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Old 04-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Extra Engine cooler needed?

Hello everyone,

I currently have a 2013 Chevy Tahoe with 3.08 gears and no HD Cooling package (rated to tow 5,200lbs). The HD package includes an external trans cooler and an external engine cooler. The HD cooling package seems to enable a bit more towing capacity. If I can gain another 1,000lbs of towing capacity as insurance that would be great. My pop up has a GVWR of 4,600lbs.

I have found that the tranny cooler install is pretty straight forward to install. I will be buying one from e-trailer that comes as a kit for my vehicle. They also have a video of the install made on a 2011 Suburban which looks fairly easy. Comparing the video to what I see under the hood of my 2013 Tahoe confirms that are the same.

The engine oil cooler appears to the problem. I cannot find any videos on youtube at all for a Chevy truck. I found this strange and am now wondering if the install is much more involved than the tranny cooler and if the lack of video's means this is not often done.

Q. Has anyone on here installed an external engine oil cooler?

Q. Should I bother thinking about adding the engine oil cooler or just stick to the tranny cooler?

Thanks everyone.

Vin.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinmaker View Post
Hello everyone,

I currently have a 2013 Chevy Tahoe with 3.08 gears and no HD Cooling package (rated to tow 5,200lbs). The HD package includes an external trans cooler and an external engine cooler. The HD cooling package seems to enable a bit more towing capacity. If I can gain another 1,000lbs of towing capacity as insurance that would be great. My pop up has a GVWR of 4,600lbs.

I have found that the tranny cooler install is pretty straight forward to install. I will be buying one from e-trailer that comes as a kit for my vehicle. They also have a video of the install made on a 2011 Suburban which looks fairly easy. Comparing the video to what I see under the hood of my 2013 Tahoe confirms that are the same.

The engine oil cooler appears to the problem. I cannot find any videos on youtube at all for a Chevy truck. I found this strange and am now wondering if the install is much more involved than the tranny cooler and if the lack of video's means this is not often done.

Q. Has anyone on here installed an external engine oil cooler?

Q. Should I bother thinking about adding the engine oil cooler or just stick to the tranny cooler?

Thanks everyone.

Vin.
I would just stick to the tranny cooler, I would think that would be a must for towing. Your engine oil will take care of itself.....
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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You don't say how heavy a load you are pulling!

The additional towing capacity is not necessarily due to a trans cooler, but it is due to the addition of the HD cooling package which includes oil and trans cooler; and usually a bump of the rear gear from the stock ratio (I believe).

If you have an LTZ model, check to make sure you don't already have an oil and trans cooler. I know on the 1500 trucks, they are standard on the LTZ and high country models. (That was true for my 2013 LTZ, it is noted on the MSRP label under MECHANICAL - HD travailing equipment as a standard on LTZ models. And it is also on my 2015 Silverado LTZ with Z71 package.)

(The air to oil cooler is integrated with the left (driver side) of the radiator; like attached to the side and the trans cooler is located in front of the radiator/condenser.)

However, a trans cooler will never hurt; especially if towing anything.

An oil cooler is not hard to install at all. Basically, there is an adapter that installs in place of the oil filter, and the oil filter now installs to the adapter. You then mount the air to oil cooler to the front of the radiator or radiator support and run the lines from the adapter to the cooler and back to the adapter. Really, the hardest part is finding a decent place to mount the cooler assembly and to make sure the lines are routed out of the way.

If you don't want to hassle with the oil cooler; then just use a full synthetic oil that can handle the heat better than standard oil. (NOTE: If you use Dexos 1 as recommended by GM...they are NOT all full synthetic brands; the majority are, but some are approved Dexos 1 as blends such as Pennzoil Gold Synthetic Blend 5W30 Dexos 1. This was the standard oil my Dealer in Moab used to meet the Dexos somewhat funky requirement.)
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by f5moab View Post
You don't say how heavy a load you are pulling!

The additional towing capacity is not necessarily due to a trans cooler, but it is due to the addition of the oil and trans cooler; as well as a usual bump of the rear gear from the stock ratio.

If you have an LTZ model, check to make sure you don't already have an oil and trans cooler. I know on the 1500 trucks, they are standard on the LTZ and high country models. (That was true for my 2013 LTZ, it is noted on the MSRP label under MECHANICAL - HD travailing equipment as a standard on LTZ models. And it is also on my 2015 Silverado LTZ with Z71 package.)

(The air to oil cooler is integrated with the left (driver side) of the radiator; like attached to the side and the trans cooler is located in front of the radiator/condenser.)

However, a trans cooler will never hurt; especially if towing anything.

An oil cooler is not hard to install at all. Basically, there is an adapter that installs in place of the oil filter, and the oil filter now installs to the adapter. You then mount the air to oil cooler to the front of the radiator or radiator support and run the lines from the adapter to the cooler and back to the adapter. Really, the hardest part is finding a decent place to mount the cooler assembly and to make sure the lines are routed out of the way.
He has a Chevy Tahoe and the weight of TT 4600 lbs.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:20 PM   #5
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So sorry, didn't notice the trailer weight. As for a Chevy Tahoe, that I knew, just do not know the actual model such as LT/LTZ etc., and that MIGHT make a big difference. It sure does in the Silverado line.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:25 PM   #6
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I did check out the TV. It is only an LT model. I am sure I do not have the separate tranny cooler. I understand that the current tranny cooler is integrated on the side of the radiator. These are the lines that I would spice into to run the external tranny cooler from e-trailer.

In looking at the owners manual for the Tahoe, it shows the various tow rating for each gear ratio. The numbers for the 3.42 gear with and without the HD cooling package differ by over 2,000lbs. That seemed a big difference for only have an extra tranny and engine oil cooler. But what I can gather online is the HD cooling package only includes those two coolers and nothing more. I figured the same logic would hold true if I installed these coolers on my 3.08 geared vehicle. I used the 1,000lbs number as a guess.

As it stands now the Tahoe can handle the popup. But we all know how additional weight can creep up on us and I wanted some extra cooling for when I drive thru the White and Green mountains of New England.

Just figured these two jobs would not be that difficult. The oil cooler seems the worst of the two.

Vin.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:28 PM   #7
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Actually, from experience, the oil cooler is easier; no lines to tap into.

As noted; can't speak for Tahoes.

When pulling my 3200 lbs 228 through the mountains of CO/UT/WY/ID/ and especially the long inclines like from western UT up to the San Rafael swell, I monitored my oll temps and they made it up to 260 F., while my trans temps never exceeded 220 F. This was with a Hummer H3, which could tow up to 4500 lbs, but also had 4:56 gears. So not happy at 65 on an interstate with a trailer on its butt. However, those oil temps were getting pretty darn high. Lucky, I only used Mobil 1 in that engine.

If I had continued to pull the trailer with the H3, an oil cooler would have been installed.

Here's the oil cooler I have added to a friends truck a few years ago....
http://www.bmracing.com/products/702...&md=&smd=&eng=

Here's the install PDF...
http://www.bmracing.com/bmnew/pdf/9500358.pdf
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
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If you're not pulling in extreme conditions, your Tahoe should handle what you're wanting to pull. An external trans cooler will help extend the life of your transmission regardless though. An oil cooler isn't necessary with the weight you're pulling.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:35 PM   #9
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If you're not pulling in extreme conditions, your Tahoe should handle what you're wanting to pull. An external trans cooler will help extend the life of your transmission regardless though. An oil cooler isn't necessary with the weight you're pulling.
I agree with AquaMan, If you are worried about about your oil temp, I think that you can add a temp guage without any trouble at all. Like I said the transmission cooler should be a must towing. A simple temp gauge would allow you to monitor your oil temp. Also maybe check out putting a different oil in, I don't know what you use now. Good luck and have a great summer camping worry free,....
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
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Highly recommend Mobil1 in the engine, transmission and rear end. Pricey, but they are all formulated for higher temperatures. Changed all 3 in my broken down 05.
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