Jump to content
  • Custom Search


DanDweller

Aftermarket Transmission Cooler

Recommended Posts

Hello all, I recently bought a 2015 TC, XL, LWB which I am converting into a camper.  I wish I had been more thorough in my inspection before buying it because it seems the transmission may be on its way out.  There is a 1.5 to 2 second delay going into gear from park and (not every time) it hard shifts into gears while driving--kind of jerky.  I had the (jet black) transmission fluid changed a couple days ago and am going to have it changed again in a few days.  I have three questions here:

 

1)  Is the delay and jerkiness kind of normal for this model and so it doesn't necessarily mean the tranny is on its way out?

 

2)  Is there a chance that resetting the adaptive learning codes will make a difference?  (A guy who could have charged me $140 to do it advised against it because he said it will learn all on its own anyway, with the new fluid and my driving.)

 

3)  Does anyone reading this have experience with having an aftermarket tranny cooler installed?  Would it help this model, is it worth it?  Any recommendations for what cooler to buy?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a delay due to low fluid level when the half shaft seal failed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DanDweller said:

 I had the (jet black) transmission fluid changed a couple days ago and am going to have it changed again in a few days. 

 

The service procedure for a 6F35 is a triple drain & fill.  There's already a very thorough thread covering how to do it, and plenty of feedback from users who have done it themselves.  Dealerships typically use a fluid exchange machine.  It sounds like whomever performed your transmission fluid exchange only drained and filled the transmission 1 time.  Depending on who performed the service, the fluid level may not be correct if they did not follow the service procedure.  I suggest that you follow that up with the 3X drain & fill, or a fluid exchange with a machine, to ensure that you have the freshest fluid possible & the correct fill level.  Review the service procedure and discuss it with your service provider.

 

4 hours ago, mrtn said:

I had a delay due to low fluid level when the half shaft seal failed.

 

DanDweller, 

 

Note what mrtn experienced.  Check your fluid level.  

 

9 hours ago, DanDweller said:

3)  Does anyone reading this have experience with having an aftermarket tranny cooler installed?  Would it help this model, is it worth it?  Any recommendations for what cooler to buy?

 

In many years of driving trucks & Jeeps, I can add my own experience.  I have not installed a cooler onto the Transit Connect, so my experience may not be relevant. 

 

 In modern vehicles with a cooler bypass valve, there is no way that you can "over-cool" your transmission.  For most people, it's probably not needed, as the OEM cooling system bypasses the cooler until the fluid reaches a preset temperature.  The car's computer controls the electric fan, and a series of temperature monitors will activate the cooling fan as needed.  When the coolant is hot, the fan will turn on.  When the air conditioning is on, the fan will turn on.  I may be wrong, but I believe, that the fan is also activated if the transmission reaches a certain threshold temperature, to prevent overheating.  

 

Anytime you add an aftermarket cooler, it should be inline with the return line flow.  Allow the OEM cooling system to work as designed, then add auxiliary equipment.  Never bypass or delete the OEM cooling system as designed.  I like to add coolers with a built in electric fan, to further reduce transmission fluid temperature.  Extremely effective for trucks towing under load, stop and go traffic, 4 wheel drive operations, and hot ambient temperature climates.  An auxiliary cooler with a fan is essential for trucks & Jeeps which do anything above & beyond cruising a shopping mall parking lot.

 

My own feeling is that the OEM cooling system on a Transit Connect is fine for daily driving, with passengers, not in bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic.  If I were to consider loading my car with 1,000+ pounds, towing, or commercial use - I would look into additional cooling.  

 

Aftermarket coolers come in so many different configurations and sizes, that you can't list them all.  If doing it yourself, you will need a service manual for reference.  Take of the front end.  Remove all plastic bumper cover, grille, air dam, et cetera.  Then decide on a suitable mounting location.  You will also need the service manual to determine where to splice the transmission fluid return line, and the best way to route your new auxiliary cooler lines.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

 

The service procedure for a 6F35 is a triple drain & fill.  There's already a very thorough thread covering how to do it, and plenty of feedback from users who have done it themselves.  Dealerships typically use a fluid exchange machine.  It sounds like whomever performed your transmission fluid exchange only drained and filled the transmission 1 time.  Depending on who performed the service, the fluid level may not be correct if they did not follow the service procedure.  I suggest that you follow that up with the 3X drain & fill, or a fluid exchange with a machine, to ensure that you have the freshest fluid possible & the correct fill level.  Review the service procedure and discuss it with your service provider.

 

 

DanDweller, 

 

Note what mrtn experienced.  Check your fluid level.  

 

 

In many years of driving trucks & Jeeps, I can add my own experience.  I have not installed a cooler onto the Transit Connect, so my experience may not be relevant. 

 

 In modern vehicles with a cooler bypass valve, there is no way that you can "over-cool" your transmission.  For most people, it's probably not needed, as the OEM cooling system bypasses the cooler until the fluid reaches a preset temperature.  The car's computer controls the electric fan, and a series of temperature monitors will activate the cooling fan as needed.  When the coolant is hot, the fan will turn on.  When the air conditioning is on, the fan will turn on.  I may be wrong, but I believe, that the fan is also activated if the transmission reaches a certain threshold temperature, to prevent overheating.  

 

Anytime you add an aftermarket cooler, it should be inline with the return line flow.  Allow the OEM cooling system to work as designed, then add auxiliary equipment.  Never bypass or delete the OEM cooling system as designed.  I like to add coolers with a built in electric fan, to further reduce transmission fluid temperature.  Extremely effective for trucks towing under load, stop and go traffic, 4 wheel drive operations, and hot ambient temperature climates.  An auxiliary cooler with a fan is essential for trucks & Jeeps which do anything above & beyond cruising a shopping mall parking lot.

 

My own feeling is that the OEM cooling system on a Transit Connect is fine for daily driving, with passengers, not in bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic.  If I were to consider loading my car with 1,000+ pounds, towing, or commercial use - I would look into additional cooling.  

 

Aftermarket coolers come in so many different configurations and sizes, that you can't list them all.  If doing it yourself, you will need a service manual for reference.  Take of the front end.  Remove all plastic bumper cover, grille, air dam, et cetera.  Then decide on a suitable mounting location.  You will also need the service manual to determine where to splice the transmission fluid return line, and the best way to route your new auxiliary cooler lines.  

 

Hi, thank you for the responses.  I guess checking and changing the tranny fluid myself then is the only way?  I'll give it a try.  Wasn't really trying to do all this stuff myself but definitely don't want to deal with dealers or pay a couple hundres to have Aamco do a half-ass job--or I guess a third-of-an-ass job since they apparently only drained and filled once out of three times.  I think the idea they had at Aamco is that my transmission might be bad and so they didn't want to add entirely clean fluid all at once to avoid problems (which is why they also didn't recommend a power flush--Is that the same as the fluid exchanger that was mentioned?)  Not sure why, but they recommended coming back in 30 days to change it again (when I have the aftermarket cooler installed, if that's what I end up having them do).  

 

On the cooler, in that other thread there were comments about the tranny fluid being controlled by a thermostat.  I worry that adding an aftermarket cooler (no bypassing) could end up keeping the fluid temperature too low.  Is that worry unfounded?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You didn't mention how many miles are on your van, but if your ATF was 'jet black' some damage may have already been done.  If the change was only 3 or 4 quarts, it may still be pretty close to black next time too  -  It holds about 8 quarts, but more than half of it is trapped in the torque converter, so the only way to get all the old stuff out is with multiple changes, running the engine in between changes.  I used 16 quarts to do mine the first time I changed it . . . . at 25,000 miles

 

Ford says the OEM fluid is supposed to last 150,000 miles, but many transmissions are shot long before then, so regular changes at least every 50K or so would be a very good idea.  Your trans may perform fine with all new fluid once you get the level set correctly, which is no easy procedure either, thanks to Ford opting not to give us a dipstick.  Most of what you need to know for a DIY fluid change is covered here in other threads.  Good luck and hope it all works out!

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Beta Don said:

You didn't mention how many miles are on your van, but if your ATF was 'jet black' some damage may have already been done.  If the change was only 3 or 4 quarts, it may still be pretty close to black next time too  -  It holds about 8 quarts, but more than half of it is trapped in the torque converter, so the only way to get all the old stuff out is with multiple changes, running the engine in between changes.  I used 16 quarts to do mine the first time I changed it . . . . at 25,000 miles

 

Ford says the OEM fluid is supposed to last 150,000 miles, but many transmissions are shot long before then, so regular changes at least every 50K or so would be a very good idea.  Your trans may perform fine with all new fluid once you get the level set correctly, which is no easy procedure either, thanks to Ford opting not to give us a dipstick.  Most of what you need to know for a DIY fluid change is covered here in other threads.  Good luck and hope it all works out!

 

Don

Oops, I forgot to mention that the mileage is at around 65,000.  I will definitely be learning to check the level and change the fluid myself.  

 

So I'm still left with the question about whether an aftermarket cooler is a good idea or not, and whether it is worth it to pay someone to erase the adaptive learning codes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry about the color as long as it doesn't smell burnt. Mercon LV turns black very quickly.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a how-to change procedure by the same tech:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Keep in mind that there are other (IMO better, certainly cheaper) ATF fluids than Ford Mercon you can use which don't immediately turn black  -  The Mercon I removed at 25,000 miles was a pretty normal color, definitely not black.  I would be more than a bit worried if my trans dump was the color shown in the pictures . . . . and I would change it more often that however many miles it took for it to get THAT color

 

I used Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic and I paid $5 a quart for it with free shipping from Advance Auto Parts.  I bought 16 quarts the first time and then 12 more to have for future changes while it was on sale for $5.  There are half a dozen different Transmax fluids, but if you buy the one that says "Ford Approved for Marcon LV applications" on the label, you've got the correct one.  Mercon LV is waaaaay overpriced for what it is, IMO, but I'm sure Ford appreciates you donating your $$$

 

Adding a trans cooler to a Gen 2 TC would not be an easy project and would be of little benefit (IMO) unless you're regularly towing heavy loads in hot climates.  Regular fluid changes would be a bigger bang for your buck to keep your trans in good condition, again, IMO

 

Don

Edited by Beta Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forscan can reset the adaptive tables. The PC version and smartphone app can do it. I have no idea what this will do. The service manual has a short procedure but it is not very prescriptive. Maybe the transmission will continually adjust but maybe starting fresh will work better or faster.

 

Buy the OBD Link MX adapter. It works flawlessly.

https://www.amazon.com/OBDLink-Bluetooth-Professional-Grade-Diagnostic-Performance/dp/B07JFRFJG6/ref=asc_df_B07JFRFJG6/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583932699502954&psc=1

 

Here is the Forscan Lite  smartphone app Service Procedure screen.

 

 

Screenshot_20190614-092213.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the bumper cover removed, it doesn't look like there's a lot of space for additional cooling.  It can still be done.  A cooler can be bolted on under the steel bumper bar.  

 

 

41E+nodHEiL._AC_SY400_.jpg

41hujunaAYL._AC_SY400_.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Front End photos from Tully Kieys build.  See the area under the bumper, in front of the A/C condenser?  That is where I would consider mounting a transmission cooler.

5C3AB01F-A555-47DC-9069-B79E89D89C84.jpeg49325216-AF53-46CC-8B18-857A3D50B419.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mrtn said:

Here's a how-to change procedure by the same tech:

 

 

Well I'm off to a bad start, maybe because it's Friday.  All I know is that the hole where you add fluid is definitely not where it is shown to be in the video.  I'm gonna wait until I'm refreshed to take the wheel off and look for the leveling hole, as I'm guessing that too will not be as straightforward as the video makes it seem.  Is there a video like this for the TC, 2015?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mrtn said:

Here's a how-to change procedure by the same tech:

 

 

Found it!  It's right under a radiator hose.  Yep, definitely not happening today.  Seems pretty involved.  I'm not sure I want to remove a radiator hose and be dealing with that fluid as well.  They really design against the DIY mentality don't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Don Ridley said:

Forscan can reset the adaptive tables. The PC version and smartphone app can do it. I have no idea what this will do. The service manual has a short procedure but it is not very prescriptive. Maybe the transmission will continually adjust but maybe starting fresh will work better or faster.

 

Buy the OBD Link MX adapter. It works flawlessly.

https://www.amazon.com/OBDLink-Bluetooth-Professional-Grade-Diagnostic-Performance/dp/B07JFRFJG6/ref=asc_df_B07JFRFJG6/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583932699502954&psc=1

 

Here is the Forscan Lite  smartphone app Service Procedure screen.

 

 

Screenshot_20190614-092213.png

Interesting, I want to try this.  I have several questions but I'll have to wait until I have some more time to continue with this line of investigation.  The weekend just got here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a parts diagram for the 6F35. Being a guy who can add air to his own tires,  I can follow it somewhat. 

0.jpg

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSVllo2NBy9EXXO7a4FeFHM8aGGbiRQpYxG6z_4qeLsgIobAPtWIwImage result for 6f35 thermostatic bypass valve

Part 7H322 is the cooler bypass valve.    2 lower lines with quick connect fittings.  Longer line going towards the front of the transmission case, I believe is a return line dumping cool fluid into the sump.  

0.jpg

Part 7A095 has cooling fins, and is a cooler.  This device bridges the cooler bypass valve lines and the cooling system up front.  From what I see, it looks like the fins cool the fluid slightly before it even goes to the radiator, and provides additional cooling before the fluid returns to the transmission.  

 

Hoping one of you guys can look under your hood, and identify where to disconnect the transmission return line, how to do it, and route ATF to an auxiliary cooler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

With the bumper cover removed, it doesn't look like there's a lot of space for additional cooling.  It can still be done.  A cooler can be bolted on under the steel bumper bar.  

 

 

41E+nodHEiL._AC_SY400_.jpg

41hujunaAYL._AC_SY400_.jpg

What model or brand is this cooler?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Fifty150 said:

Front End photos from Tully Kieys build.  See the area under the bumper, in front of the A/C condenser?  That is where I would consider mounting a transmission cooler.

5C3AB01F-A555-47DC-9069-B79E89D89C84.jpeg49325216-AF53-46CC-8B18-857A3D50B419.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, I see right where you're talking about.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, DanDweller said:

 I'm not sure I want to remove a radiator hose and be dealing with that fluid as well. 

 

 

You don't remove the radiator hose.  Put on a pair of gloves.  Reach your fingers under the hose.  Just lift the cap.  It comes right out.  And there will be room for you to insert a transmission funnel tube right into the hole.  

1109770496_6f35takedown.jpg.643b38f2e8748b1d58fbb6363b654431.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 

You don't remove the radiator hose.  Put on a pair of gloves.  Reach your fingers under the hose.  Just lift the cap.  It comes right out.  And there will be room for you to insert a transmission funnel tube right into the hole.  

1109770496_6f35takedown.jpg.643b38f2e8748b1d58fbb6363b654431.jpg

 

Ah ok, I see, thank you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a plate & fin cooler with an electric fan for cooling the transmission on my pickup. 

 

image.thumb.png.e9e9532a30a93eeac1e9e47c25c0b2c8.png

 

Looking at the Transit Connect's available space - maybe a 19 row cooler with  5" fan.

161053.jpg

 

 

51910-Dimensions519104.jpg

\

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not added an extra cooler . I Have don the transmission fluid change 3 times in 80000 miles.  Here is a link to the post I did .  The first thing you should always do with any automatic transmission issue is check the fluid level. The first caution is when you pull the bolt to check the level make sure the engine is running , if it is not the fluid will roar out of the plug hold.

The link to my post is below.

 

 

https://fordtransitconnectforum.com/?app=core&module=system&controller=content&do=find&content_class=forums_Topic&content_id=847&content_commentid=15966

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2019 at 9:07 AM, mrtn said:

Here's a how-to change procedure by the same tech:

 

 

Ok, so I'm about to order the Mercon LV on Amazon and I see they come in 12 quart boxes.  I'm trying to understand about how much total I'll end up using if I do this three times in a row.  From this video, it seems like it should be between 12-14 quarts, but other comments say as many as 16 quarts.  ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DanDweller said:

 it seems like it should be between 12-14 quarts, but other comments say as many as 16 quarts.  ???

 

 

The transmission fill amount is 4 liters.  We don't use the metric system, and it is confusing.  You can do this with 12 quarts.

 

2068254384_tccapacity2014manual.thumb.jpg.db002a5ef69fe667d6bc6ca24100034b.jpg

 

For your final fill, after you add 4 quarts, or 1 gallon, you will add 7.256 ounces.  That will be 4 liters.  

 

How you do it is up to you.  I used a measuring cup (stolen from ex-girlfriend's baking supplies).  Buy an extra quart, and use 7 - 8 ounces from that.  Pour out 7 - 8 ounces of the first quart you open, and set that aside for the final fill.  Or, take an ounce from each of the 1st 8 quarts you open.  If you get between 7 and 8 ounces, you will be fine.  You will not be overfilled or underfilled by less than 1 ounce.

162583471_tctrannyqttol.jpg.9ed64546eede5bfc3944738185cd5ac1.jpg

 

Look around a little bit before you order the fluid.  There are alternatives to Ford Motorcraft LV.  Walmart now sells a Supertech LV.  Mag1 offers LV.  When I serviced my transmission, I used Valvoline MaxLife which is labeled for LV.  Another forum member used Triax Global ATF.  You always hear that you should only use Ford Motorcraft Mercon.  Motorcraft LV is what your transmission was engineered to use.  Other people have found that other fluids work also.

 

501120381_lvra.thumb.jpg.bd6127e33a8bd7bb4c9e8123e2594c6f.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×