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One-time tow across desert SW without AT cooler - BAD?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by luvzTacos, May 24, 2016.

  1. May 24, 2016 at 7:39 PM
    #1
    luvzTacos

    luvzTacos [OP] '06 2TR-FE Owner

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Member:
    #187831
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    Vehicle:
    2006 Tacoma 2TR-FE
    Howdy,

    I've been lurking for the last couple years and finally made an account today. I'm not much of a tinkerer, but with an '06 4-cyl 2.7L I've owned since new (currently at 120k mi) I think it's time to start paying attention. Glad to be here - great forum!

    My question: I just installed a class III hitch receiver and have been reading A LOT on towing and peoples' opinions on the necessity of AT coolers. My truck came with no tow package (and hence no form of cooler, save a pass through the radiator). All the posts I've read about people asking "is a cooler necessary?" seem to be regular or semi-regular towers. In my case, I only plan to tow once in the foreseeable future - a Uhaul 5x8 with a reasonable load (guesstimating about 2,000-2,500 lbs with trailer).

    If I planned to tow more than this one time I wouldn't question installing one, but...do I really *need* one for just this one trip? I'm travelling from TX to CA on I-40 (1,800 mi) if anyone is familiar with that route. Fairly flat most over the way, save some short, moderate grades around Albuquerque and Bakersfield, CA. The high desert stays at reasonably moderate temps this time of year, but parts of AZ and SE CA will be around 100+ degrees. I have just replaced 80% of my 12.3 qt ATF capacity via x4 drain and refills, and the transmission has had a very gentle life: again, 120k mi, but almost exclusively flat highway miles. Thoughts?

    Sorry for the long post!

    Addendum: I also wanted to add, I'm fine with doing a couple drain and refills upon arrival if the ATF will need replacing shortly after. I'm just in a bit of a rush to get out of here. If anyone thinks the trip sans-cooler will decrease longevity of the tranny, I would definitely like to install the cooler.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. May 25, 2016 at 11:25 AM
    #2
    Pigpen

    Pigpen My truck is never clean

    Joined:
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    Northwest Montana
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    2012 AC Manual 4.0 4x4 Base Model
    Access cab toolbox/ dog bed with seats and headrests deleted, waterproof TRD seat covers, yellow wire mod, diff breather relocated to tail light, engine block heater, Leer topper with Yakima tracks and rack, Yakima rack on cab, Ride Rite with Daystar cradles, CBI hidden front hitch, wired for winch front and rear Warn quick connect, Warn x8000i on external carrier, sway bar delete, trailer plug relocated to bumper, Pelfreybilt IFS and Mid skids, ECGS front diff bushing, ARB CKMA12 compressor, 255/85/16 Toyo M55 load E tires on stock steel rims, Up2NoGood heated mirror kit, Husky X-act Contour front floor liners, Northstar AGM 27F battery, Pelfreybilt bolt on sliders with kickout and top plates, TRD Pro headlights, Depo smoked tail lights, Energy suspension body mount bushing kit, Cobra 75WXST cb with rear mounted Wilson 3' antenna on Shmellmopwho mount, OME Dakar leaf packs with AAL, Billstein B110 rear shocks, 5100s with 885 coils and 1/4" spacers, SPC LR UCAs, 2wd low range mod
    Nice to finally have you in the family!

    Hopefully others will chime in, as most of my towing is with manual transmission trucks. With the load you listed, you should be fine as long as you drive reasonably. Stay out of overdrive, unless on a downhill where you want to go a little faster. Drive at or under the posted speed limit. Don't accelerate fast, even on flat terrain. Basically, stuff you probably already know. Also, I wouldn't do anything to the tranny before the trip if it's functioning fine - they can be temperamental when you start draining fluids.

    Have a safe trip!
     
  3. May 25, 2016 at 10:58 PM
    #3
    luvzTacos

    luvzTacos [OP] '06 2TR-FE Owner

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Member:
    #187831
    Messages:
    8
    Vehicle:
    2006 Tacoma 2TR-FE
    Thanks for the input. I was hoping to get several more opinions :(

    I figure unladen through the 100-degree desert might push my A340 up to 210 or so; not bad. But add that extra 2,000 lbs and I'm curious how much extra heat will be produced. Looks like at 250 degrees I'd have to start worrying. Honestly, I think I'm creating more of a headache for myself worrying about it...and I'm wondering if this headache is worth the $53 cooler and an hour or two of my time.

    ...I think I'm just gonna buy it!

    Also, does anyone know which is the out-from-radiator/return-to-tranny line on the 2.7L base 4cyl with an A340 tranny? I started it up tonight for a few minutes and the lower of the two lines on the radiator felt like the cooler one, but it was hard to tell. I'm not doing a bypass.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  4. Jun 1, 2016 at 11:06 PM
    #4
    luvzTacos

    luvzTacos [OP] '06 2TR-FE Owner

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Member:
    #187831
    Messages:
    8
    Vehicle:
    2006 Tacoma 2TR-FE
    Well this thread seems completely dead which is fine, but for archival purposes and those who may be doing the same later:

    I went ahead and installed a Hayden 678. It had *just enough* hose to do the job without the hoses being too strained or taught. I did mine in series with the radiator and mounted it toward the right (driver) side - you can't mount it too far to the right (driver's side) or the hose will kink against the frame/radiator sides. My cooler ended up with the left side of the cooler extending maybe 2 inches past the vertical center frame strap steel.

    Looking head-on from the front of the truck, the driver-most (right-most) ATF hose out of the radiator is the transmission return line (where you want to install the cooler). Be very careful cutting the hose to length again, as there was just enough to do the job. No need to buy another length of hose if you are careful. I ended up with a couple inches of slack on each connection. I let the radiator ATF outlet hose drain for a couple minutes and lost maybe 1/4 quart of ATF fluid. I tried to keep nipples capped when possible with the nipple caps that came on the cooler barbs. Heard a very bizarre, unhealthy sound upon startup, but presumably that was due to air in the system. It went away after 5-10 seconds. Took it for a long test drive on the highway and all seems well.

    Good luck to anyone doing this! Again, this was on an '06 2TR-FE auto.
     

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