An automatic transmission cooler is recommended for high performance, towing and racing applications. Any of these uses lead to an increase in the heat generated during operation of your transmission. A deep transmission pan that holds additional fluid helps with controlling dissipation of the additional heat but in many applications a deep pan alone is not enough. In many applications you need more than just a deep pan to keep your transmission fluid cool. An external transmission oil cooler as well as automatic transmission cooler fan kits work great in addition to a deep pan. These items working together are very beneficial in helping to control the temperature of your automatic transmission and torque converter.
Quick Link Menu for Automatic Transmission Cooler Info
An automatic transmission cooler and fan kit works to keep your transmission and torque converter cool which gives consistent, maximum performance and it also extends the life of your automatic transmission.
The tow biggest enemies of long automatic transmission life are high operating temperatures and dirt. If you keep your transmission supplied with clean, high quality fluid, change your filter routinely and keep the temperature under control you can help extend the life and performance of your transmission. Our line of deep transmission pans, transmission oil coolers and other cooling accessories will help you extend the life of your expensive transmission and torque converter. We have a variety of automatic transmission cooler models to cover a wide range of applications. We also have trans coolers that include electric fans as part of the package.
Whether you are looking to get the most consistent performance from your drag race vehicle, control the heat in your motor homes transmission, or just extend the life of the transmission in your daily driver, we have the coolers you need to get the job done.
JW Performance Automatic Transmission Cooler List and Specifications
|16000 GVW automatic transmission cooler, Universal fit, barb type fittings
|25000 GVW transmission oil cooler with fan, 10" fan, 650 cfm, barb type fittings, 10" x 16" x 4 7/8"
|automatic transmission cooler with fan, 8" fan, 400 cfm, AN-6 type fittings, 10" x 12.5" x 4", very efficient and light weight package, best choice for all out race vehicles
|15,500 GVW transmission oil cooler with fan, 7" fan, 400 cfm, barb type fittings
When trying to decide on the best automatic transmission cooler and related system components for your vehicle you have to consider several factors.In addition to the size and weight of your vehicle, how the vehicle will be used, if the vehicle will be raced or not, you also have to consider physical mounting considerations. These include the available room to mount the transmission oil cooler system, the size of cooler lines being used, the location of the cooler inlet and outlet and the types of fittings used. Racers are also concerned with things such as the weight of the automatic transmission cooler, ease of replacement, optional line sizes and more. It is worth taking the time to plan out your entire transmission oil cooler system installation before starting to purchase the parts you need for your project.
This is a VERY general guide. A street driven cruiser has very different trans cooling system requirements than a heavy motor home that is used to tow an enclosed trailer and race car. The below table will provide a very general starting point for you to use when planning your transmission oil cooler system. If you tow, haul heavy loads, drive a lot in mountainous terrain you will need to go larger with the cooler size, regardless of your basic vehicle recommendation. Remember, you are building a transmission cooling SYSTEM to protect and extend the life and performance of your transmission. Properly cared for automatic transmission can provide very long service life. A properly chosen, installed and maintained transmission fluid cooling system will protect your expensive investment.
General Automatic Transmission Cooler Size Selection Guidelines
Recommended Minimum Transmission Oil Cooler size
GVW = Gross Vehicle Weight
|Compact cars, no towing or heavy hauling
|10,000 to 16,000 pounds gvw
|Mid-sized automobiles and light towing
|14,000 to 18,000 pounds gvw
|Mid-size trucks, full size cars towing up to 5,000 lbs.
|18,000 to 24,000 pounds gvw
|Pickup trucks, SUV's towing up to 7,500 lbs.
|22,000 to 26,000 pounds gvw
|Heavy duty trucks, RVs, Motor homes Towing up to 10,000 lbs.
|22,000 to 30,000 pounds gvw
|Super Duty trucks, buses, large motor homes
|28,000 pounds gvw and higher
Racing vehicles, varies greatly.
An 1/8 mile drag car has a much different transmission oil cooler requirement than an off road race truck. When in doubt it is almost always better to have more cooling capacity than needed. Install a trans temp gauge and use it. Consult with others doing the type of racing you are interested in, with similar types of vehicles and see what they are using.
16,000 - 24,000 lbs. gvw
A frequent question we get is whether or not an external automatic transmission cooler should be installed in serious with the transmission oil cooler in the bottom of the radiator or if the cooling tank in the radiator should be bypassed. The answer is, it depends. Not only does the transmission oil cooler in the radiator act as a transmission fluid cooler it also helps to warm the fluid which can be important in areas that have colder climates. A transmission performs best when it functions within the temperature range that it was designed to operate in. In many areas with colder temperatures the transmission may never get up to proper operating temperature if the trans fluid is not routed through the radiator mounted transmission oil cooler.
For most applications, the preferred installation is to have the external transmission oil cooler in series with the radiator mounted cooler. This means that the transmission fluid will go through the radiator mounted cooler, then through the external cooler and then back to the transmission. This will provide maximum efficiency for the majority of applications. This is also the best set up for operation in cold weather.
The most efficient location to mount your automatic transmission cooler is generally in the front of the radiator in line with the cooling fan. Mount the cooler so it gets as much cool, unobstructed air flow as possible.If the radiators fan does not draw enough air through the trans cooler, or if you can not mount the cooler so that it benefits from the vehicles standard cooling fan, then plan on installing a separate electric fan kit on the transmission oil cooler.
One exception is on racing vehicles, especially drag race vehicles where you can often times control the trans temp just fine with just the external transmission oil cooler and a cooling fan. This minimizes weight, transmission lines and fittings that could leak. It is always best to run a transmission temperature gauge in a high performance or racing vehicle. This is the best way to monitor your vehicles trans temp and decide if you need a larger, or smaller, automatic transmission cooler system.
When it comes to racing, especially drag racing, it is of vital importance to keep the transmission at as close to the same temperature for every single pass down the drag strip as possible. This plays a big part in getting the vehicle to run extremely consistent elapsed times which is so critical in modern bracket racing and .90 class racing. Controlling the transmission temperature is one area that is often overlooked when working to make your car as consistent as possible. A high quality transmission oil cooler plays a big part in obtaining race winning consistency.
The best set up for a drag racing car is generally a high quality automatic transmission cooler with a cooling fan mounted directly on the transmission oil cooler. The fan should be wired up with a temperature controlled relay AND with a manual override switch so that the driver can force the fan on or off if the thermostat control is not providing the level of control needed. In addition, set up a high quality transmission temperature gauge.
One last simple and short recommendation. Install an automatic transmission temperature gauge and use it. They are fairly inexpensive and provide important information about your transmission. It will pay for itself by helping you to make your ETs more consistent leading to more round wins. For racing I feel a large full sweep gauge or a large digital gauge with outer sweep is best but any gauge is better than none at all.
Sometimes you may not need an external automatic transmission cooler and a deep pan may be all you need. On any high performance vehicle, towing vehicle, racing vehicle, etc., especially one with a hot rod type engine, high performance transmission and torque converter, a deep transmission pan is a good idea.
A deep pan holds more fluid than a stock pan, which helps the transmission to run cooler while ensuring that the pick up will always be covered by transmission fluid, even during hard acceleration, braking or cornering. A cast aluminum pan is far stronger than a stamped steel pan and the aluminum pan helps cool the fluid better than a steel pan. Our deep aluminum pan kits make changing transmission fluid easier and less messy as they include a threaded drain plug, similar to the one on your engines oil pan. Matching up a deep pan with a transmission oil cooler forms the foundation for a great cooling system.
If you need other automatic transmission coolers, pans or parts that you have not been able to find on this page you can try this link Automatic Transmission Pans which will give you access to many more pans, transmission oil cooler types, parts and hopefully you can find what you need.
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