Choosing the correct transmission cooler for your application.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a transmission cooler.
From the type & size of cooler, to the type of inlets, size of the cooler lines, where you live and many other factors will determine which cooler is best for your application.
This is a Quick application guide only.
Choosing the right cooler for your transmission will depend on Vehicle type and intended use.
If you are pulling mountain grades you may need to use a larger cooler. If you only tow twice a year for short distances then you may be able to install a smaller cooler.
Just remember that ADDING an auxillary transmission cooler to the cooling system is adding to the available cooling capacity & protection that you already have.
Small compact cars, No towing
Coolers with GVW ratings of 10,000 to 16,000 lbs.
Mid-size cars, Light towing
Coolers with GVW ratings of 14,000 to 18,000 lbs.
Mid-size trucks & full size cars
Towing up to 5,000 lbs.
Coolers with GVW ratings of 18,000 to 24,000 lbs.
Pickup Trucks, SUV's |
Towing up to 7,500 lbs.
Coolers with GVW ratings of 22,000 to 26,000 lbs.
HD Trucks, Motor homes
Towing up to 10,000 lbs.
Coolers with GVW ratings of 22,000 to 30,000 lbs.
Super Duty trucks
Large Motor homes
Coolers with GVW ratings of 28,000 lbs. and UP
These applications and GVW ratings are assuming proper installation and that you are installing the cooler in-series.
If you are not installing your cooler In-series, we suggest you increase the cooler size to at least the next level.
Our automotive cooling kits are for 5/16" & 3/8" cooling line systems found on most cars and pick-up trucks.
Heavy Duty Allison Transmissions require special high flow coolers.
Most Dodge Trucks with the Cummings engine will require larger cooler inlets for the 1/2" and 5/8" lines they use.
Some late model FORD trucks (4R100 trans) use a cooler line by-pass at the transmission. If your cooling flow is restricted (low volume = less cooling) check or replace the by-pass.
GVW ratings are used as a guide to show the coolers maximum cooling capacity.
The coolers actual efficiency will depend on proper placement and installation of the cooler. Mounting the cooler in front of the radiator and AC condensor gives the most efficient cooling capacity.
Proper installation is in the fan's air flow, which allows for cooling even in Stop & Go traffic.
Mounting a cooler behind a bumper will give very little cooling. Install the cooler in series with factory radiator first, then the auxillary cooler for maximum capacity. This also allows for faster winter warm up.
If you bypass the radiator, be sure to increase the size cooler you install by 1 to 2 sizes.
Tube & Fin type coolers (with 5/16" inlets)
Great inexpensive coolers that have been in use for many years. We recomend these coolers for older cars that use 5/16" cooling lines. We do NOT suggest this type of cooler for any overdrive transmissions or application using larger cooling lines.
Tru-Cool LPD coolers
Hayden Transaver Plus coolers
Derale Series 8000 Plate & Fin coolers
Stacked Plate and Plate & Fin coolers are the new design coolers that look like mini radiators.
Each plate (row) is a oil cooling passage. And more surface area = better cooling capacity in less space.
Some coolers such as the TruCool LPD series include a built in self-regulating feature that bypasses the cooler through the upper two plates when the fluid is cold.
In areas that have extended periods of freezing cold weather, we suggest using the "Tru-Cool" self-regulating coolers. This will help warm your transmission up to operating temp. faster in the cold winter months.
If you are in the South there is not as much need for this feature with warmer winters, unless you are adding a very large cooler or bypassing the transmission cooler in the radiator.
These coolers can be used with all transmissions using 5/16" & 3/8" transmission cooler lines.
Special note for transmissions with 1/2" or larger cooling lines
Never install a cooler designed for 5/16" or 3/8" lines on a 1/2" or larger system. You will restrict the flow which can lead to transmission failure from overheating or lubrication restrictions!
For 1/2" line applications see:
Tru-Cool Industrial coolers & Engine coolers for 1/2" line applications Derale transmission coolers equiped with electric fans with AN8 fittings * 1/2" lines
Allison Transmission coolers by Hayden for 3/4" & 1" cooler lines.
Before you order a cooler kit, be sure you have room to install the cooler you choose.
Add 4" to the size of the cooler to accomodate the cooler hose. You never want to have a tight bend in the hose that might kink the hose and restrict cooler flow.
Normally the most effective place to install a cooler is in front of the radiator, in the fans air flow for maximum cooling. And be sure to check if there is already an auxillary cooler installed from the factory.
Cooler Quick Guide