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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After every Transit I own breaking the transmission heat exchanger/cooler and destroying transmissions I've decided to remove that piece and use an adapter and Derale aluminum heatsink cooler instead.

I want low maintenance for my highway and off-road usage in hot weather. Death Valley was 124°f the other day!

I know our local Las Vegas Ford mechanic will chime in with how great the factory system is but I'm tired of driving ticking time bombs around.

On order is the Powerhouse Racing cooler line adapter and the Derale aluminum heatsink dual pass cooler unit to be mounted under the van(the big one).

No plans to use fans or front mount of the cooler unless warranted by the temperatures of the transmission.



Here we go. I'll have a local line builder arrange fittings and oil lines then do a fluid flush/fill followed by radiator/cooling system flush and fill and block off the lines that go to the transmission heat exchanger.

Bye bye hot engine and transmission temps!

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It looks cool, but I suspect a proper cooler (radiator style) will still be much more effective. What part of the factory system is failing? The connections or the cooler?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It looks cool, but I suspect a proper cooler (radiator style) will still be much more effective. What part of the factory system is failing? The connections or the cooler?
The heat exchanger fails and mixes coolant and tranny fluid.

It causes overheating of the engine and fluid loss in the transmission.

Every Transit I have owned, 5, have killed the transmission around 200 to 250k miles do to this parts failure.

You could just replace the heat exchanger but I'm tired of the piece failing and mixing fluids and then the transmission dies an unnecessary death.

There is already a transmission fluid heat bypass valve that opens at 180°f to the cooler/exchanger. The transmission will be able to warm up and then radiate the excess heat with the heatsink cooler. I got the largest model at 25" with internal and external fins. Based on how small the stock cooler is I think it will be more than enough.
 

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@Chillis Let me know how is goes.

I tried adding a standalone cooler on my 2022 3.5Eco with the 10r80, but i ran into an issue with the transmission connection.

My plan was to use the hose below, and a EVIL ENERGY 8 Pass Tube and Fin Transmission Cooler. I got the cooler and the line installed, but the plug is different on the 10r80, compared to the 6r80.

The plug on the 6r80 was Vertical (top/bottom) vs the 10r80 is Horizontal (right/left). I put mine back to stock, since you either have to cut the exchanger or drop the subframe to get the exchanger out. With out knowing if i could make it work, i didn't want to risk it.

On long drives with short stops(gas/food), i'm seeing temps from 210-220f (in 95F weather) on my ultra gauge when i restart the van. So this is still on my wish list to do.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Chillis would be interesting to know what your line builder specs for the tranny fluid lines. Flex or hard lines and fittings?
I don't plan on running long lines. Basically enough line to go from adapter to cooler nearby under the body with enough slack for engine/transmission twisting.

I thought the adapter said it came with AN8 fittings but that may be the rest of the adapters I saw.

The heatsink cooler says 3/8" NPT fittings so those will not be used and I'll try and match up some AN8 fittings for those as well.

I'll opt for the hardest soft line they offer and try to keep everything tucked out of harm's way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Chillis Let me know how is goes.

I tried adding a standalone cooler on my 2022 3.5Eco with the 10r80, but i ran into an issue with the transmission connection.

My plan was to use the hose below, and a EVIL ENERGY 8 Pass Tube and Fin Transmission Cooler. I got the cooler and the line installed, but the plug is different on the 10r80, compared to the 6r80.

The plug on the 6r80 was Vertical (top/bottom) vs the 10r80 is Horizontal (right/left). I put mine back to stock, since you either have to cut the exchanger or drop the subframe to get the exchanger out. With out knowing if i could make it work, i didn't want to risk it.

On long drives with short stops(gas/food), i'm seeing temps from 210-220f (in 95F weather) on my ultra gauge when i restart the van. So this is still on my wish list to do.

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I hadn't checked the new design.

I can reach down and unbolt the heat exchanger from the radiator or just leave it there.

The lines are held in with 8mm retaining bolts.

The coolant line I'll just get a new piece to connect the radiator and the line off of the thermostat housing pipe. Or just cap the two ends off as the system is no longer necessary?
 

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On long drives with short stops(gas/food), i'm seeing temps from 210-220f (in 95F weather) on my ultra gauge when i restart the van. So this is still on my wish list to do.
I'm bummed that your proposed mod didn't end up seeming advisable. If I saw temps like that on my E-350's transmission -- even towing up a steep pass in hot weather -- I would not be pleased (luckily I don't though).

This is one of my biggest worries about running a Transit. I mean, it's all good if you don't do things that raise the transmission temperature (which seems to be the case for many, which is great). But once you do..... there doesn't seem to be much in the way of options to make it any better. In this way it seems completely unlike previous vans.
 

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@Vanaroo that was in Texas/Louisiana, driving from Colorado to Florida the end of july.
So low flat elevation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Derale 24" heatsink cooler is in.

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This will add a decent amount of transmission fluid. Also has the inner and outer fins.

The cooler adapter arrives tomorrow and I most likely will not be able to get the lines and fittings done until Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Powerhouse Racing Low Profile Cooler Line Manifold has arrived although too late for me to get to the line shop.

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The factory hard/soft lines are pretty small internal diameter. I think I'll keep the lines I have built consistent with that.

Now, I'm debating whether to hide the unit underneath the van having very passive airflow or bolting it inside of the front bumper/brace?

If it is up front it will allow much more heat exchange but just being disconnected from the engine cooling system and how large it is should help considerably as well.
 

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Now, I'm debating whether to hide the unit underneath the van having very passive airflow or bolting it inside of the front bumper/brace?
Given the shape and fins, if you havent used the space between the fuel tank and side wall underneath, I’d put it there. Run it long ways with the van, so the air flow under the van runs the length of the fins.
If you mount it in the grill, only one side will be hit with fresh air and heat soak on the other.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Given the shape and fins, if you havent used the space between the fuel tank and side wall underneath, I’d put it there. Run it long ways with the van, so the air flow under the van runs the length of the fins.
If you mount it in the grill, only one side will be hit with fresh air and heat soak on the other.
After looking around underneath it seems like where you mention is the best place to keep it out of the way and passive. Not sure what type of airflows gets back there.

Also, in order to keep fluid level in the tranny consistent and easy to measure, it should probably be kept below the full line on the dipstick so it can't back fill into the pan during measurement when cold or possibly while hot?

The stock system is a very small amount of fluid in the tiny exchanger and small diameter hoses. That wouldn't effect the transmission as much as the extra quart or more with the new lines and big cooler.
 

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Given you're on the 6r80, and your love with replacing the transmission. Have you ever had them take out the thermal bypass value in the transmission, that doesn't open until it get to temp?

That value is why they have you wait until the transmission is at temp to check the levels.

As for the levels, as long as the cooler is below the adaptor/ports i'd keep it "full"
 
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I don’t think those heat-sink coolers are intended for continuous heat rejection. Those are great for drag strips, and maybe autocross, where the heat load is short term. The “sink” part of it absorbs those spikes in temps, but releases the heat slowly. Aluminum isn’t actually that good of a heat conductor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Given you're on the 6r80, and your love with replacing the transmission. Have you ever had them take out the thermal bypass value in the transmission, that doesn't open until it get to temp?

That value is why they have you wait until the transmission is at temp to check the levels.

As for the levels, as long as the cooler is below the adaptor/ports i'd keep it "full"
I saw the removal kit for the valve but I figure to leave it alone so the fluid temps rise quick and are not over cooled.

The fittings on the stock transmission lines are double o-ring so this system must be under low pressure. I'm wondering if the height of the cooler may be better served being higher like stock to help with drain back into the system.

Then again it is pumping up to the stock exchanger so it should be able to overcome high or low mounting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don’t think those heat-sink coolers are intended for continuous heat rejection. Those are great for drag strips, and maybe autocross, where the heat load is short term. The “sink” part of it absorbs those spikes in temps, but releases the heat slowly. Aluminum isn’t actually that good of a heat conductor.
I don't believe the transmission needs a lot of cooling based on the stock arrangement.

This being disconnected from the cooling system drops temps immediately to whatever is ambient instead of what radiator temps are and the added volume plus heatsinking I'm guessing will be enough.

The stock cooler/exchanger doesn't provide any air to liquid thermal transfer. It is liquid to liquid(oil to coolant) with the coolant receiving the air to liquid thermal transfer.

I'm trying to isolate the systems so there is no transfer during exchanger failure as the stock system was fine before it fails.

Hope I'm right!

If not I'll just order a tube and fin style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don’t think those heat-sink coolers are intended for continuous heat rejection. Those are great for drag strips, and maybe autocross, where the heat load is short term. The “sink” part of it absorbs those spikes in temps, but releases the heat slowly. Aluminum isn’t actually that good of a heat conductor.
Forgot to mention that I first learned of this cooler design from the off-road recovery rigs of southern Utah, Matt's Off-Road Recovery YouTube channel.

If it's good enough for their use on slow going 4wd in the sand and hills of UT pulling people out of the wilderness it should be alright here.

I know it isn't the most efficient cooler. Hopefully it doesn't need to be.
 
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