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How many have ATF coolers?

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by #1Aggie, October 3, 2002.

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    1. #1Aggie

      #1Aggie New Member

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      In the short time that I have been on this board, I have grown very concerned with the poor reliabilty of our Transmissions. According to the posted poll, 64% fail before 130K and about 50% fail before 100K.

      I was wondering, of the ones that failed, how many had external ATF coolers? Since heat is the #1 killer of ATF and transmissions, how much impact on the longevity of the trans does an ATF cooler play?

      While my '93 was not ordered with the trailer towing package, I noticed last weekend, when I was doing a 105K tune-up, that mine has a external-horizontal plate cooler from the factory. I don't know if that was either standard on the '93's or, my dealer when he ordered specified an ATF cooler, since we get vet hot in Houston in the summer.

      FWIW, and I am afraid to jinx it, but my '93 with 105K still shifts great.
       
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    3. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Have you monitored the tranny temp? If not you might want to add a tranny temp gauge.

      Further, an external tranny filter is a great lifesaving/extending mod.

      The use of synthetic ATF is also a great idea.

      Good luck.....
       
    4. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      The key to longevity on your A4LD is to keep it cool and keep it clean.

      Change the fluid and filter every year. The first time you do it take it in and have it backflushed (get the stuff out of the valve body and converter).
      Also it does not hurt to install the largest tranny cooler you can get your hands on.
      I also prefer to run fully synthetic ATF, but some may see that as overkill if you change it yearly.

      Also a tranny temp gage and a external tranny filter are a good idea. Dont forget about those who have 200-300K miles in their original A4LD, but yes mostly they last about 150K miles. An automatic tranny will wear out, it;s their nature. How fast is up to you.

      Also the OD unit in your A4LD is the weakest link, so dont use it if you dont need it, I drive around town in D and only use OD on the highway.
       
    5. jjue

      jjue Elite Explorer<br>sXc Member

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      My sister's '94 Explorer has between 108-112k miles on the original tranny with the factory tranny cooler included with the tow package. I think that they are a necessity.
       
    6. #1Aggie

      #1Aggie New Member

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      No, I have not yet put a Trans temp gauge on it, but would be interesting to know, especially in the summer.

      I agree and will never buy a vehicle without it again, but an ATF cooler IMO is the best and cheapest investment to prevent spending $1500-1800 on a rebuild.
       
    7. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      I run a HAyden class A motorhome tranny cooler, its flippin huge!! But then I have a ton of room since I have no A/C and I have a BII. I used high temo high pressure rubber lines to route the ATF from the tranny to the 4.0L 3 core aluminum radiator, then to the HAyden cooler, then back to the tranny. Next I will install an external tranny filterand a temp gage.

      When I converted my truck from a 5 speed to an auto my average coolant temp went up 10 degrees, because the tranny cooler is mounted in front of the radiator and also because I am now flowing hot ATF through my radiator. I plan to also "divorce" the tranny cooler from the radiator someday, to help. Move it as far away from the rad as possible.

      $1500-1800? Yikes! A rebuilt A4LD goes for about $900-1100 here and online.....

      I spent $2300 on mine, but it is all custom.........
       
    8. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      My 92 lasted 85K

      It came factory with a supercool package but it was the weld that broke on the overdrive. The rebuild lasted another 20K before the lockup clutch went. At least I think it was that. Tearing it out to do a rebuild now. It doesn't hurt but it is not a cure all. And what do you do when a transmission gets a bad name? You give it a new name. Did any new gear get added in the 5R55E? NO, still basically the same transmission with a couple of mods.
       
    9. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Staff Member Moderator

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      Oh and when it comes time to rebuild one of these suckers, if you plan to keep the truck for another 200K miles there are only two people that I know of I would even trust with it.

      Otherwise you can buy a rebuilt online with a good warranty for cheap.

      If you look around you can find somebody in your area that actually KNOWS how to build a A4LD, and you need somebody you trust, because if they dont do it right, your nightmare is just begining........
       
    10. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      our first tranny lasted 165k miles.. with no cooler..

      the 2nd tranny lasted until 235k (70k miles) with a tranny cooler.. but the tranny didn't go until I overheated the motor enough to melt some hard parts in the front of the tranny..

      3rd tranny is still going strong @ 272k (37k miles so far)..

      ~Mark
       
    11. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Cool thread I am glad you brought it up Aggie.

      Hey does the 2000 come with the A4LD ?

      Either way , I recon I'll eventually add a tranny cooler.
      Do you just by pass the standard rad cooler or do you run it through there as well ? If both which is first ?
       
    12. 93'XLT 4X4

      93'XLT 4X4 New Member

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      :p
      I have 91.000k on my 93 and still have the original trans. I bought mine second hand at 28,000k. It came equipped with the tranny cooler mounted in front of the radiator. I think that this has done a great deal to extend the life of the trans. A trans shop told me recently that there were suprised that the fluid was still bright red since it had been 20,000k since I had it flushed. They said it was usually darker by that time. They also recommended a trans go shift kit to be installed to help extend the life of the trans. It is supposed to provide better lubrication. Does anyone have experience with these?
      :D
       
    13. Jason_25

      Jason_25 Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member

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      I got a monster one designed for an RV that's towing a load. My tranny temp never goes above 165.
       
    14. james t

      james t moderation Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      i have the "fiero radiator" sized cooler on mine, run in line with the stock cooler. go as big as your wallet will allow. you cant overcool an auto tranny (in theory).;)
       
    15. zekex2

      zekex2 Active Member

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      How about the 98 awd?

      I have had this 98 XLT for a few mos. Does the 5.0 L AWD have this same tranny, and does it need help? I would rather try to get in front of future problems than wait untill its to late.
      thanx
       
    16. james t

      james t moderation Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      no, you have the 4R70W (like me) and it is known to be a fairly reliable tranny.....but put a cooler on it anyway.
       
    17. Blaine122300

      Blaine122300 Elite Non explorer owner

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      in the winter, my tranny wont shift real well. I guess it might be because it gets to be 40-50 below zero here in AK. My tranny heater pad usually gets things moving. This is one case where you have to heat up the tranny instead of cooling it.
       
    18. Blaine122300

      Blaine122300 Elite Non explorer owner

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      in the winter, my tranny wont shift real well. I guess it might be because it gets to be 40-50 below zero here in AK. My tranny heater pad usually gets things moving. This is one case where you have to heat up the tranny instead of cooling it.
       
    19. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      I would recommend installing a tranny filter too.

      Good luck.....
       
    20. davesexplorer

      davesexplorer Well-Known Member

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      I got the tranny cooler on mine (w/ tow package) and i got 167k on it, it seems to "buck" sometimes after leaving off the throttle.
       
    21. spygirl

      spygirl New Member

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      mine does that too i have the v8 "good tranny" with 87k miles..:(



      and tow package with factory tranny cooler.
       
    22. zekex2

      zekex2 Active Member

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      Thanks Guys

      Thanks for the info. Since I got this thing I've had to do all the prakes and rotors. Including the parkink brakes. both half shafts. figure out how to reset the Radio, and door locks (after pulling out the radio to look for shorts) after the anti theft disabled them. (This was without Fords help and any codes). Reconected the Touch Pad entry/ door locks.

      I still have to fix the turn signals that work at random, replace the nice cracked factory exhaust headers, all of the shocks, and ... well you guys know.

      Any recomendations?

      Aside from all that, My family loves the truck. It is slated to possibly replace my gen I 4runner if it does well in the snow and mountains this winter.
       
    23. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You talkin' to me ?
      What tranny do I have ?
       
    24. Jason_25

      Jason_25 Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member

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    25. boo_koo

      boo_koo New Member

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      I have the towing package on my '92. Transmission started slipping at 36k, and I nursed it for 50k more till it finally died. Had it rebuilt about 40k ago (aamco). Now I am getting a jerk (thought engine was missing) when reapplying throttle at 2k or less rpm, at highway speeds.
      Starting to think it's the stinking transmission, anyone else had this? What't the fix/ damage?
       
    26. james t

      james t moderation Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      no, i was talkin to zekex2. should have used a quote on that one... sorry:banghead:
       

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