is it time for a tranny cooler? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-05-2004, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default is it time for a tranny cooler?

Nice day outside today, about 60*F and I took out our 97 for a trip to town (60 miles there and back). I noticed when I had the AC on the temps on the car went up about 15-20* on the highway or during light acceleration (3k RPMs max). I turned on the heat and set it as high as it would go and let it run, which cooled the engine down to normal (180-195). I also noticed that the tranny would fall out of OD into neutral when I went up an overpass or some acceleration. Since this never happened in the wintertime, but last summer the tranny acted up ALOT, especially on long trips or when it was excessivly hot outside. I never noticed the engine temp change last year, but I didnt look as hard either. My question is whether a transmission cooler would help my problem by giving the car a little more cooling power. Another thing I was wondering is whether it is easy to straighten the fins on the radiator, some of the ones on ours are smashed shut. Can I just use a small screwdriver and bend then back to about where they should be?
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:21 AM   #2
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You can straighten the fins if you do it very carefully. I'm overcooling my trans with dual coolers in the winter, so I plan to replace both with a single larger Thermostatically controlled unit soon.

You don't have ANY, so I'd add a small cooler to yours. Sounds like the TC may be slipping in lockup. Might be time for a trans flush, too.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:26 AM   #3
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A little dark side for you. That'* what mine started doing over a year ago. Got it flushed, then the TC failed two months later. Don't know if the flush had anything to do with it. It would act fine when it was cool, then once it warmed up, it was a no go, literally. I am under the impression that it would have lasted longer if I had another cooler on it.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:36 AM   #4
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Jseabert'* 93SSE sits in front of my house with a bad TC with the same symptoms, only worse. After 10 minutes of driving, he'* not going anywhere. He had the stock SSE/SSEi cooler, but I'd bet the trans was never serviced by the original owner. With 180k miles on it.

Heat is the enemy, but there IS such a thing as too much cooling. Since the SSE/SSEi get a small stock cooler, you should be fine adding one of similar size.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:46 AM   #5
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What you need to straighten the fins is a 'radiator comb' and yes they do make them. Comercial a/c repair guys have them.
A tranny cooler is always a good idea, unless as Will pointed out your over doing it.
If they do a complete and proper tranny fllush it also is worth the price as it removes the built up varnish and gunk hidden in your old transmission.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:17 PM   #6
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I know we have a big tranny cooler left from a truck, but it might be too big. Can someone give me the dimensions for their cooler so I have something to compare with? Will, would you be interested in the cooler if it would fit? I had the tranny flushed last year and had the shop run a diagnostic on it, they said there was nothing wrong except for normal wear and tear. I'll probably call the shop and see what they think of a cooler. They run ~$50 right?
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:27 AM   #7
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I've got my eye on a new unit.....pretty high-end. I'd like one with an adjustable thermostat

Stock cooler is roughly 8x12", and one that size should run you 35-40 US.
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:46 AM   #8
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There'* a radiator rake in eastwood catalog if you can't find one somewhere else.
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Old 04-10-2004, 02:30 AM   #9
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it was about a half-gallon low on coolant, so I topped it off. Its running better now, but if I have to push the throttle in hard and its a warm day the temps go up pretty quickly (though they come back down pretty easily too). I'll probably still go with the tranny cooler when I get my tax rebates and cover it in the winter.
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