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Talley

Thoughts On Auxiliary Transmission Coolers and Filters?

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I am new to the motorhome community and recently purchased a 97 Fleetwood Flair with a Ford 460 and E4OD tranny and am wondering if I should add an auxiliary tranny cooler and filter to extend the life of the tranny. It's only got 23K miles and I just had Ford do a complete tranny flush and fill. Is it worth it and have others done this? Thanks.

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No. That should not be necessary. Do you have any service history records for this coach? You are going to hear from others who say you MUST get the fluids changed and changed to synthetics. The reality is that we just don't use our coaches enough to make any of these kinds of changes necessary. Enjoy the coach the way that it is and you can use all of that money you did not spend unnecessarily to pay for you fuel!

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Thanks Bill. Unfortunately, I purchased from the 2nd owner so I have zero records which is why I changed all fluids immediately. Still toying with the genny but that is a different story.

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IMHO it depends on what, if anything, you plan to tow. I have a 1997 35' tag axle coach on a Ford chassis with the 460 Banks and a E4OD transmission. I tow a >4,000 lb boat 3000 miles round trip each year and have lost 2 transmissions in the last 6 years. Heat is your biggest enemy and while your chassis has a factory cooler, it is not particularly large or effective. First rebuild was done at the Ford dealer and they only built back to factory specs.....no modifications or upgrades, With this last rebuild at an independent transmission shop, he recommended a larger Hayden cooler and transmission temp gauge be added. Shop switched to MerconV synthetic. They also added some internal upgrades and hopefully I'm through with the transmission woes of the past.

If you don't tow, you may not need anything. But, tow or not, I wish I would have at least added that trans temp gauge years ago. Probably would have saved me a couple of very expensive rebuilds.

I think you did the right thing in servicing it upon purchase to establish a baseline.

****

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Talley, if you plan on keeping the coach for a while and you travel the mountains and tow, you need a cooler.

You can also invest in a deeper transmission pan for added capacity which will also lower tranny fluid temps.

mikie

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Install a transmission oil temp gauge sender in the line going out the left front side of the transmission. Your motor home is already equipped with a cooler & aux. cooler.

Once a year at night I use a small mechanics mirror and a flashlight to inspect the front & back & corners of the engine radiator, air conditioning condenser, transmission & power steering coolers etc. for crud that blocks the airflow. Use a degreaser such as Simple Green to soak the crud and use a water hose & nozzle to blast the crud off. (NO high pressure washer) [Also be prepared to get wet and dirty- -goggles required.] If it's real bad you may have to repeat & use a narrow brush on a handle. DON'T BEND FINS

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My advise, for what it's worth, is that ALL Ford E4OD trans that pull any loads should have an additional cooler installed. I would also recommend a trans temp gauge. In my F350 I noticed that my trans. really got hot when going down hills with the exhaust brake on. A lockup switch on the torque converter solved the problem. The truck has over 200k miles, never a problem with the trans or PowerStroke engine.

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Thanks Charlie and that is what got me thinking as I too have a PowerStroke and the tranny needed a rebuild at 90K and I don't even pull a load. The tech suggested the auxilary cooler as well as the external filter. I will probably do it once I get other gremlins worked out.

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The Ford F53 chassis already has 2-transmission oil "coolers" on it. Transmission fluid flows from the transmission thru a heat exchanger/cooler in the lower radiator tank where normal coolant temperature runs approximately 180* degrees. (15* degrees lower than the standard 195* degree engine thermostat). The transmission oil then exits the radiator and enters the ambient air temperature exchange/cooler that is mounted in front of the radiator and returns to the transmission oil pan to repeat the cycle.

With the Ford 460 (7.5 liter) V8 engine the easy way to lower transmission oil temp is to remove the 195* engine thermostat and replace with a 180* thermostat that lowers the lower radiator tank temperature to approximately 165* resulting in lower transmission temperatures and considerably less engine cooling fan roar when using the engine driven air conditioning.

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The radiator coolant temp is 180-200 degrees at the top and then the cooling with the air flowing through the fins cools the coolant roughly 50 degrees. The cooler coolant then enters the engine water pump and is circulated through the engine cooling passages which reheats it to 180-200 degrees. The trans cooler in the lower part of the radiator is placed at the coolest part of the coolant and it does heat the coolant somewhat. In the cold winter it helps heat the transmission fluid which helps the transmission warm up faster. On my diesel pusher the trans cooler is in the bottom radiator hose and the trans temp is in the 170 degree range at highway speeds in the summer.

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Hay Bud,

I've got one like yours. Lost tranny in NV a few summers ago like 13 ford wouldn't honor warranty built in 95 on a 94 chassis,. Blew in 99 no body could help. Got it rebuilt at aamco. Cost a pocket full and then some.

Put a cooler an electric fan and temp gauge. It keeps the temp down. Ford usually builds a good product but the e4od is a weak link.The extra bucks have keep me off the side of the road, change fluid every few years-- baby her an she'll keep kickin.

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The main killer of automatic transmissions is heat. If you can keep them cool they will last and last. Eventually the wear parts do go, but heat is the main early killer of them.

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I know this is reviving an old thread...

I just got my motorhome yesterday, and am stepping through the systems.

I crawled under, and traced the tranny coolant lines. When I got the factory aux cooler up front, I got a little confused.

The flow goes in the top of the radiator, and then comes out the bottom of the radiator.

Then, it goes into the bottom of the aux cooler, out the top, and back to the return port on the transmission.

Does anybody know why it would go into the bottom of the aux cooler, and be forced up through it, rather than be piped to the top of it and flow down?

I've checked three times before I posted this to make sure I was tracing the lines correctly... :)

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John,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum!

Transmission cooling lines go to the top of the radiator - first as this heats the transmission oil faster when its cold out. Regarding connecting it to bottom of the Aux. cooler - think it is done this way to expose the oil to the highest air flow point before returning it back to the transmission, but it could also be routed this way just because its faster when assembling things.

Rich.

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