eastsidemav Reader
8/17/10 8:56 p.m.

Hopefully some of the engineers who actually understood Heat Transfer better than me can cime in here. Or any of the automtive engineers who've got some practical experience.

My challenge car is an 87 Firebird that was originally a manual. Its now got a 700r4 in it. Due to this, the stock radiator does not have a built in trans cooler. I picked up a couple of trans coolers a ways back out of the junkyard, but looking at the front end, due to the size of the radiator, plumbing them is going to be a bit of work. A few weeks ago, I nabbed a radiator from an auto trans Camaro, so its got the fittings already.

My challenge budget is a bit squeezed right now, so I only want to use the auto trans radiator, or the original radiator, and mount an trans cooler in front of it, and find a way to plumb it. I was wondering if anyone has any idea which is better at keeping the trans cool?

  1. Radiator w/ built-in trans cooler from a third gen f-body. Okay, being in the radiator, it can't have too much surface area, can it? But it will always have fluid passing over it, which will be better at pulling heat from it than air. Bonus, its how the cars were stock, so GM probably figured how much cooling they needed.

  2. Trans cooler mounted in front of the radiator. I've got a 7" X 10" or so one from a Ford explorer that should be able to be mounted to the front of the radiator, and a 10" X 12" cooler from a Land Crusier that will be somewhat harder to mount. Will the increased surface area be able to make up for the fact they are air-cooled instead of fluid cooled?

I know I could daisy chain the auto trans radiator and a cooler, but I really don't want both items in my budget, and don't want to complicate the lines any more than they already are. Any thoughts?

VanillaSky HalfDork
8/17/10 9:33 p.m.

As long as you're not running a crazy amount of power, the stock loop should be enough.

eastsidemav Reader
8/18/10 4:33 p.m.
VanillaSky wrote: As long as you're not running a crazy amount of power, the stock loop should be enough.

Thats probably what I'll do, its the simplest solution, if not the cheapest.

Anyone have any idea about the relative thermal efficiency of the different types of coolers? I have to drive this thing 800 miles to Gainsville, race, then 800 back, so want to keep the trans alive...

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