Trans fluid cooler

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by rileyjr16, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 New Member

    Looking into doing a transmission fluid cooler mod here soon like maybe late September early October.

    Definitely going to put in an oversized cooler probably an electric fan to help cool it off when it's really hot outside. Finding kits on eBay for 30$-40$ for just the unit with no fan. Just no clue as to what size or brand I should go with. Also looking into doing an electric fan mod on the radiator too later on.

    Just looking for input on the size and brand of the cooler I should use
    or be comfortable spending money on.
  2. vncj96

    vncj96 New Member

    I cant imagine there is room for a fan that is solely for the tranny cooler, never even heard of that, they just get mounted to the front side of the radiator. Unless your towing something ungodly big for your truck and driving like a maniac a factory tranny cooler is just fine. You could probably pick up all the parts needed to add IF you don't already have a factory cooler, pretty cheap at a good salvage yard. they are only about 12" x 12" and are easy to spot. As far as adding an electric fan in place of the engine driven fan, you have lots of options. You can buy a prefab kit or look in the write up section and see how to wire it yourself using a Ford Taures 3.8 radiator dual fan.

    CKNSLS New Member

  4. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    I agree about the fan...and in fact, my factory cooler was sufficient for normal driving, like vncj96 and CKNLS mention, but I will also add that if/when after you install your lift and you get substantially taller tires and not re-gear, it will also drive up tranny temp.

    When I needed to go to an after-market tranny cooler is when I put on the ~35" tires and going off-road or up paved hills in the mountains and my tranny temp sky-rocketed (and this was after I re-geared). After I swapped my factory cooler to the Tru-Cool 40k tranny cooler, I'm back to running great tranny temps and still no fan needed.

    Here is a thread that details the Tru-Cool 40k cooler....check out what members have to say; it may be an option for you.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  5. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 New Member

    I most likely won't be lifting it. But being in Virginia I run into a lot of stop and go traffic trying to get on base. The trans has 235,000 on it already. When Katelyn moves up, chances are ill be doing some mountain driving in western Virginia going camping. And if I have get orders to the west coast or somewhere else, I'll be towing a trailer loaded down with furniture and all. Electric fans are a for sure thing. Might look into the dual Taurus fans
  6. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    Oh,sorry. I was going by your list of future mods. Just of of curiosity, how hot is your tranny temp running now with your normal driving?
  7. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 New Member

    Don't know since I don't have a gauge for it. I'm taking another 2,200 round trip here in a few weeks to Mississippi and I've always just wanted a bigger one for potentially long trips or pullin the boat.
  8. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    Wow, long road trip! And with that type of use, you should be fine with just adding an OEM type of tranny cooler. It'll fit in there really nice. Also, you may want to check with some of other members here to see if anyone still has their stock cooler that may want to get rid of, as many of us here went to the Tru-Cool. If so, they may sell it to you cheap or give it to you. I ended up giving away my stock cooler to a member on this site after I changed mine out as I really didn't have a need for it any longer.

    CKNSLS New Member

    The OEM tranny cooler on my truck-2011 Silverado Crew Cab /5.3 is a joke. It's the size of a large paperback novel. It is barely adequate. He needs something a little better.
  10. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    I agree, they really are for lightweight towing (or other stressors) as that's why I changed mine out and initially recommended the tru cool to Riley to begin with. However, if it's relatively light towing at this time and he can pick one up for free and it will bolt right in, it might be another viable option for him or anyone else to consider. A tru cool and mounting kit will run about $200.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  11. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    GM's factory coolers really aren't that bad its not like Ford who uses tube and fin coolers on their truck at least GM uses stacked plate coolers. Also it isn't too hard to install a thin aux fan in front of the cooler as long as you watch your clearances. on the late 90's trucks there's over an inch of space between the cooler and grill where a small flex-a-lite fan or pro-comp fan could fit.
  12. CKNSLS

    CKNSLS New Member

    Literally my cooler is the size of a large print paperback novel. On the sticker I have the HD trailering pkg. There is no way in you know where that cooler is what's needed to get the job done. I know, I just completed a 8,000 mile -8 month towing trip (5,500 pound travel trailer) with my truck, and if I would have done it in the summer months I would have had issues based on what my DIC was telling me.

    I am all for giving credit where credit is due, I am all for pointing out when as far as I am concerned GM dropped the ball to save a few bucks on a larger cooler. Of course GM points out that the new Dex6 has been tested up to 275 degrees, my question is how long will the seals last under such conditions?

    A fan will not bring the tranny temperatures down significantly-unlike a larger cooler.
  13. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    I can see your point, as I did not have any heat problems until after I lifted and put the larger tires on. Re-gearing to 4:56s helped some but the extra muscle it took to move the truck kept my tranny temps higher than what they normally were prior to the changes. But then once I got onto the mountain roads and off-roading, my temps sky rocketed. Once I installed the larger cooler, temps now run cooler than before I lifted and added the larger tires.

    I guess this is one of those situations in which you need the right size for your needs. No sense in spending lots of money for something you'll never use but you certainly don't want to fall short if you're going to get up in there and do the work anyway.

    And nice to know about the fans...I've never heard of anyone doing that; good info!
  14. darnie1987

    darnie1987 New Member

    alot depends on the weight and terrain you tow in. also how you drive the truck if you were to have a built truck with a higher stall and tow its a must. i have a 3200 stall and a fully built truck i couldnt even pull 2 quads threw the mountians before mine then i got the tru-cool 40k cooled and now i can pull my dads 5800 pound boat without worrying about heat.

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