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Do I need an engine oil cooler for my 2008 Uplander?

sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
edited June 2018 in Chevrolet
I have a 2008 Uplander. I have recently started pulling a camper that when loaded weighs right at 3,500 Lbs. This is the maximum the Uplander can pull. I have added a transmission cooler, Air shocks and a weight distributing hitch. The engine really works hard in this hilly part of the country (Southwest Missouri). The Uplander came standard with a small oil cooler - it is basically just a metal tube that runs below the radiator. Do I need to add an engine oil cooler? I would appreciate any input.

Thank you,

Comments

  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    Someone on another forum pointed out that what I thought was an oil cooler is probably a power steering cooler instead. I will take a look at it tomorrow and update.
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    He is correct it is a power steering cooler. I would appreciate anyone's thought on rather or not an oil cooler is needed. Thank you.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 155
    I wouldn't install a engine oil cooler if your water temps are staying in range. If you're really wanting to add some capacity install a Oil Filter Relocation Kit. Then you could use a large filter such as a Baldwin B2-HPG. I don't know how big of a transmission cooler you put in but put in a bigger one. Overkill on the transmission cooler. You stated you're towing about 3500 lbs. I'd use a transmission cooler designed for double that weight. Heat is the Achilles' Heel of automatic transmissions.
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    Inuvik,
    Thank you for your input. The temperature gauge stays just over half way up - the same as it is when driving without a load. The transmission cooler is a Hayden 678. It says it is good for pulling a trailer up to 5,000 Lbs. It is basically a radiator without a fan. Before my next camping trip I plan to add a second cooler with a temperature controlled fan. It will go through the passive cooler first then through the cooler with the fan. If the temperature switch (Located between the two coolers) senses the fluid is 180 degrees or above the fan will come on and stay on until the fluid temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's a very good range of temps but you can go up to 225 degrees safely.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,046
    What you really need to do is monitor the transmission temperature and find out just how warm it is getting before you start adding too many more heat exchangers. One way to do that is with a full function scan tool but that isn't the only way. Some of the DIY tools are capable of pulling transmission control module data and many of them today use a cell phone as the interface. This is a forum for Chevrolet Silverado, http://www.silveradosierra.com/mobile-electronics/adding-trans-temps-to-torque-app-t491858.html
    but they are discussing that very concern.

    The biggest problem with adding more heat exchangers is you risk limiting (restricting) airflow through the radiator and that could result in engine overheating conditions. Even from there, the vehicle is entirely capable of detecting transmission over heat issues which it would inform you about and can even react to cool it down if necessary. One way that it does that is by modifying the torque convertor clutch operation and keeping it engaged at a higher percentage and higher engine loads. By locking up the convertor and limiting torque convertor force multiplication you eliminate the greatest source of heat generated inside the transmission.

    The odds are that you really didn't need anything beyond the original cooler inside the radiator. Adding an additional one down stream of the radiator gives you additional capacity but in all likelihood you really don't need it with a 3500lb trailer. Just be sure that the vehicle can pull it with the torque convertor clutch engaged and heat generation in the transmission isn't a concern.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 155
    In the past I had installed a second transmission cooler on a pickup that I used for snowplowing using the type of setup you are envisioning. Very effective. Transmissions temps were in the 220 range with one cooler when working hard and with the addition of the second cooler temps never got above 180.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,046
    When you are plowing snow, you are never locking up the TCC (torque convertor clutch) so it is spending a lot of time in torque multiplication and that would generate heat. Driving down the highway pulling a trailer does not create the same kind of heat as long as the TCC is engaged.
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9

    thecardoc3, Thanks for the link I will try to setup the readout for the transmission cooler in the next couple of days.
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    thecardoc3, I couldn't get the transmission temp to display. It may be the scanner I have, several years ago when I got it it was one of the cheapest ones I could find. Is it possible that the Uplander doesn't transmit this information or do I need to get a better scanner?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,046
    That data is definitely available with a fully capable tool.
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    I borrowed another scanner from a friend of mine (he was on vacation so it took a while before I could get it). I couldn't access the transmission fluid temperature with his scanner either. Is there a specific type of scanner that I need to get?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,046
    You are probably looking at this tool at the very least....https://www.amazon.com/Autel-MS908P-Automotive-Diagnostic-Reprogramming/dp/B00RFUY6XU
  • sciaky05sciaky05 Posts: 9
    Thanks for the information. That is more than I want to invest.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,046
    That is one of the least expensive real tools out there.
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