Transmission Pan, Cooler, and Programmer Install - Pure Cool
Installing a Mag-Hytec Transmission Pan, Ford 40K-GVWR Transmission Cooler, and an Edge Evolution in an '01 F-250 Super Duty
Keeping tabs on your transmission’s vitals has always been tough, because unlike your engine, most trucks do not have a transmission fluid temp gauge, or even an idiot light. And if you are like us and use your rig for severe towing, those long steep grades can be a serious stress test on your transmission.
Recently, while towing a rockcrawler and carrying a Lance camper on a long trip, we realized our Ford Super Duty’s 4R100 had slightly overheated after noticing transmission fluid all over the rear axlehousing upon reaching our destination. Luckily for us, it only got hot enough to purge fluid out, but not do permanent damage and cook the transmission. Before heading home, we added new transmission fluid to get the level back up and prayed as we hit the next long hill that it would not start slipping—thankfully it didn’t. To put all the stress and anxiety to rest, and more importantly, keep it from ever happening again, we looked for help from a few different companies to keep the transmission happy and also help us monitor the temperature.
We felt that a Mag-Hytec high-capacity transmission pan, a Ford Motor Company 40K-GVWR transmission cooler, and an Edge Evolution programmer with monitoring capabilities would all be good choices to keep our transmission much cooler and would allow us to be able to keep an eye on it.
Mag-Hytec has been making heavy-duty differential covers and transmission pans for many years and has applications for just about all of the popular late-model Ford, GM, and Dodge trucks. These finned aircraft aluminum pans are all made in the USA, have a deep, high-capacity sump for maximum cooling, a magnetic drain plug, 1?8-inch NPT temperature sender port, an O-ring-type seal, and come with all the hardware needed to complete the easy, do-it-yourself install. You can even get a new filter with it like we did.
With the added volume of transmission fluid to the system, you can expect your temps to be noticeably cooler, which will extend the life of your transmission. Our next order of business was to find an upgraded trans cooler, and we found a Ford Motor Company unit ready to bolt right in at PureDieselPower.com with a whopping 40K GVWR (up from the stock 28K). And since it has a much larger cooling area than the original piece, we thought this setup could do wonders to help reduce operating temperatures. The FoMoCo upgraded cooler is intended for the gas V-10 setup but is compatible with the 7.3L and came complete with all hoses, protective looms, clamps, and attached in the stock cooler location.
Now we just needed to find a way to monitor the transmission temperature so we would know if the tough demands we put on the transmission were staying within its new limits. We thought about an A-pillar gauge pod that might also include an EGT (exhaust gas temperature) gauge, but after talking with the guys at Edge Products, we decided that using their Evolution programmer as an all-encompassing monitoring device would work perfectly. If we did not already have a chip installed in our truck’s computer, we could also use it to help with performance gains, but the unit can easily be programmed in the future if we choose. Now we were able to not only monitor our transmission fluid temperature, but also our EGTs, engine oil temp, and our turbo boost psi.
While almost all of the information is routed to the gauge pod directly from the vehicle’s OBD II port, Edge also includes an EGT probe that installs into the exhaust manifold to complete the monitoring capabilities. The pod looks factory and mounts on the left side of the dash for good visibility and can be set up to display four of the many different functions at a time. We recently had a chance to test the Pure Cool installed parts in the fully loaded tow rig and found our transmission fluid temps now ran between 170 to 180 degrees, and normally ran about 180 to 183 degrees on the flats at cruising speed, and 186 to 190 degrees on long, steep grades.
To help us with the install and keep the “Pure” theme going, we headed over to see Rudd Miller at Pure Power Off-Road in Newbury Park, California. Miller, a lifelong off-road gearhead, has been installing performance and 4x4 products for more than 25 years. He also sells a lot of these same products at his shop or on his website. So, follow along as we show you how easy it was to install these upgraded transmission cooling and monitoring parts and become Pure Cool!