a clutch fan which always costs you HP.

Electric fan: $333 http://experformance.net/i-397186.aspx
Clutch fan: $72 http://www.partstrain.com/store/deta...0121806409facl

I agree that it's expensive, but it will help regulate your temps better while towing up-grades.

I totally agree, but the elec. fan setup wasn't in the cards at the time.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
An electric fan setup would be the better route. It draws nothing when off, unlike a clutch fan which always costs you HP.

Electric fan: $333 http://experformance.net/i-397186.aspx
Clutch fan: $72 http://www.partstrain.com/store/deta...0121806409facl

I agree that it's expensive, but it will help regulate your temps better while towing up-grades.
Do you know why a mechanical fan has a clutch?
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shampoop View Post
Do you know why a mechanical fan has a clutch?
It freewheels when the radiator temp is low. It is better than a constant fan, but uses more HP than electric fan.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
It freewheels when the radiator temp is low. It is better than a constant fan, but uses more HP than electric fan.

And that's the difference between the standard and the heavy duty...the HD locks up and releases at lower temperatures. For some reason, they didn't change the clutch on my Taco when the tow package was added. When I had my engine coolant leak fixed, the dealer went ahead and replace the clutch with the HD one. I could immediately tell the difference while driving the truck home. The fan locks up sooner so you here it roaring more often, especially in traffic in hot weather.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
It freewheels when the radiator temp is low. It is better than a constant fan, but uses more HP than electric fan.
Yes, but it's an insignificant amount. Mechanical fans also typically have much more cooling power than electrical ones. I remember hearing about how lots of supra guys need to keep the factory mechanical fan because it works so much better than electric ones. Toyota put a mechanical fan there for a reason.

Plus think about it, he's towing, not driving a hypermiling metro.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:37 PM   #20
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electric fans DO NOT cool more than mechanical fans. Just take a look at the CFM values.
I learned this with diesel trucks towing, even look on flex a lites website, they say that their electric fans are not meant for heavy pulling they simply cannot keep up with the airflow needed.
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