Transmission Cooler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Transmission Cooler

Looking for thoughts/advice pertaining to transmission cooler installation. I just purchased a 17' 2005 Casita and will be pulling it from Utah to CA and back this summer. I drive a 2000 V6 Toyota Tacoma. Please tell me your thoughts Thanks, Lee
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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I have a 2004 Nissan Crewcab Frontier which I tow my 17SD with. Prior to picking up my trailer in TX I had them install a tranny cooler when I had the truck serviced before my journey. After pulling a good number of our western high elevation passes and traversing our hot deserts, I'm glad I had it installed. It wasn't that much to have installed and I have the added piece of mind that I'm not frying my tranny.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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I'd recommend a transmission cooler, too. If you don't have a transmission temperature gauge, I'd have that installed at the same time.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Tom ; Being an automotive engineer why are the aftermarket transmission coolers so much smaller than the factory transmission coolers . My aftermarket cooler on my old truck had about 20% the area and about half the depth of the factory transmission cooler on my new truck .( aftermarket cooler was sized from cooler manufacturers tables) I thought air flow , area and heat conductivity of the material determined the transfer of heat . How can aftermarket cooler do the same job with the same efficiency or are they only capable of marginal performance
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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I drive a 2007 4Runner with a 4.0L V6, and I had a transmission cooler installed last year before picking up our new 17' Casita SD. I had it done based on the recommendations of many users and several mechanics that I talked to. Be sure to get quotes before you have it done. One Toyota dealership quoted me over $900, where most places were in the $200+/- range. While your cost may vary, obviously, it pays to talk to a few places and see what size cooler they recommend, how they'll mount it, etc. I've seen some shoddy installations out there, even by dealerships.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Tom ; Being an automotive engineer why are the aftermarket transmission coolers so much smaller than the factory transmission coolers . My aftermarket cooler on my old truck had about 20% the area and about half the depth of the factory transmission cooler on my new truck .( aftermarket cooler was sizes from cooler manufacturers tables) I thought air flow , area and heat conductivity of the material determined the transfer of heat . How can aftermarket cooler do the same job with the same efficiency or are they only capable of marginal performance
Steve, I'm guessing somewhat, but I know that the manufacturers do extensive testing and have sophisticated CAE programs to design heat exchangers. They also own the warranty on a failed transmission. In short, I think the aftermarket coolers help but not as much as a cooler with more heat exchanging capacity. That's why a temperature gauge is important, it all comes down to whether the transmission oil is kept cool enough.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Lee, if you have the factory tow pkg on it you are good to go, if the tow bar has been added then that is when you will have to add the cooler, if its standard shift you won't need one period. The factory tow pkgs are worth the extra they charge for them because they usually include everything required to tow the weight capacity the the vehicle is capable of towing including being prewired. you do have to supply the brake control however
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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I have Silverado which I installed temp gauge before cooler, you wouldn't believe how much driving up mountain pass raises temp, actually anytime you are not in OD,(downshifting to 2nd, stop and go traffic is a heat raiser also). Ive installed aftermarket coolers in every automatic ive owned towing or not, my temperature gauge is installed probably where there is maximum heat. I would get the biggest cooler you can cram in whatever space is provided
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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I think it's strange to assume that a vehicle is inadequate in some respect - even though it is being operated within the manufacturer' recommended limits - and pay to install additional equipment to fix a problem which might not even exist.

I have a motorhome with a Ford chassis which is operated at about 86% of its rated GCWR. Sustained climbs up mountain grades at high power don't budge the transmission temperature visibly from the normal position on the gauge. I'm glad I didn't add to its obviously suitable transmission cooling capacity.

I would add transmission fluid temperature measurement and assess the need for more cooling before adding a cooler to the tug.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:38 PM   #10
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Like Bill said, the factory tow package probably includes the extra cooling, so have the dealer run your vin. They can tell you exactly how it's equipped & whether it needs anything more.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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Something to watch out for with quoted tow capacities is the "when properly equipped" caveat. This means that the vehicle can handle those loads with the transmission cooler that they may or may not have installed.

Running the Vin through a build sheet generator, calling a dealer, or having someone check under the hood will give you a good idea.

As I've found with ford rangers, the 4 plug wiring being installed does not automatically mean a factory installed transmission cooler.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
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Some equipment on the RAV4 was standard in Canada and optional in the U.S.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewSK View Post
Something to watch out for with quoted tow capacities is the "when properly equipped" caveat. This means that the vehicle can handle those loads with the transmission cooler that they may or may not have installed.

Running the Vin through a build sheet generator, calling a dealer, or having someone check under the hood will give you a good idea.

As I've found with ford rangers, the 4 plug wiring being installed does not automatically mean a factory installed transmission cooler.
Drew, I'm wondering if the 4 pin might have been installed by the dealer and not the factory.
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