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Old 11-08-2007, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Benefits of A Transmission Cooler?

What exactly are the benefits of a transmission cooler? Is it just extended life of the transmission and transmission fluid? I am trying to weigh out the benefits of installing a cooler any help would be great.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your ATF is getting hotter than optimal, say 180 deg F or so, then a cooler will help reduce the temperature, which in turn can help increase transmission life. It also can help increase the life of the ATF through reduced oxidation.

If you do any towing, live in a hot climate, do a lot of steep hill climbs, etc., a cooler can be a nice addition. Also installing an ATF temp gauge can be helpful in monitoring temps.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by porcupine73
If your ATF is getting hotter than optimal, say 180 deg F or so, then a cooler will help reduce the temperature, which in turn can help increase transmission life. It also can help increase the life of the ATF through reduced oxidation.

If you do any towing, live in a hot climate, do a lot of steep hill climbs, etc., a cooler can be a nice addition. Also installing an ATF temp gauge can be helpful in monitoring temps.
Are these fairly straightforward DIY mods for a guy who is pretty handy with a wrench?
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a 40.00 part that can extend the life of a 2500.00 transmission.

Transmission fluid should be no more then 100 degrees hotter then ambiant. ABove that the tranny is overheating, and the oil starts to break down. Also spot trany temps can reach 1200 degrees (for a split second) as clutches engage. Heat is produced by the front pump, and from other moving parts.

There is a factory cooler/warmer in the radiator. That is usually good enough for the average driver.

If you carry a full load, pull a trailer, climb mountains, or do a lot of stop and go driving, an external cooler doesnt hurt. With a trailer or a full load (done often) it is required.

A cooler is really simple to install. It should go in the fluid line that goes from the tranny to the radiator, NOT from the radiator to the tranny. I forget which line is which.

The reason is that the cooler in the raditor also helps heat the fluid in winter. If you put the cooler in after the raditaor, you will be expelling wanted warmth. If you put it before, it will expell heat, then the raditor will normalize the fluid temp.

When i put mine in, the hardest thing was pushing the plastic mounts through the radiator for the cooler. Youll have to remove the top bolts of the radiator (dont have to remove the rad) to get your hand in there. Thats if you choose that location.

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i know somone is going to argue with me, but think about the logic first.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nip: When I installed mine, I believe I installed it AFTER the radiator, I was told to do so for cold temps as the radiator would warm up the fluid some. I guess it would either way, but whats the difference?
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote: Are these fairly straightforward DIY mods for a guy who is pretty handy with a wrench?

Oh yes it's pretty easy on the soobs. Just simple hose barb connections with 3/8" or 13/32" id hose. There is an OEM Subaru ATF cooler kit available for certain soobs that bolts right in. On your model the ATF cooler hoses at the very bottom of the radiator (on earlier years that were on the LH side of the rad), and are very easy to get at once you remove the plastic underdoor (if yours has a plastic underdoor).

I used some Permacool ATF coolers from SummitRacing.com and used 90deg angle brackets to mount them in place.

I put my filters at the AT's fluid output to the cooling circuit, then into the in-tank radiator cooler, then in to the aftermarket cooler, then back to the AT. In cold weather I just put a piece of Reflectix insulation in front of the aftermarket cooler to help get the temp up a little bit.

Don't forget to wire in a temp gauge so you can see how its doing.



ATF filter:
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lets try this

Hot transmission -------->external cooler radiates to winter air (possibly cooling the fluid lower then the engine temp)-------->raditaor at 180 degrees warms fluid back up --------> return to tranny

Hot transmssion --------> internal cooler drops it to (lest say) 180 degrees----------------> external cooler drops it down to below optimal temp --------> returns to tranny

Now there are a couple of stipulations here

Dont buy a HUGE honkin external cooler unless you are always towing. i dont know the temp setting for the auto tranny (at what point its starts operating normally). You may overcool the tranny and affect its performance.Colder tranny fluid is thicker and can rob some gas mileage. If you live in the hinterlands and see extreeme cold, it may pay you to disconnect it every winter. I dont know, i just know from dealing with external coolers in alaska, it would cool the fluid too much.

i have a tranny temp gauge on Blu. Blu runs at 100 degrees over ambiant in stop, go, local summer driving. I just drove from NY to chicago, and the gauge did not budge at 75 mph (when the tranny is in 4th gear and locked torque converter, it is producing minimal amount of heat), the air temp was 38 degrees.

i forget what the lower end of the gauge is, as it is a OE oil temp gauge i am using. I may for kicks put my thermal couple on the line and see what it actually reads when it is bleow the bottom of the gauge.

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Old 11-08-2007, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Typical auto trans operating temp, for soobs anyway is about 180 deg F. I like to stay below that when possible. In the hotest days of the summer in daily driving that's about what I get up to, 180F exit temp from the trans. If I go hill climbing in the summer it gets up to 220F sometimes. In the winter with the reflectix in place it runs maybe 140F. Too cold I don't like because condensation/moisture in the ATF doesn't get cooked out. Running amsoil syn atf.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by porcupine73
Typical auto trans operating temp, for soobs anyway is about 180 deg F. I like to stay below that when possible. In the hotest days of the summer in daily driving that's about what I get up to, 180F exit temp from the trans. If I go hill climbing in the summer it gets up to 220F sometimes. In the winter with the reflectix in place it runs maybe 140F. Too cold I don't like because condensation/moisture in the ATF doesn't get cooked out. Running amsoil syn atf.
I'm trying to find the minmal temp on a sooby fluid. Tranny fluid temps at 80 degrees f is as you say it is (actually thats nay transmission).

my temp gauge is in celcius so i see 212 around NYC (90 degree plus day)(havent gone climbing since the gauge went in) so your number is a valid number. Higher then that, you need to do more frequent fluid changes



Where are those two filters mounted anyway? I had a hard enough time fitting air horns :P

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Old 11-08-2007, 06:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi. Yes I recall your gauge pics, very sharp. Just basing the ~180F normal trans temp as that's roughly what soob says to check atf 'hot' at.

That filter assembly is crammed into the LH fender. On '00obw I was able to fit it in there with those two largest size filters shown, those are 2 quart capacity each. On '96 Legacy I could only fit one large and one medium filter, should be ~3-3.5 quart capacity.

'96 pic during install:
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