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Towing advice...tranny cooler or no

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Mweston, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Apr 25, 2012 at 6:07 AM
    #1
    Mweston

    Mweston [OP] Member

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    Mark
    CT
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    2003 Tacoma TRD off road, 4x4
    I have a 2003 Tacoma bought new. I have only 32,000 original miles. No tow package, rated @3500 lbs., 6- cyl, TRD, off-road package. I want to tow a camp trailer at 3000 lbs dry weight. The trailer dealer said I should get a tow package installed including the Reese type hitch, 7 pin electrical, fan clutch, and transmission cooler. Also getting electric assist breaks. HOWEVER, my Toyota parts dealer said a transmission cooler is not necessary. Is this true? The Toy dealer said the tranny fluid also runs through the radiator anyway, so the fan clutch is sufficient. He said cooling the tranny fluid too much decreases coolant/fluid effectiveness. Am I missing something? Any advice? Should I forget about the tranny cooler? The Toy dealer said a fan clutch and new hitch will increase my tow capacity to 5000 lbs.

    Grateful for your advice and views.

    Regards,
    Mark
     
  2. Apr 25, 2012 at 6:15 AM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    Welcome to TW!

    What kind of trips are you thinking about taking this camper on and how frequently? If you plan on towing extended distances on a fairly regular basis, a transmission oil cooler would be a good idea. Heat builds up in an automatic transmission very quickly. Add a heavy load and it just adds that much more heat. If you only vacation a couple times a year with the camper, I wouldn't bother with it and I'd just change the transmission fluid more frequently.

    I'm in the same boat with a 2nd Gen, no tow package but I tow at or above 3,000 lbs without any worries. A lot of it is how you drive, if you take it easy, you won't be working the truck as hard.

    The required wiring will depend on what the trailer is equipped with. At 3,000 lbs, you'll probably want a trailer with brakes, it just makes for a more pleasant trailering experience. This means you'll need a 7-pin connector and a good brake controller will help also.
     
  3. Apr 25, 2012 at 6:16 AM
    #3
    00PreRunner

    00PreRunner Well-Known Member

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    Nothing yet. Just getting started.
    Had the same debate on my 4 cylinder. I just added the tow package and forgot the tranny cooler. I think we towed around 3000lbs to Dover, TN, about 4 hrs, and we never had an issue with the tranny. I would think you'd be fine especially with the 6 cylinder. Hope this helped.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2012 at 6:16 AM
    #4
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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  5. Apr 30, 2012 at 8:23 AM
    #5
    Johnnie

    Johnnie Well-Known Member

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    A transmission cooler will not hurt your truck. If you're going to be towing I would suggest you buy one. Most guys use the Hayden 678 and 679. They cost about $65. You can install it yourself.
     
  6. Jun 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM
    #6
    Bender19

    Bender19 New Member

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    I also have a 03. I put a trans temp gauge in and then installed my cooler about a month later. Every day driving changed from around 180 F to 150 F. I also pull a trailer that weighs 3200 lbs and it runs around 180 F when towing. It has gotten up to 200 F in a strong wind. The stalk internal cooler is ok but for the price i would defiantly do the upgrade. I used a B & M and am very happy with it. Here is a good write up on it.

    http://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-gen-t4rs/63553-writeup-tranny-cooler-install.html
     
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