Mountain Pass Adventures in Utah....269* Trans, 248* Coolant - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-18-2007, 02:12 AM   #1
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Default Mountain Pass Adventures in Utah....269* Trans, 248* Coolant

Not sure where to post this but will put it here. I drive in the mountains on a monthly basis (9000FT+) and the car is getting a bit too hot for my liking. As in, my IAT was reading 50* above ambient with an FWI

Anyway I was up in the mountains yesterday 300 miles from home and there just so happened to be near record high temperatures.

The motor is getting borderline hot and the trans is in the "too hot for comfort" range. Also when the motor gets that hot the oil pressure gets in the scarily low range. Both Fans kicking full range, heater on max in a failed attempt to disipate heat thru the cabin..still got hot...

On a normal day, If the engine is at 177-183 or so the oil pressure never goes below 35 or so but after it gets over 240 it tanks bad..I dont think this is good on the motor. Keep in mind the cooling system has been flushed recently and I'm not running dexcool. I've since put the larger 3.4" pulley on the car and have 0* of KR up to 90MPH at 100* outside temp.

So what kind of transmission cooler is easy to install on this car that will insure the car acts as it should? I'm looking for specific models that are easy to bolt up without modification..do I need to flare the lines? Anyone have good installation pics on a car that DID NOT come with a factory trans cooler? Lets not forget this transmission has been built up with roughly $600 worth of additional parts which are not part of a standard rebuild so it can take the heat but its the motor I'm worried about.

The radiator has 180,000 miles on it now...whats the likelyhood of a new (non oem) radiator working better than whats on there in regards to disapating heat? Granted I'm climbing up mountains that are 9000 feet tall on some of the steepest roads in the country so I'm sure my needs differ from someone that is driving around on flat ground all day.

The oil pressure thing scared the heck out of me, but is fine today and never got below 35 PSI or so (at idle) at 200*Motor/220*Trans city driving. When tested with a mechanical gauge several months ago the oil pressure was well in operating range. The dash gauge was about 5PSI off on the low side.

Horrid Picture.




More horrid than that one...as you can see the boost is at -5PSI at idle, nearly 2 miles above sea level....



At least it looks good doing it..


So what cooler should I get? How do I install it? And is it worth changing the radiator? Those are my 3 questions.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:19 AM   #2
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I've done a few coolers. There'* no line flaring needed. Straight up here Hans.. because you also see the winter, I'd suggest looking up the cooler that WillWren installed. It'* beyond the operating needs of the car and spec'd for a large camper type vehicle. However it includes some veins that restrict part of the cooler below 160F. This ensures the transmission will achieve operating temperature, the size of the cooler ensure that it will do everything possible to keep the temps down once 160F is reached.

On the radiator.. and the cooling system. I had heat troubles.. then I found some items. First off.. if you don't have it, put in the 180F Intense T stat. It'* a large difference in flow over stock. Next up, I hosed my radiator about 5 times on the outside and inside. Used flushes etc. Things were better, but never up to par. After swapping my radiator out with a thicker core, my old one sat in the garage and one day fell over. Now..I've hosed this and pressure washed it 5 times..right? A ton of dirt came out fo the fins, the rad is now 3 lbs lighter. Don had installed the HD caddy radiators (ask him which one) into 2 of his cars now and loves the extra cooling capacity. For the winter..your thermostat should restrict the coolant and keep you up to temp.

Third.. consider a remote location oil filter kit and add an oil cooler into the line. From what I hear..and it'* what I hear, not confirmed yet. Adding an oil cooler is one of the single biggest cooling contributers you can add to an engine.

These are my suggestions. HD Trans cooler, HD radiator and possibly an oil cooler. If you want justification to change the radiator, unbolt the 7 10mm bolts that hold the top cover on the radator.. once you see the size of the core you'll have the phone in your hand saying "here'* my card number". Honestly..the radiator was the single biggest thing that helped my cooling woes.

Now..if you are trying to keep costs down. Grab a tape measure and head to the junkyard. Get a 92-95 SSEi and measure the radiator core vs yours. Anything larger is good.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:52 AM   #3
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The 92-93 3-core radiator is the thickest OEM 'bolt-in' you can get. It has the oil cooler in it. You'll need the adapter for the oil filter housing to make it work (wrecker part). Then don't hook up to the radiator'* trans cooler. Go to an external instead. Get the same one I got. You won't have issues with over-cooling in the Potato winters that way. It'* thermostatically controlled by viscosity.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:56 AM   #4
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Actually Bill...I'd suggest skipping the wimpy oil cooler in the SSEi rad. Let'* go straight to the even thicker caddy radiator that our equator based buddy Don is using.

Add to that two external coolers, one for oil one for trans.

Got the name and model of your cooler handy?
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:54 AM   #5
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Default Hayden Oil / Transmission Coolers

Searching for "Hayden oil-cooler" will come up with >this< result.

Very easy to install.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #6
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Here'* my $.02.
I've encountered similar temps on my '92 SSE */c and '93 SSEi while driving up mountain roads on warm days (95 degrees or so outside), and I've reported it to this group. I've never seen the oil pressure drop on mine, though, even when the coolant temp was near the red mark on the gage.
Both of my cars already have the factory-installed oil and tranny coolers. Both show gage temps up to 220 degrees or so in normal driving, and both run dangerously close to the red climbing mountains on warm days.
I asked a GM dealership mechanic about the temps I saw, and he said those temps are normal!
I'm not comfortable driving when the temp gets that close to the red. I, too, tried turning the heater on, but to no avail. I ended up pulling over and letting the engine cool down for a while. No other cars were pulled-over like me
Some of you may disagree with this, but my personal opinion is that the supercharged engine runs hot, and there'* not much that can be done about it...at the time when I first encountered those temps, both of my cars had the 180 degree thermostat and one had a new water pump and the other had a new radiator.
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:55 PM   #7
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Bill...good ways to combat it for sure. Also good to get a second opinion from someone in the same mountains.

Being that Hans was in his S2.. and my experience with the radiator.. trust me, it'* undersized.
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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I'd be more concerned with the oil pressure:

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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I know Hayden'* website has lots of different coolers for different applications. They have a transmission cooler called "The Dawg" that might just work for your extreme conditions, it has its own manually controlled cooling fan that is super compact and i'm sure you can make it work.

Or just take a look at the catalog. But I know an extra fan or a replacement higher speed, higher flow cooling fan might not hurt yah.

http://www.haydenauto.com/products/t...il-coolers.htm

and yeah, that oil pressure is insane. whats the deal there?
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:14 PM   #10
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At 269F on the Trans and 248-248F on the motor you are cooking all of the fluids... The PCM will not be happy seeing 269F at the Trans...

I feel a lot that has been listed here is great info, you may want to do those favors for your car Hans... It may help you out..

Even going through the Mountains( Granted I go from sea level to 4000Ft Not 9000 ) But I never seen the Motor get hot at all.. Not even if I an slamming the Crap out of it on a 5% Grade going up the Mountain.. I'm not SC'd either... lol

But here are a Couple of Pics...

Here is the Dinky stock Radiator My SE came with... And I believe that all Bonneville 96+ have that Small Radiator.... Note the difference in size between the replacement and the stocker..



Replacement core size




The Radiator thats going into the LE




The radiator that will be removed from the LE is Identical to the One removed from the 95 SE... And The same as the one Boosty took out of his 97 SSEi...

I do at the very least reccomend that you Bypass the trans cooler to an Aux Thermostatically controlled Trans Cooler.. And Get HD Cooling Radiator with the HD Core

* Edit *

Adding a couple more tid bits here..

Imagine you have a Thin radiator.... The Coolant comes out at 180F, And gets cooled to 120-130F, Then hits the Trans Cooler... say the Trans is at 220F.... Before the Coolant hits the Engine again it has in effect been preheated before it gets to the Engine... Does this make sense?

If we look at the thicker core, you will see that it has more area for cooling capability and you have a better chance even with the internal tranny cooler that you will be sending coolant back over the Trans cooler and engine at a lower temp...

I feel that the Radiator they used in the 96+ Bonnevilles was too small for its application..

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