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Well I am officially convinced I need a trans cooler...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by DestroyerLite, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Aug 8, 2016 at 4:21 AM
    #1
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday afternoon towed a trailer full of 2x4 for a project (3300-3500# loaded, no ramp on the trailer) with my 04 V6 4x4 Auto, never felt the need for more power although running on the highway at 3000 rpm just seemed like I was abusing my truck:). Towing with OD off on the highway about 55-60mph the trans was staying at 205-210 on flat ground and in stop and go traffic I saw it at 230 a few times, very toasty indeed. Now this is Texas and the outside temp was hovering around 110-115 according to my fancy cellular device so that was not helping but in my opinion it should not have gotten that high.
    Well now I am looking to get one of those trans coolers since once in a while my truck will have a trailer especially with the home project we are planning on doing.

    Now I have never installed anything like this before and I just now started looking at all the different models and this one seems to stand out https://www.amazon.com/70264-SuperC..._19?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Z2RC7KRVMGRB533D838C I just need to do some major research see what all I need to get this installed as I have never done anything like this.

    Should I reasonably expect my trans temps to be considerably lower with a trans cooler like this, maybe something more in the 180 or so when towing?

    --Dan
     
  2. Aug 8, 2016 at 8:14 AM
    #2
    micalbertl

    micalbertl Well-Known Member

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    In for answer
     
  3. Aug 8, 2016 at 8:24 AM
    #3
    davidpick

    davidpick NWXPDTN

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    I installed a B&M transmission cooler on my 04 v6 auto Tacoma a couple years ago and have loved the results. Monitoring temps with a scan gauge, I rarely see anything above 190. Normal cruising, I'm around 160. Highest I've ever seen was 209 and that was in 4-hi crawling up some washboard-y fire roads for miles at a time.

    I say go for it.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2016 at 8:26 AM
    #4
    micalbertl

    micalbertl Well-Known Member

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    I see kits that make it sound like they bolt on to a factory location with no modifications. Is this true? I just want to know what to expect
     
  5. Aug 8, 2016 at 8:29 AM
    #5
    davidpick

    davidpick NWXPDTN

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    I would say "minimal modifications". Most aftermarket coolers will be installed after the factory cooler which is in the lower part of the radiator. The aftermarket cooler goes in front of the radiator, just behind the grill. There are plenty of ways to get the tubing through the firewall without cutting or drilling. All in all, I'd rate this mod at 2 chili peppers out of 5 for difficulty.
     
    micalbertl likes this.
  6. Aug 8, 2016 at 8:29 AM
    #6
    devinzz1

    devinzz1 Well-Known Member

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    That kit looks like it will work.

    Mine bypasses the stock cooler all together and temps stay nice and cool. Takes longer to warm up is only thing.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2016 at 10:29 AM
    #7
    Voyager

    Voyager Well-Known Member

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    Same here. 04 V6 DC 4x4 Auto, AC


    I saw spikes to 260 while towing an enclosed motorcycle trailer through the Smokey Mountains. Installed a B&M cooler 70268 Transmission cooler.


    Installed “in line”, putting B&M cooler after radiator (radiator return line (lower left/driver’s side) now goes to B&M cooler & other B&M cooler hose goes back to transmission (attached at hardline by front axle). Had to buy additional transmission line. Added approx. 1.75 qt Toyota Type T-IV fluid via transmission dipstick tube.


    Works well. Towed same trailer to the Rockies and back. Scan gauge II said all transmission temps were good. Helps to turn off OD before transmission downshifts. I run OD “on” for flat and downhill. OD “off” once road begins to climb.


    Was concerned that cooler would make transmission run too cool when not under a load. B&M said mine has a bypass. Temps look good all the time.


    Install was easy. I had to remove 1 of 2 horns.


    Buy extra hose and fluid ahead of time.


    Good luck.


    Bob
     
  8. Aug 8, 2016 at 10:40 AM
    #8
    TACO TX

    TACO TX Well-Known Member

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    Xplosiv likes this.
  9. Aug 8, 2016 at 11:44 AM
    #9
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I just bought one of these trans coolers from a member here, other than what is included in the kit do I need anything else to make it work? I plan to put this in front of the OEM radiator cooler (passenger side connector on radiator), will the hose they provided be enough or should I get some more just in case?

    --Dan
     
  10. Aug 8, 2016 at 12:25 PM
    #10
    Voyager

    Voyager Well-Known Member

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  11. Aug 9, 2016 at 7:22 AM
    #11
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Another probably redundant question. I know I can go to Toyota and pick up a couple of quarts of trans fluid, but the hose is another story. Is there a certain size I should buy or some brands I should stay away from?

    --Dan
     
  12. Aug 9, 2016 at 9:35 AM
    #12
    Voyager

    Voyager Well-Known Member

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    I went to the local AutoZone and told them what I was installing. Think it was 3/8" barb. Insist on actual transmission fluid hose, but don't think the brand matters that much. I also used OEM Toyota Type T-IV fluid so I could do a simple drain & fill (as opposed to a complete flush/refill) and not worry about compatibility issues. Also bolted the cooler on with the included brackets as opposed to zip tying.
     
  13. Aug 9, 2016 at 3:15 PM
    #13
    Chuy

    Chuy Well-Known Member

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    Some things to consider:

    ATF normal temp at the pan is 175-200 degrees F. You want to be at the low end but you don't want to 'overcool' the ATF. Meaning the transmission has an ideal operating temperature just as an engine does. An auxiliary cooler can delay the ATF from reaching normal operating temp. This is only an issue when starting the car in cold climates.

    In very hot climates consider routing the aux cooler lines so that ATF goes from trany to radiator to aux cooler to trany. (Cooler ATF will go into the trany.) Once cooler weather arrives, you can simply re-route the lines at the radiator so that you get the traditional routing scheme.

    Bypass the ATF reservoir in the radiator.
    Pro: less areas for a leak; no chance of coolant contamination if there is an internal rupture (ask the Nissan guys about this experience).
    Con: ATF will take longer to reach operating temp (the coolant is used to warm up the ATF) - only an issue in cold climates.
    Note: if bypassing the radiator, get next recommended size up.

    http://www.transmissioncoolers.us/category/cooler-info.html
    http://transmissionrepairguy.com/transmission-temperature-gauge/
    http://digi-panel.com/trannyoil.htm
    https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-art...ssan-over-failed-radiators-transmissions.html
     
  14. Aug 10, 2016 at 4:11 AM
    #14
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I do not plan on bypassing the OEM radiator cooler, I was just going to add it after the radiator (drivers side hose if I remember correctly). It does not get very cold here in Texas but figured wouldn't hurt too much to keep them both.

    --Dan
     
  15. Aug 10, 2016 at 7:07 AM
    #15
    KeptOnChooglin

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  16. Aug 10, 2016 at 1:11 PM
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    Digiratus

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    this is the kit I used, using @zero4 thread.

    https://www.amazon.com/Long-Tru-Cool-Transmission-Cooler-4454/dp/B005XZXB1M

    IMG_9506_zpslnotz1e5_1e9f8538776abf9ed57bfb799b1ada2a4b1f1bf7.jpg
     
  17. Aug 14, 2016 at 5:26 PM
    #17
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well it is installed, and I have to say the difference is very clear. I was not towing so I cannot compare the temps there (don't own a trailer, when needed u-haul it is) but from what I can see it is easily 20-30 degrees lower depending on where/how it is driven. I pretty much copied Zero4's install since I liked the way it looked and bought more hose from AutoZone (at $1 per foot it was a no brainer) and instead of using a coupler on the return line I ran a new line from the trans cooler to where the old hose terminated so there are no couples at all. Had to add one quart of fluid on the dot (used the Toyota Type IV stuff) and she runs like a champ. I am thinking I am going to go rent a 6x12 from u-haul just for the heck of it to haul it behind and see what the temps do plus (and I may be in the minority here) towing a big trailer is manly :). Pics attached, forgot to take pics of the installed with the hoses but they have been ran like Zero4 did through the AC condenser hole. Horn was relocated to the behind the passenger headlight with some wire extensions.

    --Dan

    IMG_3088.jpg
    IMG_3092.jpg
    IMG_3093.jpg
     
    MCObray and Nowhereman04 like this.
  18. Aug 14, 2016 at 7:12 PM
    #18
    Sicyota04

    Sicyota04 Slowly but surely.

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    So our Toyotas have a Trans cooler but it's not as good as an aftermarket one? In the last picture above that @DestroyerLite posted, my truck has the smaller cooler w/ a hose coming out of the bottom of it that says trans fluid on the hose. Then behind that is the radiator. Probably a stupid question. But you guys are putting aftermarket coolers on cause you're towing and the stock one isn't good enough?
     
  19. Aug 15, 2016 at 4:04 AM
    #19
    DestroyerLite

    DestroyerLite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read the trans cooler that is built into the radiator is just good enough for the truck itself, and I can confirm this as in Texas (where a cold front is in the 90s) my trans temps would get close to 200 even without towing anything, and if I hitched up a trailer 230 or so was pretty common. That just seemed pretty high to me, plus with home improvement a trailer gets hitched to my truck quite often. I am not sure I would still tow long distances with this truck but for the semi short trips here and there a trans cooler is a nice safety net in my opinion.

    --Dan
     
  20. Aug 15, 2016 at 6:49 AM
    #20
    Voyager

    Voyager Well-Known Member

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    Dan - good work.

    I've found you can also help keep the trans temps in check by locking out OD before the transmission automatically drops out of OD (mine does on any slight incline).
     

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