Aftermarket transmission cooler - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
nickb123
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Aftermarket transmission cooler

I want to install an aftermarket transmission cooler on my 2004 Overland, Im moving to Colorado and towing a trailer so I figure it could all the cooling it can get. Anyone that has done this, what size cooler works best? Is there a brand that is better than another? Im thinking ill mount it in front of the AC condensor. For routing Im planning on running the fluid threw the aftermarket external cooler then threw the radiator. I think this way is best because it takes some heat load off the radiator/engine cooling system but still lets the transmission get up to operating temp in the winter. How to I know what line is inlet and outlet?
Thanks

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post #2 of 19 Old 07-16-2019, 10:13 AM
Jeeples
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I run a standalone B&M plate and tube style cooler. It's one size larger than spec'd by B&M simply due to the fact that I'm not running the trans fluid through the built in radiator trans cooler.


This particular cooler has a thermal bypass that will bypass part of the cooler when trans fluid temps are low to prevent it from 'over cooling', such as single digit temps during the winter.



I've been happy with it for the $50 or so it cost.

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post #3 of 19 Old 07-16-2019, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeeples View Post
I run a standalone B&M plate and tube style cooler. It's one size larger than spec'd by B&M simply due to the fact that I'm not running the trans fluid through the built in radiator trans cooler.


This particular cooler has a thermal bypass that will bypass part of the cooler when trans fluid temps are low to prevent it from 'over cooling', such as single digit temps during the winter.



I've been happy with it for the $50 or so it cost.
What model is it Jeeples? That thermal bypass sounds really nifty.

2004 WJ TRL HWK Edition
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-16-2019, 03:41 PM
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It's this guy:


https://www.amazon.com/70268-SuperCo...s%2C167&sr=8-3


Looks like the price has jumped up quite a bit as my order history shows it was $60 when I bought it few years ago on Amazon.


According to CamelCamelCamel, it was down into the $55-$60 range just a few months ago, so you might want to wait a bit and see if the price drops down again or if one comes up in the warehouse deals for a discounted rate:


https://camelcamelcamel.com/70268-Su...uct/B000CIGE9G
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-17-2019, 10:15 AM
Uniblurb
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That's the same B&M 70268 supercooler I installed on my son's 96 4.0 XJ back in 2013. I paid $62.60 for it and it worked real well in my son moving out to SoCal while hauling a 3K lb loaded trailer 2,600 miles.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-17-2019, 11:06 AM
Jeeples
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Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
That's the same B&M 70268 supercooler I installed on my son's 96 4.0 XJ back in 2013. I paid $62.60 for it and it worked real well in my son moving out to SoCal while hauling a 3K lb loaded trailer 2,600 miles.

Yep, I've been happy with it. It's been maintenance/leak free since installing it a couple years ago.


One thing that I do like is the brackets that are included. They're fairly stout, but easy enough to bend to fit your particular application with common hand tools.


I was able to install mine without sandwiching it against the AC condenser. There's a 2-3 inch gap between the cooler and the condenser, which should help in preventing a potential hot spot on the condenser and/or radiator.

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post #7 of 19 Old 07-17-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
nickb123
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That B&M cooler looks nice! Does it fit good behind the grill of the WJ?
Would I be better off running that cooler by itself rather than routing it with the factory cooler inside the radiator?
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-18-2019, 09:16 AM
Jeeples
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Originally Posted by nickb123 View Post
That B&M cooler looks nice! Does it fit good behind the grill of the WJ?
Would I be better off running that cooler by itself rather than routing it with the factory cooler inside the radiator?
I've got some pics somewhere, let me see if I can dig them up, if not I'll take some when I get home.

It fits just fine behind the grill of my '00 Limited, however there were slight grill and header panel changes through the years of WJ production, but I would suspect my placement would work for any year/trim level.

As for routing, that's entirely up to you. I do a decent amount of wheeling in Moab, usually over the summer months, so I wanted to remove as much heat from the radiator as possible as well and ensure the trans fluid doesn't heat soak either. That's part of the reason I went larger than recommended, and in the off chance that I do any towing I won't run into any issues with not having enough cooler to handle the load.

The only 'issue' I've noted is that in extreme cold temps the transmission will hold shifts just a little longer compared to no cooler/factory cooler routing. If you're unaware, the 545RFE trans monitors fluid temps and will hold shift points longer in extreme cold temps to help the fluid warm up. With the fluid lines routed through the radiator this means that trans fluid will warm up a bit quicker as the coolant comes up to temp.

With the stand alone routing I've noted that upshifts are delayed a little longer (in terms of engine run time) than with the stock configuration. IMO, it's not a big deal as in my application I've noted that the extended upshifts are still noticeable by the time I reach the exit to my neighborhood vs. reaching the end of my street with the stock configuration.

Oh, and I failed to mention this earlier, the easiest way to identify the return vs outlet lines is to look back on the trans itself on the passenger side. Follow the lines back from the radiator to where they enter the side of the transmission case. On the 545RFE family of transmissions the outlet is the upper line and the return is the lower line.

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post #9 of 19 Old 07-18-2019, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the information! I guess I'll have to some debating on how I want to route it. How cold does it get where you live? In the summer mine delays the upshifts for the first 2-3 shifts, I haven't driven it in winter yet
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-18-2019, 03:42 PM
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Thank you for all the information! I guess I'll have to some debating on how I want to route it. How cold does it get where you live? In the summer mine delays the upshifts for the first 2-3 shifts, I haven't driven it in winter yet

I'm in the Salt Lake Valley, so the climate will be similar to most of Colorado. We routinely see low teens in the winter, with single digit overnight temps from time to time.


From my driveway to the end of my street is about 110 yards, prior to the trans cooler by the time I was turning off my street I was seeing regular shifts. This was with a couple minute warm up time prior to leaving, just long enough to clear the windows really.


With the cooler installed I'm now seeing regular shifts by the time I'm pulling out of the neighborhood. This stretch of road is about 130 yards, so total distance traveled by this time is around 240 yards, give or take a few. Warm up times prior to leaving the driveway are similar.

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post #11 of 19 Old 07-18-2019, 06:27 PM
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If you deal with any cold temps at all. Your factory cooler in the radiator is also a trans fluid warmer. It works well with the B&M bypass. Run through the factory cooler and then to the B&M. It has worked very well for me in all conditions. Cold weather, towing, etc.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-18-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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The delay shifts would bother me a little bit when it's cold out, but I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too!
If I ran both coolers, wouldn't i want to run it through the B&M first then factory? I would think the B&M would bypass when cold and when hot would help take a heat load off the engine cooling system.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-19-2019, 12:16 AM
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No, you want the trans pressure line fluid to run into the radiator cooler 1st then the radiator trans cooler would run into the auxiliary, or B&M cooler, while finally returning back to the transmission when connected in unison.

If you can cool the transmission down some with an auxiliary trans cooler it will make the engine run a little cooler just because less heat is transferred back/forth.

Below is a fluid routing diagram with some other information from B&M.

http://tmar.net/BM-Transmission-cooler-instructions.pdf

Jeeples did a better job than I did in installing the B&M cooler further away from the AC condenser with brackets. I didn't try this on my son's 96 XJ, spaced it only about 1/4" from the condenser, but don't think I had the room in the XJ that a WJ has.

And I don't blame him for having the B&M cooler separate from the from the radiator transmission cooling system since he's wheeling in Moab. But if I lived in Minnesota or Michigan with such cold winters believe I'd consider having the B&M cooler inline between between the radiator cooler and transmission. That's the way I ended up routing the cooler on my son's XJ for the Ohio winters which can be pretty cold.

PS. funny in talking about severe cold when it's only about triple digits plus heat factor everywhere right now!
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-19-2019, 09:06 AM
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I thought it was a good idea to separate the Trans cooling from the radiator, despite the downside of taking more time for the Trans to come up to temp, just to avoid the potential issue of having the Trans Cooler Tube fail and contaminating the engine. I dont know how often this happens statistically, but my Chevy radiator does triple duty. Engine cooling, Trans cooling and oil cooling and I have always felt better with running separate systems whenever possible.
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-19-2019, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickb123 View Post
The delay shifts would bother me a little bit when it's cold out, but I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too!
If I ran both coolers, wouldn't i want to run it through the B&M first then factory? I would think the B&M would bypass when cold and when hot would help take a heat load off the engine cooling system.
No, it will not take heat load off the engine cooling system. Trans temps usually run many degrees under coolant temps. MANY DEGREES. If I saw my trans temps nearing my coolant temps I would be worried. Let the smoke out of that puppy. Trans coolers are on the return side of the radiator or in other words, after the coolant has been cooled. The B&M after the radiator will cool it further.

If done the opposite, The B&M could do a nice job of cooling to have the radiator heat it back up. JS. If there is a load placed on the cooling system by a trans cooler, you need a more efficient radiator to handle your engine cooling needs.

Poistively run the B&M after the radiator.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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