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Old 07-22-2002, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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auto tranny too hot

Ok, ever since i put in my tranny temp gague, i have noticed the tranny getting too hot. this last wednesday i was running up highway 120 and i got my the tranny into the red zone on the temp gague (300* i believe). I was also pulling right at that limit when doing the grapevine last night. and this is unloaded. My truck is a 1996 1500 ram with a 318/518 with 3.55 gears and 33" bfg muds. when i replaced the tranny about 10k miles ago, my tranny guy put on a 18,000# cooler, but bypassed the factory one in the radiator because it was clogged. But also because of this, it is normal fo rthe truck's tranny to stay at 100* on flatland for long periods of time. So what should i do? I know it is getting too hot. I have a second tranny cooler, sound i throw that on, or try to get my factroy radiator one hooked back up. And can i have it cleaned, or do i need a whole new radiator. I know this is gonna cause some major problems along the road if i dont do something about it. Any sugguestions?

thanks Garrett
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Old 07-22-2002, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to get that heat thing straightened out ASAP. I would throw on a second cooler before going back to the radiator. It is cheap, easy, and should work better. The radiator cooler is having to compete with the engine for cooling so it is a compimise. I have two 18,000 lb cooler and I run synthetic tranny fluid in my Ford. With a GVW of 17,000 lbs running up the Grapevine at 70 mph in HOT summer, my tanny doesn't get over 200 degrees. One thing to remember though, is kick it down a gear when it starts to get hot. Putting the tranny in a high gear stuck between an engine which is cranking and low R&P's and big tires, creates a lot of stress. If the tranny is that hot, it is suffering. A lower gear takes a lot of that strain off and will do a lot to lessen the temps.
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Hey, if this rig is for wheelin', what are all these animal parts doin' in here?
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok, i have a second cooler, i will throw it on ASAP.. but what about having the tranny be too cold? i thought that was also a problem.
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Old 07-22-2002, 10:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought so too, but everyone I talk to said it didn't matter. I use synthetic and I think that helps things when cold too. I still have my radiator "cooler/heater" plumbing in tact though. I just plumbed my two coolers in-line after the radiator. Call your favorite tranny shop and ask them.

BTW, how did the radiator cooling line get plugged? That is pretty scary. There shouldn't be anything in the tranny fliud that could clog the line. Anything that substantial would ruin your tranny fast.

I like your user name "Hick", my last name is "Hicks". Maybe we are lomg lost hill billy relatives.....
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Hey, if this rig is for wheelin', what are all these animal parts doin' in here?

Last edited by Tusker; 07-22-2002 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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my cooler got clogged because my torque converter went south, and deposited metal everywhere. Burned up the clutch packs, etc. that was 10k ago. it plugged it,, so that i would have to rev the engine to about 3k to make the truck pop into gear. NOw i have a mopar 518 in there. works great.. just like stock. I woudl use redline fluid, but i just changed the tranny fluid like 2k ago.. so i am gonna let it be.

And BTW, my last name is matt, just everyone calls me hick, so thus the screen name.

so did you say that the factory in radiator cooler is still in tact? I was commuting 30 miles each way (one hour) and the needle wouldnt even register on the gague. I called my buddy tonight, and he has a spare tranny cooler i can have, so i hope to install it in the next few days, but shoudl i try to hook the factory cooler back up?

Oh, and BTW, that bad tranny blew up the 231 too.. wasent a good bill.
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Old 07-23-2002, 01:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The tranny temp you see will depend on where you have your sensor plumbed. If you have it plumbed at the output of the tranny, you'll see very hot temperatures under load like what you're seeing. If you have it plumbed in the pan or in the return line, it'll be much cooler if your tranny fluid cooler is doing it's job.
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Old 07-23-2002, 01:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, my radiator heat exchanger is still hooked up along with the two external 18,000 lb coolers. Dustball's comment is a great one. My sending unit is located in the pan sump. If you locate it on the external line to the cooler, he is right, it will register MUCH higher temps under load. I know there is great debate about location, but I like the pan. It tells me how the colling system is working and the condition of what I am feeding the tranny, and that is what I want to know. I can't control the rest of the heat equation very well.

I absolutely WOULD NOT re-plumb your radiator heat exchanger if it is plugged. If you did, you would get little to no flow through your coolers, and you want to maximze the flow through them. My tranny temp gauge never comes off the bottom of the scale (less than 130 degrees??) in the winter unless I am towing a heavy load. In the summer, it registers around 140 to 145 on hot days (100+) driving empty.
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Hey, if this rig is for wheelin', what are all these animal parts doin' in here?
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Old 07-23-2002, 03:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hooked up the gague about a foot down the line from the tranny cooler, in the line. I am pickin up my second coller tonight, so we will see how it works. from what i understand it is a factory one off a one ton dulley chevy, so it shoudl work fine. or so i hope.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would add the 2nd cooler and read the temp from the pan sump as others have stated. Easy stuff first. Wish you well with this issue.
-rev pSa
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by thereverend
I would add the 2nd cooler and read the temp from the pan sump as others have stated. Easy stuff first. Wish you well with this issue.
-rev pSa
i have a gague that is ment to be in the transmission line (B+M). Now what is the difference if it it at the output of the tranny cooler, or 6' further down the tranny line?

thanks garrett
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't think they would read any different. Anyway, in either location you are still measuring post cooler and pre-tranny temps so it is measuring the effectiveness of the cooler. That is what you want IMHO.
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Hey, if this rig is for wheelin', what are all these animal parts doin' in here?
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ok, but how do i hook up my current sender to the tranny pan?
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Old 07-25-2002, 01:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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www.tekonsha.com Great stuff for keeping your tranny cool. Highly recommended. They also have a guage/filter set-up.


I agree with everyone telling you to hook the factory rad cooler back up. Your tranny shop should have done that for you, or they should not have even let you drive off of the parking lot with your warrenty in tact. The radiator cooler will keep the tranny temps at operating temps... not at whatever number bubba down the road said it should run at. Call around to a few different tranny shops and dealers and see what number they say it should run at. With a secondary cooler inline, your temps during normal driving conditions should not vary too much. When you are loaded down and headed up the pass, that cooler will start doing its job and keeping temps down.
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Old 07-25-2002, 09:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sorry to think so simple - but are you 100% sure the temp guage is reading accurate? Definately worth checking on before you do too much tinkering....
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Old 07-26-2002, 03:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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how do i go about checking it?
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Old 07-26-2002, 06:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hick
how do i go about checking it?

Good question


Get a thermometer for cooking from the grocery store, heat some water, and get it to a set temp, then insert the probe from the truck into the water and see if it matches up.

There may be a better way, but that is just one way I thoughtof off the top of my head...

Seems like an hour or so of work and a couple of bucks would make sure that is not the problem - good luck!
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Old 07-26-2002, 12:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i highly doubt it is the problem, but it is worth a try, thanks. Garrett
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Old 07-26-2002, 01:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by DRM
Get a thermometer for cooking from the grocery store, heat some water, and get it to a set temp......
Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. That is an easy known point. The boiling point drops as you get to higher elevations, so don't forget that.
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Hey, if this rig is for wheelin', what are all these animal parts doin' in here?
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Old 07-30-2002, 10:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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So, did you change the fluid right after it hit 300 deg. ?

At 260 Deg. ATF breaks down to the point of being basically junk.

Change all the fluid any time you hit 260+

Cory
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