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Differential Cooler... do they exist?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by PhoenixZorn, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    I see talk about tranny coolers all the time, but no mention whatsoever about diff coolers... if you are pulling something that is just below the tow rating for your rig, that rear end is gonna get hot... likely just as hot or hotter than the tranny itself.... I think a hot diff was the real cause of my rear end being chewwed apart when I had the 2 tons of rock behind my rig, and may not have been an existing problem before hand... (though the rear end was squealing before I started towing) I just didn't think anything of it.
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I'd say the only thing practical is an aluminum diff cover.

    Other than that, everything on a vehicle I can think of that involves cooling involves forcibly pumping whatever through a cooler. Oil cooler, PS cooler, tranny cooler.

    Only vehicle I can think of that a manufacturer MAY have thought diff cooling was a problem is the later Crown Vic, all of which run the aluminum diff cover. Only reason I can surmise they did that was for the police package, and it was just cheaper to have them all made in one material, or that diff is that borderline that it needs all the help it can get.
     
  3. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    the new ZO6 uses a diff cooler stock from the factory
     
  4. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    Heh... good point. i suppose just building a heatsync for the diff would be all the cooling it would ever need.

    In fact, when I get my welder, that will be my first project... a diff cover with a heat sync on it...

    I shouldn't even make this post, since now someone else will do it, market it, and make a million dollars... hehe
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Yep, your right, sure is.

    Here's an article talking about road racers making a diff cooler: road race

    Lot of work though.

    I was going to say that I just don't see GM not adding a cooler if there was any sort of issue, but then I thought about the factory power steering coolers that came stock on our trucks VERY late into the production run, and probably 15 years after that exact steering setup had first been used without a cooler.
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Trophy trucks sometimes run rear coolers, Nascar stock cars do as well. Nascars have an oil pump mounted to the pinion, I don't know what Trophy trucks do. I have a picture of the setup somewhere, I hope I sent it home from school.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. gone huntin

    gone huntin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    A buddy of mine was telling me today about a rear diff cover that had a cooler built into it with nipples for external lines. I'll see if I can find out more about it.
     
  8. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    finned aluminum dif covers have been around forever...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7965718092&category=33731

    http://coloradok5.com/maghytecreview.shtml

    i've seen them with deeper fins too... imho, a larger capacity finned aluminum will keep it plenty cool... tho i'd prefer this http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7965762493&category=33728
     
  9. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    If you're really worried, run synthetic oil and a finned aluminum cover similar to what the newer F450s have factory.
     
  10. grape

    grape Registered Member

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    my zo6 doesn't have a diff cooler, my craftsman truck does.
    www.stockcarproducts.com the cooler pumps off of the back are quick change rearends that have the input shaft running from one end of the rear end to the other, back to the spur gears on the back of the housing.
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The article I saw mentioned Z06 with diff cooler was for 2006, perhaps thats where that came from? Either that or it was supposed to be on the car and wasn't implemented?

    Be interesting to see how they do it if they do.
     
  12. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    When I say heatsync, I mean like 2 inch tall aluminum fins spaced about 1/2" apart across the whole cover, run vertically to drop off any mud they may collect... Those fluid coolers are nuts...
     
  13. Chevysonly

    Chevysonly Newbie

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    I picked up a universal type "manual trans or differential cooler" kit off of ebay a while back, had a basic finned type cooler with a small inline pump, you were supposed to pull oil out through the drain hole, push it through the cooler and back in the filler hole, pretty simple really, you could put the pump on a switch and only use it when you needed it.
     
  14. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    A few older heavy truck axles had fittings for coolers; mostly the really big guns rated for over 48Klbs. Many more have pumps and filters built into the third member, but the mfgr's are getting away from that now.
     
  15. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    this is all cool for race cars/trucks and stuff but I really doubt its necessary for a normally-used vehicle. Even a rig that does heavy duty towing. I mean, do dump trucks have diff coolers? how about semis? I don't know... just asking. Seems that tow rigs have worked for years without diff coolers. I'd recommend using synthetic fluid and an aluminum diff cover. If that doesn't keep your fliud in good shape, you have other problems (incorrectly set up rear end, something just came loose and fragged the R&P, etc)

    j
     
  16. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    the only reason I would consider it is to make a high pinion axle out of something that wasn't originally. Better pinion oiling with pressurized fluid. Cooling a rear, if I diff cover isn't getting it done like Jekbrown said, look at other things.
     
  17. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    tilton makes a 12VDC pump just for diff oil cooling. No running a single stage pump and cog belt off the pinion flange that way. Most Endurance type high HP road racers have them.

    I know of one guy who made a diff cover into a cooler. He made it a rectangular box with tubes running all of the way thru it top to bottom. It holds something like 4 gallons of oil. The tops of the tubes went bent to face fwd and flared. The bottom of the tubes were cut with a miter facing the rear like an old road draft tube. Prior to doing that his lakester crew got so much practice changing D80 R&P's that they could do it on the side of the road, in 40 minutes!
     
  18. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    They're semi-common on older trucks in "vocational" service, like dump trucks, garbage trucks, concrete trucks... anything that sees a lot of low-speed, high-gross-weight activity. Mostly it depends on the axles and what the application was/is. i.e. If a truck was spec'd by a company that specializes in heavy (120Klbs +) hauling, you're likely to find cooled (and filtered) axles, and maybe a liquid-cooled transmission, too (a 4"x12" 4-pass radiator in the bottom of the front box, plumbed into the truck's cooling system).
    Advances in synthetic oils have greatly reduced the need for fluid coolers on heavy truck components, but they are still around. In a few cases, the only difference between a Fuller Roadranger that's rated for 1650ft/lbs input TQ (a 16xxx series trans) and one rated for 1850 (an 18xxx series trans), is the oil cooler fittings on the 18xxx. All Fullers rated for 1850 and above have oil cooler fittings, and the cooler must be used for warranty coverage.
     
  19. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    thats what i was gonna say... beat me to it.

    The Zo6's run a diff cooler?... damn, ferrari and ford gts are sh$ttin in there pants... 500 hp out of an aluminum 427... carbon fiber brakes... the list goes on.
     

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