transmission cooler necessary? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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What are some thoughts on the necessity of including a transmission cooler on a 2001 Mercury Sable station wagon with a v-6 Duratec engine that will be towing a 13-foot Scamp. Tow capacity for the Mercury is rated 1450 to 1600 pounds.

Bill
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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William,

I live in the desert, I would not leave home without one. I would talk to a transmission shop about your transmission though, a really good honest shop with a good reputation. I avoid dealers as they have an interest in the advice they give that skews the response to any inquiry. To my surprise, on some S.U.V.s the automatic transmission uses a torque converter.

A big rubber belt inside it.

When I called across the street to my friends auto transmission shop to laugh about it he was serious...he told me the game is changing on the newer transmissions and most people do not know what they have when they buy vehicals anymore.

I in no way am saying you have that transmission, what I want to say is in recent years the game is totally different now about transmissions. My ford Aerostar towed well, the Windstar that replaced it was laughable if not so sad. Even in the Chrysler mini vans vary in their transmissions different model to model year.

My friend told me the new ones are like everything else now, computer controled, there were improvements that he could make in some, others he cannot. The dealer gaurds his info well, his product is always the "right" one for you. After market reputable shops tend to have a more broad panoramic point of view, and the words "lemon for towing" or "if you tow you need this" come out of their mouths more easily than a dealer. The info there is always free, I just stop in and start to ask about it, the knowledge imparted to my ears is almost always worth the stop.

Harry
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Hi Bill!!
In response to your question, weigh the cost of replacing/rebuilding your auto tranny compared to the one time cost of a simple add on of a tranny cooler.
The old addage prevails, '...an ounce of prevention"....??
We have tranny coolers on ALL 4 of our vehicles that have auto trannys even though only 2 are capable of towing our 13ft Trillium. An auto tranny works better/lasts longer if it can operate at/in cooler temps.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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What are some thoughts on the necessity of including a transmission cooler on a 2001 Mercury Sable station wagon with a v-6 Duratec engine that will be towing a 13-foot Scamp. Tow capacity for the Mercury is rated 1450 to 1600 pounds.

Bill
I will be blunt----Get one . It will pay for it self.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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Your "new to you"13' will likely weigh *more* than your tow limits (Mine is 1,750 loaded for the road and I don't have a fridge, water heater, a/c, black/gray tanks, converter, etc. I do have a 10 lb LP tank, a group 24 battery, fantastical fan and spare tire), so the first thing I would do is put on a good transmission cooler (Stacked plate, not tube-and-fin) and I would also put on a transmission temperature gauge.

If it doesn't already have them, put brakes on the trailer -- As Ford says, "The vehicle brakes were designed to stop the GVWR, not the GCWR!"

I hope you are not relying on the old, fictional, 950 lbs listed for 13' trailers...
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:08 AM   #6
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it's cheap insurance.. get one. Uhual does them all day, reliably and inexpensively. I paid 140 for one for my Element, installed, and that was the "Big Guy".

My Jeep came with one, but if it hadn't, I would have added it. Trannies are too expensive not to protect so inexpensively.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:55 AM   #7
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William,

After market reputable shops tend to have a more broad panoramic point of view, and the words "lemon for towing" or "if you tow you need this" come out of their mouths more easily than a dealer. The info there is always free, I just stop in and start to ask about it, the knowledge imparted to my ears is almost always worth the stop.

Harry
I'm adding this to the things I wish I had known list. I checked with the Volvo dealer and the vehicle manual regarding towing before acquiring my new to me wagon. I was told all I needed was the Volvo OEM hitch and I'd be OK. I didn't need a transmission cooler or anything else.

A non-dealer Volvo repair shop told me that for the miles on my vehicle towing is not a good idea. There is a magic number of miles for a Volvo transmission and my car was already past it. If I insisted on towing I needed to GET A TRANSMISSION COOLER and because my car was past the magic mile, I should NOT get transmission service. A flush could kill it. The new pre-towing instruction was to drain the transmission each time I got my oil changed and after the third draining I could consider it flushed. The non-dealer Volvo shop also said the OEM hitch was too expensive. They gave me the name of a guy who does hitches much cheaper.

None of the above mentioned that the tongue weight (info I did provide) would push the back of the wagon down into a trench that simply would not be an acceptable towing posture.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:08 AM   #8
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+1 Another vote for. And as mentioned, it helps out even when not towing too.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:06 AM   #9
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your kindness in sharing your experience and advice. Transmission cooler it is. I'll be back to pick your brains again, I'm sure.

And, yes, the Mercury Sable would not be our first choice for a tow vehicle, but that's what we have now as we anticipate our entry into the camper world and store the tent; and we will be sure to travel VERY light. I have to smile, however, when I picture our white, roundy Mercury station wagon pulling a 13-foot Scamp : )

Lorraine (Mrs. Bill)
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:39 PM   #11
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Lorraine (Mrs. Bill)
Mrs Bill... We'd love to see pictures when you get the perfect match for you and Mr. Bill
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