Trans Temps ... my mini report

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
I posted this in another thread but thought I should post one here in its own thread with its own title... mods please forgive my forum newbism if I have broke some kind of rule...

copy / pasted from the other thread : --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have a ScanGuage connected to my truck and have been monitoring TFT for the past 12 to 14 months. I have NOT installed my PCM4Less unit yet but will do it this spring. This is what I found in general:

+20 to +30c in general the trans temp will run approx 190f to 200f on the highway (and up to 210f - 215f sitting in bumper to bumper) with 2 people in the truck.
- in the same temps When towing my trailer with 3 bikes and 3 people and loaded with gear, it is about 200f-210f freeway and generally 220f'ish in bumper to bumper. On long grades in the mountains I have seen it hit a high of 225-230f, when it goes above 220f I usually slow it down. And I am climbing it in 3rd (not OD). I am usually doing whatever the speed limit is or +5mph over the limit. I don't bother thinking of the mileage.

in the +10 to +19c range the are in the 180fto 190f range with 2 people in the truck and 20f warmer in bumper to bumper
- when towing it is still in the 200-210f, doesn't seem to change

in the 0 to +9c range the temps are now at 150-160f with 2 people and I have NEVER seen it above 170f even in bumper to bumper
- when towing at this temp it is still in the 190-210f range

from approx -10 to 0 the trans temps are in the 150-160f range but it takes a really long time to get there (approx 15km of highway driving). bumper to bumper traffic no longer has affect on trans temp
- towing at this temp is in the neighborhood of 180-200f.

from -20 to -10c temps still make it to 150-160f but takes even longer. My commute used to be approx 120km for 1 way and it would take about half the drive before it got to those temps, so approx 60km.
- never towed at this temp

from -30c to -20c temps would make only 140-150f and would take my ENTIRE 120km commute to get there. It does get to about 100f VERY EASILY but from 100f up to 140f/150f it takes forever.

I never drove at -40c so cannot tell you what it would take.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

new stuff as of April Easter long weekend 2012 :

background data: I'm towing 3 bikes on a trailer. Guestmate is that the whole shebang weighs in about 2500-3000 lbs... with this combo of bikes for the weekend. I towed from Toronto, Canada all the way down Robbinsville, NC ... guestimate approx 2000 miles round trip for the weekend.

- 27c was the hottest it got down in NC / TN while down there this past Easter weekend. THE HOTTEST, the tranny every got was 194f ... this was on US129 at Deals Gap towing thru the DRAGON going approx 25-30mph and I locked it into 2nd gear.
- Once I cruised down the mountain on the other side it only took a few minutes to bring the temps down to 180f ...
- at the same 27c on the interstate going approx 65-70mph the trans temps were approx 175-179f.
- In Kentucky on I-75 where the speed limit is 70mph I was doing about 76 or 77mph where the ambient air temp was approx 17-20c I was almost constantly between 159f and 169f (up and down hills)
- going further north in Ohio / PA / NY where the ambient temps were approx 50f and my cruising approx 70-72mph I was constantly 149f to 163f


For day to day use I have found that my digits are now approx 20-30f BELOW what I had reported pre-cooler installed in all cases. We had a couple of cold days in March where the temps were in the -10c range and even tho I drove 65km to visit my GF, my trans temps never got above 125f.




Based on these numbers, I'd say a tranny cooler is MANDATORY for any amount of towing... the PCM cooler really does work even in that area by the lower front bumper. It dropped the overall trans temps to a VERY safe number...
 

03envoy

Member
Dec 25, 2011
537
See I tow 2 sleds and a 2 place trailer up to Gaylord approximately 500 miles round trip. Temps in the 20's to -teens. I believe I need a trans cooler what do you think? I dont have a scanguage just yet, so I haven't seen my trans temp.. But what do you think?
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
03envoy said:
See I tow 2 sleds and a 2 place trailer up to Gaylord approximately 500 miles round trip. Temps in the 20's to -teens. I believe I need a trans cooler what do you think? I dont have a scanguage just yet, so I haven't seen my trans temp.. But what do you think?

My guess would be that if your trailer is approx same as my 3000 lbs of motorcycles that you would get the same results as what I got in my report for -10c to 0c (0c is 32f btw) ... -10c is about 18f as a reference...

so pre-cooler install if I was getting 180f to 200f and I am consistently now getting 25-30f cooler then before then I SHOULD be getting 155f to 175f when I tow this winter with my winter fun stuff ... which is what I am guessing you would get with your setup...

I think my logic works out, what do you think ?
 

03envoy

Member
Dec 25, 2011
537
canadianbacon said:
My guess would be that if your trailer is approx same as my 3000 lbs of motorcycles that you would get the same results as what I got in my report for -10c to 0c (0c is 32f btw) ... -10c is about 18f as a reference...

so pre-cooler install if I was getting 180f to 200f and I am consistently now getting 25-30f cooler then before then I SHOULD be getting 155f to 175f when I tow this winter with my winter fun stuff ... which is what I am guessing you would get with your setup...

I think my logic works out, what do you think ?



Yes, I believe it does. This will be my next mod. It's just tapping into the cooler lines and small hole drilling...:biggrin:
 

MDBT

Member
Jan 26, 2012
223
I've been trying to learn more about these and whether I will require an aftermarket trans cooler, your vehicle is very similar to mine so your data is quite relevant to me and I appreciate you sharing it.


I have some questions/thoughts on the matter and would appreciate your and the peanut gallery's input.

As I understand it the only option we have is the front mount cooler as opposed to the brake duct cooler on the SS model. Is your cooler mounted inline with the factory cooler? Is the aftermarket cooler before or after the factory cooler? The drop to 125f worries me a bit, I am under the impression that 160f is the optimal temp for the trans and I'm not sure if 125f is too cold. I am also under the impression that mounting the cooler inline before the factory cooler would lower temps and if it got too cool the factory cooler location would gather heat from the radiator and bring temps back closer to optimal ranges.

My trailer will be in the same weight range, no more than 3500. But I will have a big wind sail on the back in the form of a side by side UTV.

Also, when towing at highway speeds are you using the 4th/overdrive gear or staying in 3? I did see you mention you dropped down to 2nd gear in some situations.

I intend to pick up either a scanguage or dashhawk to monitor my temps regardless.
 

SBUBandit

Member
Dec 5, 2011
597
Do you have any type of thermostat on the cooler to prevent fluid from going through it until the trans is up to operating temp?
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
MDBT said:
I've been trying to learn more about these and whether I will require an aftermarket trans cooler, your vehicle is very similar to mine so your data is quite relevant to me and I appreciate you sharing it.


I have some questions/thoughts on the matter and would appreciate your and the peanut gallery's input.

As I understand it the only option we have is the front mount cooler as opposed to the brake duct cooler on the SS model. Is your cooler mounted inline with the factory cooler? Is the aftermarket cooler before or after the factory cooler? The drop to 125f worries me a bit, I am under the impression that 160f is the optimal temp for the trans and I'm not sure if 125f is too cold. I am also under the impression that mounting the cooler inline before the factory cooler would lower temps and if it got too cool the factory cooler location would gather heat from the radiator and bring temps back closer to optimal ranges.

My trailer will be in the same weight range, no more than 3500. But I will have a big wind sail on the back in the form of a side by side UTV.

Also, when towing at highway speeds are you using the 4th/overdrive gear or staying in 3? I did see you mention you dropped down to 2nd gear in some situations.

I intend to pick up either a scanguage or dashhawk to monitor my temps regardless.


that assumption that we cannot use the brake duct cooler is false... i bought the PCM4Less unit that fits into the brake duct and it fits fine. Its a bit tight but it does fit. I mounted it with the instruction set from PCM4Less so tranny to radiator and radiator to aux cooler and then back to the transmission.


I am not too worried about the 125f ... if you are very worried about it then you can just put a piece of cardboard over the cooler and zip tie it on for the wintertime ... since I can access the cooler without jacking it up it would take a minute to cardboard it up...


When towing I am on 4th / overdrive unless I am climbing a hill. The transmission never hunts gears for me. I put it into 2nd gear when I am towing in the mountains on twisty roads that are 30mph ...
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
SBUBandit said:
Do you have any type of thermostat on the cooler to prevent fluid from going through it until the trans is up to operating temp?

no i do not, the cooler is a tru-cool M7B unit and has a built in bypass that when cold it will flow directly from inlet to outlet (as i understand it) when it gets hotter the fluid uses more of the cooler. This is what was explained to me.
 

Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
FWIW, when the selector is in 2, the transmission will ONLY be in 2nd gear. It's the 2nd gear start feature.

I'd tow with the selector in 3, unless I absolutely wanted to stay in 2nd gear.

Mike
 

steve

Member
Mar 26, 2012
25
I tow a 25ft 4500-5000lb loaded TT & tow once a year from MA to FL. My scangauge usually stays between 184-195 depending on the whether or not we are stuck in traffic. The hottest temp I've had since installing my B&M tranny cooler was 215 & that was in constant stop and go traffic in FL at about 85F. I always tow in 3rd & try to stay at 2500 rpms.
 

03envoy

Member
Dec 25, 2011
537
So when not towing in the winter, and just city driving do you suggest using a cardboard piece? On the highway just leave the cooler with no cardboard? This is without towing...
 

Instrumental

Member
Jan 29, 2012
268
Why not run the cooler before the radiator? It takes load off of the radiator, and if it is cold it brings the temp back up to the radiator temp on the way through. It's how I plan to install mine, is there a reason not to?
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
Bartonmd said:
FWIW, when the selector is in 2, the transmission will ONLY be in 2nd gear. It's the 2nd gear start feature.

I'd tow with the selector in 3, unless I absolutely wanted to stay in 2nd gear.

Mike

I towed it in 2nd on US129 because I wanted to ensure it was locked in ... This is where I was, tell me you wouldn't lock it into 2nd :tongue:

Google Maps
 

MDBT

Member
Jan 26, 2012
223
Instrumental said:
Why not run the cooler before the radiator? It takes load off of the radiator, and if it is cold it brings the temp back up to the radiator temp on the way through. It's how I plan to install mine, is there a reason not to?

I assume it has to do with the ease of tying it in, and that the PCM4less kit comes plug and play (no cutting of the OEM trans lines from what I understand) to run AFTER the factory cooler.

Now that I know I can run the brake duct cooler I think that's the way I'm going to go.
 

03envoy

Member
Dec 25, 2011
537
Instrumental said:
Why not run the cooler before the radiator? It takes load off of the radiator, and if it is cold it brings the temp back up to the radiator temp on the way through. It's how I plan to install mine, is there a reason not to?


That's what would like to do but idk how to run the lines..
 

steve

Member
Mar 26, 2012
25
I wouldn't worry about a cardboard piece or taking load off the radiator. The radiator is a copper tube with aluminum fins & no moving parts. To me taking a load off it doesnt accomplish anything. I installed after the radiator to maximize cooling. On the coldest days we've had here in New England I've never had a fluid temp below 156 once the truck was running & got warmed up.
 
Dec 4, 2011
520
It is my understanding after running Tranny coolers and towing for 30 years (with no failures) that you run the cooler after the "in radiator" cooler and then back to the tranny. With our trucks the Passenger side is the inlet and the Drivers side is the outlet. Therefore the cooler would be spliced in after the tranny line exits the radiator on the Drivers side and then back to the Tranny. We experience -40 (doesn't matter C or F) that is why I choose a Tru-Cool. Marketing propaganda states that it has a cold weather bypass built in. I have the largest cooler that will fit (4589) with very little modification.

The radiator should be more than capable of handling the load placed upon it by the Radiator Tranny Cooler and considering that the external unit will reduce the overall temps I wouldn't place the external unit in the line from the tranny to the radiator.

On another side some other folks have worried about changing the oil in the cooler lines and the in radiator cooler. The volume of this oil will be so small it would not be a concern to me to make sure it was changed. I would suggest when installing a cooler, change the filter in the tranny pan, install a drain plug for next time, and use whatever fluid you deem to offer the best performance. I prefer AMSOIL Synthetic Tranny Fluid. I would also give a :thumbsup: to any of the premium brands. They may cost a little more but compared to a transmission CHEAP.

:twocents:
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
Bartonmd said:
FWIW, when the selector is in 2, the transmission will ONLY be in 2nd gear. It's the 2nd gear start feature.

I'd tow with the selector in 3, unless I absolutely wanted to stay in 2nd gear.

Mike

this is where i was when i locked it into 2nd gear ... 25-30mph of slow crawling and undulating thru one of (if not the) twistiest roads in north america :

Deals Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blount, Tennessee 37882, United States - Google Maps

311 corners in 11 miles going up and down a mountain :tongue:
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
03envoy said:
So when not towing in the winter, and just city driving do you suggest using a cardboard piece? On the highway just leave the cooler with no cardboard? This is without towing...

you could do this if you want to ... it was only a suggestion to those that believe the trans should be warmer in wintertime... i might if i don't see my trans fluid getting to at least 120f .. its below 100f i can see that as not good but i'll monitor the situation next winter ... i installed my cooler AFTER the winter here
 

canadianbacon

Original poster
Member
Jan 23, 2012
15
MDBT said:
I assume it has to do with the ease of tying it in, and that the PCM4less kit comes plug and play (no cutting of the OEM trans lines from what I understand) to run AFTER the factory cooler.

Now that I know I can run the brake duct cooler I think that's the way I'm going to go.

there is no real 'cutting' to the kit, just some removal of items that you don't need and it is literally plug and play ... just remember to torque to spec and that's it... the first day i put it on a i noticed a slight drip and i found the leak to be i tightened it but i did not go back to tighten it after the system had built some heat.... i retorqued all the bolts again and in 5k miles it has not leaked...

i went with the black braided line kit...

i am debating drilling some holes in the fender well liner that is behind the cooler itself... it would provide more of an exit route for the hot air... as yet i have not done it since i wanted to see how well it would do as is... it seems to work pretty well but i have yet to tow in extreme conditions 30-40c+
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,442
Posts
639,383
Members
18,664
Latest member
SooMenn22

Members Online