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Old 12-19-2007, 11:42 AM
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How big a trans cooler do I need?

Getting ready to buy a trans cooler for my '53 sedan. It has the original flathead radiator, but I have transplanted a 302 and C-4. How big a cooler for the trans do I need and where should it be mounted. (I'm going to use a pusher electric fan). FYI, the engine is stock and the trans is an Art Carr I bought used. Thanks, Mike

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Old 12-19-2007, 02:46 PM
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Mount your cooler in front of the radiator (and your pusher fan). There is no such thing as too big a tranny cooler. The more the better.

As a side note, and I'm not trying to be critical, a puller fan is always better than a puller, don't you have enough room to mount a puller?

Bill
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:19 PM
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How big a trans cooler do I need?

why do you think you need a cooler ?
the radiator does not actually cool the fluid
on radiators that have lines from trans .
it's purpose is to heat the trans fluid to a better operating temp .
if you pull heavy loads , you place these cooler coils ,in the
line to bring temp down ,but you still run it through the radiator for warm up .
if you buy a new cooler with the directions , yea photo's ,
you will see.
are you drag racing ,or cruising ,or pulling heavy loads ?
i've run a line bent in a U shape ,at the drags and never
had a burning of the fluid .
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:38 AM
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re: How big a trans coller do I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by busterwivell
Mount your cooler in front of the radiator (and your pusher fan). There is no such thing as too big a tranny cooler. The more the better.

As a side note, and I'm not trying to be critical, a puller fan is always better than a puller, don't you have enough room to mount a puller?

Bill
Space is the problem, if I had the room, I'd use a water pump mounted flex fan. A pusher is probably all I have room for. Did you mean to say I say I should mount the cooler in front of the pusher? Seem the pusher should blow through both the cooler and radiator; am I right?

Mike
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:40 PM
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He means put the tranny cooler in front of the pusher... meaning that it goes grille, tranny cooler, fan, radiator. The pusher fan will not be sufficient to cool the engine, let alone if you space it away the thickness of the trans cooler. The tranny cooler will be fine on its own.

Go big. You'll hear about people saying that too cool is bad, but don't worry. A tranny does a fine job of heating up fluid. I used a big Derale 13,000-lb GVW cooler with its own dedicated 10" fan in a 66 Bonneville. Any thoughts about it being too cool were put to rest when I almost burned my hand on the TC one day changing the oil.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:54 PM
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re: How big a trans cooler do I need?

Thanks for the clarification. I should have figured that out for myself. I know pusher fans are not the most efficient setup, and the closer to the radiator, the better. Thanks again.
Mike
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:05 PM
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Yup...........what Curtis said. I'll be interested in seeing what you wind up with cooling wise. I hope you'll run cool enough in bumper to bumper traffic. I had a space issue in a Studebaker that was a real pain till we got it cured. Put in an aluminum radiator, removed shroud and installed a pusher, would up modifying the core support to push the radiator forward an inch or so, and mounted a puller. Problem solved. I hope you get luckier. Running hot can take some of the fun out of hotrodding..........Good Luck!
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:14 PM
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Not exactly the answer you are looking for ... BUT I suggest buying a new, larger radiator with the cooler already in the bottom. A new Mustang radiator from the 60's is not a lot of money. Or one from a full size Ford with a SBF ... and automatic. Look in a radiator book and find something that would adapt easily ...

.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busterwivell
Mount your cooler in front of the radiator (and your pusher fan). There is no such thing as too big a tranny cooler. The more the better.

As a side note, and I'm not trying to be critical, a puller fan is always better than a puller, don't you have enough room to mount a puller?

Bill
I will have to disagree with you there on the cooler thing. Reason, here in daytona buddy of mine has a 05 vette with a 408 runs low 10s on motor he has a tranny from a well known company 4l60E and had one of the biggest coolers with a fan you could squeeze in front of the car. Locked the trans would run 240, sent the verter back had it checked converter was fine trans was shipped back sent us another one still overheated. Finally he took the car trailered it to Indiana and they tested it turns out the cooler was to large and flowed to much volume it didnt allow the fluid to stay in the cooler long enough to cool it. they put a smaller cooler on it and it now runs 180 unlocked with w PI tripple disc 4000 stall. The company which I will say is a competitor to me built him another tranny after they figured out the heating issue very good company in my opinion. But moral of the story is the cooler can be to large.
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:22 PM
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re: How big a trans cooler do I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
Not exactly the answer you are looking for ... BUT I suggest buying a new, larger radiator with the cooler already in the bottom. A new Mustang radiator from the 60's is not a lot of money. Or one from a full size Ford with a SBF ... and automatic. Look in a radiator book and find something that would adapt easily ...

.
Thanks for the advice. I have done some research and found a mid 70s F-Series truck radiator that will fill the bill nicely. It will fit my space requirements and allow me to use the water pump driven flex fan. It also has the built in trans cooler and is about $160 new! I used the dimensions from the web site (www.yourautocoolingsource.com) and made a plywood mock-up of the piece. Best part is that I don't have to do any major cutting to make it work; not a bolt-in item, but very close. Thanks again for all the help, I'll be ordering the new radiator after Christmas. Mike K.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:55 AM
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Re: How big a trans cooler do I need?

Well, I took the advice provided and installed a new radiator with a built in trans cooler. It worked well and was cheaper than converting the old flat-head radiator and buying a separate cooler & electric fan. I was able to use a waterpump mounted fan too. Now it's on to hoses, cooler lines, brakes, body work...man, there's a lot left to do.

Mike
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt olds
why do you think you need a cooler ?
the radiator does not actually cool the fluid
on radiators that have lines from trans .
it's purpose is to heat the trans fluid to a better operating temp .
if you pull heavy loads , you place these cooler coils ,in the
line to bring temp down ,but you still run it through the radiator for warm up .
if you buy a new cooler with the directions , yea photo's ,
you will see.
are you drag racing ,or cruising ,or pulling heavy loads ?
i've run a line bent in a U shape ,at the drags and never
had a burning of the fluid .
Why then dont they call it a transmission heater.
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt olds
why do you think you need a cooler ?
the radiator does not actually cool the fluid
on radiators that have lines from trans .
it's purpose is to heat the trans fluid to a better operating temp .
if you pull heavy loads , you place these cooler coils ,in the
line to bring temp down ,but you still run it through the radiator for warm up .
if you buy a new cooler with the directions , yea photo's ,
you will see.
are you drag racing ,or cruising ,or pulling heavy loads ?
i've run a line bent in a U shape ,at the drags and never
had a burning of the fluid .

Hate to disagree with you here, but the purpose of the trans cooler mounted in the radiator is not to heat the fluid, it is to cool it. ALL internal (inside the radiator) coolers are plumbed into the cold side of the radiator. The reason for this is because the fluid coming out of the trans will be hotter than the coolant going back into the engine. Since heat always flows from hot to cold, the coolant will absorb some of the heat from the trans fluid before it is pumped back to the trans. The only problem with this, is that the fluid will only be cooled to near the temp of the returning coolant. If for whatever reason you're running pretty hot, so will your trans. It was mentioned somewhere else in this thread, and I agree, you can never overcool an automatic transmission. Get the biggest cooler you can. If you have both an internal and an external cooler, it is always recommended that the external cooler be plumbed in AFTER, not before the internal cooler, for best cooling. For extremely cold weather operation, you can add a thermostat for the external cooler so it will be bypassed until there is enough temp in the fluid to require the extra cooling. If you plumb it in before the internal cooler in the radiator, you are just defeating the purpose of the external cooler. I do know of several racers that loop the cooler lines for the trans together without a cooler for drag racing. They do get away with it, but whether you believe it or not, that fluid is HOT after just one run. What heats it up is the slippage in the torque converter. The trans itself heats the fluid a bit, but not that much. Want to watch a trans destroy itself? Go do some heavy towing with the smallest cooler you can get, and make sure you have a good hill to pull. Make sure you have a temp guage as well. I'll bet that the temp shoots over 200 degrees within a 1/4 of a mile, and maxes out the guage long before the top of the hill. Do that a couple of times and I'll guarantee you that the trans will fail. I've seen it more times than I care to count. The critical temp for an auto trans is around 200-210 degrees. For every 20* of fluid temp above that, trans life is shortened by half. In other words, if a trans is run for 50,000 at 200*, at 220*, it could fail at 25,000 (approximately). The reverse is true for temp reduction. For every reduction in temp of 20*, trans life is roughly doubled. Keep in mind, this is under normal driving conditions, and does not take into account abuse or other forms of extreme usage.

As far as fans go, pullers with proper shrouding are best. Extra capacity pans, preferably cast aluminum, are great as well. Stay away from chrome steel pans, as they actually retain heat.

Mark

Last edited by predator carb guru; 01-22-2008 at 08:04 PM.
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