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Mishimoto’s Ford F-150 Transmission Cooler

Cooler transmission temps for our hard-running Raptor

Mar 3, 2020

In a previous installment of our 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor build series, we talked in depth about installing Mishimoto's new aluminum radiator for the Ford F-150 and specifically the Raptor. While we were working on that, we also set to installing Mishimoto's new transmission cooler.

This new cooler adds a significant amount of cooling ability and surface area over the factory-installed unit. The new 14-row tube-and-fin cooler provides an increase of 93 percent in core volume and 197 percent greater fluid capacity. And probably best of all, it's a direct fit replacement, meaning no crazy mounting techniques are needed, such as the zip-ties through the radiator other brands use.

It's worth noting that although we installed the cooler on an F-150 Raptor, this cooler can be used on any 2011 to 2014 Ford F-150, even those models that didn't come with a cooler from the factory. Also, Mishimoto offers a direct-fit transmission cooler for 2015 to current Ford F-150 pickups and Raptors, as well.

Photo 2/11   |   We knew our SVT Raptor would be the perfect test vehicle for Mishimoto's new F-150 transmission cooler. This truck is always pushed hard and never babied.

The installation took us about an hour to complete, which was much greater than anticipated. We got hung up removing the inlet hose from the factory cooler, as age had bonded the surfaces exceptionally well. Instructions for installation were not included in the package. However, in place of a printed copy, video instructions can be found on both the Mishimoto website and YouTube channel. We found the video to be extremely helpful.

To test the transmission cooler, we headed out to the California desert after completing the installation. We hammered on the truck in the dirt and towed a decent-sized trailer uphill into the wind. Ford provides a digital transmission temperature readout in the instrument cluster, which allowed us to monitor temperatures closely. Quantifying the improvement proved a tad difficult, as the installed Ford 6R80 transmission utilizes a thermostat in the transmission to keep fluid temperatures regulated to about 192 degrees. So unlike days of old when "colder is better" reigned supreme in the transmission realm, Ford likes to keep this unit in its sweet spot. What we did notice is that the transmission temperature would barely rise above the 192-degree threshold, and when it did, it would quickly drop back to that point or even a bit under before the thermostat would bring the temp back to 192. Seeing this, we're confident the upgraded cooler made a significant difference in cooling, especially when the truck is working hard.

Photo 3/11   |   The factory transmission cooler installed by Ford is certainly adequate for the job it's tasked with. However, it's easy to see by looking at the mounting hardware that a larger cooler may have been intended.
Photo 4/11   |   Attaching the factory transmission fluid hoses are the typical spring clips. We used a pair of channel-lock pliers to remove these annoying clips.
Photo 5/11   |   With the spring clip removed, the hose can then be detached from the cooler. Be careful not to damage the lower hose, as it's part of a greater unit and expensive to replace. Also, be ready with a rag and a catch can to collect any fluid that may escape.
Photo 6/11   |   The upper hose attaches in the same fashion as the lower, with a single spring clip. This hose gave us the most trouble, as it had bonded itself to the ribbing on the transmission cooler nipple.
Photo 7/11   |   After much struggle, we decided to just cut the hose with it in place. Since the new Mishimoto cooler is physically larger, approximately 2.5 inches of this upper hose need to be removed. A card is provided to aid in measuring.
Photo 8/11   |   The only special tool needed is a hose cutter. This tool is necessary to ensure a smooth and straight cut across the hose. Using standard sheers or a straight razor could damage the hose.
Photo 9/11   |   With the factory transmission cooler removed, it's easy to see the size difference between it and the new Mishimoto unit. Not only is the new cooler taller, but its side tanks are also far larger than those of the factory piece.
Photo 10/11   |   Installing the cooler in the truck happens in the reverse order of taking the factory one out. Mishimoto also provides new worm-gear clamps to replace the factory spring clamps. The nipples on the Mishimoto cooler are quite large and took a bit of persuasion and a dab of lube to wiggle fully into place.
Photo 11/11   |   Looking at the finished product, it's hard to imagine why Ford didn't install a cooler this size from the start. The new Mishimoto cooler fits the factory mounting clamps perfectly, taking up all the extra room left by Ford.

Sources

Mishimoto
Wilmington, DE
877-466-4744
http://www.mishimoto.com

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