Best Trans Cooler

Delor

Original poster
Member
Jul 11, 2012
12
I have a 2004 Envoy XUV, I6, 2WD that I use to tow my pop-up camper. I have towed quite a bit and never had any issues, but I am seriously considering adding an aux cooler, just for the peace of mind (and potential upgrade in camper, if the finance department (aka DW) ok's the request). With that being said, I am a bit of a cheap skate and don't want to spend a ton on a cooler and install. What is the suggested combo of best cooler that I can still install myself? Also, what is the recommended order for plumbing it in?

Thanks!
 

am-radio

Member
Apr 24, 2012
178
There is lots of threads on this. You might want to consider a cooler with a bypass if you live in cold areas. To plumb in, most people go in series with the stock cooler in the bottom of the rad. From tranny to stock cooler then to aux cooler then back to tranny.
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
pcmforless sells the quick release fittings so you don't neeed to hack up the factory lines.

i have had no issues with B&M coolers
 
Dec 4, 2011
520
Tru-Cool makes a good unit with bypass for those chilly days. The 4589 fits real nice in my Denali and still has over 20,000 lb capacity.
 

Delor

Original poster
Member
Jul 11, 2012
12
I live in Southern Indiana. Although we do get some cold days and some snow, it isn't like months on end like in Michigan or other northern states... Would a bypass really be needed or is it just another thing to add for some insurance?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
In central and SE Indiana where my truck is mainly, I did not do a bypass cooler. Just a Hayden from Advance Auto. It seems to warm up enough on my current 15 mile commute so that i dont worry about it. If worse comes to worse i will stick some cardboard or aluminum behind the grill to block airflow to it.
 
Dec 4, 2011
520
Delor said:
I live in Southern Indiana. Although we do get some cold days and some snow, it isn't like months on end like in Michigan or other northern states... Would a bypass really be needed or is it just another thing to add for some insurance?

Sorry it took so long to get back. Chilly is -35 (don't care if it is F or C both cold). Since the bypass is in auto mode at all times I don't have to worry in the winter. If you live where the climate is a little easier to live in then again it doesn't matter if the bypass cuts in or not. I don't want to have to try and cover it up on the cold days.

Coolers are very CHEAP insurance, Tranny's are very EXPENSIVE to fix and HEAT KILLS tranny's. Just my :twocents:
 

Delor

Original poster
Member
Jul 11, 2012
12
So I think I am going to go ahead and get one. Is this something that is pretty easy to install or is it better to have someone who knows what they are doing add it? I am mildly mechanically inclined. (I can do brakes, oil changes, TB cleaning, spark plugs, etc). I had someone else replace the fan clutch and thermostat though...
 
Dec 4, 2011
520
Delor said:
So I think I am going to go ahead and get one. Is this something that is pretty easy to install or is it better to have someone who knows what they are doing add it? I am mildly mechanically inclined. (I can do brakes, oil changes, TB cleaning, spark plugs, etc). I had someone else replace the fan clutch and thermostat though...

If you have some mechanical skills this will be an EASY. Mine fits in front of the radiator on the drivers side. I needed to do a very very small amount of cutting to get it to fit in. Just remember as people have said- tranny to radiator (passenger side) out of radiator (drivers side) to cooler and then back to tranny. Why not take this opportunity to change the filter in the tranny and all the fluid (would suggest synthetic). This needs to be done every 50K miles or so. Just get the proper filter for your pan, the vin # should help the parts guy get the proper parts.

Good Luck, don't think you will need it though. :thumbsup:
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
get the quick release fittings and it is plug-and-play. the only ingenuity you need is for mounting the cooler somewhere
 

Delor

Original poster
Member
Jul 11, 2012
12
jimmyjam said:
get the quick release fittings and it is plug-and-play. the only ingenuity you need is for mounting the cooler somewhere

Where is the best place to mount it (and don't say under hood or in front of radiator... I got that already! lol) and how does it mount? (screw it in somewhere?). I am currently looking at this one. Thoughts?
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
like i said, it requires a little bit of ingenuity. they usually come with these zip tie things that you put through your condenser coil. i wouldn't recommend using them personally. go to the hardware store, get some 1"x3/16" aluminum strips and screw it to your radiator support.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
I have mine in front of pass side and it is attached via 3 sturdy zipties. No issue even with the bouncing around my truck endures.
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
i have mine mounted behind the bumper duct with a fan that I don't think ever turns on... :confused:
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HARDTRAILZ said:
I have mine in front of pass side and it is attached via 3 sturdy zipties. No issue even with the bouncing around my truck endures.

that sounds good; i just wanted to clarify my earlier statement, i don't think mounting it with zip ties is a bad idea, i just don't like using the condenser tubes/fins as your mounting surface. i'd hate to lose AC for even half a day down here in FLA
 

lint

Member
Dec 4, 2011
155
LOL Oh that was you''jimmyjam''' I was close ,under the bumper ,fender,, sorry ... That is a nice job . clean ,does not restrict air flow .
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
well i'm not the first, a lot of ss guys mount them here. pcmforless sells a kit for mounting in this location if you're lazy :undecided:
 
Dec 4, 2011
520

Delor

Original poster
Member
Jul 11, 2012
12
I just purchased the Tru -Cool 4589 online. Hopefully I can get it installed in 2 weeks when I finally have a weekend off!
 

Lima Tango

Member
Dec 4, 2011
242
marshall@pcm said:
Ours are at the bottom of this page...

Performance Parts

This was what I used, and I was very happy with it. Took all the guesswork out of mounting the cooler with supplied bracketry and hardware. Zero line cutting required, they provided all the factory style connectors needed, really made for a clean install. Immediately visible results, 20-30 degrees lower trans temps, not a single drip or leak :smile:
 

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