Long story short... Took the truck in to get a bunch of stuff done from a trusted shop. They specialize in trannys, but do most everything else, and I personally know the owner who owed me a major favor.
Before I post what's up, I want to know from those who have AFTERMARKET or very accurate factory gauges, what's your tranny temp loaded vs. unloaded, and/or in relation to outside temps.
***on edit - see the post about 8 down to see what's up.***
* This post was
edited 08/20/12 09:03pm by Boatycall *
Under typical NW temps I run 150 on the easy going stuff and up to 180 /190 climbing up Stevens Pass. The highest temps I've seen is 215 / 220 on the steep climb eastbound on hwy 2 from Orondo up to Waterville on a high 95+ degree day.
I have an aftermarket temp gauge with mag-hytec high capacity tranny pan installed by the Power Shop and tow about 8K. I rarely run the truck unloaded but I only recall seeing 150 or so unloaded.
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I had a 85 gmc class C, and it always ran hot, had a thin 2 core radiator, and the clutch came on all the time when driving 95 to keep the radiator cool. It was really noisy until it went off.
I put in a trans temp gauge from JcWhitney, it was digital and put the sendor in the pressure port. It ran 235 most of the time, so I went home after the next trip and flushed out the fluid, put in a much larger transmission cooler, and then it started running 190 on flat ground, only going up to 225 on 6% mountains.
With my Ford F-53 and 460 engine in my 97 Bounder, it does not overheat, and runs about 190 on level ground, only reaching 215 on the mountain passes, so I never did install a larger cooler. The radiator is huge compared to the GMC, three core, much taller too. And it has a factory oil cooler in the lower radiator hose, along with a factory installed cooler after the radiator transmission oil to water cooler. It also has a big power steering pump oil cooler.
Your truck should also have a large engine oil cooler on the lower radiator hose.
I installed a coolant filter when I bought the motorhome new, and after 1 year the filter was clogged, the heater hose will not pass water, indicating the need for replacement. It is a NAPA #FIL 4070 filter and Fil 4019 kit to install it in the heater hose line. This keeps the junk out of the coolant, keeps minerals from building up in the radiator and hose lines, or coolant passages inside the engine. So heat transfer is much better.
Your 4 speed automatic is not really all that strong compared to the newer 5 speeds or 6 speed. So anything that went wrong with it will not surprise me. They did not flow as many gallons per minute of transmission fluid into the cooler back in 2001 either, it was 2005 that they started to flow more fluid through the cooler if I recall right.
If you are putting a lot of horsepower down to the ground, you might also consider a rear axle cooler or replacing the factory cover with something made of aluminum to dissipate the heat better.
what's your tranny temp loaded vs. unloaded, and/or in relation to outside temps.
Never thought about it until now. very good point to watch from now on. Mine just goes up a little on passes when towing, all stock 5.9 and about 2100 on RPMs (I'm the guy you pass on upgrades)
When it is 70F or cooler outside, the transmission fluid is entering the radiator that will be running fairly cool, and dissipate a lot of heat into the cooler, then to the factory installed oil to air cooler, with say 140F inlet and 70F air across it will bring the oil down to about 110 f pretty easy, to return to the transmission.
But when it is 95F out, the radiator will only cool the transmission fluid to about 170F, then it has 95F air passing over it, so returns to the transmission around 140 F. So the transmission it is easy to run 30F warmer on a hot day.
The extra 2 quarts of fluid inside the pan will help dissipate heat too, and the aluminum pan will also reject heat better than a steel pan, because aluminum conducts heat better. Some aftermarket pans even have tubes welded inside the bottom, so they allow cool air to flow through the pan.
But after 2005, Ford and Allison increased the fluid flow rates going through the transmission cooler, so they give off a lot more heat, and are less subject to overheating the transmission.
I can't say one way or the other as I added the temp gauge and tranny pan after I relpaced the oem 47re tranny when it started to fail at the typical 120K mark. The replacement tranny was a Jasper re-man'd unit and for lack of a better word.... Jasper sucks as I suffered two pre mature failures before the 3rd unit took hold and survived beyond 3k miles of use.
Back to your ?. The high cap pan is all aluminum and adds some strength to the tranny vs the simple stamped steel oem pan. The pan has modest cooling fins that help shed some heat. Having a couple of extra qts of fluid available to keep things cool is always a good thing.
I didn't notice any difference until our July trip. Then noticed trans running warmer than usual under load and shifts were not as stiff as usual (not slipping by any means, just not as quick). Changed the external trans filter mounted on the frame and gauge was back to normal(no temp increase) on last week's trip.
As you can see in my sig, I have an aftermarket tranny, been in for about 10 years, no problems, ever. Done by Jasper called a Monsterbox. I also installed the largest tranny cooler I could find, a TruCool Max. Its never been serviced, but only has 45k miles on it(My truck only has 67k on it). Only time I drive my truck is when something is on it or behind it that's really heavy, like my TC.
So, I got it serviced. I was standing there watching the whole time. New pan gasket, filter, flush and fluid. That's it. Used Royal Purple synthetic, $14/quart, 17 quarts.
Now it runs hot. MUCH hotter than before. Used to be 120-140 empty, 140-150 loaded. Now I'm running 195 empty, with outside temp (this is Seattle remember) being 67 yesterday. That's 60+ difference. When I put the tranny in 10 years ago, I also used synthetic, but not Royal Purple. Honestly, 10 years ago, can't remember what it was, but it WAS synthetic.
What could have possibly happened, using "top of the line" tranny fluid, that could cause the tranny temps to jump that high? Remember, I was there watching the whole time. Gasket, filter, flush, fluid, that's all that was done.
Do you a tranny cooler in the radiator as well as the air cooled one? Some of the 7.3 Fords only had the air cooler and then sometime in 2000-2001 they switched back and put the additional cooler in the radiator. They tended to over heat in traffic. Just look at the radiator for tranny lines coming in and out. I had a '99 and put in the newer radiator(I believe from the 6.0) as well as the 6.0 much larger air cooler and never saw over 190 using Isspro gages. That included mountain passes over 11k feet with a camper and trailer and some long steep slow grades in Mexico. Among the Ford truck folks the most common fix has been to adapt in the air cooler tranny cooler from the 6.0 as it is probably 4 to 5 times as large.
For the 9 years I had the Ford and read the Ford Truck forums, I never too many good words about Jasper. One of the experts on Ford trannys is John Wood at John Wood Automotive down in Holtville, CA(I-10 El Centro). He ships trannys all over the country.