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Old 06-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #1
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Add extra tranny cooler?

So my '11 pathfinder came w/factory tranny cooler as part of the tow package. I'm considering adding an additional tranny cooler in line after the factory one. Also saw a cool remote filter and trans. line temp gauge on etrailer. $200 shipped w/all the misc. parts. Anyone done this? Thoughts on tranny temp gauge usefulness? Maybe wait until I get the trailer and see how the factory setup works before spending more? You guys have given me good advice so far...Keep it coming
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:32 PM   #2
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Is the factory tranny cooler an external radiator style cooler or just a loop internal to the vehicles radiator? In Michigan, I was told by a transmission technician that you can never over cool a transmission...in Michigan. I like the idea of an external filter and the temp gauge is handy as well...$200 seems a bit pricey but I don't know all the details. I wish every transmission had an external spin-on oil filter and a real drain plug.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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I would probably just see how your stock vehicle tows with new trailer, since you already have a trans cooler. Monitor the trans fluid by checking from the dip-stick (smell, feel).

On my 2000 Cherokee towing the J Feather (reference from another post); I had added an inline trans cooler to the trans/radiator cooler connections since the Cherokee had none from the factory. I never experienced any trans problems.

Not sure an extra filter is needed, that doesnt seem to be related to potential overheating; other than any external plumbing would add some cooling capacity, I suppose. A gauge might be kool for monitoring if you are concerned, big-time truck semis have them as well as for the rear ends. Many of todays computers/OBD connections already provide trans temp, maybe check to see if your vehicle does.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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Adding a second cooler will be fine. You can probably get one with out the filter for less than 50.00 or so. If you keep the fluid and filter changed every 30,000 miles and never overheat a transmission they will last forever. Good luck and if you are a good diy'er you should have no problems.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:24 PM   #5
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The setup on my pathfinder has a dedicated tranny cooler, I believe. I know previous models had problems due to using a single radiator for tranny and engine coolant. The issues are well documented. The setup I'm considering is an external radiator style that gets installed in front of the radiator & ac condenser. There is a spot next to the factory tranny cooler. I'd post pics if I could figure out how. My maiden camping trip (20 mi. away) is scheduled for next Friday, so I'll probably sit tight until I see how the trip goes.

The breakdown is $55ish for the tranny cooler, $95ish for the inline filter and temp gauge and the final $50 is misc. hardware, tools shipping.

I'd love to hear from anyone that tows with a tranny temp gauge, and how their load effects temp. Gracias.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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BTW I'm getting flush and fill on transmission fluid, transfer case fluid, and both front and rear final drive cases on Saturday FWIW.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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What you have should be fine, but a cool transmission is a happy transmission. That is the beauty of the Duramax/Allison combination. It has a remote cooler, spin on filter, drain plug and a transmission temperature guage. My transmission runs about 10 degrees hotter when pulling up steep mountain passes. I don't think I have ever seen it over 210 degrees max, working it hard.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:43 PM   #8
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2005 Pathfinder...I use my BullyDog GT to monitor temps. Stock trans cooler towing the X23b in 90-degree whether a few weeks ago, the engine temp hovered from 199-204 degrees, trans temp hovered between 190-194 degrees; the temps would build up for the 1st hour of driving, but anything after that was pretty stable and consistent. This was for 300-miles round-trip. I also contemplated an aftermarket cooler as an auxiliary, but decided it wasn't necessary considering the readings I was getting while towing. Leave it out of overdrive (5th gear) and you should be ok. This was traveling 58-65mph on the interstate.

When not towing, the engine temp runs around 197 degrees, trans temp usually tops out at 170. As long as you changed the trans fluid regularly, I think you'll be fine.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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Heat is the number one killer of transmissions and tires. If you run either too hot, you will have a failure. Always keep your tires at the max PSI while towing (espicially the rears), and always keep the trans in drive (not over drive), and the torque converter locked up while cruseing if possible. You just dont want it to be "searching" for a gear while towing.
All that said, I change the trans fluid AND FILTER annually in my TV, if it needs it or not. I don't put many miles on it, but I am pretty hard on my transmission. I don't add external trans coolers to my vehicles, unless it doesn't come from the factory with one. From my experiance, aftermarket accesseries are more likely to give you a hard time than factory installed.
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