98 E-350 trans temp, cooler issues? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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98 E-350 trans temp, cooler issues?

Hi all,

Just starting to get my van back in shape now that I'm getting ready to be towing my cars around quite a bit. I bought this van back in 2005/6 or so from a guy who used to tow a camper with it. It's a 1998 E-350 with the 7.3, and the previous owner had done some mods to "support" his towing:

Edge programmer
Downpipe/exhaust
Two trans coolers
Gauges

Well, when you are in the middle-of-nowhere in Indiana and you get your mods done at Walmart, the wiring is not exactly the best. Needless to say, the trans gauge eventually went out and I just finally got around to repairing it. The shop put a 120-250 degree Autometer in there, and on the way home today (simple highway cruising @60mph) the trans temp crept all the way up to 250-ish indicated.

I just had a complete fluid service done (coolant, transmission, differential, oil) and I am wondering if the trans cooler(s) haven't been clogged for some time. It looks like there are two additional coolers plumbed after the in-radiator cooler.

So, here are the questions:

1) On normal highway cruising with this type of vehicle (is this an E40 trans?), what should expected temps be on the trans? I've seen anything in the 130-180 range as being "normal", but anything over 200 seems "dangerous" or wrong/off.

2) Does it seem like this is likely a clogged cooler issue? I saw some other posts discussing valvebody or torque converter issues, but the transmission shifting seems to be just fine. Doesn't seem hard or slipp-y. Since the fluid was just changed, but I did not have a complete flush done, was this a mistake? We did change the pan filter. The shop did not feel that the fluid that came out was burnt.

3) Are the two coolers a waste/excessive? Pretty much my only use for this vehicle is either hauling friends around or towing ~6000+lb worth of car and trailer. So it's either just a highway car, or it's pretty much loaded down. Seems like one additional cooler over the factory in-radiator cooler should be plenty, but I'm open to opinions.

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to your input!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:26 PM
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I also just read some posts somewhere that indicated that there is a cooler bypass valve (CBV) that can be actuated depending on system pressure which will bypass the transmission cooler. If the two coolers I'm running have caused the pressure to drop to such a state where the CBV is always open, that could cause high transmission temperatures, couldn't it?

Just thinking out loud here.
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