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Improving the stock transmission oil cooling

Spades

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2007 Sport Trac \/8
Im looking to improve the stock transmission oil cooling. Since the factory routing runs through the coolant-oil radiator and then through an air-oil radiator, these are the 3 methods im considering.


1. Replace the factory air-oil radiator with a larger one.
2. Bypass the coolant-oil radiator and add a 2nd air-oil radiator
3. Add a fan to the factory air-oil radiator

Which of these methods would be most beneficial?
 



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Bill MacLeod

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What trans do you have?
Any cold weather driving?
 






Spades

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6-speed (6R60?) trans, the purpose would be for towing a boat up mountain hills for extended periods in warm /hot weather.
 






Bill MacLeod

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You could twin the aux cooler and/or bypass the rad (cooler), but I would only bypass as a last option. The stock setup is very efficient, not sure if you are aware of this, but the 6r60 has an internal bypass within the trans case that only allows fluid flow thru to the coolers once fluid temp is above 175 F. I have seen fluid temps of 210 in stop and go traffic before and I do not tow anything. It cools down very quickly once air flow returns.
Do you monitor the fluid temp and do you service the trans on a regular bases?
 






Spades

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I do monitor trans oil temp with Torque app. I just got the explorer and havent towed in the hills yet but i will be. Ive towed once on flat and trans oil temps were 190° so i want to be prepared when the time comes. My target temp is to be right around the same 190° towing in the hills. How about adding the fan method?
 






Bill MacLeod

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Opinions seem to vary on adding a pusher pan in front of a cooler when the air is already being pulled through it. B&M makes one that is mounted to a cooler fyi. If you do ever add another aux cooler, make sure it is a stacked plate type. This is what the oem coolers are and they are efficient.

Best thing to do now (yesterday) is a pan drop and filter change. If you are mech inclined, do it yourself, add a drain plug to the pan and do a drain and fill on a regular bases. (once a year if towing)

Best of luck with your new ride.
 












Spades

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Very interesting on the PML trans pan. Any before & after #s on the fluid temps?
 






Explorer_PL

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I've had my v8 for the past 9 years. Currently at 230k and original tranny. I have been towing different trailers since day 1 with it, largest was 22ft travel trailer weighing 4-5 k with big frontal area. Never had any issues and did not change the factory set up. I believe it's a well designed tranny and the cooling but for certain, extra cooler will not hurt.
 






Spades

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What worries me is the extended periods of uphills with the extra load. Going up Big Bear Mountains there is a period of about half hour of pretty steep inclines and only a few downhills in between that lasts less than 30 seconds at a time. I towed up there back in 2013 with my Expedition, got home safely but 2K miles later my tranny failed and the shop told me the trans fluid was burned. Took that as a learning experience and want to be prepared next time around with my Explorer
 






Bill MacLeod

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Its a great idea to monitor the engine and trans temps in your situ as you are putting a lot of stress on the drivetrain. But that won't do crap if the existing trans fluid is spent. Just my opinion, but the only way to have a base line is to do a pan drop and filter change. Its not as difficult as some think, and you can siphon out a small amount through the fill plug to observe the fluid condition from time to time.
Keep us all advised of what you do, why you chose that route and what your results were. Inquiring minds need to know.
 






Spades

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Got some baseline #s this weekend before i make a move, that way we have before & after comparisons to go by.

Not towing anything, cruising 68-72 mph, 85° day, 3 adults, equal amounts of up & down hills, trans fluid temps peaked at 185°, but mostly sitting at 181-183°. I think i will definitely need additional cooling when towing about 2500 lbs with lots of uphills, like 3/4 of the time in a 45 minute span, 90-95° weather
 






Bill MacLeod

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Seem like normal temps for the conditions.
 






Spades

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Got some baseline #s this weekend, but this time towing 2200 pounds

Cruising at 66-68 mph, 3 adults, 104° outside temp, the trans fluid temps peaked at 206° but mostly sitting at ~202°, coolant temps around 216°

With a target temp between 190-195 while towing, what size oil cooler should i be looking at to add to my existing cooler? Im also still debating if im going to eliminate passing through the coolant radiator.
 






Bill MacLeod

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Get the biggest one you can fit. B&M has a couple of 1 1/2" thick coolers: 70266 is 11" x 8" x 1 1/2" rated @ 20,500 btu.
#70274 is 11" x 11" x 1 1/2" rated @ 29,200 btu. Note that you will have to buy fittings separately.
Check Amazon, think that Long makes most of the stacked plate type and they use to make an oversized unit.
 






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