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View Poll Results: Have you installed a transmission cooler kit?
Yes, I have 0 0%
No, I have not and don't plan to do so 14 58.33%
No, but I have considered it 10 41.67%
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:00 PM   #1
Dante
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2002 SL2
Question Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Has anyone installed a transmission cooler on your 04 or newer 3.5L V6? I am considering getting one, but wanted to poll the forum to see if anyone has already done so, and if so, where did you get the kit, what is the manufacturer name and model number, how much did it cost, how difficult was the install, and have you had any problems. You know, the usual. With all this rattling I've heard about the Honda trannies "not being as reliable" and such, I figure a little extra insurance wouldn't hurt. I'm also planning on putting full synthetic Mobil ATF in it soon (at 25k miles) for a little extra assurance.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 05-09-2005, 06:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

I don't believe that Saturn has a transmission cooler for it. I remembered a couple of treads that someone had U-haul install a hitch with the tranny cooler (aftermarket). It would not be a bad idea to have one on board, but installing one on the vehicle may take a quite a task since it would require taking the front bumper off and figuring which lines to cut splice into the transmission, etc... It could be a whole day to do it...

I have a 02 Honda Odyssey and the tranny still going strong at 45K. If you head down to their board they can tell you horror stories as well as good stories.. They recommend to use the Honda ATF all the time and when I have the chance to change the fluid of my Vue, I will do it with the Honda ATF as well..
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

I have not yet installed a cooler but judging by the comments on the Acura forums, installing an aftermarket cooler would be good insurance for the Honda transmission when towing.

As the previous version of the transmission, (before modification for 04 Vue) had gear problems from overheating it would seem that a cooler might be a good idea.

The link below is from an Acura dealer for an aftermarket Transmission cooler hookup. I assume the hook up would be similar for the Vue though the cooler mounting would be different.

https://hondacuraworld.hostasaurus.c...ngFluidCoolers

Quote below from Acura advertising

“And when properly equipped, the MDX can tow a sizeable boat, as well as its crew. The maximum specified towing capacity advertised for some competitor vehicles actually limits the number of passengers to one. But when the MDX is equipped with the towing package-with optional coolers for the automatic transmission and power steering-its 3500-lb trailer/4500-lb boat towing capacities are each calculated to include up to four passengers and their cargo.”
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:37 PM   #4
David Harleyson
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
Has anyone installed a transmission cooler on your 04 or newer 3.5L V6? I am considering getting one, but wanted to poll the forum to see if anyone has already done so, and if so, where did you get the kit, what is the manufacturer name and model number, how much did it cost, how difficult was the install, and have you had any problems. You know, the usual. With all this rattling I've heard about the Honda trannies "not being as reliable" and such, I figure a little extra insurance wouldn't hurt. I'm also planning on putting full synthetic Mobil ATF in it soon (at 25k miles) for a little extra assurance.

Thanks for your feedback!

DANTE!! BE really caerful WHAT you put back in the Honda trans. The factory spec is Honda Z1. Last I checked Mobil 1 ATF DOES NOT meet this spec. Amsoil does however. At 25000 i will be going back in the trans with Amsoil ATF. I do like the idea of a trans cooler, (especiallly here in TX) So if anyone knows of one (Honda part # maybee) Let us know!
DH
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

According to the PDF file instructions linked here.

https://hondacuraworld.hostasaurus.c...ngFluidCoolers

This is the Honda ATF cooler P/N 06255-RDJ-305.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

That's a pretty wimply looking ATF cooler! One metal tube with some radiator fins on it?

I was looking at these, as they seem pretty standard...

Etrailer atf coolers

specifically, the heavy duty cooler

So far as synthetic ATF, I thought I saw somewhere on Mobil Oil's site that they had a Honda Z ATF fully synthetic fluid somewhere, but I couldn't locate it last time I looked. I am going to ask the Saturn techs and Honda techs what synthetic fluid they recommend. Thanks for the replies guys.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

I agree Dante! That "cooler" may be fine for much of the country, but for those of us that live where it actually gets hot, that thing will be practically useless. There just is not enough surface area to do much good when the ambient air temp at the front bumper is 140*+
The plate style coolers work VERY well. I have a small one on my Harley (6" x 1.5") and it can pull 30* off the oil temp on a hot summer afternoon. I'll stick with the plate style!
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

David, when you say plate style, are you referring to the type in the links I provided? The weak little loop with radiator fins on it in the Acura link that Danemobile posted wouldn't do you a *whole* lot of good when the ambient air is over 100, as it tends to be during the summer here in Texas. I've seen a lot of water-cooled bikes with radiators about the size of the one I linked to, so I can see it making a significant impact on the temperature of the coolant in the transmission, especially if I mount it in front of the engine radiator. The only thing I'm concerned about there is possibly blocking the flow of cool air to the engine radiator. It may be possible to mount the tranny cooler below the engine radiator, or behind it, but it wouldn't be nearly as effective that way, I don't think. I haven't taken any measurements or given anything a hard look, so I am not sure yet where it would be possible to mount, and how big you can go with this thing.

BTW, I just noticed your mileage in your signature. Tonight on my way home I looked down and my odomoter read "022222". I'm right behind ya!
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:54 PM   #9
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Question Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

What about this stuff? It says it meets the Honda spec, but I'm not so sure about it...Mobil Multi-Vehicle ATF
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

When we bought our 05 V6 AWD three weeks ago I asked the specific question, "Do I need a cooler to pull a 2000lbs boat?". I was told "No it's not needed." The salesman also said that the transmission was a sealed unit and that a cooler couldn't be put on. I haven't had a chance to talk to the service manager to actually get his opinion.
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

That mobil multi vehicle ATF will probably work, but its not synthetic, which brings us back to step one :-P
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingster
The salesman also said that the transmission was a sealed unit and that a cooler couldn't be put on.
That's BS. A guy here had U-Haul put one on. Do a search, you'll find the thread.

As for plate versus finned-tube, where would you put the plate? The finned tube can go in front of the radiator without obstructing airflow too much, but would you want to put another plate type rad in front of it?
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Yeah, I love when sales people try to answer technical questions and fail miserably. Sealed my arse... There's a loop of metal tubing that comes out of the tranny, up around in the area of the radiator, and then back into the tranny. So, there is already a stub of a cooler there. If you look at the factory cooler for the Acura MDX, that's basically what we've got, I believe. It's hard to see with the bumper on there, but I've looked at some schematics for the Vue, and it looks like we've got the same basic setup. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the transmission cooler for the MDX worked on the Vue. After all, the tranny IS the same.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by burnout
That mobil multi vehicle ATF will probably work, but its not synthetic, which brings us back to step one :-P
Damnit!!! I guess you're right.

I asked the parts counter the other day, they wanted $9.90 A FREAKIN' QUART for the ATF Z-1 fluid! Amsoil sells their fully synthetic ATF (recommended for every possible transmission ever made, apparently), for $8.00 or less a quart. Yeesh. I just can't trust those guys, they talk too much crap to be believable. One product can't possibly be *ideal* for EVERYTHING like they claim. How is it these cheezballs make something 10x better than anything that the thousands of professional engineers at half a dozen major automakers can't come up with? Oh, that's because the automakers WANT your car to implode... riiiiight. wtfe. </rant>
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Last edited by Dante; 05-19-2005 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 05-19-2005, 07:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
There's a loop of metal tubing that comes out of the tranny, up around in the area of the radiator, and then back into the tranny. So, there is already a stub of a cooler there.
Just took a look, and I wonder if that is just a stub. The piping goes into and out of the left side of the radiator. It almost looks like that there is some rudimentary ATF cooling already being done. The Acura ATF cooler docs say to remove the old hose from the "radiator transmission cooler" before installing the new one.

That new Acura cooler sure does look like it will fit in front of the Vue's radiator. But lower part of the existing rad and that installed cooler also look really exposed ...
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

I agree, that Acura cooler looks like it would probably work, and I think you're right, the ATF tube goes up into the radiator. There is probably a loop or coil built into the engine radiator for the ATF fluid to help cool it. I have to wonder if that does a net positive effect when the engine coolant is hotter than the ATF fluid, but, whatever. It should be easy to just pop those lines off and attach an aftermarket ATF cooler radiator in front of the engine radiator. I am still leaning towards the heavy duty class II cooler I linked above. The only concern I have is how to mount the thing and the size of the thing. It's 11" wide and almost 6" tall. That should fit into the Red Line air box right in front of the engine radiator, on top of the metal frame bar that's at the bottom of the box very nicely. The Red Line grill is about 23" wide by 6" tall, and there's around 8" or so of vertical space behind it within which you could moung this thing. I'm going to order it and see if I can get it to work.
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
It's 11" wide and almost 6" tall. That should fit into the Red Line air box right in front of the engine radiator, on top of the metal frame bar that's at the bottom of the box very nicely. The Red Line grill is about 23" wide by 6" tall
Aren't you worried about that blocking air flow to the engine radiator? Maybe with the fans and all, you don't have to worry too much about it ... I dunno.
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Old 05-20-2005, 10:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante
David, when you say plate style, are you referring to the type in the links I provided? The weak little loop with radiator fins on it in the Acura link that Danemobile posted wouldn't do you a *whole* lot of good when the ambient air is over 100, as it tends to be during the summer here in Texas. I've seen a lot of water-cooled bikes with radiators about the size of the one I linked to, so I can see it making a significant impact on the temperature of the coolant in the transmission, especially if I mount it in front of the engine radiator. The only thing I'm concerned about there is possibly blocking the flow of cool air to the engine radiator. It may be possible to mount the tranny cooler below the engine radiator, or behind it, but it wouldn't be nearly as effective that way, I don't think. I haven't taken any measurements or given anything a hard look, so I am not sure yet where it would be possible to mount, and how big you can go with this thing.

BTW, I just noticed your mileage in your signature. Tonight on my way home I looked down and my odomoter read "022222". I'm right behind ya!

Dante, Yeah the "plate type" (like your links) work very well. They have a lot of surface area to help radiate the heat. The one on my Harley is quite small 6x1.5 inches but can cut the engine temp by 30*. The Harley has no water cooling (unless its raining ) and relies just on oil and air flow to cool it. Before I installed the cooler, two up, summer afternoon oil temp in the pan could range from 240*-255*. After the cooler we rarely see over 220* The cooler I got is made by JAGG DESIGN and is available with a thermostsatic shutoff for winter use.
As far as size, the 3.5 is an average sized engine. I would stick with something in the 8x4 inch size given that there will be (somewhat) restricted air flow with it set low in front of the radiator. Sadly too large is not good either. Transmissions need to operate in the 180-200* range.
Good luck with it!
DH
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Old 05-20-2005, 10:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

You can see the cooler just off the frame downtube in this pic. Sort of...
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Old 05-22-2005, 02:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: Transmission cooler for V6 04+ Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Harleyson
You can see the cooler just off the frame downtube in this pic. Sort of...
Nice.

Good point about over-cooling it. I think the Class I 4"x11" would suffice, and wouldn't block the engine radiator as much. I have been watching my engine temp guage a lot recently, and I have noticed how sitting in traffic with the a/c on, it will nudge up to almost halfway, but never over that mark. It's been close to 100 this last week, and I went from hauling ass down 35E at 85MPH to stopped, and the temp didn't spike.

I am pretty sure there is a sensor in the transmission for the temperature that can be accessed via OBD-II. I wish I had an OBD-II to USB plug and a program for my laptop or Palm so I could watch that in real time, but that's another thread, I think.
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