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Transmission cooler install FAIL

Thread in 'Towing' started by DawnVic M, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. DawnVic M

    DawnVic M Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    Took the ST to a transmission shop I was referred to in order to have a tranny cooler installed in preparation for towing. When I picked it up they informed me thy didn't install it because there was a factory installed cooler already there. Perplexed, I left. I called my local Ford dealer and asked them to heck my VIN to see if it had the trailer package on it. They said that they couldn't tell from the records, but that all Explorers should have them. Then the light bulb lit. Apparently I wasn't clear that I wanted them to install an AUXILLIARY cooler. I am so frustrated! Going to a different shop tomorrow. Seriously though, shouldn't tranny guys know this?!?!??
     
  2. Yardsale

    Yardsale Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    "Wow."



    At the least, they should have called to advise and confirm, and they may have made a few bucks.
     
  3. Tom Schindler

    Tom Schindler Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    The Sport Trac already has an Auxilliary cooler. Look behind the grill. If you see a rectangle thing on the right side (as sitting in the drivers seat) you are looking at it.



    Gen 1 Sport Trac's NEVER has a trailer package from the factory. All (from my observation) vehicles equipped with the 4.0L SOHC engine have the cooler installed. If you had an Explorer with the 4.0L OHV engine, you didn't have it.





    Tom
     
  4. DawnVic M

    DawnVic M Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    OMG we found it on the passenger side as you said Caymen. It's a bigger unit than the third party one I bought. I guess we're good to go! The ST continues to pleasantly surprise and amaze us! And 13 years later, this wonderful forum and its members always come through for us.



    Just to confirm, this tranny cooler will suffice for towing up to the rated towing capacity of 5300 lbs?
     
  5. DawnVic M

    DawnVic M Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    OMG we found it on the passenger side as you said Caymen. It's a bigger unit than the third party one I bought. I guess we're good to go! The ST continues to pleasantly surprise and amaze us! And 13 years later, this wonderful forum and its members always come through for us.



    Just to confirm, this tranny cooler will suffice for towing up to the rated towing capacity of 5300 lbs?
     
  6. Bob McDonald

    Bob McDonald Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    I installed the additional aux tranny cooler to try and assist in keeping the fluid from getting too warm on summer days. On hot days, I would have the infamous 'bump' shift into 1st gear (or no shift at all and the Trac would try a take off in 2nd or 3rd), and the occasional O/D blinking light of doom.



    I have been very happy with the added cooling help. I think it has helped make the tranny last. 204K on the Trac so far.



     
  7. Tom Schindler

    Tom Schindler Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    Vic,



    I have towed 8,000 pounds with mine. Mind you, it wasn't across the country, but 8,000 lbs is still 8,000 Lbs.



    Go ahead and install the other one if it makes you feel better.





    Tom
     
  8. Scott Tanner

    Scott Tanner Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    As Tom said, all tracs were equipped the same back then. The factory cooler is marginal, especially since you're going to go up hills. You may want to see how it goes, but I put in an additional cooler in series with my factory one. I towed my RV up the I-26 hill near Ashville SC and at the top, the trans fluid was smoking when I stopped at the rest area to cool. Haven't had an issue since,,



    also, you may want to test out the clutch fan on your motor. it should make a whirrig sound at initial start for a little while, then anytime when the engine's warm and you're in traffic. Mine went south last year, and it kept overheating with the /c on sitting at lights. Installed a new one and what a difference....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2013
  9. Gavin Allan

    Gavin Allan Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    My understanding is that auxilary cooler should be installed upstream from the radiator cooler. The idea is that a consistent temperature is best, and transmissions work best with warm fluid. The aux coolers can remove all the heat they can, but the inner radiator cooler may actually "add heat" to the fluid, especially in winter, to keep the transmission fluid temp consistent. The net effect is additional cooling for the cooling system of the truck, so it will not hurt anything, but always help.
     
  10. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    Vic,

    All Gen-1 Sport Tracs have an additional transmission cooler mounted in front of the radiator/AC condenser. However if you are towing I would still advise getting an addition transmission cooler installed, since keeping the tranny fluid cool is critical to the transmission life span.



    You can either add an additional tranny cooler to help the existing tranny cooler, or simply remove the stock tranny cooler and replace it with a much larger tranny cooler.



    ....Richard
     
  11. Chris Taylor

    Chris Taylor Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    Here's a non-scientific test I did with mine a couple of years ago.



    Some observations:



    Conditions

    '03ST, 4:10 rear, 4x4, 255/R70-16 Michelin LTX M/S, towing 3800lb trailer with a frontal dimensions of 8'x7', 300lbs of gear in ST, all weights measured on a scale, additional 8400BTU tranny cooler, Air temp for all measurment about 85F, full synthetic tranny fluid, all temps measured at 55-60 mph



    Flatland Non-towing OD OFF: Tranny temps in the 140-145 range. Water temp 195.

    Flatland Non-towing OD ON: Tranny temps in the 140-145 range. Water temp 190.



    Flatland Towing OD OFF Tranny temp 160. Water temp 200.

    Flatland Towing OD ON Tranny temp 165. Water temp 195-200.



    Mountain Towing: OD ON Tranny was hunting as I was going over moderate ups and downs. Left OD on until tranny temp got to 195, and then switched it off to let things cool down. Water temps peaked at 215. Not possible to leave on in steep uphill because it would automatically downshift out of OD and stay out...



    Mountain Towing: OD OFF Going up 4-6% grades for about 30 miles. Let tranny downshift as needed to maintain 55-60 mph. Tranny temp peaked at 183. Water temp at 216. Had no problem keeping up the speed, but I was at ~ 4200 rpm. I let the ST choose what gear to be in. I did not manually downshift.



    Observations: The more the tranny had to shift, the faster the tranny temp went up, especially if is was under a heavy load when it shifted. 10 degree rises in 30 seconds was not uncommon. Water temp also went up with rpm and amount of work the engine was having to do(measured by my feel of the gas pedal as the cruise was working to keep it at speed). Tranny temps took a while to cool down after getting heated up(5-15 minutes). Water temp came down fast after the load was off(2-5 minutes).



    After 12 hours of driving in mountains, rolling hills and dead flat NW Ohio, a couple of things became clear. If the tranny is not downshifting out of OD on highway overpasses on flat land(especially if fighting a headwind, it will do that..), then leave it in OD. As it starts to downshift on slight hills, use your judgement, but even downshifting once every 10 minutes is enough to keep the tranny temps elevated. In the hills, remember that every time it shifts, it makes heat. OD is just another shift, and more heat. Best to leave it off. In the mountains, no doubt, leave it off and let the temps recover whenever possible on the easier stretches.



    And... If you are going to tow any distances or in the mountains, an additional tranny cooler WILL be a big asset. Mine dropped tranny temps by 20 degrees in nontowing and towing, and allowed faster cooling when things did heat up than just the stock one alone...



    This was my 1st time towing in mountains with the ST, and although I may have been ok with just the stock cooler, the Scan Guage showed what was really going on.





     
  12. EddieS'04

    EddieS'04 Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner 2 Wheel Drive V6 Engine

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    Some of the newer aux-coolers, look small. Hayden is one of them. It has to do with way the fluid passes thru, restrictive flat tubing. Slowing the fluid for more cooling.



    Older styles are round tubular. The fluid passes thru faster, less retention time. There are some that are round tube. With spirals internaly. That slows the fluid for retention time for more cooling.



    Not sure what our OEM coolers are. FYI, more cooling is necesary if you run a high stall torque-convertor.
     
  13. Todd Z

    Todd Z Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V6 Engine V8 Engine

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    I added the second cooler any way !! My temps racing and towing NEVER get above 175...... I have the cooler with the fan built in and the 175 thermastatic fan. Works great.....



    Todd Z
     
  14. chr$67

    chr$67 Active Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Todd, where did you install the cooler? Can you post a pic?
     
  15. Bob McDonald

    Bob McDonald Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    Todd has pictures of the trans cooler in his library. look inside the Tranny Cooler folder for them.

     
  16. chr$67

    chr$67 Active Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Got it, Thanks. Looking for a Gen 2 install. Wanting to see the tubing arrangement. Hoping to make a custom hose with the AN8 on one end and the quick disconnect on the other.

     
  17. Velo Sprout

    Velo Sprout Member

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    Yes.
     
  18. Todd Z

    Todd Z Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V6 Engine V8 Engine

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    I would hard pipe it and leave it in there....
     

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