why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Upgrades and Aftermarket - 99 & up 7.3L Engine Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1999-Up Super Duty or Excursion with 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 05-18-2006, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

I installed an aftermarket trans cooler today and saw that one of the lines went into and back out of the radiator? What's going on in there?
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

You actually have 2 coolers.
The Oil to air, and the oil to water in the bottom of the radiator.
The oil to air was added I believe in late 99 or early 2000, but radiator one never left.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

I do not understand why it would go through to radiator. Wouldn't the radiator be heating the transfluid? Is it supposed to heat it?

I barely see my trans temp guage move higher than 100-120. Of course, I have not towed anything very heavy under highway speeds, either.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

the bottom of the radiator is very cool, some will say it is there to warm the fluid, but they are wrong. Be sure you flush the radiator cooler good before you fire it up with the new unit. A magnefine filter after the coolers is a good idea.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

The Oil to Water coller was added in late 99 and it was done to help bring the Trans up to Temp faster as well as help the oil to air cooler by atempting to reduce the oil tem to about 200 deg before passing it thorugh the oil to air cooler. As we all know when you push the truck hard and get the fluid moving it does not work so well with the puny stock oil to air cooler. Fix the problem forever and just go to a 6.0 cooler. It will bolt right in and you don't have to worry about something extra breaking loose and leaking.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

rlarkin has it backwards. PSDs build from January 1998 thru February 8, 2000, had only the oil-to-air (OTA) cooler in front of the radiator. Ford added the oil-to-water (OTW) cooler in the bottom of the radiator beginning with production on Feb 8, 2000.

[ QUOTE ]
I do not understand why it would go through to radiator. Wouldn't the radiator be heating the transfluid? Is it supposed to heat it?

[/ QUOTE ]

It depends. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

In cold weather, a little heat added to the ATF doesn't hurt a thing.

In hot weather, especially when towing, the temp of the coolant in the bottom of the radiator will be a lot cooler than the temp of the hot ATF coming out of the torque converter. So the heat exchanger (tranny cooler) in the bottom of the radiator sucks heat out of the ATF and transfers it to the coolant. Then the coolant goes back thru the engine and into the top of the radiator, where it gets cooled a bunch by the radiator before it can get back to the bottom of the radiator where the OTW tranny cooler is located.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

I believe both coolers are necessary. Let's say you're traveling off road in the boonies and you get really stuck. So you start to rock your truck back and forth, spinning the wheels harder and harder with each attempt to "Git-R-Done". This causes your transmission temps to climb higher and higher, and in this situation you have no airflow across the oil-to-air cooler. That's where the oil-to-water cooler can save your transmission, you still have transmission cooling in situations where the oil-to-air cooler isn't doing much for you.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

[ QUOTE ]
rlarkin has it backwards.

[/ QUOTE ]

YUP! Dats me!
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

On a stone cold motor the trans fluid will heat up way before the bottom of the radiator. This is why the converter does not lock right away on a cold truck.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

[ QUOTE ]
I do not understand why it would go through to radiator. Wouldn't the radiator be heating the transfluid? Is it supposed to heat it?

[/ QUOTE ]

If you had a temp gauge connected to the bottom of your radiator and another one connected to the line from the trans to the radiator, you would find that the temp of the coolant in the bottom of the radiator is always cooler than the fluid coming from the transmission.
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: why does the trans cooler lines go through the radiator?

[ QUOTE ]
I believe both coolers are necessary. Let's say you're traveling off road in the boonies and you get really stuck. So you start to rock your truck back and forth, spinning the wheels harder and harder with each attempt to "Git-R-Done". This causes your transmission temps to climb higher and higher, and in this situation you have no airflow across the oil-to-air cooler. That's where the oil-to-water cooler can save your transmission, you still have transmission cooling in situations where the oil-to-air cooler isn't doing much for you.

[/ QUOTE ]

Even in this situation the oil to water cooler will probably not disipate enough heat to keep your fluid from getting hot. In slow to non movement situations the best alternative is a fan operated cooler.
Also if you are like me and don't have the rad cooler, I believe the large surface area of the 6.0 cooler will disipate more heat than the small trip thru the oil to water cooler. I may be wrong, but hopefully I won't find out!!!
Most serious rock crawlers a 4x4 folks use a fan powered cooler for this exact reason.
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