Time to Get Serious With 4L60e/4L65e Cooling...

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Curt

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Long story short, I'm fed up with the inadequate transmission cooling these trucks come with. This suburban has killed 3 4L60e's and almost killed the 4L65e this past weekend. The cooling system is not up to par.

Towing our 21 foot ski boat this past weekend for the first time since 2005, the trans temp reached 250F+ (pegged out the gauge and I'm assuming it hit 270F). Transmission started slipping badly and puked trans fluid once I made it to the lake. It still registered fluid so luckily I was able to limp her back home with the boat. Obviously I let it cool down and enjoyed a day on the lake prior to driving home. It reached 250F+ for minimal amounts of time on the way home.

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I know there is the Tru-Cool M7B that will replace the factory trans cooler, but I have an odd suspicion that it will not meet my cooling expectations. Also, people on the forum have noted to check the lines and radiator to ensure there is no blockage, I will do so once I tackle the project.

For now, I am making a parts list to have one of the coolest 4L65e's out there. Here's the current list:

This is the preliminary list. Any suggestions on anything else I should add? I know I could get a Mag-Hytec pan but I can't justify spending $200+ on a pan that doesn't add that much in cooling capabilities.

Also, the only video I found of a GMT400 getting the 40k AND keep AC is this:
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alpinecrick

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I know a guy who adapted a AC condensor for a trans cooler for his 99 Dodge (cause the Ford and Dodge trans have the same problems). I would recommend a small pusher fan on the M7 cooler. I THINK some of the 2500/3500HD's had a pusher fan on the cooler that was similar or same as the AC condensor pusher fan.
 

Erik the Awful

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I know a guy who adapted a AC condensor for a trans cooler for his 99 Dodge (cause the Ford and Dodge trans have the same problems). I would recommend a small pusher fan on the M7 cooler. I THINK some of the 2500/3500HD's had a pusher fan on the cooler that was similar or same as the AC condensor pusher fan.
I adapted the A/C condenser on my Caddy-powered Jag race car to a transmission cooler. Cut the fittings off the end of a junkyard A/C condensor. Flush it out really well. Get a piece of aluminum fuel line that just fits inside the larger line. Solder it in place - note that flux core solder for electrical work won't do it. You'll need the kind of solder used on radiators. I have some old lead-core solder (don't know if it's still available) and used a propane torch. If you can put a knurl on the end of the lines, great. If not, double-clamp it. Trim the hood latch brace a bit and it'd probably be pretty easy to piggy-back the mounting to the existing A/C condenser - I might look into doing this on mine in the next few weeks just as an example.
 

TheAutumnWind

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Just get the 40k cooler and be done with it. YOu will be fine. With that I don't think some super badass trans pan is going to be necessary. This cooler is worlds better than the woefully inadequate factory cooling setup. https://www.performancetrucks.net/f...vw-transmission-cooler-install-thread-470284/


That being said I am running this cooler on my nbs and it is (plumbing wise) plug and play, I did have to fab a bracket though. Works well, but not as good as the tru-cool 40k https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C9TRWG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Curt

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I know a guy who adapted a AC condensor for a trans cooler for his 99 Dodge (cause the Ford and Dodge trans have the same problems). I would recommend a small pusher fan on the M7 cooler. I THINK some of the 2500/3500HD's had a pusher fan on the cooler that was similar or same as the AC condensor pusher fan.
Interesting. It seems like you would need a skinny e-fan to fit between the condenser and trans cooler? Will definitely look into this option as well.

I have these pans on my 96 and 97--when I pull the plug 6 1/2 qts of oil come out. It has more capacity than the factory deep pans.

https://www.cfrperformance.com/CHEVY_GM_700R4_4L60E_4L65E_STEEL_TRANSMISSION_PAN_p/hz-7599-pbk.htm
Oooh, I like that option. I did notice the listing states factory capacity, although it must be an error on their side? An extra quart would be nice.

This would probably be the first thing on my list. I'd install it and test its performance before investing the money or effort in anything else.

https://derale.com/product-footer/transmission-pans/cooling-pans/14204-detail
Whoa, that pan looks like it'll help out tremendously. Just went out and measured it and surprisingly it fits! I don't know how to feel about the pan hanging so low, but I'll ask my pops when he gets home and get his input before I pull the trigger on a pan.

Just get the 40k cooler and be done with it. YOu will be fine. With that I don't think some super badass trans pan is going to be necessary. This cooler is worlds better than the woefully inadequate factory cooling setup. https://www.performancetrucks.net/f...vw-transmission-cooler-install-thread-470284/


That being said I am running this cooler on my nbs and it is (plumbing wise) plug and play, I did have to fab a bracket though. Works well, but not as good as the tru-cool 40k https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C9TRWG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I figured while I'm in there replacing the filter I'd might as well upgrade the pan to the deep variant. Sure, a Mag-Hytec would look badass but it's really unnecessary.


As much as I'd love to go that route, I really can't. Swapping the transmission means tuning the factory computers, making the truck unsmoggable. California is a weird place... Also, I don't think the transmission is to blame. My thinking is the transmission cooling that comes in these trucks were never good enough for them, thus a lot of people kill the 4L60e's. I would most likely run into the same issue with the 80e if I had the luxury of swapping one in.
 
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alpinecrick

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A few things....

The temps on Curt's trans seem to be awful high for towing a boat that size, even in the rolling hills of the Bay Area. I'm wondering if there is more going on with the trans and cooling. The 5 3/4x11 standard size stacked plate cooler is a good cooler. Stacked plate coolers are 10-20% more efficient than tube and fin coolers, and are a lot more robust concerning vibration or impact from rocks and such--important because it's the tip of the spear once stuff gets past the grill.

I'm considering the 8x11 or 11x11 stacked plate cooler with a small 10"-12" e-fan to cool my 4l60e's on the 96 and 97 for when I do pull my 18ft TT or my other trailers ('cause I'm thinking about selling my Sierra TD).

The tubes in the DeRale WILL plug up if you off road or drive muddy roads, I know a guy who has one. Plus the DeRale does hang down further than the CRF pan. The CRF doesn't evoke any concern about clearance issues the way the DeRale does, at least in my mind. The CRF does hold 6 1/2 qts--I've measured several times when I drain them (which is two or three times a year because I keep the fluid bright red). Clean ATF carries heat away better, and that goes for any other fluid in the vehicle.
 
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