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Customer Discussions > Automotive forum

Transmission Fluid Cooler, do i need a fan?

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 8:34:29 AM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
I recently installed a Mishimoto Radiator in my 05 Legacy GT. Well the previous owner had installed an External Cooler. I decided to reuse it because it was platted cooler instead of just Fins and Tubes. I live in Dallas, Texas so do i need to purchase a seperate fan to cool the cooler more efficiently?

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 11:01:36 PM PDT
Bruce Doxey says:
If it is mounted in free air toward the front of the car a fan should not be necessary.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 12:58:24 PM PDT
Carl G says:
Fidel, doesn't the fluid still run through the radiator?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 10:46:14 AM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
I bought an all Aluminum one. Aftermarket Radiators are made for Manual Transmissions. No Cooler Integrated. im just going to get one to be safe. Since its not hot yet ill get it this next Month.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 1:10:47 PM PDT
Carl G says:
I am confused. Does your car have a automatic or standard transmission?

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 2:10:55 PM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
Automatic, its a 5EAT (Electronic Automatic Transmission w/ Sportshift).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 2:29:55 PM PDT
Carl G says:
Fidel, are you on any of the Legacy forums? That would probably be the best place to ascertain specific questions because those members are perhaps more knowledgeable.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 3:39:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2012 3:41:49 PM PDT
jshmoe says:
Generally, stand alone trans coolers aren't large enough to mount a fan to, nor should you need one as long as it is located in the path of airflow.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 5:38:50 AM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
Thanks i found a Forum,, and i found out i should get one due to the fact that I live in Texas where it can get extremely hot during the summer

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 8:02:48 PM PDT
Stevo 707 says:
Keep in mind that the main cause for transmission failure is heat. To be safe, you should have a fan on the cooler unless it is mounted forward of the radiator. In that case the fan for the cooling system will also pull air through the oil cooler. A slick set-up is the integrated cooler/fans sold at Summit Racing, Jegs, etc. They come as a set. And for the ultimate set-up, use an inline thermostat switch that turns the fan on when it reaches a preset temperature.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 9:39:30 AM PDT
SARGuy says:
I had a similar engine oil cooler mounted in front of my radiator on an MGB in New Mexico but it now lives in Austin - if you can keep the oil cooler the car will run cooler - the same is true of the ATF for your transmission. As long as there is air flowing over the surface of your cooler it will cool the transmission fluid - forward movement at highway speed will do fine - if you're in 'city' traffice I'd recommend placing the cooler so the fan draws air over it.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 12:02:54 PM PDT
Carl G says:
My car has a oil cooler, transmission fluid cooler and a power steering cooler. It can idle in the Texas (and any place else) heat all day long and not overheat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 12:13:37 PM PDT
Fidel --
You mentioned a "platted" cooler -- I'm assuming that you meant "plated", as in the B&M's "Stacked Plate" design.
I have experience with the stacked plate tranny coolers, and may be able to help.

First off, the efficiency of your tranny cooler is subject to it's placement AND it's positioning. The ideal location is FORWARD of the A/C condenser and the radiator, with an inch of space between the cooler and the next thing in the air stream.

The positioning is important as well -- the "Inlet" and "Outlet" fittings of a "stacked plate" type cooler should be at THE TOP of the cooler, pointing STRAIGHT UP. This allows the cooler to fill COMPLETELY with fluid. The fittings pointing down or sideways will not allow the cooler to fill with fluid, and cooling capacity will be lost. This positioning is important with the stacked-plate coolers because the tube-and-fin type coolers can be installed with the fittings pointing anywhere at all. This may be a consideration when installing a cooler for the first time. One must make sure that the stacked-plate cooler can be mounted with the fittings pointing upwards -- if it can't be done, then a fin-and-tube type cooler must be used.

If you can mount your stacked-plate cooler forward of the radiator and in the air stream, no fan should be necessary. I have used stacked-plate coolers in different types of vehicles in tempeartures above 110 degrees -- with never a need for a fan or a problem with a transmission heating up.

You say that "Aftermarket radiators are made for Manual Transmissions".
I don't know why you couldn't find a radiator for your automatic tranny -- I bought one from Amazon a while back !!

Anyways, when installing a transmission cooler, the line FROM the tranny goes to the Inlet side of the RADIATOR FIRST -- then from the Outlet side of the Radiator to the Inlet side of the Tranny Cooler, and then back to the transmission.

When the Radiator's fittings cannot be used, the fluid lines are run directly from the tranny to the cooler and return. Either way, keep the fittings of the tranny cooler pointed UP, and all should be OK.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 1:39:42 PM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
^ Im have to reinstall it then. The Previous owner had it sideways so i reinstalled it that way. Going to make some brakets so i can place it Inlets facing up. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 2:49:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012 3:49:49 PM PDT
Fidel --
You will probably find many peeps that say the position of the fittings doesn't matter -- and give a bunch of reasons why.

I found the true installation info from B&M Transmissions, Inc. when I was researching the purchase of a tranny cooler for my '95 Grand Marquis Project Car. B&M is the established leader in tranny coolers, and the "stacked plate" design is their patent.
I got one here at Amazon -- for a nice price.

Sorry about the need to re-install -- BUT -- it's much better than not knowing how much fluid is actually being cooled. With the fittings pointing UP, your cooler is GUARANTEED to be completely full and working at it's best !!

By-the-way -- if your stacked-plate cooler is a few years old, it is better-made than the newer ones. I can't describe the difference, but a glance at the 2 versions side-by-side will show you right away.

Here's a tip -- after your tranny cooler is installed, measure out a piece of 1/4th-inch galvanized wire mesh to fit between the grille and the cooler/condenser/radiator. This will protect your investment from flying rocks and save the rad from clogging with large insects. I drove through a cloud of butterflies once, and it clogged up the whole radiator to where I had to get it to a service station to have the thick mess of butterflies removed.
Good luck !!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 11:24:52 AM PDT
CarlGlas --
Smooth move -- Some folks remember to cool the tranny, and some remember to cool the engine oil, too. Few remember to cool the power steering fluid.
Mountain driving here in the West puts a lot of heat into the Power Steering Fluid -- a cooler will save some big bucks by preventing an expensive power steering repair bill.
I had an '83 FJ-60 that had an engine-oil cooler and a power-steering cooler from the factory. No need to cool the 4-speed floor-shift tranny or the 4WD transfer case.

Did your rig come with those 3 coolers, or did you add 'em on there ??
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Automotive forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Mar 15, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 16, 2012

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