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Old 05-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
Maskedrider
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Default Looking for advice on Trans Fluid Cooler

Okay so here's the story.
I have a modded c6 that is supercharged with intercooler. and I've made some additional mods such has a blower cam kit from Dallas Performance along with an 10% overdrive HB and recently replaced aftermarket timing chain. I also had my transmission rebuilt with heavy duty monster transmission components. Before I had the trans rebuilt, I never had any issues with leaking but since, I have had to take it back to the shop twice because it started leaking. After a long time analyzing and trying to determine the cause, the shop believes that my operating temps are reaching about 217 and that the leak manifests itself when the trans temperatures go above 220 degrees due to increased fluid pressure. They never got the temps above 175 degrees when they were test driving the car after the rebuild so they never saw any leaks. So, now they tell me I need a cooler. Perhaps the mods I've made have increased the operating temps to where this is in fact true but I can't help but be concerned that I am going to spend $$$ on a cooler and install only to have the leak reoccur. Does anyone have any similar experiences?
Assuming this is indeed an accurate diagnosis, can anyone recommend some reasonably priced coolers that can also be installed with relative ease? If I am operating at close to 220 degrees, shouldn't I be looking for a cooler that will drop temps at least 20-30 degrees?
Thanks

Last edited by Maskedrider; 05-11-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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I'm assuming you have the automatic tranny, right?

Keeping the trans temps around 160-190 would be nice, and an extra cooler can help do that. Not sure about a setup like you have, but there seems to be a trend toward installing the extra cooler before the radiator cooler that's already in the car, to produce more even temps. One of our members says his scans show uneven shifting when trans temp is below 140.

But...
Our stock 2009 has had trans temps around 220 for up to an hour in heavy traffic, and it has never leaked. Nor have I heard of anyone else developing a leak due to temps in the 220 range. Maybe there is something unusual about how they built your trans, but I'm suspecting they just didn't do it right.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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Although I think the leaking would be due to build issues, not high temps, I wouldnt want my tranny running over 200. High temps are proven to shorten transmission life substantially. You dont mention if you have a stall converter or not as that would cause the temps to increase also.
I installed a B&M Hiteck cooler with a fan and so far I am pleased with the job its doing. I bypassed the rad completely, which I think is the way to go unless you drive your car in colder temperatures, in which case you may need to run through the rad to get up to operating temps.
After a few weeks with this setup I found that the fan on this cooler doesnt come on early enough and although temps are great while moving, they get a bit to high for my liking when in traffic. I just today bypassed the fan thermostat and will try it with the fan running all the time, and see how that goes.
Install is fairly simple the way I did it although I did have to fabricate some custom brackets.



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Old 05-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
Maskedrider
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[QUOTE=realcanuk;1583874849]Although I think the leaking would be due to build issues, not high temps, I wouldnt want my tranny running over 200. High temps are proven to shorten transmission life substantially. You dont mention if you have a stall converter or not as that would cause the temps to increase also.
I installed a B&M Hiteck cooler with a fan and so far I am pleased with the job its doing. I bypassed the rad completely, which I think is the way to go unless you drive your car in colder temperatures, in which case you may need to run through the rad to get up to operating temps.
After a few weeks with this setup I found that the fan on this cooler doesnt come on early enough and although temps are great while moving, they get a bit to high for my liking when in traffic. I just today bypassed the fan thermostat and will try it with the fan running all the time, and see how that goes.
Install is fairly simple the way I did it although I did have to fabricate some custom brackets.


Thanks. No on the stall convertor. Let me ask you this, why would the transmission not leak at 175 but then start leaking at 220 if it didn't have something to do with fluid pressure at higher temps? The shop said that when they filled the trans at 170 and then drove it to 220 they had almost a quart of fluid drain off when they pulled the plug. Is that typical? They also said that they could see fluid coming off the pan gasket. There was some thought that the rear main may have leaked too but we aren't sure about that. What about a build could cause the trans to leak at high temps? My trans is a 460LE auto rebuilt with this monster rebuild kit. They also had to replace the thrust bearing.
http://www.monstertrans.com/store/pr...03%252d06.html

Last edited by Maskedrider; 05-11-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcanuk View Post
...
I installed a B&M Hiteck cooler with a fan and so far I am pleased with the job its doing. I bypassed the rad completely, which I think is the way to go unless you drive your car in colder temperatures, in which case you may need to run through the rad to get up to operating temps.
After a few weeks with this setup I found that the fan on this cooler doesnt come on early enough and although temps are great while moving, they get a bit to high for my liking when in traffic. I just today bypassed the fan thermostat and will try it with the fan running all the time, and see how that goes.
Install is fairly simple the way I did it although I did have to fabricate some custom brackets.
...
It looks like your cooler is located so that it wouldn't get much free airflow, so the fan would be pretty important. Or did the camera angles deceive me?
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
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The proper temp for checking trans fluid level is something like 120'F, checking at any higher temp will cause fluid to come out of the hole.

Never shut down the engine with the trans plug removed, you'll get a big gush of fluid and that's normal.

Of course, a custom build trannny can be different from stock in so many ways...
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead Jim View Post
It looks like your cooler is located so that it wouldn't get much free airflow, so the fan would be pretty important. Or did the camera angles deceive me?
Actually, it gets great airflow when the car is moving. The brake duct hole aims almost directly to it. I think in stop and go traffic it won't get airflow no matter where its mounted.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Maskedrider;1583875044]
Quote:
Originally Posted by realcanuk View Post
Although I think the leaking would be due to build issues, not high temps, I wouldnt want my tranny running over 200. High temps are proven to shorten transmission life substantially. You dont mention if you have a stall converter or not as that would cause the temps to increase also.
I installed a B&M Hiteck cooler with a fan and so far I am pleased with the job its doing. I bypassed the rad completely, which I think is the way to go unless you drive your car in colder temperatures, in which case you may need to run through the rad to get up to operating temps.
After a few weeks with this setup I found that the fan on this cooler doesnt come on early enough and although temps are great while moving, they get a bit to high for my liking when in traffic. I just today bypassed the fan thermostat and will try it with the fan running all the time, and see how that goes.
Install is fairly simple the way I did it although I did have to fabricate some custom brackets.


Thanks. No on the stall convertor. Let me ask you this, why would the transmission not leak at 175 but then start leaking at 220 if it didn't have something to do with fluid pressure at higher temps? The shop said that when they filled the trans at 170 and then drove it to 220 they had almost a quart of fluid drain off when they pulled the plug. Is that typical? They also said that they could see fluid coming off the pan gasket. There was some thought that the rear main may have leaked too but we aren't sure about that. What about a build could cause the trans to leak at high temps? My trans is a 460LE auto rebuilt with this monster rebuild kit. They also had to replace the thrust bearing.
http://www.monstertrans.com/store/pr...03%252d06.html
I am no tranny expert and see no reason why it would leak only at certain temps. Your tranny guy will have to figure that one out.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:56 AM   #9
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The temp for checking fluid level must be between 86 and 122. If it's not in that range, it will be either overfilled or underfilled. In either case that's not a good thing.

A cooler will not fix that problem.

Don't drive the car any farther than required to get the fluid checked by someone who knows the correct procedure.

Oops, just noticed you have an A4, so maybe the temps may be different than the A6 I quoted above.

If your tranny guy didn't know how the check it, he may not have known the correct fluid type either. I'd be asking more questions.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #10
Gearhead Jim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcanuk View Post
Actually, it gets great airflow when the car is moving. The brake duct hole aims almost directly to it. I think in stop and go traffic it won't get airflow no matter where its mounted.
We had a non-fan B&M cooler installed on our C5, the normal radiator fan provided some airflow in traffic. The trans temps only went up significantly when running a road course, and of course the cooler was very good for that. But everyone's setup and needs are different.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:09 PM   #11
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I don't know what type of "cooler" you now have but here is my experience.. I have a 2800 stall converter... & had a B&M "Finned" aluminum cooler.. to make a long story short, I hit a rock and it broke my cooler...

When I went to the auto parts store, they had a "STACKED PLATE" type of cooler...

Well with my B&M "Finned" cooler my trans temp was always around 190 -200 .....

As soon as I installed the "STACKED PLATE" type my trans temps dropped to 175 - 190 even after racing (Drag 1/4 mile)

I have spoken to several others who have Trans coolers, & most use the "STACKED PLATE" type...


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Old 05-12-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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I dont know what the B&M really is. They describe it as a "fin and plate". Others i have seen are either stacked plate or tube and fin.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:51 PM   #13
Gearhead Jim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcanuk View Post
I dont know what the B&M really is. They describe it as a "fin and plate". Others i have seen are either stacked plate or tube and fin.
Yours looks like a stacked plate to me...
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:51 PM
 
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