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tranny temp guage...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jekbrown, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I have a relatively new 700r4 and I'd like to keep it in tip-top shape as long as possible. To that end I have installed a biiig cooler as well as an external filter (summit kit, basically a bracket and hardware that lets you use a standard oil filter in the cooler lines). I also have a deep aluminum oil pan. The only other thing I can think of to do would be to install a guage that would monitor tranny temp. I have never installed any guages before,or even bought one. I dont need the thing to be accurate to 0.1 degrees or anything, i just wanna know if they thing is gettin to hot. any recommendations on what brand of guage i should get? good/inexpensive places to buy them from? Are these things pretty simple to install? any info appreciated... in the mean time I'll keep doing searches. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I am using the B&M tranny temp gauge. It is easy to install, just a little messy. Mine is mounted above my tcase shifter. It comes with the gauge, sender, instructions, fittings, and a little gauge pod. It was like $45. It works for me on my 700R4. The reason it is messy is you have to cut your tranny return line and splice in a T style compression fitting. So when you cut into the line it leaks fluid out. It was a fairly easy install and a good one for the money.
     
  3. bobsurf

    bobsurf 1/2 ton status

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    I've done a ton of searching recently (although I've got a TH350) for the same type of info, and it turns out there's a lot of it out there.

    For the 700r4, a lot of people have used the existing hole right above where the shifter linkage connects to the tranny. At the same time, you'll see a lot of differing opinions as to whether or not that's a good place to mount it. Some people like it in the cooler return line, some people like it in the pan. Just depends on what you decide. Where ever you end up putting it, you'll figure out the regular operating temp, and simply watch for changes.

    My .02:
    I'm planning on getting the Hayden Tranny Temp Gauge from Pep Boys. By locating that in my pan, it will also function as a drain plug (comes with all the hardware for that). However, I know Summit offers one that has been widely used, just depends on your final decision on location. Hope that helps, as you probably have already found out, lots of discussions on theory.
     
  4. Itali83

    Itali83 1/2 ton status

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    The best place to mount the sending unit is in the tranny line TO the cooler. Since you have a big ass cooler, that could mask any problems that may occur temp wise. I mounted my tranny sender in the out like to the cooler so I can see exactly how hot the tranny is running. If something goes wrong, I know instantly. Your big cooler may bring the temps down to normal until the tranny gets so hot it damages itself. Just my knowledge on how trannys work and my own experience.
    Ben 87 Jimmy + 89 Blazer
    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  5. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    good point on the cooler masking readings. Cutting the line that runs from the tranny to the factory cooler would be a pita... its a hardline. As you said putting in the return line wouldnt be very useful either. I guess that leaves this hole by the shifter and the pan. hmmmm. I have a nice aluminum deep pan but it doesnt have a drainplug... maybe I could nail 2 birds with one stone. Guess I'll look into that hayden one...

    j
     
  6. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    The flip side to mounting it there is that you don't have an idea what your cooler is doing. If it is in the pan, you know the 'overall' temp of the fluid. Ideally you could have both, but you'd have to be staring at your trans temp guages almost constantly to catch a spike in the outgoing fluid before you started to see a temperature rise in the pan. There's lots of arguements for either location, so it's probably personal preference and knowing what temperature is 'too hot' in whichever location you choose.

    FWIW, mine is mounted in the rear of the pan (700R4) - it was a bit awkward, but putting it on the driver's side was a little too close to the exhaust by the time the sending unit stuck out of the pan.
     
  7. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    i like the idea of mounting it in the line 'to' the cooler, this also helps to keep it out of harms way.
     
  8. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    In my opinnion the best place for a temp sensor is in the pan.
    By locating it in the pan you get a reading on the temp of the bulk of the fluid. Locating the sensor in other places just gives you the fluid temp at that location.
    It is best to start out the fluid lubrication cycle with the fluid temp around 150 degrees or less. .
    The lube cycle starts in the pan.
    Locating the sender in the pan will tell you how hot the oil is at the start of the lubrication cycle.
    Trans oil lasts the longest at constant temps of 160-165 degrees. At hotter constant temps it degrades rapidly.
    With the sensor in the pan and the right cooler you will always know your tranny is getting cool (150 deg or less) oil supplied to it.
     
  9. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    i have used 3 different Autometers and have been happy with them.

    return the summit cooler and get a stacked fin B&M 24,000# cooler. they are better
     
  10. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like we're on the same trail! I put a B&M in mine, and questioned their instrutions of installing the sender in the 'return' line, but the guys @ the local tranny shop said the critical temps are what's going (back?) into the tranny. (Fluid leaving has already done it's job). I did mine in the return AFTER i put in the BA Cooler. Thinking of a 2nd sending unit in the outbound line with a toggle to compare temp when it's leaving and what the temp is on return.
    Figure that'd give a better overall pic of what's going on inside that slush-box!
     
  11. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    In most auto's the oil going out to the cooler is coming from the converter, which will be the hottest oil anywhere in the trans. I second putting the sender in the pan. I want to know what the temp of the oil being sucked into the trans is, not how hot the converter is or how well the cooler is doing.

    There is a general graph out there of trans life vs. oil temp. It's nearly horizontal up to 180*. Then it starts to go nearly verticle. Down. Bad. I searched thru the NAPA temp switch catalog and put a switch in the pan that turns on a light should the oil ever get that hot. I chose a temp that means if I see that light come on it's time to stop.

    I got my cooler from afco. $80 got me an 11" x 11" stacked plate cooler. I ran it in series with the radiator cooler, b4 the radiator. This ensures that the trans will warm up along with the engine in cold country. Which I don't have around here, but who knows where I'll go with the Sub. MAking sure that the trans warms up is neccessary to boil any condensation out of the ATF. Plumbing the cooler this way thermally works the ATF a lot harder. Yearly changes, at minimum, are mandatory.
     
  12. bobsurf

    bobsurf 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I have a nice aluminum deep pan but it doesnt have a drainplug... maybe I could nail 2 birds with one stone. Guess I'll look into that hayden one...

    j


    [/ QUOTE ]

    IMHO, that's a no brainer (unless you feel strongly against locating it in the pan). I think Grim originally suggested the Hayden Gauge to me, and after shopping around, that was the best "two birds, one stone" option (only found it in the store, wasn't listed on the web anywhere).
     
  13. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    i was looking at my summit catalog this morning and thought of 2 more questions...

    1) what is the difference between mechanical and electrical guarges... beyond the obvious? Is one more accurate than the other? easier to set up? Im not an electrical guru at all... so maybe I should lean towards mech? dunno...

    2) anyone ever used a guage from a company called nordskog? I was checking out all the diff brands in the summit catalog and found this...

    http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?target=search.asp%3FType%3Dbysummitpart%26Part%3Dnrd-m9007%26Search.x%3D1%26SearchType%3DBoth

    looks really cool! whatdya guys think?

    j
     
  14. DPI

    DPI 1/2 ton status

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    I just installed a second sending unit in the pressure port above the shifter linkage on the tranny. The first sending unit is in the return line from my 28K B&M Stack plate cooler and I have a switch between the two sending units. I recently turned the cooler on its side with the outlet at the top and the inlet. This is the most efficient way to run these stack plate coolers due to all the air being forced out by fluid...
    Anyway, I can not beleive the differnce in temprature between the two sending units. I was driving down the hiway about 70 MPH this weekend comparing the two. The "cooled" fluid was barely reading 100 degrees while the port temprature was close to 220 degrees /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif.
     
  15. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Mechanical - a line of ATF goes into the back of the gauge for a constant reading. From what I know, mechanical gauges are more accurate but more of a PITA to install. Not to mention if the line coming into the gauge were to get loose and fall off(ie hot ATF sprayin' all over the cab).

    Electrical - converts the info from the sender to display the reading.
     
  16. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Mechanical temp guages don't plumb fluid from the tranny (or coolant) into the cab. they're a sealed unit similar to a thermometer. You put the 'bulb' in the pan/coolant jacket/etc. and as it heats up the fluid within the sealed unit expands to move the guage. It's not like an oil pressure guage where you plumb an oil line into the cab.

    The biggest PITA about mechanical temp guages is you can't cut the line, so you may have to find a place to coil a couple loops of excess line. The nice thing is they work whether the truck's electrical is working or not and whether the engine is running or not.
     

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