'99 PS Transmission Heat Issue - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:58 AM
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'99 PS Transmission Heat Issue

O.K., here's the deal. Had this truck for a couple of years now. Had a DP Tuner, dual exhaust and gages on the pillar which include a pyrometer, transmission temp and turbo boost installed when I bought it. It had 195K on the clock and had the tranny rebuilt at 130K. Bought it to tow our 25' 5th wheel. Transmission does just fine pulling the trailer at highway speeds even up some pretty steep Idaho grades. Runs about 180 degrees towing.
Once a year I pull this trailer up to hunting camp, uphill for about 9 miles at 25mph max. The first time, towards the top, the temps got to about 240 and I shut it down and let it cool before continuing. Changed the fluid when I got back to town but it didn't smell burnt.
I figured it wasn't getting enough air across the cooler at that speed so I added a tranny cooler with thermostatically controlled fan which was rated to 30K motorhome.The next year it made no difference. I shut it down earlier but it was on it's way to 240 again.
It's been a great truck other than this issue. No fluid leaks at all and uses about a Qt. of oil in 5K
So, I figure a line is plugged or bypass malfunctioning? Do I need to take it to a good tranny shop to have it diagnosed or do you guys have any tricks?
I forgot to mention that when I bought the truck, I serviced the tranny,replaced the filter and replaced the in-line filter.

I found this with a search:

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I might know whats your problem is!
The transmission cooler as they exit the transmission has a crossover tube with a check valve in the line, this is a bypass tube that ford installed to warm up the transmission quicker in the cold, the line has two banjo fittings on it, the tranny lines go into a fitting which screws into the banjo fittings, trust me if that line is there in your truck then replace it. The line is only $25.00-$30.00 from Ford, or you can eliminate it, this will most likely solve your problem! I put a transmission cooler for a 6.0 on my truck later which bolts right up to the stock location and you need to run 1/2 lines instead of 3/8 but my truck loaded does not get hot anymore it runs at about 150-180 in the summer towing! I overheated my transmission 2 or 3 times at 250-280 and she is still shifting fine, the r4100's can take the temperatures as long as they are not prolonged!
Think I'm on the right track?

Last edited by Hespelt; 04-30-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:04 PM
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So no one has any experience with this problem or suggestions? Am I on the right track with the bypass line? A friend of mine wants me to get rid of the inline magnetic filter Ford puts on their rebuilds, even tho it's new, because he thinks it restricts flow to the cooler.

Am I asking too much from this truck, pulling a 5K trailer up a long grade at slow speeds?
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:56 PM
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same deal

I have the same problems, at highway speeds its fine but towing on dirt roads it starts to heat up. Iv tried extra coolers and everything. iv flushed my tranny and changed all the filters.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:58 PM
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When it's heating up a lot, is the TC unlocked?
If the bypass tube was messed up, you'd be heating up a lot all the time.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:11 PM
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When it's heating up a lot, is the TC unlocked?
Torque Converter?
How would I know if it's locked and how would I lock or unlock it? Sorry, I don't know what you're getting at.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:03 PM
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You would be able to tell if the engine seems connected to the trans like it is a 5 sp (tc is locked)
Or if when you accel more the engine rpm can climb like it is slipping (tc unlocked).

Could the trans cooler have dirt or road grime packed in it and blocking good airflow?

It might have good internal oil flow just no outside airflow.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:06 AM
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If the TC is unlocked, it's spinning.
Google a torque converter to see how it works and you'll understand why they create so much heat. If you drive with it unlocked and with little to no air flow over the cooler, then it'll heat up very fast, especially with a load.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:06 AM
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Thanks Guys, I have knowledge of how the TC and tranny work. This isn't my first rodeo. I have driven big rigs for 34 years but am new to Powerstrokes , this forum and it's abbreviations.Thanks for responding There is no slipping. It shifts solidly and when I use the DP Tuner it really snaps into gear! After the first heat up, I installed a tranny cooler like this one:



It did the same exact thing the next time I pulled that grade. Temps slowly raised until it got hot enough to make me nervous (240). This is an hour pull at 20 to 25 mph. Made NO difference. You would think a cooler rated for a 30K motorhome would do something to cool the tranny that's why I wondered if a line was plugged.
If the the bypass line was at fault what temps would I expect to to see, generally? See, this is the problem with that question. Tranny temps relate to ambient temps, load, speed. Hard to repeat the same set of circumstances.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:08 AM
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Well you said you didn't understand how a TC would make it heat up and how to know if it's unlocked or locked so that's why I explained.
If you're pulling for an hour at 20-25 MPH with an unlocked TC, I think that's your issue.
If that bypass was bad, it would just keep the fluid circulating in the trans but not into the cooler, so you'd see very high temps 24/7.
To know if a line is plugged, pull a cooler line and crank it up. See how it flows.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:50 AM
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Ok, it seems like you are running your truck in an extreme situation here.
25 mph up a steep grade for 1 hour is crazy! Lol but you have to do what you have to do.

As far as why it now wants to create heat and it didnt before, maybe the trans or tc is actually slipping some (5-10%) because it has worn over the yrs and is now generating more heat? This is a guess.

On a different note, i have wanted to discuss this on here and this thread seems appropriate, what if someone would rig up a sprayer to the front of the cooler so when you pushed a button, it would spray water on the cooler and help cool it off? This may just be a bandaid to a bigger problem but i do know of manufactures that do this to an intercooler. Subaru do this on their sti and it works great!

A small reservoir would be needed, a universal washer fluid pump and a nozzle of some sort.
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