Add-on Tranny cooler install question



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Thread: Add-on Tranny cooler install question

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    Add-on Tranny cooler install question

    I am going to be towing a 2000 lb camping trailer with my '05 T&C so I am going to be installing an add-on tranny cooler as soon as it warms up a little (and flush and replace the filter while I'm at it). My question is should I place the add-on tranny cooler before or after the existing in-the-radiator tranny cooler? It would probably cool the tranny fluid more if installed after the existing one during the summer, BUT would that keep it too cool in our cold Minnesota winters?
    2005 Chrysler Town & Country Touring - 3.8L, 143K
    2005 Ford Escape Hybrid - 2.3L, 131K

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    If the transmission lines run through the radiator, then once the engine warms up, the temperature of the tfluid is going to be 190 - 210 DegreesF.
    Because that is the temperature of the Coolant in the radiator (the last heat source the engine will se before going back to the tranny).

    I was once told by a mechanic/engineer wiser than me, that the reason that you have auxillary tranny coolers is to get the temperature of the Tfluid down to where the coolant could actually cool it off, not where the tranny fluid would actually start to HEAT the coolant in the radiator. (ie the transfer of heat to antifreeze w/o the tranny boiling the afreeze)
    He gave me a lot of technical details, about thermal -dynamics, and when he saw my eyes glaze over he just said, put the acessory cooler in the line before the radiator.
    Hope that helps
    2002 T&C LX
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    Scoot over to the Trailer and Towing threads for more info. We just got done hashing this all out.

    And if you are worried about too much cooling, your transmission will shift just fine with transmission fluid down to around 20 below F. After all, doesn't it shift just fine when the transmission is cold in the winter for the first mile? The transmission will quickly warm it's self up, just as fast as the engine.
    Last edited by Chubber; 03-17-2009 at 10:16 AM.
    2006 Chrysler Town and Country Limited with 90k miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmitch View Post
    If the transmission lines run through the radiator, then once the engine warms up, the temperature of the tfluid is going to be 190 - 210 DegreesF.
    Because that is the temperature of the Coolant in the radiator (the last heat source the engine will se before going back to the tranny).

    I was once told by a mechanic/engineer wiser than me, that the reason that you have auxillary tranny coolers is to get the temperature of the Tfluid down to where the coolant could actually cool it off, not where the tranny fluid would actually start to HEAT the coolant in the radiator. (ie the transfer of heat to antifreeze w/o the tranny boiling the afreeze)
    He gave me a lot of technical details, about thermal -dynamics, and when he saw my eyes glaze over he just said, put the acessory cooler in the line before the radiator.
    Hope that helps
    You contradict your own logic. If the radiator will warm the transmission oil to 200 degrees, why would you put the aftermarket cooler in place before the radiator integrated cooler? Then, no matter how much cooling the aftermarket cooler does, the radiator will raise it back to 200 degrees.

    A couple of points:
    1) First, there is little radiator fluid-to-transmission oil heat exchange. There is a tiny bit, but not much. Much more heat transfers via the air flow than via water-to-oil heat exchange.
    2) Secondly, the aftermarket cooler should always be the last stop for the oil on the way back to the transmission and it should always be the most forward in the airflow, so attached to the front of the other radiators. That way it gets the coolest air right before returning to the transmission.
    3) The one exception to this rule is if you live in the arctic tundra and air temps are well below freezing all day. But if that were the case, why do you have an auxiliary cooler?
    4) Lastly, look closely. If your car has air conditioning, the transmission cooler is probably integrated with the AC condenser, not the radiator.
    2006 Chrysler Town and Country Limited with 90k miles.

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubber View Post
    You contradict your own logic. If the radiator will warm the transmission oil to 200 degrees, why would you put the aftermarket cooler in place before the radiator integrated cooler? Then, no matter how much cooling the aftermarket cooler does, the radiator will raise it back to 200 degrees.

    A couple of points:
    1) First, there is little radiator fluid-to-transmission oil heat exchange. There is a tiny bit, but not much. Much more heat transfers via the air flow than via water-to-oil heat exchange.
    2) Secondly, the aftermarket cooler should always be the last stop for the oil on the way back to the transmission and it should always be the most forward in the airflow, so attached to the front of the other radiators. That way it gets the coolest air right before returning to the transmission.
    3) The one exception to this rule is if you live in the arctic tundra and air temps are well below freezing all day. But if that were the case, why do you have an auxiliary cooler?
    4) Lastly, look closely. If your car has air conditioning, the transmission cooler is probably integrated with the AC condenser, not the radiator.
    My vehicle has A/C, yet it's part of the radiator .....

    To get the best cooling. Disconnect the tranny lines from the radiator (in your case the a/c condensor ) and run it directly to the aux cooler. Use a heavy duty one (large). Plug the un-used ports on the radiator to keep the dirt out. This also helps keep the tranny heat from the engine.

    Here in the desert, it works perfectly. For pulling a trailer, it'll also work perfectly.
    1990 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE 3.3L LWB-- 222,222 miles and counting ......
    Still Going Strong


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    I don't know the layout on a 2002, I have had 2005 and 1990, but for the radiator kind, I would definitely bypass the radiator and go to the auxiliary, Reason being it can clog so easily. I would look for the largest one that has copper or aluminum round tubes running through it, because it is much harder to clog with particles and burn up the transmission. I have had my 1990 bypassed for years and it works great. On plugging the old one, just reroute one of the hoses you disconnect to the other nozzle on the cooler and it is plugged. My 2005 cooler, not in the radiator from the factory, works so well, that after a long drive, I can take the fluid out on the stick an put it directly on my hand, it is maybe 100 degrees. It is great.
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 108,000
    2000 Caravan 2.4l
    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
    1990 Dynasty 3.0 120k 1 tranny 4yrs
    1981 Dodge Aries 2.6 only new car I ever bought 225k orig 11yrs
    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
    1965 Ply Valiant V8 85k
    1964 Ply Valiant Wagon slant 6 200k 1 qt/200 miles
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    On the 2005 and up the cooler is part of the AC condensor if its a 2001 - 2004 the cooler is separate and inbetween the AC condensor and the radiator.
    Hank
    07 Dodge Caravan SXT 3.3L Gold 105,000 kms
    05 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3L Silver 165,000 kms

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTraveller View Post
    My vehicle has A/C, yet it's part of the radiator .....

    To get the best cooling. Disconnect the tranny lines from the radiator (in your case the a/c condensor ) and run it directly to the aux cooler. Use a heavy duty one (large). Plug the un-used ports on the radiator to keep the dirt out. This also helps keep the tranny heat from the engine.

    Here in the desert, it works perfectly. For pulling a trailer, it'll also work perfectly.
    Mine, and EVERYone I have ever seen is also part of the radiator.
    Don't know about yours chubber...
    Well the Guy I was referring to was a Mechanical enginer specializing in thermal dynamics. Specifically the themal conducting characteristics of the Mk48 (adcap) / Mk50 torpedo.
    I THINK he kinda knew what he was talking about.
    My guess was that if you were towing something REALLY heavy the add-on cooler would suck off enough heat from the fluid (prior to the radiator) so that the radiator could hanlde the rest as if it were a normal functioning occasion (non-stressed towing). Without it I woud assume what I said was correct, or the radiator would NOT cool the fluid down enough, and would return heated (abnormal) fluid back to the tranny.

    Anyway I took his word and my tranny lasted till I junked the car, and I NEVER had to change the fluid... (well after the initial change). Never was burnt, or abnormally hot to the touch... EVEN in the summer while loaded up. If you touched the cooler you could feel the thermal difference between the input and output, proving that it was doing SOMETHING. Perhaps you are correct, in that the radiator brought the temp UP to 200.
    in that you could be correct.
    2002 T&C LX
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    3.3L
    4 speed xmission

    2008 DC EXT
    All the farkles
    4.0L
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    Sto-n-go

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    What?
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 108,000
    2000 Caravan 2.4l
    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
    1990 Dynasty 3.0 120k 1 tranny 4yrs
    1981 Dodge Aries 2.6 only new car I ever bought 225k orig 11yrs
    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
    1965 Ply Valiant V8 85k
    1964 Ply Valiant Wagon slant 6 200k 1 qt/200 miles
    1969 Corvair convertible 4 carb

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    None of our gen 4 vans have the transmission cooler as part of the radiator. Its a separate unit 2001 - 2004 and built into the lower part of the ac condensor 2005 and up.
    Hank
    07 Dodge Caravan SXT 3.3L Gold 105,000 kms
    05 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3L Silver 165,000 kms

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