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automatic transmission cooler -how hard is it to replace?
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vagonan
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:46 pm    Post subject: automatic transmission cooler -how hard is it to replace? Reply with quote

Can anyone tell me if this could be done without removing the tranny?
Bentley doesn't say much, it looked pretty tight when I checked under the vehicle.... Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drain the fluid out of the trans, and you may also want to drain the anti-freeze as well. Take the linkages on the right side of tranny loose. Get a jack under there and then loosen the bolts to frame on the tranny mount. slowly drop the the jack, this will pivot both motor and trans off the motor mounts, Get it as low as you can, just watch everything as you do this so you don't crush or overextend anything. Now remove the tranny mount off the tranny, that will expose the "cooler". If you have not drainded the water out, figure a way to pinch the lines going in/out of it. Remove the hoses (still will be a little water so look out) take the two banjo bolts loose that hold the "cooler" on and the cooler will now fall in your hands (probably along with a little fluid as well Very Happy

Get some fresh o-rings (takes 4) and reverse the procedure and you are off and running!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not hard, but I urge you to switch to the smallcar.com external style setup. Cheaper, more reliable and places no thermal load on the water cooling system.

I did my research and found you need 12x1.5mm AN adaptors, hoses from you fav place (Aeroquip in my case) and a 34 row Mesa cooler, just like the use at smallcar.

Nough said....
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I did my research and found you need 12x1.5mm AN adaptors


WHO did the research?? Rolling Eyes I bet if you "use the search" you'll see that someone else did Laughing
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vagonan
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the advice Reply with quote

Thanks for responding Razz
I truly appreciate the help you guys are giving me.

So, I would remove the shift linkage off the tranny, then loosen the tranny mounts right?
In order to gain clear access to the cooler but not crush the pan, where exactly should I place the jack?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks for the advice Reply with quote

vagonan wrote:
Thanks for responding Razz
I truly appreciate the help you guys are giving me.

So, I would remove the shift linkage off the tranny, then loosen the tranny mounts right?
In order to gain clear access to the cooler but not crush the pan, where exactly should I place the jack?


I use a tranny jack witha large foot on it and strap. If you done have one of those, I would consider maybe putting the jack right on the frnt mount to lower and then a jackstand off maybe the front edge of the pan or somehting like that. The pan is actually pretty stout, just maybe "pad" where they meet.

Yes I would get the linkage out of the way, loosen the "mount to frame" first, lower and then the take the mount off the tranny to get clearance to the "cooler".
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vagonan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great. I'll give it a try. Thanks again. Laughing
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weinerwagen
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible to put in a Haden aftermarket cooler?

I want to tow with my automatic Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received my Small Car Trans cooler kit this week. I have the CV Joints and rear axles all out doing service to them so figured this would be a good time to lower the trans nose to remove the stock cooler. I will post some pics on this job.

Thanks for the "How To" on this one. I was sure hoping it was doable with out removing the trans.

Do I need to drain the trans fluid to remove the cooler? I plan on pinching the coolant lines off.
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pete000
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK here's whats involved in removing the Trans cooler...

1. Support the transmission with a floor jack and some wood to protect the pan. My drive shafts are off during a rear hub rebuild and rear disk install. I think the inner CV joints might have to be removed to lower the transmission nose, not sure.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


2. First the front trans mount needs to be removed to expose the trans cooler.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


3. Also remove both shifter cables. My rubber boots were shot. I was surprised to find out the dealer wants $37.00 for the lower boot and $17.00 for the upper cable boot ! Good Grief !

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


4. You need to pinch off the coolant hoses. I used these nifty Sears pincher's.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


5. Once the mount and mount bracket are out you will see the little cooler.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


6. Now you can gently lower the nose of the transmission down to let you gain access to the banjo fittings and the coolant lines. Be careful not to drop it too low as there are fittings to the top of the engine that will pull apart. I kept a watchful eye on the top of the motor while lowering. The coolant hose spring clamps were really fun to remove.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


7. Here is the little $400.00 cooler in all its glory. The o rings were rock hard BTW.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


8. I chose to not replace the little cooler and go with the Small car heat exchanger instead. Here are the fittings installed. I used an Barb fitting to connect the stock coolant hoses back together.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


9. Remote heat exchanger mounted a bit of an angle to promote air flow.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


10. Hoses installed and a new transmission Mount OEM $220.00 ! Ouch

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Note, Only a tiny amount of ATF fluid came out as well as coolant.

I am going to do a full ATF fluid change and service as well as the final drive fluid change out next week.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm looking at your photos correctly, you went with a driver's side mount for the cooler, right?

I too installed the cooler in my slushbox Vanagon, but since I have a propane tank on the driver's side I went with the passenger side mount. Same basic install as you, but I angled my cooler a little bit more than you did to catch more airflow.

One thing I might suggest is doing some type of deflector to keep your front tires from tossing a rock up into that cooler. I have the original German style front mudflaps on both front wheels, which sit a little bit back from the wheel well. I theorize that they may help knock down some projectiles that may otherwise head towards (a) my propane tank on the driver's side, and (b) the trans cooler on the passenger side.

Good photos and documentation. I think this is a real nice upgrade to the factory design.
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pete000
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea on a rock guard. Mine is a Carat so no tanks under this one.

I have seen dome guys build duct work for the cooler, but I don't think it will get that hot. After some driving I will check to see how hot it gets.

I am just glad that now there is no chance of coolant killing my auto shifter!
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have my engine out for a rebuild right now and I might do the cooler thing while I have everything undone. I have a cooler sitting at home doing nothing and I might already have the hardware too.

What size are the threads on the in/out ports on the trans body?

Looks good!
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wavanagon
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pics, and great write up. Thanks for sharing!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like I will be doing this as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised how quickly the ATF fluid gets. This cooler really works great and no worries of blowing up the trans due to coolant leaking.

I am pondering doing stainless lines to the cooler.
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11100100
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have my engine out right now and am at the end stages of tear down/clean/eval. I'll be posting a rebuild thread in the next few days.

To me, this makes sense. I'm glad a caught this one.

One other benefit that I can see from this type of installation is the ease of a full tranny fluid flush.

Would take two people for ease

-Break the outgoing line of the cooler
-Attach a hose section to the outgoing nipple of the cooler
-Fill a container with a predetermined amount of coolant (e.g., two quarts at a time)
-Start the vehicle and draw in the new, clean fluid, capture the older fluid in another container.
-Repeat until total transmission fluid content (which is significantly more than what comes out during a trans filter servicing) is replaced.

You wouldn't add or lose any fluid because you replace what you take out incrementally. Of course, if you have coolant level issues, you'll have to address.

Just a thought...

The following is slightly OT, but I thought I'd ask. I've been searching auto trans installation for a bit now. I've come across a few valuable threads. I'd like to be as prepared as possible for the reinstall. Aside from the main seal and the torque converter seal, what are the other items in that region to replace while I have access?

Thanks
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:34 pm    Post subject: Thanks pete000 Reply with quote

I just wanted to re-state the glory of the Samba and Pete000. This post is great. I just finalized my AT cooler this afternoon. These photos are great and everything was there. I lower the tranny... no issues. I also mounted on the passenger side (it a westy). Smallcar doesn't give you a lot of extra hose. I cut mine in half first, attached it to the tranny and ran the lines out. I barely had enough to reach a suitable mounting location.

One comment (if anyone is still monitoring this post): there are mixed feelings about adding additional ATF after installing. I called Smallcar and they said it shouldn't be necessary. I checked after 20+ miles and it was a bit low... added ~100 ml. Now it's a tab high. Go figure.

Thanks again pete000!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still monitoring this thread. My cooler from smallcar just came tonight. I have it right next to me. It's cute. Smaller than I had imagined.

I'm installing Friday. I'm glad to hear the photo-doc in this thread is right on. I'm looking forward to this.

Very interesting about the trans fluid levels. That is odd.
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the thread-size of the at the transmission? I think it was 12x1.5.

What sized fittings did you use? Also, did you use o-rings at the transmission?

Thanks! Looks very cool.
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Last edited by deprivation on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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