transmission cooler line R&R

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I ordered a set of lines from Rock Auto, thought I would do it on a lift before they leak on a ski trip.

i can hardly see the e-clips so ordered a tool to remove them. I thought about chasing clips around in the dark, and some sites indicate you should change them if you pull them off the disconnect.

I actually ordered the set, including the 3/8 which I think is the right one for the TB.


Lisle 22710 Disconnect Set for Jiffy-Tite Connectors from Amazon.

this will look good in the tool box.

anyone use a tool like this and have any hints?

How much fluid do you think I will need to change the lines? I am guessing only need to fill the tube and lines inside the radiator.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
meerschm said:
anyone use a tool like this and have any hints?

I have the "fingertip" version(s) that are the same thing on the clip end but don't have a handle (so they can fit in close quarters). I keep a large magnetic tray right under the line when removing those clips whether I'm using that tool or the two pick method. Those clips are good at disappearing at the worst possible times!!!
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
The disconnect set came today, look pretty nice, spring loaded to clip over the line.

Also picked up a couple e-clips from the local Chevy dealer, so I should be ok. ( I figured if I did not have a spare clip one would commit suicide, or run for a floor drain, or something.)

the new lines are in the TB. (sitting in the back) I think i will spray some boltblaster or whatever I have in the spray can on the trans support bolts, and change the lines this weekend. Guess I should pick up some trans fluid before. Dexron VI
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
meerschm said:
I figured if I did not have a spare clip one would commit suicide, or run for a floor drain, or something.

Off the frame, off the floor, out the garage door and into the storm drain...nothin but net!!!!
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
well, I got into this, and decided to close her up and price the job or perhaps try again in a week or two

the tool worked great on the lines at the radiator. insert and rotate, and could see the clips disengage, then a little wiggling and the lines came loose.

i had less luck on the lines attached to the transmission.

I had it on a lift, and access to a transmission jack, so disconnected the transmission mount and cross member. could not figure out how to get the evap canister off the rail, so one of the upper bolts would not come out (interference with the evap cannister) (edit:after a quick look in the book, a BAS would do the trick on the evaporation canister (big ass screwdriver))

did manage to drop the trans an inch or so, and was able to move back the black plastic disconnect cover and insert the disconnect tool i think it was engaged right, but the lines did not want to budge. The lines on the radiator needed some encouragement, but I was a little goosey about yanking too hard on the lines, so after a few wiggles and pushes, decided to wait a while and just reattached everything and closed it up.

if the estimates I get are too high, I may read up a bit more and try again. the rear lines are pretty rusty near the front, so i still am interested in changing them as preventative maintenance.

I think i will pick up a couple of the adapters to the transmission, that way i would feel better about being more aggressive with the lines coming off the transmission.

I have new respect for Roadie et al who drive to the ends of the earth and fix whatever is wrong in the wild. I would hate to fight with these under the car on my back.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
When you got the lines, did they come with new o-rings? I am looking at the pic here - 2005 Chevy - TS0403604 Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler Pipes - and I am wondering if #9 is an o-ring or what. My lines are leaking at the radiator and I'd like to fix it, but I need to know what the o-rings are, p/n wise.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
C-ya said:
When you got the lines, did they come with new o-rings? I am looking at the pic here - 2005 Chevy - TS0403604 Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler Pipes - and I am wondering if #9 is an o-ring or what. My lines are leaking at the radiator and I'd like to fix it, but I need to know what the o-rings are, p/n wise.

looks like those are the plastic caps which go over the e-clips which hold the line in the connector.

the new lines do come with these. there is a good diagram in the manual. and some info on the OS related to how to use a pick to pull out the clips. the seal is in the adapter which is in the radiator, or in the trans. the lines slip in, and the e-clips hold the lines tight to the connector. the plastic part you referenced slides over the adapter to keep the e-clip from popping out, which would let the line come out of the connector.

the new lines come with visual lines marked on the edge of the flare for use in checking that the line is inserted properly.



http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=61963

above is the adapter the line slides into. you should be able to see the clip. this adapter screws into the radiator, and the cooler line is held in place by the clip. the plastic part you reference has to be on the tube, and then slides over the clip to keep it in place.

if you look at this
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=990777

the left side is identical to the adapter above, and the plastic part is on the right end of the tube in this photo it covers the double flare.

this one:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1022872
has a good view of the flare, if you click on next image.


it looks like the 2005 is different, and shown here:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=3887010

clip and connection to the line is the same, but attachment to radiator is different. you will need to figure out exactly where it is leaking, from where the tube goes in, or where the adapter attaches to the radiator.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
OK, thanks. It sounds like I might have to get the insert in the radiator then. Maybe the lines, too. Just gonna have to pull it apart one day and see. Like the day I do the tranny fluid/filter change.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
C-ya said:
OK, thanks. It sounds like I might have to get the insert in the radiator then. Maybe the lines, too. Just gonna have to pull it apart one day and see. Like the day I do the tranny fluid/filter change.

there are 16 figures focused on these connectors in the manual. I have a paper copy, but you can download a batch from someplace here.

or check this out:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2010-03-25_001811_cdool.pdf
:smile:
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Four hours on the lift did the trick yesterday.

I took a few photos to share. Sorry for the poor focus on some. These show a few details of the re-assembly, since i was not thinking about the photos while I was working to get the lines disconnected. The tool worked fine, but the bottom connection on the transmission took me a while, worked fine when I was careful on making sure the rotation was correct to open the clip. access was helped by dropping the transmission support. I left the leftmost upper bolt loose, but in place. turns out the trans just hung there above the maximum I could drop the cross-support with one loose bolt installed.

View attachment 23362

Rusty lines under the hood. the clips were so corroded, I pulled these old lines into the wheel well and used a cutoff tool to cut the rear line, after getting all four connections separated from the radiator and transmission.
you can see that the lines are not the only rust.

Next shot is of the new lines almost in the transmission

View attachment 23363

note the visible yellow line that shows this connector is not engaged. you can also see the plastic cap that holds the clip in place, and see that the clip is still on the adapter, and did not depart for the floor drain.

.View attachment 23364

below you can see the line is inserted, and no yellow outside the connector, and see the clips are where they should be.

View attachment 23364

and now the plastic covers to keep the clips in place

View attachment 23365

now to hook up the radiator:

View attachment 23366

above you can see the drivers side is inserted, but the passenger side still shows the yellow stripe and needs to be pushed in more.

View attachment 23367

that's better. you can see some of the yellow strip past the clip.

and after lowering the TB, reconnect the front and rear lines under the hood.

View attachment 23368

After it is all back together, no leaks, and not much fluid was lost. I think it was actually overfilled from when I had a factory rebuilt installed at around 104k. It seemed like a good amount dripped and some I did not catch ended up on the floor, but after this there is still a bit over full, as indicated on a warm dipstick.

at the end of the day, I spent $25 for the lift (and $12 for a dry run the week before), and avoided a $400 dealer estimate, and hopefully a disaster on the road sometime in the next few years.
 

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C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
Thanks. Makes more sense seeing it in a real picture vs. a drawing.

I may order those lines and do the same thing on mine. Just have to figure out what is leaking under the radiator - most likely the fitting the line goes into.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
C-ya said:
Thanks. Makes more sense seeing it in a real picture vs. a drawing.

I may order those lines and do the same thing on mine. Just have to figure out what is leaking under the radiator - most likely the fitting the line goes into.

you should be able to crawl under with a light to see where you think it is leaking from. looks like there are two o rings involved with the connector, one between the radiator and the fitting, and one internal to the fitting which seals against the tube. of course you might have the actual tube leaking.

it was kind of a pain to get at the connection on the side of the transmission. the manual says to pull the exhaust pipe in addition to carefully dropping the transmission for access. I was tempted but did not have to do this.

many thanks to May03LT for the helpful advice and videos
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
While crawling around (just a little) underneath the truck a few days ago while looking at the trans pan (it has the drain plug, btw), it seems as tho the PO had a penchant for silicone. The passenger front window was sealed shut with it, the tranny cooler lines at the radiator have it gooped on, and the trans pan drain plug has it around it. The window was wedged/glued shut due to the regulator being broken, so instead of fixing it, they just jammed the window shut. I'll pull the silly putty off the tranny cooler lines and see what I can see.

I changed the transfer case fluid today. That went very well. Dirty black thin fluid out, 1.5 qts, nice blue GM Autotrak II fluid back in, 1.9 qts. (Couldn't quite get all of it in. Left some in the hose...)
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
I hope this isn't considered resurrecting a dead thread, rather a timely joining of related knowledge and questions. :smile:

Came out last night to see a patch of oil on our black top underneath the TB, can't tell what kind of oil as it's soaked in pretty good. The leak has the plastic inspection cover for the oil filter pretty well soaked, and you can see where time on the freeway has flung the oil back to coat the bottom of the engine, transmission and frame rails. It appears as though it is most likely the transmission cooler lines, especially as one of them has a small drip of dark red fluid hangin on it..!!

So, the lines are pretty rusty and I had intended to replace them at some time in any case, and now it seems they will need to get replaced out of necessity. My question is what is the hardest part of this job, and what special precautions, tips or trick should I be aware of before starting this work. Any special ATF fill procedures based on replacing these lines, or is it simpy a case of topping up the ATF and starting the truck up..??

The TB is a 2002 model.

TIA.

Dave. :smile:
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
first, make sure you check the transmission fluid level (if it is leaking you could be a tad low)

worst part for me, was dealing with the clips, and reaching the connection on the side of the transmission. I had access to a lift, but saw it as required for me to drop the transmission support a bit to make room to get at the clips on the transmission. Like I said, I gave up on the connection between front and rear lines, and used a cutoff tool after they were disconnected from radiator and transmission.

no big deal to refill, but you may want to just drop the pan, and change filter and clean out the pan and magnet while you are into this. not required, but you may be around time for it anyway. I would fill to what looks good, check running cold, and if you can, check running hot.

I have seen some postings from folks who used a tubing cutter and rubber line for a patch, but this is not a long term solution.

good luck
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Thanks, Mike..!!

Sounds like getting to the lines/connections on the transmission is the big one here. I am ordering all 4 lines, so like you, I do not need to separate the mid-line connections in the engine bay. I also am riding my bike right now and have the luxury of time to pull the TB into the garage and take my time to do this properly.

Planning to clean the whole area and attempt to pinpoint the general area of the leak. Whilst I'm there I will take a look at the transmisson and figure the best way to get access to the cooler lines.


Dave.



davenay67 said:
I hope this isn't considered resurrecting a dead thread, rather a timely joining of related knowledge and questions. :smile:

Came out last night to see a patch of oil on our black top underneath the TB, can't tell what kind of oil as it's soaked in pretty good. The leak has the plastic inspection cover for the oil filter pretty well soaked, and you can see where time on the freeway has flung the oil back to coat the bottom of the engine, transmission and frame rails. It appears as though it is most likely the transmission cooler lines, especially as one of them has a small drip of dark red fluid hangin on it..!!

So, the lines are pretty rusty and I had intended to replace them at some time in any case, and now it seems they will need to get replaced out of necessity. My question is what is the hardest part of this job, and what special precautions, tips or trick should I be aware of before starting this work. Any special ATF fill procedures based on replacing these lines, or is it simpy a case of topping up the ATF and starting the truck up..??

The TB is a 2002 model.

TIA.

Dave. :smile:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
When I did my lines I lowered the transmission crossmember a bit to get a little more access to the transmission. Not sure which was harder, undoing the clips on the side of the transmission or snaking the new lines in to reconnect the clips!

A lift is a must for this IMO. Cannot imagine doing it on jack stands. Thankfully my buddies work let us use their lift over a weekend.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Sparky said:
When I did my lines I lowered the transmission crossmember a bit to get a little more access to the transmission. Not sure which was harder, undoing the clips on the side of the transmission or snaking the new lines in to reconnect the clips!

Great point....I need to remember how these lines need to be routed when installing them..!!


Sparky said:
A lift is a must for this IMO. Cannot imagine doing it on jack stands. Thankfully my buddies work let us use their lift over a weekend.

I don't have a lift or know anyone with one, so I guess we'll find out how smoothly the job goes with just jack stands....:smile:
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
YOu probably can do it on jack stands, esp if you have it in a garge and willing to take a break if it gets tiring.

The reason there are two ends (front and back) on each line is they have to go in/come out in two parts. so you wil have to get the tubing separated. (bolt cutters or tubing cutter or hacksaw would probably work)


you will want to lower the crossmember and lower the transmission to get at the side of the tranny. you could pull the cross member, but you would have to pull some gas system stuff to get the last bolt out. (evap box)

you may find you want to drop the exhaust as well (like the service manual says) (disconnect and let it hang)

work on the tubing clips on the radiator end so you know how they work.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
My exhaust bolts looked a bit rusty and they tend to get really tight, so I didn't bother even trying to disconnect the exhaust. I did have more room to work under the vehicle thanks to the lift however.

I didn't cut my old lines, I just disconnected them at the factory disconnect points. The originals were in two pieces per line also.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
View attachment 29201

You can see the crossmember that you want to drop to allow the transmission to drop a bit ( I would use a floor jack with a couple foot long length of 2x6 or similar)

there are two sizes of bolts, and the through one on the far right in this view will not go all the way out, due to some stuff behind it. each side has two through bolts (with nuts) and four smaller bolts that thread into the frame.

I agree with Sparky that I would not jump into removing any exhaust, just want you to know it could help if you have trouble getting to the side of the transmission.
 

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davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
meerschm said:
View attachment 15758

You can see the crossmember that you want to drop to allow the transmission to drop a bit ( I would use a floor jack with a couple foot long length of 2x6 or similar)

there are two sizes of bolts, and the through one on the far right in this view will not go all the way out, due to some stuff behind it. each side has two through bolts (with nuts) and four smaller bolts that thread into the frame.

I agree with Sparky that I would not jump into removing any exhaust, just want you to know it could help if you have trouble getting to the side of the transmission.

Thanks for the additional picture. :thumbsup:

The good news is that I am 100% sure the leak is ATF from a tranny cooler line. In fact the leak is easily seen through the passenger front wheel well, and happens at the point where the 2 cooler lines are connected to a metal brace.

The bad news is just how TIGHT that space is to get to the connectors on the side of the transmission; I knew it would be tight but that was still a bit of a shock. I can see why the manual says to remove the exhaust, but I will resist doing that until I lower the transmission and re-assess the available space. An actual nut or bolt would be easier to deal with than those pesky clips, as they are just one more annoyance to deal with working almost blind.

Plan to order the parts and use the upcoming 4 day weekend to take my time to work on this. I also have the opportunity to put the TB in the garage now and begin working on lowering the tranny and getting to those clips....yuk..!!

Dave. :smile:
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
So, I did my good deed for the morning and pulled the TB into the garage and got it up on jack stands in preparation for surgery. I got some unexpected spare time in the afternoon and decided to crawl under and see how far I could get. Managed to drop the tranny support with no issues at all and set about attacking the dreaded cooler line clips on the transmission.

After much messing around and trying different tools I managed to get both clips off and the cooler lines disconnected. The top clip was actually not too bad, but the bottom one was a real pain. The lines themselves also took some tweaking to get them off. The new line cooler lines are on order and the patient is fully prepped for installation....I've gone as far as I can for the next day or so.

Are the new lines difficult to route into position..?? Any valuable hints or tips for putting them in..??

And just to be sure, am I right in thinking that the top line on the transmission routes (eventually) to the driver side on the radiator cooler..??


Dave. :smile:
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
New cooler lines came in from RockAuto....Check.
Face-time in with the family for the 4th July BBQ....Check.
Take the little guy to the local festival for some fun, games and food. See Slash live in concert :smile:yes:smile: later that night....Check.
Spend time under the TB and get the new lines fitted....Check.

Job is done, it runs well and I see no leaks.

Man, that combined 2 of my least favorite tasks, and in the same task no less; tight spaces and working blind. The first line went on nice and easy, but I had a devil of a time with the second hose for some reason. Anyway, it's back together and running again. :wootwoot:

Thanks for all the help and encouragement. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
how much fluid did you end up having to add to make up what leaked out?

and Good Job!!
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
meerschm said:
how much fluid did you end up having to add to make up what leaked out?

and Good Job!!

Thanks..!!

A little under a 1/2 quart to get it back to full.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Looks good fellas, I need to do this on my 02. Was under the hood doing an oil change 2 weeks ago, the cooler lines are starting to look a little rusty (spent 3 winters in Spokane and 2 so far in Montana). Gotta decide if I want to use the factory replacement hard lines and cut them up front (aftermarket trans cooler), or just run black braided line the whole way.
 

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