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 Post subject: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:25 pm
Posts: 695
Location: Baldivis WA
Still wait for my new DMax to arrive mid Feb so can not check for myself so maybe someone out there can help me.

I was reading on another forum and it was mentioned that the auto transmission was only part of the main radiator and not a separate unit.

Seems a bit strange to me as my last 2 vehicles, Nissan Patrol and PB Challenger both had a separate transmission cooler in front of the main radiator. They ran via the main radiator presumably to get the transmission fluid up to running temperature.

Both the Patrol and Challenger were able to tow our van without any overheating problems. The last car I fitted an extra cooler to was my EL Falcon and this was a genuine Ford spare part.

All well and good to just throw an additional cooler on but one problem can be the fluid not getting warm enough to run the auto efficiently.


Appreciate any feedback.

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2014 LST Ash Beige. SMM Steel canopy, Outback Drawers, dual battery with 2 x 160W solar panels (keeps the beers nice and cold), 135L tank, TJM T15 alloy bar with Xray-vision LED lights, Dumbo Clearview Mirrors. The ultimate tow truck.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:40 am
Posts: 18
Location: Stirling, W.A.
Hi Bob,
I fitted a large trans cooler in front of the radiator on my 2012 DMax. The cooler has a fan that will turn on automatically when too hot or can be manually turned on via a switch on the dash. I have been monitoring the trans temp with my ScanGauge 2 but did not have the ScanGauge before fitting the cooler so not aware of temps without a cooler. My temps are higher around town, in traffic or stopped at lights with the trans in drive and have seen up to 80 degrees before switching on the fan. The temp quickly drops when the fan is on so good in slow sand work. Towing a camper trailer at 100k/hr to Darwin from Perth did not see temps above 65 degrees which may be too cool but the trans is operating OK. Perhaps it would be an idea to monitor the temps before fitting a cooler.
Regards
Scooby


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 1581
G'day Scooby
I don't know what temps the autos like to run at but not too hot obviously.
If getting too cold it isn't good, as you mentioned, and in cold weather you may have to shield the cooler from a cold air blast to stop becoming too cool.

Often the auto won't shift to high or lockup when too cold in some vehicles.

How is the plumbing for yours arranged.

Is it in the feed line to the rad heat exchanger or after the heat EX and in the return to auto.

The first way gets rid of the most heat of the fluid before it hits the RAD and therefore minimizes heat loads on the rad/cooling system when in hot weather but also allows for the rad to possibly ADD heat to the fluid so not too cool.

If in the return line, heat is first dumped into the rad, (not my preference) and if too cold, ie, bottom or rad is cold, it will only get colder as it returns to auto through the cooler.

Some coolers have a variable shutter for that reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:54 pm
Posts: 1975
Location: Darling Downs. Qld
Scobby, you may need to clarify which model you have as the current model was released in June 2012 so saying you have a 2012 model could mean either.

Tink


Last edited by Tink on Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:40 am
Posts: 18
Location: Stirling, W.A.
Hi Tink,
Just to clarify, my DMax is Nov 2012, the latest shape.

Hi Mydmax
"The first way gets rid of the most heat of the fluid before it hits the RAD and therefore minimizes heat loads on the rad/cooling system when in hot weather but also allows for the rad to possibly ADD heat to the fluid so not too cool." This is the set up I have. Your suggestion of a cover is a good one, I will try a slip over cover when the weather cools off. An electric blind would be easier if I can figure something out.
Scooby


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 1581
Tink

Some of the response you got is not correct. They, being Isuzu either didn't hear about or wasn't told by dealers that some people just driving in the mountains and not towing had heat issues with the auto. May have been a hot day, tail wind, or driven harder than usual but they did happen and some forums reported they did have unexpected overtemp trans light appearing when they didn't expect it at all.

A "very helpful and chatty gent" may not actually be being real helpful

As it stands, yours and your mates examples are OK but you don't know how close to the overtemp position you were constantly operating it and so just because the light isn't actually triggered it probably isn't a good situation.

Sort of similar to your engine, instead of running at 85-87 C it is running at 105 but not quite boiling YET. ie no reserve of cooling ability and shorter life of all components which are suffering so close to the failure point.

Sorry if I see it a different way to which most view vehicle situations.
Anything which reduces the temp down to a normal running level, ie, 80 degrees is a good thing and your auto will give you a big kiss when you next look under there.

To cold is no good either.
A scan gauge or similar will tell you via OBD info what is really happening. May open the eyes a bit I think.

The normal way the auto o=is cooled is to dump heat into the cool at the bottom radiator water.
if the engine is working hard, that cool at the bottom may be very hot at the bottom and therefore the heat from the auto fluid is ADDING to the already borderline, but managing, engine cooling ability.

If anything alters you have a trans and engine overheat or worse, a failure out in the scrub, up a mountain, etc.
Insurance isn't only sold by QBE.

Did you ask him what is the different in the current model to make it less likely? that might have stumped him though.

Cheers
mydmax


Last edited by mydmax on Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:32 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Brisbane
I was told years ago by a trans specialist that when fitting a cooler you double the life of the transmission.

Plumbing it before the radiator means the oil temp should never get cooler than water temp.

So the transmission is't really getting full advantage of cooler than normal oil temps.

I can appreciate in colder climates plumbing it before the radiator could be an advantage.

In QLD I'd be going after the radiator....in saying that , I don't even have one yet so maybe I should shut-up. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 1581
mustangdude

The water temp at the bottom of a radiator WILL be cooler than the water temp indicated on your gauge or scan gauge, UNLESS the whole system is near it's maximum which is likely to be the case if towing. Therefore, there is little reserve of cooling available to ensure insurance for the engine.

If you have the cooler plumbed in the return line, at this time, the additional slip of torque converter heat, a LARGE amount when towing) will therefore be dumping it's heat into the radiator water and adding to the heat dissipation load already being imposed on the cooling system.
Because the of the time factor and the small differential of heat there will be not much heat dissipated and the cooler in the return line must do ALL to try and drop the temp level for the auto's safety. Therefore total reliance on cooler performance alone.

If the cooler is in the exit line to rad it is at a far higher temp level than the engine water temp at both the top and the bottom of the rad.
The fluid temp to air temp differential is LARGE and the airflow over the cooler will get rid of as much heat as possible out of the system and with minimal heat or even a cooling effect being being added to the already close to maximum engine cooling system.
So, this way doesn't load the engine cooling system when the worst conditions are likely to be experienced and if the temp of the fluid after the cooler is only slightly hotter, could be the same or cooler, it is the best.
The radiator at this time isn't boiling and the temp of the radiator water at the bottom will be less then the dash indication, as it IS COOLING the engine, and so the fluid returning to the auto is usually cooled further and well within the desired temps an auto likes to work at.

In winter the bottom of rad may be very cold and the cooler may have to be covered so fluid can run at a reasonable temp for normal use. Too cold is not good and changes and functions will not work fluently until warm enough.

As you can see I prefer the cooler in the delivery/exit line and not the return.

A cooler is better than no cooler though. The cooler size, position and performance also has a big bearing on what is happening.

Cheers
mydmax


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:07 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Darling Downs, Queensland
I have been tossing the idea of a transmission cooler around as well.
I drive a 2013 dual cab and I have had a Scanguage pretty much since new.
The temps i have observed are as follows
Normal Highway driving : Water temp 87-92. ATF temp 80-90
Towing 2.7t van" Water temp 87- 100. ATF temp 90-105

Last weekend when the ambient temp was around 45 both the water and the ATF temp were exactly the same at 95, at highway speed, not towing.

Had a chat to my mechanic and his opinion is that the design of the system is to keep the water and the ATF at around the same temp. :? He says that they can run up to 120 without a problem although it would be advisable to change the fluid more frequently.

I'm still undecided about fitting a cooler and the Isuzu dealer wasn't too helpful; "just fit one" he said but wasn't able to offer any convincing reason to do so :o
To the guys who have fitted one, do you find it restricts the air flow through the radiator?
Cheers
Graeme


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 Post subject: Re: Auto Tranny Cooler
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:40 am
Posts: 18
Location: Stirling, W.A.
Hi Hoffy,
To answer your question "To the guys who have fitted one, do you find it restricts the air flow through the radiator?" I don't think so, my Scangauge water temps are the same as yours.
Regards
Scooby


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